Design for Non-Designers: 5 Design Cheats for Your WordPress Site
You’ve decided that you want to create a WordPress site. You know that WordPress is highly customizable, and you want to design it on your own. But you don’t have any design knowledge.
Well, worry not. In this article, I’ll provide five simple tips that can help make your WordPress site aesthetically pleasing to the eye and better utilize the features provided by WordPress.
Before any of that, the first thing you need is a solid foundation to host your WordPress site. That involves getting a domain name, security in the form of an SSL certificate, and web hosting, like that provided by Hostinger, and other companies. Now let’s get started.
1. Focus on Site Speed
This is an often-overlooked design factor when designing your site. Site speed is a crucial factor that needs work. A study found that 53% of users will leave your site if it takes longer than three seconds to load and that 47% of users expect a web page to load within two seconds.
To improve your site’s speed, here are some things you can do:
- Compress images.
- Minimize plugins or use faster alternatives.
- Empty your trash.
- Divide comment sections into pages.
- Optimize WordPress database.
- Reduce redirects.
- Optimize caching.
2. Keep It Clutter-Free
Your site should be able to communicate your core message spontaneously. Visitors rarely read every word on a site but instead scan the page and pick up keywords and images.
With that in mind, the lesser visitors have to read or click on, the better they’ll understand your content and what you’re trying to convey.
Here are some things you can do to keep your site clutter-free:
- Keep the important content above the fold.
- Space out your content by using ample white space.
- Add images to break long articles or blocks of text.
- Include calls-to-action in strategic locations.
- Limit pull-out menus.
- Trim the page – if an element can be moved to another screen, move it there.
3. Use Visual Hierarchy
This refers to using visual elements like size and placement to influence which parts the visitors see first, second, and last.
Here are some ways to use visual hierarchy:
- Highlight your business name and logo by making them larger and visually prominent.
- Feature a big, bold title at the top or centre of the page, followed by smaller chunks of the information below.
- Place your elements strategically – Putting a call-to-action button at the centre of the screen and positioning your logo and brand name at the header.
After you’ve set a clear visual hierarchy, visitors will unconsciously follow the layout you’ve designed. To further emphasize the elements, you can use colours, contrast, and spacing.
Visual hierarchy can become complicated, so trial-and-error sometimes works best. Try making different versions and ask random people to see which one is better for them.
4. Make Your Site Easy to Read
When your site has a high readability score, it means users can effortlessly skim-read through it. A site is considered easy to read if they are:
- Well written – Uses a voice that appeals to the audience and matches your business goals.
- Aesthetically pleasing – The texts are displayed well with plenty of space and images in between.
- Legible – The text size and font are easy to follow and pleasing to the eye.
To achieve those three requirements, here are some tips you can use:
- Use contrasting colours between text and background.
- Use at least a 16pt text for your body text.
- Choose the right fonts for your text – make sure they match the aesthetic of your website, and brand.
- Limit the use of fonts.
- Utilize visual hierarchy in the text through headings, subheadings, and strategic bolding.
5. Create a Brand Identity
A brand is more than just a logo. But it embodies everything your business does. A brand identity should:
- Be the face of your business.
- Makes you more credible, easily recognizable, and trustworthy.
- It makes your product more memorable.
- Represents your company’s mission and vision.
There are plenty of factors that contribute to making a brand identity. Though here, we’ll focus more on the design perspective. Here are some things to consider when creating your brand identity:
- Logo – it’s the most recognizable part of your brand. Thus do some trial-and-error to find the right one.
- Colour – Your brand should be associated with specific colour palettes. Each colour has a different meaning, so try choosing the one that fits your brand.
- Typography – Try having a consistent font throughout your brand.
Advantages of Great Web Design
Having a great web design will do wonders for your business. Here are some advantages to it:
- Gives a better first impression.
- Improves search engine rankings.
- Reduces bounce rates.
- Creates a consistent brand identity.
- Improves website loading times.
- Higher conversion rates.
Now you know the five design cheats that’ll help you create a great WordPress website. All that’s left for you to do is to apply these tips to your site. Good luck!