A website or blog is not just about content. A visitor may choose whether to stay or leave in the space of just a few seconds. This is why selecting a suitable layout is just as important as what you write.
Text plays a subordinate role in creating this first impression. Often the site’s layout and the overall effect of a design has much more impact on the decision-making process. But even after this first contact, layout plays an important role. The overall ‘usability’ of a site – which is dictated largely by its layout – is often almost as important a factor as the quality of your site’s content in deciding whether a reader stays on your site or comes back again.
The presentation of your actual content is also very important. If an article isn’t legible, no one will read on until the end. In contrast, a well-designed site inspires trust in your visitors, and you can use this to establish your brand and increase sales or commissions.
You can also read:
In this article, you will learn:
- Which design elements are important
- How to consider usability
- What design elements to avoid
Looking at your options:
1. Finished, free layouts
WordPress offers free design templates called Themes. These free layouts are created by dedicated users and are simple to download and install. Alternatively, you can even buy ready-made design templates created by professional developers, for a relatively low outlay.
2. Build from scratch
If you’re familiar with web design, you could create your own layout or adapt an existing one to your liking. Ensure that the template is neither out of date nor unsupported in order to support new features of the CMS when WordPress is updated.
3. Pay for professional help
If you go the professionally built route, you will end up with a truly unique layout adapted to the specific requirements of your blog or business. But aside from paying for this service up front, you will need to plan out paying for future development or changes you require.
Tips for a winning design:
1. Match design elements to your subject matter
The layout of the theme of your website or the blog should fit your subject. This applies to the general design, but also to your choice of colors, fonts, and other individual elements. So it probably doesn’t make sense use a stylish, sophisticated layout for a gardening blog. On the other hand, rainbow colors and fancy fonts on a blog about legal issues will seem equally inappropriate. Don’t be blinded by graphical gimmicks; instead, think carefully about how your layout will suit the content.
2. Keep it simple
Your selected layout template should have no technical defects in terms of its HTML and CSS code. Loading times also play an important role. This is increasingly important both for search engines and for users, who will leave a site quickly if these are too long. A simple layout is likely to have fewer bugs to fix and is also likely to load quicker; and additional functions can be added later as the site evolves.
3. Sort out the usability
In addition to visual design elements, usability plays an important role in your site’s design. In general, you should keep it simple and clear. Web-design experiments may seem like innovations, but they scare away many users. Ask yourself:
- How easy is the navigation to use?
- Does a user know exactly where they are?
- How easy is it find important content?
- Are there too many or too few choices?
- Are there any confusing elements?
Tips on Usability:
1. Customize your template for website or blog
An issue with WordPress Themes and other template website designs is that many other websites also potentially have the same layout. This can be a concern when trying to build a brand or create a unique identity for your blog or business site. However, many paid-for layout templates often include extensive customization options, allowing you to implement a fresh-looking design. They’re also less commonly seen than free templates
2. Design with monetization in mind
If your website’s purpose is to earn you money, then make sure that none of the layout’s elements get in the way of this goal. So for example, ensure your sidebar is wide enough to integrate banners; leave enough space for a banner in the header. You should make sure that Widgets you add to your site are well supported and are reliable.
In addition, the content area should be clearly and readily visible, which is not only better for the user experience, but also allows for better presentation of Affiliate Links and other monetized content.
Remember that the layout you choose doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s preferable to get started with a simple layout and optimize your site’s design gradually over time. Don’t waste valuable time tinkering with minor layout details when your site could already be online.