It’s difficult to determine exactly how many websites are managed by WordPress worldwide. The current estimation is that roughly 15,886,000 websites use the amazing free and open-source content management system (CMS). And every day about 50 000 WordPress.com websites are launched.
Before we look at five websites that got it right, the following are a few little things that lots of websites get wrong.
5 Web Design Blunders to Avoid
It’s the little things that add up to make a great website. Once you outsource WordPress development to a reputable professional company, you can rest assured that your website won’t fall into the category of badly designed websites.
#1 Missing Search Box
It’s important to have a clear menu structure in place, but you need to add an extra search function for users to sift through all the information available on your website. By doing this, you’re covering all your bases. Some people won’t bother checking your dropdown menu options, they will immediately start looking for the little magnifying glass icon to type in exactly what they want to know.
#2 Poor Readability And Legibility
You might have created a beautiful design, but if there’s spelling mistakes in your content or people have difficulty reading the text, they will simply click back to the Google search results page. Your SEO readability score depends on proper spelling and grammar, plus effortless understanding. Also, steer clear from using difficult to understand industry jargon. Effective legibility is achieved by using simplistic fonts and straightforward black or white text, depending on the background.
#3 Disorderly Content
You literally have only a few seconds to grab the attention of a web user landing on your website. People don’t have time to read through big chunks of information. Structure your content cleverly with bold subheadings, pull-quotes or bullets points. This way a user can simply scroll until the information they are searching for catches their eye. And make sure that your content is always relevant and up to date.
#4 Bad Navigation
When a user lands on your website, they should be able to figure out the structure of your site without effort. While you are busy building your website, ask a few different people to use it and give you feedback. A creative vs. logical mind will process information differently. The trick is to create a website structure that will cater for both extremes.
#5 Inconsistent Interface Design
It might feel like a very creative idea to use a different design for every page of your website, but this will only confuse a user. Brand image consistency is crucial. People are creatures of habit, even a little thing as consistent web page design can provide a sense of familiarity and control.
Five Examples of Beautifully Designed WordPress Websites
The simplicity of WordPress makes it one of the most popular systems used to create websites. Gone are the days of complicated coding. You can now outsource WordPress development and thereafter manage the basics, like uploading new blog posts, on your own.
Images courtesy of creativebloq.com
#1 Greenwich Library
Libraries seem like an almost old-world place to hangout nowadays. And most public service websites fall into the highly boring and difficult to use category. But this American library breaks away from the stereotype in a refreshing way.
For a public service website, usability trumps visual design. The creators of the Greenwich library managed to create a perfect balance between functionality and esthetic appeal. The rebranding was rolled out after two years of researching, planning and user testing. Barbara Ormerod-Glynn, library director, is very excited by the update offering access to library services 24/7. It’s now also much easier for users to access the huge amount of content available.
The library even has an app you can download, as well as a digital library with ebooks and audio books. Various drop-down menus help to group together all the resources available.
#2 Harvard University Graduate School of Design
This is another website breaking the mold and challenging the stereotypes associated with its content. Most universities present their information in a very sterile and outdated format. The redesign initiative was a big success. The design is simplistic, yet very stylish.
GSD is known for its innovative projects, so the web design company responsible for the rebranding kept this in mind in their planning. Upstatement did a great job to translate the energy of the school into a visual representation. The design is interactive but not in an intrusive manner. Images were incorporated in a functional way instead of merely hiding in the background.
#3 This Is Your Kingdom
When it comes to website design, the principle “less is more” holds true. Behind the clean-cut layout, lies a robust database with various subcategories. The website offers visitors information on various activities in the United Kingdom.
You can easily comb through the vast amount of information with user-friendly menus and clear descriptions will refine the search results for you. Content is provided by guest bloggers and the universal appeal of WordPress makes it effortless to constantly expand the database.
The images combined with text descriptions create a seamless experience of browsing through the content. The slightly faded images against the crisp white background is much easier on the eye than a busy design.
#4 Travel Portland
Another website with a formidable database of activities and events. The design uses images embedded inside the menu to guide users through the extensive information available about this unique Oregon city in the United States.
The striking images offer a glimpse into the bustling lifestyle of Portland. Pages below the main menu follow a similar layout structure to the homepage, providing a feeling of continuity while navigating your way for all the content.
The website was built on a customized responsive theme, similar to the Zurb’s Foundation framework. A few different third-party APIs were incorporated including Weather Underground, MapBox, ChooseCulture and Storify. Another great feature is the customized homepage content, powered by MaxMind’s geolocation API. It uses the location of the user to offer relevant information, catering for in-town visitors vs those still in the planning phases.
#5 Work by Simon
A fun interactive online portfolio plus blog for the design studio of Simon Carr and Elijah Wasserman. They focus on development and design of CSS3, HTML5, mobile and WordPress websites. A website using WordPress to promote the wonder of WordPress CMS!
Both Simon and Elijah are big fans of WordPress. They enjoy the flexibility of the interface and its ability to easily convey design ideas into customized templates. The design breaks away from the typical linear style on the homepage, setting the expressive tone for the rest of the website.
We Manage Your Site Believe In Creating High Quality Websites
A WordPress developer worth his or her salt, will tell you that one of the wonderful things about WordPress, is that you can break away from the mold by customizing preset themes and templates. For a very basic website, it’s fine to use a standard WordPress theme.
But if you want to really stand out from the crowd, it’s best to customize a theme to fit into your unique brand identity. If you want to attempt building your own website, you can stick to a theme. When you outsource WordPress development, you have the freedom to explain to the WordPress developer what you want, and they will make it happen.
Want to create a website that gets people talking about your product or service? Contact us now to schedule a strategy session.
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