In today’s business world, an online presence is essential. A website is a perfect platform whether you’re selling products or services or simply want to share information. WordPress is a popular web design tool, and for a good reason. It’s user-friendly, customizable, and has a wide range of features.
According to a recent survey, WordPress powers 34% of the web. That’s a significant market share and has only grown in recent years.
Whether you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or blogger, chances are you could benefit from a WordPress website.
Today, we’ll share tips on designing a robust WordPress website.
1. Define Your Site’s Purpose And Strategy
The first step in any web design project is to define your site’s purpose. What do you want your website to achieve?
Are you selling products or services? If so, you’ll need an eCommerce platform. Do you want to generate leads? You’ll need a contact form and lead capture system. Are you simply sharing information? A blog or news site might be a better fit.
In general, there are three types of WordPress websites:
- Business websites: These are typically used to sell products or services. They often include eCommerce features, contact forms, and lead capture systems.
- Portfolio websites: These are used to showcase the work of an individual or team. They typically include a gallery, project pages, and a contact form.
- Blogs: These are used to share articles, news, or opinions. They typically include a blogroll, social media integration, and RSS feeds.
No matter your purpose, it’s important to have a clear strategy. This will help you determine the type of content you need and the features you’ll need to include.
2. Choose Your Website Platform
Once you’ve defined your purpose and strategy, it’s time to choose a platform. There are many different web design platforms to choose from, but WordPress is one of the most popular.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that makes it easy to create and manage a website. It’s user-friendly, and many themes and plugins are available to extend its functionality.
Almost 20% of websites globally are powered by WordPress, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a widely-used platform. It allows you to create a unique website without needing to code everything from scratch.
Here’s how you can start designing your website on WordPress:
Name your website
This is probably the easiest and also most critical part of the process. It may look easy to come up with a website name, but you must remember that this is the name people will relate to your brand. So, make sure to choose wisely.
You can use tools like Namecheap, GoDaddy, or Hover to find a domain name for your website.
Buy a domain and hosting
The next step is to buy a domain and web hosting. This will give you a place to store your website’s files.
There are several web hosting providers to choose from, but we recommend using Bluehost. They’re one of the largest web hosting companies in the world and offer a free domain when you sign up for web hosting.
Their plans start at $2.95/month, which is great if you’re just starting out.
The next step is to install WordPress. This can be done automatically through your web hosting panel or manually.
If you’re using Bluehost, you can log in to your customer profile and find the “My Sites” tab. From there, you can provide the domain name for your new site and the username or password you will be using on WordPress.
Once your wizard completes the installation, your site is ready to be customized.
Set permalinks on WordPress
Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual blog posts and web pages. By default, WordPress permalinks look like this: http://example.com/?p=123
This is not very user-friendly or SEO-friendly. Fortunately, WordPress makes it easy to change your permalinks.
We recommend using the “Post name” permalink structure, which will look like this: http://example.com/sample-post/
To change your permalink structure, go to Settings » Permalinks and select “Post name” from the Common Settings section. Don’t forget to click on the “Save Changes” button to store your settings.
Make your WordPress website public
If you’re running a business website, it’s important to make sure your site is public. That way, people can find and visit your site.
To make your WordPress site public, go to Settings » Reading and uncheck the box next to “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.”
Set title and tagline
Title and taglines are used to identify your website. The title is typically displayed in the browser tab, while the tagline is used to describe your site.
You can set your title and tagline by going to Settings » General. In the fields marked “Site Title” and “Tagline,” enter the title and tagline you want to use.
The title and tagline can appear in multiple places throughout your website, depending on your chosen theme. It will also be in the SEO description used by Google when listing your site in search results.
The tagline is not mandatory, so you can leave it blank if you don’t need one.
Allow or disable comments, pingbacks, etc.
Comments can be a great way to engage with your website visitors. However, they can also be a source of spam.
To allow or disable comments, pingbacks, and trackbacks, go to Settings » Discussion. Under the “Default article settings” section, you can choose whether you want to allow people to comment on your posts or not. If you uncheck the box next to “Allow people to post comments on new articles,” comments will be turned off globally. However, you can still allow comments on individual posts and pages.
If you’re not sure whether you want to allow comments or not, we recommend leaving them turned on for now and moderating the comments that come in. That way, you can decide whether the comments are valuable or not.
Set your time zone
Setting your time zone makes publishing your new posts and pages more meaningful or predictable. You can set the time zone to where you are located or your target audience, whichever serves the purpose better.
To set your time zone, go to Settings » General. Look for the “Timezone” drop-down menu and select the city or time zone you want to use.
Choose a WordPress theme
Your WordPress site will look different depending on the theme you choose. A WordPress theme is a collection of files that work together to create the design and functionality of a WordPress site.
You can change your WordPress theme at any time. Go to Appearance » Themes in your WordPress admin area to do that. On the Themes page, you will see a preview of the default WordPress theme and any other themes you have installed.
Click on the “Add New” button to install a new theme. WordPress will then take you to the themes directory, where you can browse and install any theme you want.
Upload your logo
Your logo is one of the first things people will notice when they visit your website, so it’s important to choose a good one.
