Fequently Asked Questions

Q: What is WordPress?

WordPress started as a blogging platform back in 2003. WordPress (WP) has now developed into a highly regarded content management system (CMS). WordPress is used by millions of oganistations around the world to power their websites.

Q: What is a WordPress theme?

A theme is a template that can be used to present your website's content in different layouts and styles. A theme can be though of as a layer which sits on top of the WordPress engine.

Q: What is VenueMate?

VenueMate is the name of our WordPress theme. As the name suggests, the theme has been designed specifically to meat the goals live music venues.

Q: What makes the VenueMate WordPress theme so great then?

Theme features

  • Design and layout tailored to the needs of live music venues
  • Low maintenance, low cost design
  • Integrated Content Management System
  • Easy event sharing, allowing site visitors to share events to their social networks
  • Featured content slider allows you to highlight promotional activities or up-coming shows
  • Custom menus allow you to add remove or re-order your main menu by dragging and dropping
  • Integrated Facebook fan box
  • Widget ready areas in sidebar, add a mailing list sign-up form or many other widgets
  • Lightbox style photo galleries ( via lightbox plugin )
  • Detailed set-up and usage instructions
  • One-to-one email support
  • On-going theme development
  • All major browsers supported
Q: How much does the VenueMate theme cost?

The VenueMate theme costs £50. We also offer WordPress and VenueMate set-up if you are based in the UK.

Q: Who buys VenueMate?

VenueMate is used by professional Web Designers who's clients are live music venues. VenueMate is also used by technically savvy Venue Managers who are comfortable installing WordPress and WordPress themes.

Q: What is a Content Management System (CMS)

A Content Management System enables people with minimal technical knowledge to upload, share or publish content to their website.

Q: What makes the WordPress platform such a great way to power my website?

WordPress is used to power millions of blogs and company websites around the world. This has led to a huge community of developers who create widgets and plugins designed to add more functionality to the core product. Many Web Design companies and individual Web Designers are familiar with the WordPress platform allowing them to develop, and maintain your site quickly and cheaply.

Q: What's so great about WordPress' widgets and plugins?

WordPress' architecture allows extra functionality to be added or removed easily in the form of plugins and widgets.

For example, if you have a mailing list and you use a service such as Mailchimp to manage your list, you can install the mailchimp plugin designed specifically for WordPress by the clever people at Mailchimp. No need to talk to your web designer or IT support provider to add this to your site. The alternative would require time-consuming and costly bespoke programming. Why re-invent the wheel when you can use Mailchimp's wheels which are already designed to work with WordPress. There is a plugin to do just about anything for the WordPress platform.

Q: So where does a WordPress theme fit in with my other options for creating a website?

There are a number of routes you should examine before creating and managing a website. As with any product, there are trade-offs to be made between cost, functionality, customisation, support, adaptability, scalability and so on.

The diagram below shows the level of customisation versus cost for a number of website creation solutions

Q: So why is buying a WordPress theme better than hiring a Web Designer or web design company to design my website?

When was the last time you bought a bespoke suit, pair of shoes, or dress? Bespoke design is time-consuming and therefore expensive. By specialising in our niche, which is building websites for live music venues, we can reduce costs, design better solutions, and deliver sites faster.

Q: In what way is the VenueMate theme tailored to the particular goals of live music venues?

Using our expertise in venue marketing and management and combining it with our expertise in web design, we've analysed the key objectives of live music venue websites. We believe our product helps achieve those objectives.

Q: In what way does the design help me reduce my website maintenance costs?

VenueMate's design means your site only requires two sizes of illustrative images. The sidebar advert and the main slider advert share the same image dimensions. This allows the design to re-use and swap illustrative images between these two areas. The main advert slider also allows you to add your advert copy independently of your illustrative image.

This reduces your reliance on your Graphic or Web Designer to update and maintain your site. If you're an venue owner who has the know-how to crop your own images, there is potential to reduce your costs even further by not relying the services of a Graphic or Web Designer at all.

Q: I'm not a nerd, how easy is WordPress to use?

If you've created a blog using, Tumblr or Blogger, or used your company's content management system ( CMS ), you can use WordPress. If you're new to blogging tools and content management systems VenueMate comes with comprehensive instructions that will get you up-and-running in no time.

You create or update content in 4 simple steps.

  1. Create an image for an event, sidebar ad or main ad
  2. Create an event, main advert or sidebar advert, and fill-in the details
  3. Assign your image to your content, and publish
Q: What level of support do you offer?

We offer one-to-one support via email in UK business hours. Being IT people we do keep flexible hours so we'll often get back to you out of hours.

Q: Will my site stay up-to-date with the latest technologies?

