Is a custom theme worth 100x as much as an $80 theme?

When you choose to work with Melissa Rose Design and Once Coupled on a custom theme, you’re not buying an $8,000 custom theme.

You’re buying an invaluable partnership with two professionals that are experts in branding & site speed, that come to every meeting with creative solutions meant to grow your business, and that value a smooth project process with high quality work.

You’re buying a lasting solution set out to:

  • Bring you joy
  • Make your life easier
  • Grow your business

We’re here to guide you, to push back (when appropriate), and to handle all the nitty-gritty so you can handle the content strategy!

We recently worked with Bailey Ryan of Whole Kitchen Sink who was just as thrilled with her results as we were (note: Bailey also changed domain names during this process, so when she references “traffic tanking” this was in response to that).

The first full 3 months since it went live have been my best months ever in terms of traffic. My traffic didn’t tank like those people told me it would, it’s BETTER than any month prior AND I’m posting less (low-key doing a victory dance around them.. but.. a humble victory dance).

Other quantifiable info & why I think that’s happened:

  1. My email list has grown by 5k – well planned and well placed opt-in forms with an enticing freebie
  2. Pinterest followers have grown by 2k – social icons much more visible than previously, top of screen on mobile
  3. Bounce rate went down, more time spent on site, more comments being received, recipe ratings – all chalked up to how much faster the site is after the overhaul, and a WAY more user-friendly layout, functionality, navigation, and website map. Making the site more user-friendly and having a website that worked FOR my readers was the main goal to begin with, so I’m over the moon about this result because it tells me you’re not having a hard time accessing the info or recipes. My whole intent with this overall is to make your life easier, and the new site does that so much better than the old one.

Not only are the numbers better, but my heart is better. My mindset is better, and I’m so much more at “home” here and feeling like myself. It’s the website I dreamed of, I’m passionate about the message it sends about health, and I’m glad every day I get on it that I went for it and didn’t listen to h8ers.


This is why we do what we do and why we believe in the “better together” mentality. I can focus on design, branding, and strategy while Lauren can focus on building the most robust, speed-focused themes (and staying up to date on all the daily WP and recipe plugin updates).

There’s only so much a one-man, all-in-one studio can stay up to date on while still delivery quality projects. With us, you get 100% of both worlds vs. a 50/50 split of one world.

So how does it all work?

We regularly partner on projects and, as such, have a streamlined process that puts a lot of structure in place. After the initial back and forth, we take over completely!

You’ll receive scheduled deadlines for feedback, where we’ll need a few hours of your time to provide feedback. Other than that, we do everything:

  • Listen to your goals & preferences
  • Brainstorm problems
  • Present ideas
  • Implement solutions
  • Execute everything, including launch!

All you do is set aside a couple hours periodically to provide feedback and approval!

What if I don’t know exactly what I need?

Not knowing the answer to everything is perfect – it’s ideal, really. This gives you the opportunity to share what’s not working right now, and gives us the freedom to come up with creative solutions that might be a little out of the box, but be a better long-term fit for the direction you’re taking your site.

It’s overwhelming to try to think ahead, to come up with everything that could possibly be needed, and to manage the project to keep everything in check. Luckily, that’s what we do every day. We’re experts in seeing future problems and solving them before they come up.

What’s the next step to get started?

We’re currently booking for early and mid 2019 projects. Since we’ll want to gather information from you and consult on solutions specific to your goals & growth, the sooner you reach out, the better.

We’ll ask you to complete a questionnaire so we can put together a design & development package that fits your needs.

If you want to talk about your goals and discuss whether a custom theme is a good fit right now (or not!), shoot me an message and let’s chat.