Have you ever considered using WordPress to build your own website or are you a WordPress hater? Birmingham based Design company Kimberley-Jane: Design asks you to read on to discover how her dislike turned in to a fully fledged love affair…
Would you believe me if I told you this website was built and designed in WordPress? Well it was and it only required a few weeks of planning. I have a background in Website Development and Graphic Design but like most designers my skills are stronger in one area than the other – Graphic Design. With WordPress this isn’t an issue because I am able to create websites that look stunning and are flexible, capable of integrating social media, quick and easy to update, feature rich and extremely well designed.
The hardest part will be choosing your theme (there are thousands of websites but I recommend (www.themeforest.net) and moulding it to your brand or style. Your website should be a continuation of your printed marketing material and vice versa.
Your knowledge of HTML and CSS style sheets will be required so that you can alter the theme elements that don’t fit such as colour, graphics, and layout but there are plenty of tutorials, help documents and forums if you get stuck.
The key to building a successful website in WordPress is to “never lose sight of how you want the finished product to look and remember it will probably be even better once you see it complete!” I say this because unless you follow a structured plan with clear aims you will deviate from pages leaving them unfinished (probably due to your excitement to start on the next). Talking from experience this can lead to a website that does not encourage people to click through which will decrease your bounce rate; Google may penalise you for this. On average your bounce rate should not be above 40% and ours for www.graphicdesign-birmingham.co.uk currently sits at 6% but even more amazing is www.beautellies.co.uk which is only 2%. These figures are very exciting and are due to strong planning and an understanding of what visitors to the website are looking for.
Once you have grasped the basic features of WordPress it becomes a fantastic web design package where you can truly get creative. In case you haven’t already been converted here is a list of personal reasons why I think you will love working in WordPress.
Reason One –
There’s a widget for that! You do not have to spend hours coding your own anti-spam catcher (www.642weather.com/weather/scripts-wordpress-captcha.php) or struggling to put content into columns (www.samburdge.co.uk/plugins/wp-post-columns-plugin-2) using HTML because there is a Plugin that can do it for you. These are what I have used and they have been tried and tested. It may take some time to find exactly what you are looking for but once you have you can start to build a standard ‘tool kit’.
Reason Two –
Users can work across multiple platforms because WordPress allows easy integration of videos (including YouTube) images, Facebook, Twitter, Linked in and much more…
Reason Three –
There are so many themes to choose from and so many ways you can customise it so that they don’t look the same. The possibilities are endless…
Now there are some Web Developers who probably hate WordPress with a passion (I know I did at the start) because it means they could be potentially losing business. But it’s about adapting to change. I’m sure any one of you reading this could set up your own website but the difference is how professional would it look? Whilst I will continue to worship WordPress with all its wonderful features ultimately I wouldn’t encourage people to use it if their website ended up looking unprofessional or leaving users unable to navigate easily.
“A tip to remember is although you have used WordPress the end result is to make sure nobody can tell!”
Let me put this question to you.
Does it make a difference whether a web developer uses a standard frame they previously created and continuously use compared to a frame already created in WordPress? Both developers will change the front end design and visitors to either site probably wouldn’t be able to guess what it was built in. But here is another point…does it really matter as long as it looks good, is search engine optimised, converts to sales and provides what the customer is looking for?!