In trying to come up with a simple way to explain the websites we develop, I’ve come up with this analogy:
WordPress is the foundation of the website. The content that the client provides is equivalent to the building contents (desks, chairs, tables, etc.). As web designers, we’re responsible for the building itself. Without the framework we provide, the contents would be just all dumped on top of each other and would be a real mess. Likewise, if we don’t do our job right, there is a chance the website could fall apart, just as a building could fall down. No matter how good the foundation or content is, without the structure it’s going to be a mess.
Sometimes during the development process, you realize that your structure is not the most efficient way to display the contents. Just as during the development of a building, an Architect or Engineer may realize that the building structure is not going to be able to support the contents of the building. In both scenarios, it’s important to go back to the drawing board rather than try to add on later in the project.
This is what separates good web designers from great web designers. The great web designers can anticipate this and build a structure that is scalable and able to handle future content.
If you are currently working with a web designer that is not asking questions about future content, goals, and growth, then you may be locked in to a structure that won’t allow future growth. In the end, that could cost much more than the difference between what a good designer and a great designer will charge. The cheapest option may not be the cheapest in the long run.