WordPress is a sophisticated publishing platform used by enterprises of all types for their websites. WordPress website design is a subset of web design, and it’s important to understand some best practices for having a website on WordPress.
Aesthetic or visual considerations are only one aspect of web design, including WordPress website design. User experience, navigation, page speed, and conversion rate tracking also matter.
If you pay attention to all of those factors, you’ll end up with a site that’s not just appealing to the eye but also easy to navigate. This last point is very important because usability is the key to keeping people interested and coming back to your site.
Check out our WordPress design advice as well as best practices to remember the next time you’re working on a new project or updating your site.
Decide on a WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme is essentially a set of files that dictate how the site will look and perform. There are hundreds of free WordPress themes available, and then many, many more paid themes you can buy. Whether free or paid, these premade themes will define your site, so choose a theme carefully. Alternatively, you can have a WordPress web developer build a custom theme for you.
When you first deploy WordPress on your domain, it automatically starts your site off with a default theme. In most cases, you’ll want to switch from the default theme.
Decide on a WordPress Builder
As with themes, WordPress has a default builder, meaning the interface with which you modify aspects of your site. Along with the default WordPress builder, there are a number of additional builders that give you more options. These include:
· Beaver Builder
· WP Bakery
· …and many more
Whether you opt for the standard (default) builder, or any of the other options, you’ll need to make sure you understand how the builder works and how to do modifications to your site.
Don’t Mess with Default Theme Files
Whatever theme you’re using, it will have some core files. Unless you are a WordPress developer, don’t try to edit your theme files. If you find yourself needing to change the core theme files, it’s probably an indication that you need a different theme…or that you need to hire a WordPress developer to make the changes for you.
Have Fonts on Point
Selecting the proper font is more of a branding issue than a web design issue, as your website fonts should match your brand. If you have a brand, chances are you have already developed brand guidelines for it. Make sure your website fonts match the brand guidelines. Depending on what WordPress builder you’re using, you can set your brand fonts as defaults.
Use Quality Imagery
Don’t use low-resolution or poor-quality photos on your website. Up to 80% of the sensory information the human brain takes in is visual. We process images more quickly than words. Replace low-quality images or stock photographs with high-quality photos of your own—possibly of your employees and customers—for maximum impact.
Install and Activate an SEO Plugin
Search engine optimization is important if you want to attract organic traffic to your website (i.e., have customers find you). SEO is super complicated, and we won’t even try to tackle it in this article, but a good SEO plugin can get you part of the way down the road to being optimized.
SEO plugins make suggestions you can follow, and can also scan your website’s content and keywords and make recommendations for technical improvements such as sitemaps and robots.txt.
Establish Brand Design Guidelines
Your company’s style, voice, tone, and visual elements together represent its overall brand. Fonts, colors, and even the message you present on your website should all reflect your brand. Collectively, these are referred to as brand elements, and they help make your company (and your website) memorable.
One of the most important brand elements is your company logo. You may recognize dozens of companies just by looking at their logos, as they are prominently displayed throughout their whole internet presence. It’s important to have a clear and consistent brand identity that includes everything you’ll use on websites, social media profiles, and other platforms.
All of your brand elements should be memorialized in a brand guidelines document that your graphic designer, web designer, and other involved people can refer to. Brand guidelines ensure that everyone working on your brand delivers a consistent message.
Hopefully these WordPress web design tips help you have the confidence to go create an amazing WordPress website for your company.