The design of a website goes beyond mere aesthetics. Building credibility from the moment a visitor enters the site is also crucial. Stanford University found that 75% of consumers form opinions about a company’s legitimacy based on the design of its website.
This means giving as much consideration to the layout of your site as you do to its content. When designing a site that will inspire confidence in its visitors, you should give thought to factors such as theme, font combination, colour palette, and more. Any visitors who happen upon your site are likely to leave if it makes poor use of colour, has too much text, or looks amateurish in any way.
So that you can attract and delight your visitors, this post will walk you through the process of making your WordPress site look professional. Below, we’ll examine each of these measures in greater detail.
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Theme selection is up to you.
Choose a colour scheme.
Pick a font for your paper.
Make a new homepage that reflects your personality.
Modify the look of the menu bar to your liking.
Place a personalised icon in the browser’s address bar.
Add a personalised footer.
By adhering to these guidelines, you’ll be able to build a unique WordPress site that reinforces your brand’s identity and gives site visitors a memorable experience. Now, let’s talk about them in more detail.
Step 1: Choose a Customizable Theme
If you choose to instal WordPress with the default theme option, a pre-made theme will be applied to your site. Upon first inspection, it appears rather stern.
If you decide to stick with this theme, you can modify it with the Gutenberg editor or another page builder. Buttons and links can have their colours altered, images uploaded for use as logos, social media icons included, and widgets placed in the footer, among other configurations.
You can use this clean and simple theme as a starting point for a stunning website. Nonetheless, you may not be able to make as many adjustments to your site as you’d like because of certain constraints. Maybe it’s too much of an emphasis on typography or a lack of decoration for your company’s taste. Its single-column design works well for content-heavy sites but may not be appropriate for your online store.
If you want more say over your site’s visuals, you can pick from a large selection of WordPress themes, both free and paid, on the WordPress theme directory or in external marketplaces. You can tailor your site’s aesthetic to your intended audience and give it a one-of-a-kind feel by picking from a wider range of colour schemes, sidebar placements, background patterns, Google Fonts, and layouts.
For instance, Divi is a premium theme that gives you complete control over the look and feel of your site. Hundreds of web fonts are available, or you can upload your own, and after selecting a pre-made website layout from more than 800 options, you can apply animations to any element on the page, add shadows to images and text, and much more. You can see an example of a landing page made with Divi’s design agency pack below.
Step 2: Select Your Color Palette
Whenever you start tweaking your theme’s settings, you’ll have access to an almost infinite variety of colour schemes. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to go crazy and try them all out. Instead, settle on a colour scheme for your site and stick to it. Strengthening brand awareness and attracting and retaining a loyal audience across platforms and channels can be accomplished by enforcing your colour scheme across all pages on your site, as well as across promotional materials and social media content.
But how do you decide which hues will best complement your web design? Web designer Ben Gremillion argues that there is no one colour scheme that automatically conveys a sense of professionalism online. As long as you use colour deliberately and systematically, you’ll be fine.
You can use your logo and the content of your site as a starting point for deciding on a colour scheme for your website. Let’s use a photo background on a homepage as an illustration. The sidebar, links, headings, and footer can all benefit from some of the colours in that picture. This is a fantastic strategy for giving your entire site a consistent appearance.
Step 3: Select Your Typeface
The visual appeal of your WordPress site can be improved by installing additional fonts either manually or with a plugin, even though many WordPress themes already include fonts.
When the Internet first began, only a handful of fonts were available on different browsers and devices. That meant there wasn’t much leeway for customization when it came to fonts on the site.
After that, the introduction of web fonts greatly influenced the evolution of web layout and design. When you use web fonts, your site’s text will appear correctly regardless of the browser or device being used to access it.
There are literally hundreds of fonts out there, and it can be difficult to choose just one. When choosing a typeface, legibility and character are two crucial aspects to think about. Ensure that the font you select is legible across all platforms by paying close attention to its size, weight, and colour. You should also select a typeface that communicates something about the spirit of your company. Consider the emotional response you hope site visitors will have.
