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Need a better site design, fast - help?


I made a post in the Indie Hackers forum offering to do a free landing page breakdown on LandingPageBreakdowns.com for anyone who asked.

To my surprise, the second response was Courtland Allen himself, who offered to let me write a guest post on Indie Hackers. I could be wrong, but as far as I can tell, this is a huge deal.

Courtland claims that his one existing guest post has gotten ~13K visits in the past week. And it’s not like some HN fluke where you get a bunch of garbage traffic, either. This would be permanent content and relevant visitors.

Courtland also gave me the green light to break down a page from Indie Hackers on my site. Less momentous but still nice.

I do have a challenge, though. If you look at my site, you can see that it basically looks like shit. This would of course palpably harm my credibility as a person who critiques websites. I think if I have this traffic opportunity, I should make the most of it by making my site look at least somewhat good beforehand.

The challenge within that is that I’ve always had a hard time getting my own sites to look good. Every single WP theme I’ve encountered, free or paid, I’ve found to be stupid. I believe in clean, effective designs like these ones:

Most WP themes were designed by people I can tell have little or no understanding of what actually makes a page convert well or not.

So I think I need one of two things: a) someone who’s not hindered by my personal WP theme hangups and can find a WP theme for me that I’ll find acceptable (probably unlikely, frankly) or b) a designer who can design me a better site.

I’m willing to invest the money in a good designer if that’s what it takes.

Can anyone help? What would you do in my shoes?


3rd option: copy a design you like.

I’m not a designer either but that’s what I do for my websites like https://blog.kowalczyk.info/.

Obviously, I don’t mean literally take their HTML and change the words but even with my medium HTML/CSS skills, I could re-create the look of e.g. https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/ from scratch. Layout used to be crazy in CSS but with flexbox it’s relatively simple now.

Also, if you literally don’t like any of the existing themes, then you either have crazy standards or not looking very hard.

For example, more or less random popular business theme https://themeforest.net/item/minim-minimal-agency-consultancy-wp-theme/20267937?s_rank=6 has pretty much the same structure as https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/. It’s certainly much better than your current theme.

It seems to me you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’ve constructed a set of constraints that most likely cannot be met. The only 2 options you find acceptable are:

  1. Expect us to find you a good WordPress theme, but you won’t like it anyway. Sarcasm: that really makes me want to spend my time helping you.

  2. You’re soliciting a designer in a place where no designers hang out with lukewarm “I’m willing to invest” as if paying for services rendered needs to be affirmed. Go to https://www.behance.net/ or https://99designs.com/ or https://www.upwork.com/ and post a job with clear requirements and a budget. That’s how you hire freelance designers.

How about 3rd option: just do it.

Timebox 30mins for picking the best theme you can find on https://themeforest.net/ and then another few hours to apply it to your website and you’ll have a good looking website by tomorrow.


@kjk Thanks for the response.

I forgot about 99designs. I’ve used it before and been happy with the results. I’ll probably just go that route.

To be clear, I’m not expecting anyone here to be a designer, nor am I asking for anyone to find a them for me. I’m asking for advice.

Having received the 99designs reminder, I think I’m all set. Thanks again.


Congrats, Jason. I think this is definitely a big opportunity. Do this well, and you’ll see not only a short-term flood of traffic, you’ll also see a permanent significant increase in regular traffic.

If you think you need some time, just let Courtland know. I’m sure he’d be open to waiting a couple of months until publishing the guest post.

I’d find a good freelancer designer whose work you know and like. If you don’t know anyone, look at the websites of small indie companies who you think have good design, and ask them who their designer was. Chances are you’ll quickly find an affordable freelancer keen to work with you.