WordPress Design Factors to Consider
WordPress is a great blogging platform because it makes blogging that much easier. Creating quality blog posts is time consuming enough so it’s important to use a platform that makes the posting and monitoring process quick and painless. That’s why we use it here on this blog and over at Search Engine Optimization Journal. Once you decide that you’re going to use WordPress to build a blog or website, the next step is to figure out whether you are going to create a custom design or use a free template. There really is no right or wrong answer, but here are a few things to consider:
A custom blog or website design is going to cost you, and it isn’t going to be cheap. Web designers are in demand and they charge a pretty penny for their services. If you are just starting out and have a brand new website and a limited budget it’s OK to use the free template and customize where you can (header, footer, etc.) Once your website picks up some traffic and starts generating revenue you can always make the switch to a custom design later in the process. It’s better to start building a site as early as possible to at least get the content up there, since websites are viewed more favorably by the search engines as they age.
Established or Not
A free WordPress template is pretty easy to spot since lots of sites use them. If you are an established company it’s a smart idea to have a unique custom design on your WordPress blog because you don’t want your company blog to have the same look as the mommy blogger down the street. If you are a well known company you should be able to afford a design that reinforces your brand.
Nature of Business
What’s the purpose of your website and or blog? For most companies it’s not to wow visitors with the design. Unless you are in the design/fashion industry the design really doesn’t need to be that complex. In many cases, it’s better to stick to something simple. For example, if you are a software distributor people will be much more interested in the functions of the software than they are in the color scheme that you are using. It’s important to know where design fits into your marketing strategy. Will a fancy design help convert or make no difference whatsoever?
No matter what design you choose for your WordPress site, whether it is customized or not, it’s important to keep in mind that design quality is subjective. You aren’t going to please everyone. At the end of the day it’s website content that really matters and drives conversions.