All You Need to Know About WordPress For Blogging
A WordPress for blogging theme is a set of code and design files that create the overall look and feel of your website. There are several free and paid themes available but often free themes will include undesirable hidden code, links, or ads, so paid is best.
There are different types of themes based on there purpose. These include:
- Service-based, like plumbing
- Customizing at theme level
- Where the preview button is on the edit page in WordPress to preview changes
- Previewing what DMI’s website looks like on a mobile phone using Screenfly
To see how a change to your website looks before it’s published live, use Appearance: Customize: [Your Theme] in WordPress to view changes at the site-wide, theme level. To go there directly, go to https:/YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin/customize.php.
You can also preview changes on pages by clicking “Preview” in the edit screen.
Use a service like Screenfly to see how your live website looks across multiple devices. http://quirktools.com/screenfly/.
You should test mobile, tablet, and desktop in a variety of different models (iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, etc.).
- Find reputable sources of WordPress themes by looking for highly-rated theme sites that have a good reputation. Examples include ThemeForest, ElegantThemes, and TemplateMonster.
- Test themes to determine their usability across multiple devices by looking at theme demos that are offered on the theme information landing page.
- Be able to view themes on multiple devices. If you already have a theme installed on your site, you can use the WordPress preview feature in the backend (/wp-admin, under appearance and themes), to preview themes and changes to layout before saving and publishing.
Great web design should be to make everything self-explanatory and easy as possible for the user.
Web design is important because it is:
- A business’ first impression online: when a user visits a company’s website for the first time, the design plays into their first impression of the business as a whole. Thus, it’s important to have high-quality design because it influences users’ opinions and behaviour.
- Properly organizing information: information is organized in a way that makes sense.
- Allowing the user to navigate easily: users are able to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily, without becoming confused or frustrated.
- Making content easy to understand: users can read and interact with the information on the site in a way that flows and makes sense. The layout of the content makes it easier to understand.
The principles of design when it comes to WordPress for blogging are:
- Simple design: the design isn’t distracting and makes the website easy to use and understand. It should also have a modern look that doesn’t look outdated, as this influences users’ opinion of a website and the business as a whole.
- Easy to navigate: users are able to get the information or complete the actions they want to through navigation without becoming confused or wondering where something is.
- Information is consistent: pages are correct and all information is updated and the same. This means there shouldn’t be conflicting information across pages (e.g. prices, hours of operation, names, etc.).
- Website is usable across different devices: e.g. a user can access the same pages on mobile that they can on desktop. This often requires adding a “view as desktop” link at the bottom of mobile websites.
- Design is consistent: colours, layout, and design are the same across all areas of the site. This includes branding, link colours, photo formatting, etc.
There is concise and honest information to build credibility and be a thought leader in the industry. Website content should be published that is providing education and information to the users.
The design should be easy to navigate and understand. Users shouldn’t be at a loss when it comes to making sure they are on the right page. The visual effects shouldn’t be overwhelming. On this slide, the left is really cluttered with all the images from the latest articles, making it a little overwhelming. Conversely, Business Insider has a collapsible menu (the three lines in the left corner) so the homepage isn’t cluttered. This is the latest trend in UI/Navigation (the three lines marking a collapsible menu).
Navigation should let the user know the parts of the site where they can find what they are looking for. In the above right example, EF Tours (which was mentioned before) has simple navigation that sticks to what most people come to there site for– looking at available tours, how their tours work and their background. Conversely, John’s Big Deck, a bar and restaurant, has confusing navigation that you can’t even see when you load the page. The menu items are also confusing. What is ARC transport? This may turn users off.
#3 Consistent Information as part of WordPress for blogging
Information should be the same across multiple pages. If you offer something on the homepage, users should also be able to see it on interior pages. Numbers, offers, stats, phone numbers, etc. should be consistent across the entire website.
In this example, ModCloth offered a sale on there home page. When you click on the banner, you see the exact same offer (with consistent branding/images/colours) to purchase the sale. If their offer went to the women’s clothing section, it would be confusing to the user.
#4 Usability as part of WordPress for blogging
Sites that take a user through a funnel or purchasing process should be as easy to use as possible. In this American theatre chain example, you can easily filter by location, date, movie, and additional offerings. Then, you simply choose the time you want to purchase the tickets.
#5 Consistent Design as part of WordPress for blogging
All parts of the website should look the same. This includes the blog. Ideally, the blog should be hosted on the main domain, and not be an external website, like companyblog.wordpress.com.
In this example, no matter the part of Ireland, the official Ireland tourism website uses the same format and design. This makes it easier for visitors to get familiar with the site and navigate there way around. They can compare different parts of Ireland using the same format of information to plan there trip.
#6 Concise and Honest Information
Websites should focus on giving users the information they need, not “dumping” all possible information onto there website pages. In the example above, there is too much information on the homepage, making it overwhelming for the user. Focus on being concise and save the longer content for blog posts and eBooks, if it’s needed. In this case, it would have been better from a design perspective to separate these blocks into there own subpages instead of putting it all on the home page.
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