Deciding you want a WordPress website is the easy part when it comes to creating an online presence. After all, anyone can have one, from kids to the elderly. Even if they need a little help with the upkeep, it doesn’t matter. They can share their offerings with the world just like millions of other people anytime they choose, with the press of a few buttons.
It can even seem like fun spending hours thinking about layouts and color schemes. All your creativity overflows and produces an abundance of ideas and there’s no harm in that. It’s part of the excitement of creating something new.
Maybe you haven’t given any thought as to how your website will look. Maybe it doesn’t matter to you. Either way, if you’re thinking about going it alone and trying to design your own website, even though you’re not a WordPress designer, there are some do’s and don’ts that would be helpful for you to know.
If on the other hand, you have no intention of Dying your website and would prefer to outsource the work, there are many designers across the UK who could help you. London may be your first thought, being a popular city, but there are other cities where you’ll find some high-quality designers too.
For example, do a search for a WordPress designer in Birmingham and you’ll get a multitude of results for people and agencies willing and able to create a custom design that suits your needs. The point being, search in areas you wouldn’t normally consider searching because you might miss out on a hidden gem.
But what are the do’s and don’ts for the DIY folks? Here are 3 things:
Don’t design your website based on what you like
If you’ve been thinking how nice your website would look with this color and that color… with a splash of that color too, you’re only thinking about yourself. You might feel slightly deflated upon hearing that comment but ultimately, your design has to please your visitors otherwise they might not hang around for long.
That doesn’t mean what you want is irrelevant, but be sure to think of how the overall color scheme fits in with your brand and if it sends out the right message.
Don’t make navigation complicated
Put your hand up if you like clear, easy to understand instructions… and keep your hand up if that applies to navigating your way around a website too.
On the internet, people want simple. They want fast. Confuse them and they’ll be off, swiftly heading towards your competitor. You don’t want to give people problems: problems with finding specific information, problems accessing your site on their phones, problems reading fancy fonts.
So no, this isn’t focusing only on the navigation/menu bar. It’s also about the links you create from one page to another and how obvious it is to someone what they’re supposed to do or click on next.
Don’t set videos to play automatically
Imagine someone visits your newly created WordPress e-commerce shop. Let’s say it’s Adam. He really wanted to search for a WordPress designer from Birmingham but somehow, became distracted.
He’s pleased to find you anyway. He clicks to visit your home page, immediately reels in horror and quickly clicks away. He didn’t realise his speakers were on.
Now Adam’s annoyed because he’s at his workplace. Work was a bit slow so he sneakily jumped online, but your instant video playing homepage just ruined his attempt at making a quick purchase.
Do you think Adam will ever return? He might. But then again, he might decide to hold it against you forever. Videos are a great tool to use in your business but if you decide to put them anywhere on your site, always give people the option to watch or not.
When it comes to the ‘do’ part of designing your website, a lot of it is common sense. Unfortunately, the excitement of getting your WordPress site out there can sometimes get in the way of logical thinking. Excitement and creativity is a definite plus but go over the top and you could do more harm than good.
Here are 3 quick ‘do’s’ to keep in mind:
- Do look up how color psychology works if you don’t have an eye for color.
- Do get into the mind of your visitor anytime you create a new page.
- Do get others to test your website for you, especially if you’re selling products.
If you’ve now changed your mind about going it alone and you’d prefer to hire a professional WordPress designer to do the work for you, remember to do your homework.
Check that the freelancer or agency is a genuine designer and not someone who simply changes the colors of a template. Search locally, regionally and nationally. Remember, you can find an experienced WordPress designer in Birmingham just as much as you can elsewhere.