Maybe you pay for all of the templates at Rockettheme, or maybe you just love one and have to have it. The problem is always getting your website to look anything like their professional design. This is not as simple as using the Rocketlauncher and calling it a day. After trying many methods, I am going to give some simple steps as to how to recreate the cool elements without spending hours upon hours. While this still may not be super-fast, you'll get the results you see, with your own customization, quickly. That's how I can stay in business, and it's also the only way these amazing templates can really work.
Granted, some of you like other brands, and that's probably a good option. However, one of my clients really liked Rockettheme, paid for the template club, and told me to use it. When I got good at it, there was little reason to shift to another brand. If someone else designs a true customizable template that just drops it in your lap, you win. For those of us using Rockettheme, it takes some work.
First, you could just leave it mostly as-is. What I mean is Roknavmenu and Rocksprocket. A few bells and maybe a whistle, and you've got a decent site. While some might say the gantry framework holds them back, I think it's nice to be able to basically have little boxes everywhere for a client to point at. I assume most of you want more than just the basic, modern site, so that's when things get complicated.
The way I see it is that Rockettheme builds using a lot of custom coding to achieve their results. I can use that coding to achieve the same thing, but there are really two ways to do it: use Rocketlauncher and whittle it down or use Rocketlauncher on the side as kind of a spare parts car.
I tried the whittling it down method a few times. I got it done and the results are great, but you end up with 50 extra modules and lots of unpublished modules and content items. Will your clients want to deal with all the clutter? Do you want to sift through it all to find the right item?
The better solution is to install a Rocketlauncher site alongside your main build. Install just the template and gantry into the main build. Then, you'll need to add items as you want them. Most of what you want will be a module with "FP" in the title. If you can't find it, turn some on and off. When you do find it, create a module on your new site and edit it in a simple editor (that's a big deal because your other editor will strip tags). Make sure you have all of the elements of the original module or content item, published in the right place, then test.
Now you'll have their item, probably less a photo. Look at the original to see how the photo gets added. You might even have to create the same folder in your new site. Be careful what you delete. Don't change the original Rocketlauncher version of it because you'll likely need to start over at least once while migrating these intricate modules.
You'll have to adjust some positions in the new template, too. But not a lot. And you might need to make a separate frontpage copy as an override to complete the process. However, I can tell you that it's the difference between a $2000 site that takes 10 hours with Rockettheme or 15 hours totally from scratch and one that takes maybe 8 hours.
If you have custom images your client wants in the original positions, of course that adds time, but even with all that, and using the less efficient whittle-down method, I finished Fundamental Trends in less than 20 hours, and that's with a subscription service and email marketing component installed. With how I do the sites not, a site like that is less than 15 hours. Honestly, that's a $5000 site at many shops.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about but like the site, hire me. If you've been looking for a better way to do just what I'm talking about, visit Satisfamily and click on an ad or buy a book.