My friend invited me round for a Green “Thai” curry last night. The early signs were good. The kitchen smelt “curryish”. On arrival the chicken looked lovely surrounded by the green-flecked sauce and Jasmine rice.

My friend would be the first to admit he is no cook and unfortunately the meal was full of promise but in the end just didn’t deliver.

You see a Thai curry needs to be sweet, sour and salty. It needs creaminess from the coconut without being cloying, salty from a dash of fish sauce, fresh with lime and basil and punchy with ginger, chilli and garlic. Perhaps finished off with a little crunch of pistachio nuts.

WordPress Curry sauceI wasn’t expecting John (my friend) to make it all from scratch but if you are a good cook in a hurry, you would know to use a bit of that jar John used as a base and then start adding the magic that makes a very nice version of a Green Thai curry.

A good WordPress theme is that jar of ready-made curry sauce.

A good CMS theme is full of promise but it takes more than knowing how to install the theme and change the settings to make it deliver. I say about 20% is the technical bit and 80% is everything else. (About the same as the jar)

 So what is everything else?

Some of it is about getting to grips with your potential audience. Who are you realistically trying to attract? What client profile are we using to create the central messages for all our pages?

And then there is the business of your business. What type of business are you and how is this reflected back to your audience? There is absolutely no point creating a parallax-effect-library-picture that looks very impressive while other stuff pops up if your potential audience struggle to see the relevance to them of the picture used and decide the effects are just getting in the way.

And then there is the small matter or SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and while we’re about it a sensible Social Media strategy that you have the resource to keep on top off and integrates nicely with your website. And finally a proper measurement and reporting function.

WordPress, like all CMS systems are an excellent way to save time and money if you don’t need a bespoke requirement as much of the behind the scenes infrastructure is already developed. A professional theme therefore gives you an excellent start in terms of look and feel while the addition of plug-ins extends the functionality.

But this shouldn’t be considered as the finished article as it is actually just the start. It is a solid base from which you start adding the magic that gets your audience enthused in what you have to offer.

Now where’s that naan?