While many WordPress websites and blogs are running on pre made themes, there are just as many running on custom designs. Whichever one you decide to utilize, there are several WordPress design tips which you should keep in mind which will help you to organize your content, reduce bounce rate, increase return visitors, and generally ensure your website visitors have a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Utilize the following WordPress design tips to ensure that your website will be better designed than the majority of others out there.
To put it simply, the layout of your website is how you want it to be organized. Will you have 1 content area with no sidebars? Will you have a single content area with 2 sidebars? Will your website prominently feature advertisements? Will you have a vertical or a horizontal site navigation? It is paramount for you to be able to answer all these questions before you even think about designing your website. Even if you have already created your website, you should still answer these questions as clearly as possible so you have a clear idea of what you want to change.
My personal recommendation regarding layout is to ensure that your content makes up the bulk of your layout. After all, that is what your visitors have come for.
2. Post/Page Layout
It is a very good idea to follow the following layout tips when it comes to designing your website:
Make sure that all your posts, pages, indexes, archives etc are laid out in the same manner. This will ensure that visitors will not get confused as they jump from one section of your website to the other. There is nothing more frustrating than expecting to see information in one place, but then finding it in another.
It is wise to make your titles and headings a different colour and size than the rest of the text contained in your post as this will differentiate it from other pages. Not only will this make your website look more attractive, but it also means that your website will be scannable – vital for internet users with short attention spans.
- Meta Information
While there is no doubt that meta information is important, you should not let this information distract users from the primary reason they are visiting your website – for the content. The majority of websites ensure that the meta information is small in size yet easy to see, such as the author, tags, category etc.
3. Colour Scheme
There are a variety of things to consider when it comes to the colour used on your website. The topic of your website is probably the most important aspect to keep in mind. For example, if your website is dedicated to providing tips on happiness, light colours would be better than dark colours, and vice versa for more serious topics.
Besides using colour to dictate the overall mood of your site, you will want to make sure that the colours you use go well together to make sure that the website is as usable and readable as possible. For example, there is a reason why a white background with black text is most commonly used – it is easy to read and looks good.
4. Sidebar Design
Many WordPress design tips talk about the 3 things listed above but seem to skip talking about sidebar design. Sidebar design is a very important aspect of your website and the key to good sidebar design is to make it as simple as possible. Just because your WordPress theme might have 5 ready to use widget sidebars, this does not mean that you have to use all of them.
In your sidebar you want to draw attention to the important things, such as the categories, the most popular posts, subscription to your newsletter, links to your social media pages, and not a list of every single post you have ever written.
5. Test, Test, Test
The final thing I will say is that testing is vital to your website’s success. Test your website on different platforms and operating systems, test it on different browsers, ask friends and family what they think about your website, ask your readers to leave a comment or drop you an email to see what can be improved upon. Testing your website is undoubtedly one of the most important WordPress design tips once you have initially designed your website and have it up and running.