I’ve over 10 years experience in designing for WordPress.
I design WordPress sites – I don’t colour-in themes.
One of the great things about WordPress is the amazing array of free and premium themes available.
These themes can have you up-and-running in no time with a great looking WordPress site.
But this is not designing for WordPress.
If you are looking to commission an agency or freelancer to design and build you a new WordPress site, check that you are indeed getting something designed rather than the creative simply picking a free theme and claiming they designed it.
This may sound daft, but I’ve spoken to so many clients who thought an agency had designed their site, only to have to tell them that it’s just a theme.
What you really want is a bespoke WordPress design on a bespoke theme.
You don’t really want your site to be some cookie-cutter job that looks pretty much the same as everyone else’s.
Themes and frameworks such as Avada and Genesis make it easy for rookie WordPress developers to install something that looks great.
The only thing is, it looks the same as 55,000 other sites out there on the internet.
There’s nothing overly wrong with that, but don’t pay a premium for it. Always check what the design stages of your WordPress project will cost and what you are going to get for your cash.
Bespoke is the best.
Branding is more important than ever, so if your brand is important to you, you need a unique design for your site.
Any WordPress project should have a design stage where you are shown sketches, visuals and design for your site before it suddenly appears online.
The design process for websites is much the same as for printed material, but there’s more to consider in terms of information architecture, user experience, responsive and so on.
At the very least, you should expect to see some initial concept designs (that don’t look like every other website the designer has produced).
Remember this is just one stage of the process.
The design stage of a WordPress project is often something that people want to get to quickly.
It’s often the most anticipated part of the project and everyone wants to see what their shiny new site is going to look like.
WordPress design is important, but it’s just one part of the process.
The design of your WordPress site should take its lead from research and planning before you dive into the creative.
Everything about your website design needs to be visitor focussed. This means:
- Everything should be there for a reason
- You should look at all creative from your visitors perspective
- Don’t obsess over ‘interactive’ aspects of your site unless that improve UX or conversions
- Don’t make it personal
- Trust your designers – they know what they are doing
Some clients I work with become too focussed on that thing ‘that just has to be in the design’. Often, this can be a personal preference that has little to do with visitors or the performance of the site.
This is fair enough, creative is subjective, but let’s make decisions on data, best-practice and the visitor rather than if you want a picture of your cat on the website.
Great design requires great clients.
Trusting your designer can be difficult.
This is your brand, your website and you’ll have your own ideas about what things should look like.
Your input is crucial to the project, but some of the best website designs come about because clients let the designers do what they do best.
It’s important to choose a WordPress designer who has the ability to do more than just make things look nice.
They should ask you questions about your business, the outcomes of the site and a whole heap of non-design related stuff to help them put together the best design work for you.