We’ve all seen it. That hideously ugly WordPress design that either causes us to cringe in pain as we struggle to close the screen, or inspires us to call a couple friends over to laugh and point. No one wants that reaction, least of all a company with a message to drive home. In terms of WordPress design, what makes one good and another bad? Isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder in some ways, yes? But here at Nicasio Design and Development, we believe that there are some elementary principles that a WordPress site must follow to not find itself in the category of “bad blog.”
Bad WordPress Design…
1. Has a boring header.
Yawn. That’s not the reaction you want your reader to have when they check out your header. Your header is almost the most important part of the WordPress design because it is what should entice readers to keep reading. This can be achieved through distinguished font styles that are bold and large so your readers won’t miss a word.
2. Is overloaded with loud, distracting images that take away from the content.
Readers don’t want to dig through everything on your site trying to figure out where to start reading. Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think, says that if your site visitors have to think for more than 3 seconds, they are gone. Your design needs to immediately draw in to the content at hand. It should be easy and clear, not full of invasive images and backgrounds.
3. Has poor navigation.
A site with just a huge stack of text links is the site that is left within the 3 second scan. We can’t stress this enough: Good WordPress design exhibits consistent navigation across all pages and isn’t just a bunch of underlined text.
4. Is hard on the eyes.
Black background. White font. It’s used in WordPress designs everywhere. Aside from a very few sites who have learned how to use this color scheme well, it’s not only cliché, but hard on the eyes. Find something fresh, clean, and clear that doesn’t cause discomfort. In the same principle, don’t use a light color like yellow on white to highlight your links. Make sure your background and foreground colors offer sufficient contrast for easy reading. Also, surrounding colors should create drama and interest while not taking away from the content.
5. Isn’t easy to scan.
It might not make much sense, and in fact it may surprise you. But blog readers do not actually read blogs, they scan them. Remember those 3 seconds you had to draw them in? Well, now you have only 96 seconds – less than a couple minutes – to convince them your blog is worth reading in its entirety. This is accomplished through the use of headlines, bullets, and bolding to make things stand out. Once a reader has decided that there is more than just bits & pieces of information to glean from your site, they will stick around to read everything.
6. Looks like everyone else’s. Is not memorable.
And finally, bad WordPress design is design that looks like everyone else’s. Let’s face it – if your site looks like one of the default WordPress templates that millions of people have already used, why would anyone remember yours? You need to stand out. And a custom, branded, professionally designed blog can help you create a strong web presence. Be one of a kind, not just another boring face in the crowd. The return on your investment will multiply itself many times over as people remember your site and come back. And that means you’ll drive your message and/or product all the way to the bank. After all, that’s the goal…right?
Good WordPress Design…
Follows all the principles we just mentioned above. And we feel like our design does. If you’re interested in standing out and wowing the crowd, contact us soon. We’d love to hear from you.