At Steve Perry Creative, HTML/CSS, server-side and client-side technologies, customised WordPress, WooCommerce, Laravel and Magento eCommerce sites are hand coded from scratch. No use is made of pre-built templates – unless requested.
Some clients provide layout files as the starting point. More often it’s a straightforward verbal or written brief. And there's a mobile-first approach with me. Smartphone customers expect a different experience than when using desktop machines.
All of this can be in conjunction with other designers and agencies, or direct with clients. Maybe for web development only, sometimes right the way through from initial planning to successful deployment and on-going maintenance.
All websites in progress have off-site backups and Git version control as standard. This makes trying out new features and processes safe, without affecting the working code-base.
Private staging servers are used throughout every development in order that you can see the status of the build at all times. It's a completely transparent way of working.