To upload your logo, go to Appearance » Customize in your WordPress admin area. In the “Site Identity” section, you will see an option to upload a logo. Click on the “Select File” button and choose the logo you want to use.
If your theme doesn’t have a logo option, you can still upload your logo by going to Appearance » Header. Look for the “Logo” field and upload your logo there.
Another important thing that will help you manage your site later is the plugins you use. Whether you want analytics associated with your site, create an online store, or need to change your website design easily, a plugin is essential.
So, carefully choose from the thousands of WordPress plugins available and install them at this stage.
3. Research The Latest Web Design Trends
Keeping up with web design trends is important to ensure your website stays current and relevant. Some web design trends come and go quickly, while others stick around for a few years.
Here are a few web design trends that are popular right now:
- Minimalistic design
- Mobile-friendly design
- Personalized web experiences
- Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
- Parallax scrolling
- Card-based design
Which web design trends you want to follow depends on your personal preferences and the goals of your website. If you’re unsure which trends to follow, look at what your competitors are doing. This will give you an idea of what’s popular in your industry, and you can then decide whether to follow that trend or set a new one.
4. Decide On Your Branding
As we mentioned before, branding is extremely important in web design. Your website is the first place people will go to learn about your brand, so it’s important to make sure it’s consistent with your overall branding strategy.
Some things you need to consider when it comes to branding are your colors, fonts, and logo. These elements should be included in your website design to help people recognize your brand.
For instance, if you have a yellow and green logo, your website’s color scheme should reflect that. And if you use a specific font for your branding, ensure it’s also included in your web design.
5. Create A Sitemap
A sitemap is a list of all the pages and posts on your website. Creating a sitemap before you start designing your website will help you organize your thoughts and decide what content needs to go where.
To create a sitemap, create a list of all the pages and posts you want to include on your website. For each page and post, include a brief description of what it will be about. This will help you figure out the hierarchy of your website and how everything will fit together.
An ideal sitemap will be easy to navigate and understand. So, make sure you spend some time thoughtfully planning out your sitemap before you start designing your website.
6. Create Web Page Design Templates
Now that you have all your content planned out, it’s time to start designing your web pages. To do this, you’ll need to create web page templates.
A web page template is a pre-designed web page that you can use to create new pages for your website quickly. This is a great way to save time and ensure that all your pages have a consistent look and feel.
There are a few things you need to consider when creating web page templates:
Layout: How will your content be arranged on the page?
Design elements: What colors, fonts, and images will you use on the page?
Functionality: What features will the page have?
You can use a web page template tool like MockFlow or Balsamiq to get started. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can create your own web page templates from scratch.
7. Write Your Website Copy
It’s time to start filling them with content. This is where the website copy comes in. Your website copy is the text on your website that helps explain who you are, what you do, and why people should care. It’s essential to make sure your website copy is well-written, engaging, and informative.
Here are a few tips for writing great website copy:
Know your audience: Whom are you writing for?
Keep it short and sweet: Get to the point quickly and use simple language.
Include a call to action: Tell people what you want them to do next.
Optimize for search: Use keywords and phrases people are likely to search for.
8. Build Your Web Pages
Now that you have your web page templates and website copy ready, it’s time to start building your web pages. This process will be relatively easy if you’re using a web page builder tool like MockFlow or Balsamiq. Simply follow the instructions in the tool to create your web pages.
You’ll need coding knowledge to create your web pages from scratch. However, plenty of resources are available online to help you learn how to code.
9. Add Functionality To Your Website
Once your web pages are created, it’s time to add some functionality. This includes contact forms, social media buttons, and e-commerce features.
There are a few different ways to add functionality to your website:
Use plugins: WordPress plugins are a great way to add functionality to your website without having to do any coding. There are plugins available for just about everything, so you should be able to find one that meets your needs.
Use code: If you’re comfortable with coding, you can add functionality to your website by adding your own custom code.
Hire a developer: If you’re not comfortable with coding, you can hire a developer to add the functionality for you. This is usually the most expensive option but also the easiest.
10. Launch Your Website
Once your website is designed and built, it’s time to launch! Make sure you test everything on your site before launching to avoid embarrassing mistakes. When you’re ready, publish your site and start promoting it.
11. Optimize, Analyze And Improve
Now that your website is up and running, it’s important to keep track of how it’s performing. This includes things like web traffic, conversion rate, and bounce rate.
You can track these metrics using Google Analytics. Simply create a free account and add the tracking code to your website. Then, you’ll be able to see how your site is performing and identify areas for improvement.
It’s also important to regularly update your website. This includes adding new content, fixing broken links, and updating plugins. By keeping your site up-to-date, you’ll ensure that it remains relevant and engaging for users.
12. Create A Marketing Strategy
Lastly, you need to create a marketing strategy for your website. Without marketing, nobody will know that your site exists.
You can use several different marketing channels to promote your website, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and paid advertising.
Experimenting with different marketing channels is important to see what works best for your particular website. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so you’ll need to find the marketing mix that works best for you.
By following these 12 steps, you can create a robust WordPress website that will stand the test of time. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
If you need help along the way, consider hiring us as your web design and development partner. We specialize in creating high-quality WordPress websites and would be happy to help you with your project. Get in touch today to learn more!