We all want a stellar website for our business, but we easily get discouraged by the difficulties of creating it.
Some of us are so overwhelmed as to give up on the idea, just because we don’t have experience with web design.
This post intends to change that. For starters, it doesn’t matter if you are a newbie or an experienced user. There are enough software solutions to help you come up with a stunning website for your business, and the best among them is called WordPress.
Choose the perfect WordPress theme
The first decision to make on the WordPress platform is which template to use. The choice of an appropriate theme will make your website more beautiful, but also add the functions you need. The WP directory is incredibly robust in this aspect and even offers great themes for free.
If you can’t find a WP template to use, try ThemeForest and their beautiful, premium templates. Sometimes, the perfect theme match will be a heavier investment, but for sure one that makes sense. Once you’ve made a decision, download all the theme files, and begin customizing your website through the WordPress visual editor.
Note that free and freemium themes may require some workaround, so don’t opt for them if you don’t have any experience.
Let plugins do the job
Once the theme is in place, it is time to select plugins and further expand the functionalities of your WP website. Some of the plugins are necessary, such as those that enhance security or measure your website performance.
In short, you can find a plugin for any feature you want, be that a live chat add-on, a drag-and-drop editor, or a booking plugin. This may sound exciting at the beginning, but we recommend you add as few plugins as possible. The reason is that they require lots of maintenance, and can make your website slower and more vulnerable to security threats.
Configure the basic settings
Before you do any further work on the pages and the content, make sure settings are configured the way you want them to be. You will need to indicate the home page and mark the posts, update the name, customize the permalinks, and add all basic icons.
Create and categorize the page
This is where the fun part begins! The time has come to create pages other than the landing station. By this, we mean your pricing list, your contact information, or the blog where you intend to post articles. If you need some inspiration, you can look at how other business websites have done it. Note, however, that blog posts are not considered separate pages.
Facilitate navigation with a menu
Once you’re done with the pages, it is time to divide them into categories and configure a menu. Visitors will appreciate the easy navigation on the website, especially if you have more than one menu for each category.
Placement of the menu is also very important, so make sure it is displayed either at the top or the bottom of the home page, or ideally both.
Embark on the blogging journey
Even if written content is not the key aspect of your website, blogging can add value to it. It is a common practice among businesses of all kinds to add blogs and publish information, as this makes the site easy to find on search engines.
If you like the idea, choose ‘posts’ on your left-side menu, and add your first written article. These posts can be edited in the same way as every other page. The key difference is that scheduling for a later publishing date is not enabled for them.
Work on your marketing strategy
It doesn’t matter what a beautiful site you own if people don’t know about it. You need a smart marketing strategy to attract the right audiences your way.
This is the reason why business websites hire marketing experts and invest a small fortune to make their online hub visible. In return, they gain more visibility, more visitors, and higher conversion rates.
Additional tips and tricks for your WordPress website
To help you make an attractive and valuable WordPress website, we’ve gathered 20 additional tricks to keep in mind:
1. Create a website aligned with your business. Use themes, web elements, and content that speak in favor of who you are and what you do.
2. Name your WordPress files with dashes and not with underscores. In the Google world, underscores are considered simple joiners, and the engine doesn’t always recognize the file. This is a great tip to adopt in your SEO strategy, so make it obvious that there are several words instead of one. Here is an example of how to do it: use www.example.com/here-comes-an-example, not www.example.com/here_comes_an_example.
3. You are entitled to WP support, so make use of it. The huge online community will address any concern you have within minutes, and even help you make better use of the site. Be active and follow forums to learn more and stay alert to the newest developments.
4. Alt Text can be very useful. Employ it to improve SEO rankings on all search engines.
5. Organize the menus and the sidebars as well as you can. Get rid of clutter, and predefined issues visitors need to access first.
6. Don’t forget about backup. This may be technologically challenging, but it is a small price to pay compared to losing all your content. Snapshot Pro and similar plugins can help you back up all WordPress content in no time.
7. Become an SEO master. The more you know, the more able you will be to boost and optimize conversions.
8. Customize the homepage. Your visitors have seen it all, and they don’t need just another default WP homepage. Give it some time and some thoughts, and align the homepage with your business values. Remember – this is where the customer journey begins.
9. Track the performance of your website and define the things that do and don’t work for your visitors. WordPress offers lots of plugins for the task, including Google Analytics. This is the best way to identify issues and deal with them in time.
10. Don’t forget the ‘About us page. Customers rely on it to trust your business and learn more about you. This is the second most visited page on each website, following the landing page.
11. Don’t compromise on poor security. You should do everything in your power to ensure hackers have no access to your website. WP plugin Defender is perfect for the job, but there are also other tools you can consider.
12. Customize your permalinks. WordPress generates permanent URLs by default, but these don’t have a positive impact on user experience. If you want visitors to navigate the site easily, you will need to customize all permalinks yourself.
13. Customize the navigation bar in a way that makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. WP will suggest default options based on your content, but this is something you can change easily.
14. If you have a blog, work with excerpts on the posts. This way, you will prevent visitors from seeing your entire content at once. With excerpts, you can list the blog posts in a single location, but visitors will only read short intros and choose the post they are interested in.
15. The structure of the website also requires customization. You can change it any way you want, up to the point where it works for your business and your potential customers.
16. If enabled from the beginning, the ‘Share’ and ‘Comment’ buttons will appear on all your pages. Remember to remove them where they are not needed, such as on the ‘About us’ page.
17. Don’t forget mobile optimization. Nowadays, most people browse the internet on their handheld devices, and you’ll need to provide them with the best possible experience. This is also something you can achieve with plugins, so check the WordPress directory.
18. Visuals and media content always have a positive impact on the visitor. Use them to break up large content and to help visitors visualize your products.
19. Stay on top of things. You need to ensure your WP site and all its plugins are regularly updated so that your website is beautiful and efficient.
20. Be original. You, visitors, are experienced enough to recognize ‘borrowed’ content. Therefore, provide them with fresh and interesting posts.
This content is brought to you by Bodgan Sandu
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This content was originally published here.