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Explained: 3 Types of Custom NationBuilder Themes, and How To Choose What’s Best for You

Explained: 3 Types of Custom NationBuilder Themes, and How To Choose What’s Best for You

Are you considering hiring a certified NationBuilder Architect (like me) to design a custom NationBuilder website theme for your organization?

Since 2013, I’ve created hundreds of custom NationBuilder website themes for customers of every size and type, including yours.

I’ve generally found that custom NationBuilder projects fall into three main categories.

  1. Readymade themes designed to meet specific use cases;
  2. Lightly customized themes based on an existing framework; and
  3. Fully custom designs built from scratch to meet your needs.

Let’s break down each of those project types, what you can expect, and which is right for you.

1. Readymade NationBuilder themes

Screenshot: Livingston NationBuilder Theme
Screenshot: A Customized NationBuilder theme for Rep. Byron Donalds

Readymade NationBuilder themes are designed in advance with a specific customer type in mind and are ready to purchase and use on-demand.

I find it helpful to imagine readymade themes like pre-packaged sandwiches at the airport. You can choose from ham & cheese, turkey club, roast beef, etc. — a range of offerings to meet your needs and desires, but with no option to customize at checkout. 

For example, I designed the Livingston theme to help political candidates launch campaign websites quickly and the Gadsden theme to help organizations launch email acquisition and supporter engagement campaigns.

Advantages of readymade themes

  • ☑️ Affordable (typically $500 or less)
  • ☑️ Quick to launch
  • ☑️ Clear documentation
  • ☑️ Tested & proven to work

Disadvantages of readymade themes

  • ❌ Not Unique
  • ❌ Lacks custom branding (colors, fonts, etc.)
  • ❌ No custom design elements or functionality

If you think a readymade NationBuilder theme might be the right fit for your project, visit my readymade theme directory.

2. Customized NationBuilder themes

Screenshot: A Customized NationBuilder theme for Rep. Byron Donalds
Screenshot: A Customized NationBuilder theme for Rep. Byron Donalds

Customized NationBuilder themes meet your unique branding and specific needs using pre-existing design blocks.

Sticking with our “food at the airport” analogy, customized NationBuilder themes are akin to purchasing a meal from a buffet or fast-food restaurant, where you order precisely what you want from a pre-defined menu.

For example, this congressional campaign website was launched using a customized NationBuilder theme in a matter of days, using pre-existing components like headers, signup forms, footers, and the Livingston theme as an underlying framework.

Advantages of customized themes

  • ☑️ Affordable (typically $1,500–3,000)
  • ☑️ Quick to launch
  • ☑️ Clear documentation
  • ☑️ Tested & proven to work

Disadvantages of readymade themes

  • ❌ No custom design elements or functionality

If you think a customized NationBuilder theme might be the right fit for your project, get in touch today.

3. Fully Custom NationBuilder themes

Screenshot: Rory Stewart’s Redesigned Homepage (February 2020)
Screenshot: Rory Stewart’s Redesigned Homepage (February 2020)

Fully Custom NationBuilder themes are designed from scratch to suit your organization’s unique branding and specific needs, which often includes creating new design elements and pushing the limits of NationBuilders’s platform.

To round out our food analogy, a fully custom NationBuilder theme is akin to hiring a personal chef to create complete meals from scratch to meet your dietary needs. It’s expensive and may even seem indulgent to some, but the results are unparalleled — and you deserve it.

This custom NationBuilder theme for Rory Stewart’s campaign for London mayor is a perfect example of the level of detail and personalization possible in this category. His project included a complete branding redesign, a unique NationBuilder theme with a distinctive layout, and a deep alignment between his campaign’s “on-the-ground” strategy and the website’s design.

Advantages of customized themes

  • ☑️ unique design
  • ☑️ Deep integration with your strategy
  • ☑️ Leverage & extend NationBuilder’s core features

Disadvantages of readymade themes

  • ❌ Expensive (typically $10,000+)

If you think a fully custom NationBuilder theme might be the right fit for your project, schedule a call today to discuss what’s possible.

Conclusion

If you’re using NationBuilder to power your organization’s website (and you should be), there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be using a custom NationBuilder theme.

With options available to support every price point and scope of work, you’ll have no trouble finding a readymade, customized, or fully custom NationBuilder theme to fit your needs.

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