Our Developers are continually adding and enhancing to the core theme. These enhancements get tested and incorporated in future updates and releases. Minor releases are free to current customers.This means you don't need to worry about whether your site is using the latest technology.

Q: Can I customise it?

If you know HTML/CSS or know someone who does you can customise the theme as you can with all Wordpress themes via the theme's style sheet. You can change many aspects of the theme including the colour scheme, the fonts, the background image etc.. We'd strongly recommend getting a professional Web Designer to do this.

Another option is to ask us to do it. Styling websites is what we're really good at. Take a look a the gallery for some examples and inspiration. If you like what you see, use the contact form to get a quote.

Q: Who else uses VenuMate?

See our gallery section for our list of current customers.

Techy FAQs

Q: What are the website hosting requirements for VenueMate to work?

Your current hosting provider must support WordPress 3.0 or above. Many web hosts support WordPress and other blogging platforms. Check with your individual web host by visiting their site and checking their list of features / services. You may in some cases have to upgrade your account to take advantage of WordPress platform but this is generally a minimal cost added to your monthly charges.

If your host doesn't support WordPress, you'll need to move hosts to take advantage of VenueMate. This isn't as scary as it sounds, and we have a guide the support section that takes your through the steps. Your current IT support provider may also be able to help you with this, assuming you have one.

If you're keen to start using VenuMate and moving host is something your not comfortable with we can take care of this for a fee. Fill in our contact form to make an initial enquiry.

Q: SEO, what is that and why is that important to my venue?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. That's the ability of search engines such as Google to find your site and decide where your site is placed on the results page. The higher up the page the better, obviously. VenueMate is built using web-standards which helps increase your page rankings.

Q: You say VenueMate is a standards-based websites, why is that important to my business?

Web standards are a set of technologies that promote effective website design. Standards-compliant sites have better SEO rankings, they work on a wider range of devices and are cheaper to maintain and to develop.

  • Simpler development and maintenance: Using more semantic and structured HTML makes it easier and quicker to understand code created by somebody else.
  • Compatibility with future web browsers: When you use defined standards and valid code you future-proof your documents by reducing the risk of future web browsers not being able to understand the code you have used.
  • Faster download and rendering of web pages: Less HTML results in smaller file sizes and quicker downloads. Modern web browsers render pages faster when they are in their standards mode than when they are in their backwards compatible mode.
  • Better accessibility: Semantic HTML, where structure is separated from presentation, makes it easier for screen readers and alternative browsing devices to interpret the content.
  • Better search engine rankings: The separation of content and presentation makes the content represent a larger part of the total file size. Combined with semantic markup this will improve search engine rankings.
  • Simpler adaptation: A semantically marked up document can be easily adapted to print and alternative browsing devices, like handheld computers and mobile phones, just by linking to a different CSS file. You can also make site-wide changes to presentation by editing a single file.
  • Easyer data conversion and migration : A semantically marked up document can be more easily converted to other formats such as word documents or databases and make migrating to other systems less difficult.
Q: How are my social networks integrated?

Social networks are handled the same way as any other type of content. Simply create the network, add your link and fill-in the label. This allows you to add remove and re-order the ever-changing networks quickly and easily.

Q: How does my mailing list work

VenueMate theme has a widget area below your Facebook fan box. You can drag and drop the built-in WordPress Text/HTML widget, then copy and past the sign-up form code provided on your Mailing list companies website. If you use Mailchimp to manage your subscriptions full instructions are given in the theme set-up. If you use another service such as Campaign Monitor the instructions will be very similar. If you have a custom solution we'd advise getting your current Web Designer / IT person to copy and past the custom code into the widget area. If your still not sure, drop us a line and we can give you a quote.

Q: Can I have stats?

There are numerous stats plugins available for WordPress, simply visit the WordPress plugins area, find one you like download and install it. You can also add your Google Analytics code if you use that service in the theme settings page.

Q: I've already got a website, how do I manage the transition from my old site to my new WordPress enabled VenueMate site.

The easiest way to do this is to copy your current / old website to a sub-folder and use a redirect while you set-up WordPress, install your theme and add your content. Your current IT support should be able to do this for you. If not, and you are in the UK we can arrange this, use the contact form for a quote.

Q: Who fixes my website if it breaks?

If it does break, and it's a problem with the VenueMate theme, we'll fix it free of charge. Obviously if it breaks because your mate Dave who does a bit of Web Design hasn't installed WordPress properly or has 'hacked' ( made unsupported modifications to the the VenueMate theme ) we'll assist in helping you fix it. We'll charge you standard rate support costs for that type of repair, we think that's fair.