Have you always wanted to build websites? Are you a web developer? Chances are that you’ve come across WordPress and the content management system (CMS) has become your platform of choice. Ideally, you would luckily have a team of experienced designers and front-end developers to work on the various aspects of web development.
However, this isn’t always the case and it’s typically common working on your own. As a one-man wrecking team, there are many components of web development that can spread you thin. Whether you’re building a personal website or developing for a client, you will have the autonomy to make design choices that can make or break your website. Web design is a critical part of web development and every WordPress developer should keep these practices in mind. Daza Design — an online design company, which just so happens to provide web development services — will start off simple and then work towards not-so-simple concepts.
1. 404 Pages are a Part of the Web Design Experience
Servers have crashed, websites have been broken and we’ve all seen those old nasty 404 Pages… yikes! It’s expected that time-to-time, your website going down is part of the harsh reality of the Internet. Just like any natural disaster, it’s how you choose to prepare your WordPress site in the event of one. When loyal users, even some of your neophyte users, see a harsh 404 page instead, they may feel that they can no longer trust in the reliability of your website. Let them know that isn’t the case!
Any silly attempt-at-humor 404 web design will do. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you reassure your web audience that you’ll be back before they know it and you’re working diligently at getting your website up and running again.
WordPress has a great deal of plugins to help you with this matter. If you need more inspiration, check some of these creative 404 pages.
2. Fonts are Just as Important in Web Design
…and that most probably means stay away from Comic Sans.
Fonts are such an important design feature that it is subtle enough to be overlooked. At the dawn of the internet, we were grossly limited to a set of fonts that greatly hindered our ability to personalize our web development. Thankfully, today, we are blessed to have a whole online repository from which there are countless, innumerable fonts to select from.
When it comes to selecting a font that’s best appropriate for your WordPress website, choose one that does not distract your users from the content and the overall thematic design of the site. The ideal font will seamlessly blend and even accentuate your website — the careful selection of one is a rewarding process.
3. Your Website Must Have Easily Accessible Content
Sadly, as a web designer, you worry about keeping your bounce rate low. No matter how well-crafted your WordPress website may be, some just turn around after their first glance. There is an effective remedy to this predicament, one that will hopefully reduce your bounce rate.
It may come to you as a surprise, but more than half the amount of your visitors spend less than fifteen seconds at your page before making the decision to make themselves home or show themselves the door. Proper web design makes your content easily accessible by utilizing proper layouts, effortless search systems and not overwhelming your visitors with chunks of information will keep them at your page.
A well-designed navigation friendly page with easily accessible content takes time and a lot of user testing, be sure to allocate the proper resources to give this practice priority.
4. Devote Yourself to Responsive Design
Responsive design is an approach that websites aim to craft themselves to any, and every, user’s platform, screen size, and screen orientation. Think mobile-friendly. Your website must optimize for every mobile device, regardless of screen dimensions and the sort.
It has become an absolute requirement for modern sites (and web designers!), people expect that your WordPress site should flawlessly conform to their mobile’s standards. This can be a tedious task for any web developer, testing across all platforms to ensure a seamless experience for all. It’s well-worth the effort. Half the time spent on digital media are mobile-users.
As intimidating as the process may seem, the results are extremely beneficial. Also, as the world begins to keep up with this mobile-heavy trend and this practice becomes wide-spread in web design, it will be less difficult for developers to incorporate this practice to their web development. Keep in mind, you’ll risk losing a third of your web traffic if your site does not practice responsive design.
5. Learn About Current Design Trends
It may seem difficult to place what the current design trends are but subconsciously, we have probably been taking note of the current fads of web design today. It will do you a great deal to go through some of your favorite web designs and compare them to each other. Take notes and perhaps a couple of design trends will stick out to you.
An example of a current design trend that has sunk its teeth into the design world is parallax scrolling: a non-sophisticated feature where the item that is featured at the forefront may scroll faster than what’s in the background. This design trend creates this sense of depth and generates visual interest for the user. Quite frankly, it is easy on the eyes.
Another current trend that comes to mind is card-based design, which is the main design that is currently employed by Pinterest. The great thing about this design trend is its ability to make heaps and heaps of condensed information easily comprehensible with a unique and elegant display.
It’s important to keep up and learn about current design trends when deciding which best way to tackle your next WordPress project. Trends are always changing and shifting, so be sure to engage yourself in the discussion to follow the hot money.
The Devil is in the Details
My mother will be the first to tell you, “Honey, the Devil is in the details.” — as usual, mother is always right. When you’re fixing up your living space, one wrong piece of furniture could be the difference between coherence and chaos; apply the same mentality when it comes to developing your website. Just keep these five WordPress design practices in mind and watch as the number of admirers of your art grow.