So, let’s take a look at two complementary Google Fonts. Calligraphy’s curviness served as inspiration for the Serif font Lora. It works well for body copy, making it an excellent option for online periodicals, weblogs, and other narrative-driven websites.
The vintage posters and signs of Buenos Aires’s historic Montserrat neighbourhood served as inspiration for the geometric sans serif font known as “Montserrat.” If you use this technique, the titles on your website’s front page, landing pages, and blog posts will stand out more clearly. Below you can see the font in action on the homepage of Dang & Blast.
Step 4: Create a Custom Homepage
Similar to how it gives you a default theme, WordPress also gives you a default homepage that will show a list of your most recent blog posts. Please take the time to replace this with your own personal homepage. Homepages are often a visitor’s first impression of your site and company, so it’s important to make a good first impression by introducing your brand, summarising your offerings, and suggesting next steps.
You can accomplish these aims by including the following: a “about” section, an email opt-in form, and contact details. Once you have a landing page that is both aesthetically pleasing and persuasive, you can make it your site’s primary page.
Simply navigate to Preferences > Reading in the Classic editor. Select the desired page from the dropdown menu after clicking “A static page.” To access the Homepage Settings menu in the Gutenberg editor, go to My Site > Design > Customize. Once you get to that point, everything works the same way as it does in the standard editor.
Step 5: Customize Your Navigation Bar
If you want people to spend more time on your site and read more of your content, you should make it as simple as possible for them to navigate. Using the in-built menu editor in WordPress, you can make a customised navigation menu that will bring in more visitors and lower your bounce rate.
The first step is to choose what to eat. WordPress automatically creates a tab for each new page, which can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, you should try to come up with categories that are general enough to accommodate all of your pages and posts. Maybe you have a “About Us,” “Shop,” and “Blog” section in your main menu. Then, you can make child tabs that activate sub-menus when a user hovers over a parent tab. Your site’s credibility and user experience will both benefit from a well-organized navigation system.
One way to improve your site’s usability is to include a search field in the menu bar. WordPress’s default settings restrict you to including the search bar only in the sidebar, footer, and other widgetized areas. The addition of a search bar to the main menu is possible, though, with the help of a plugin or snippet of code. If a user cannot locate the desired information within the available menu options, they can simply enter a keyword into the search bar.
Step 6: Upload a Custom Favicon
Your site’s favicon in WordPress is the image that will appear in the tab of a visitor’s browser or as a bookmark in their mobile device. They may be small, but these icons pack a powerful punch. Let’s pretend your site visitor is multitasking and has 12 browser tabs open. With a memorable favicon, visitors will be able to locate your site and return to its content with ease.
Brand recognition can also be bolstered with the help of a favicon. Compare the generic icon that WordPress uses by default for each page to the impact your logo would have as the site’s favicon.
Do not fret if you have not yet developed your company’s logo. You can make a high-quality logo that looks professional without hiring a designer or spending a lot of money thanks to tools like Canva and Online Logo Maker.
You can add the logo to your website once you’re satisfied with it. Favicons can be created with the Site Icon function in WordPress 4.3 and later. If not, you can always do it the old-fashioned way and set it up by hand.
Step 7: Customize Your Footer
By default, WordPress will add a “Proudly powered by WordPress” footer to your site. This pre-set footer can dilute the value of your brand and give your site an unprofessional air.
Changing the look of the footer can be done in a few different ways. You can use a theme builder in conjunction with a plugin, update the footer widget, modify the footer.php code, or change the theme’s settings.
Check out How to Edit or Remove the Branded Footer on Your WordPress Website for detailed instructions.
By implementing the aforementioned procedures, you will be able to make design decisions that accurately represent your company’s values and identity. As a result, your site’s credibility will increase, and you’ll get more visitors and a stronger brand name.