Everything You Need to Know About PSD to WordPress Conversion

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If you are wondering what it means to convert PSD to WordPress, you are in the right place. Before you dive in or spend money, however, you will want to be sure this is the right method for your website project.

Let’s get clear on terminology first.

What Is PSD?

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“PSD” is really a PSD, as in a Photoshop document or PSD file. You might see it referred to as PSD because those three initials refer to the file extension of a Photoshop document in Microsoft Windows: .psd.

Photoshop is a program by Adobe that has been around for decades, and it is the premiere graphics manipulation program on the market.

Yes, a freeware alternative is available, called GIMP. GIMP stands for “GNU Image Manipulation Program” (GNU being a reference to free software).

However, Photoshop is the default program many graphic designers use to create graphics, not just for print but for the web.

When you work on an image in Photoshop, it is saved automatically as a PSD file. (In GIMP, that working image file is an XCF file, though you can save XCFs as PSDs if you want.)

What Is WordPress?

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WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that delivers web content (such as blog posts) to a web browser using pre-made software. It comes with a back-end interface that you can use to publish and manage your blog posts.

WordPress also delivers the graphics to the browser to create the user interface (UI) that frames your website content.

WordPress does this by using themes. A theme is a graphic overlay on your content. The content will be the same no matter what the theme is, and you can change themes at any time without changing the underlying content.

A WordPress installation can actually have any number of themes installed, but only one theme will be activated at one time typically (unless it is a very special setup, which you do not have to worry about).

What Does It Mean to Convert PSD to WordPress?

The whole point of converting PSD to WordPress is to take a PSD file (from Photoshop) and transform it into a WordPress-ready theme.

The problem is, this may not be as foolproof as it sounds.

These days, you can find many websites that will offer to convert your PSD file to WordPress with the click of a button. This is certainly preferable to the old-school way of doing this, which could involve a heck of a lot of image wrangling and coding.

The question is, how accurate will this conversion be, and is it even a desirable way to create a WordPress theme?

The Problem with Using PSD Files for Websites

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Chances are, if you are wondering how to convert a PSD file to WordPress, it may be because of a graphic designer you are considering working with. Or, you might be thinking you can create your website using Photoshop.

Here are a few reasons why, if you haven’t started this process yet, you might want to think twice about using this method.

1. Some Graphic Designers Do Not Understand the Web


This is less of a problem than it used to be, but it still is an issue. Many graphic designers have no clue how to design a website. Oh, sure, they can create an attractive logo. But there is a massive difference between a graphic and an interface. And a website is an interface.

Unless your graphic designer has training or experience in user interface design (UI design), you probably don’t want to trust them with your WordPress theme. They are likely to come up with something that is not practical or doesn’t work with WordPress.

2. Photoshop to WordPress Is Never a Direct Translation


You can have the prettiest website design in Photoshop but that doesn’t mean it will translate perfectly to WordPress even if the designer understands the content management system.

3. You Are Actually Limiting Your Website


These days, so many WordPress themes, whether free or premium, have options for custom colors, backgrounds, and fonts. There is absolutely no reason to reinvent the wheel with a new theme that won’t have those customization options.

Your Best Bet: Skip PSD to WordPress

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Instead of spending money on an expensive Photoshop design, avoid going from PSD to WordPress. Instead, get a WordPress theme you can easily customize. If you are that determined to use Photoshop as part of the process, simply search “PSD to WordPress” to find many websites that offer conversions for free or a fee. Don’t try to do it manually. It’s not worth it! 

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