WordPress sparks some love-hate relationships among its users. Some claim it saves time when designing websites; others will say it isn’t straightforward and can sometimes be complicated and confusing to use, especially for clients. The truth is both views on WordPress are correct.
However, it is possible to use WordPress to make designing websites and working with clients better, simpler, and more effective than with other platforms. You need to learn how to use it for this purpose, and that’s precisely what we will go through in this article.
To design a beautiful, practical, and just overall great website that’s good for you and easy to use for your clients using WordPress, follow these tips, and it will be done in a heartbeat:
Tip #1: Stealing As Much As It Is Legally Possible
I know we should inspire people to be unique and original, but when something works well, why would you change it? Of course, here I mean, you should seize the ideas out there and never steal someone’s end-results, whether in the form of code, graphics, brand identity, or whatnot. After all, that is what even the most successful designers and web design studios do. They steal and combine different ideas to do their work.
If you are still unsure about the term ‘steal’, remember that ideas are free and everywhere; execution matters. So look around and whenever you see something that resonates with you, something that is an excellent way of achieving what you are looking for, take it and make it your own, adding your personal touch.
Tip #2: Research And Understanding The Brief Come First
A beautiful website that is not answering your client’s needs will never be good. So focus first on understanding exactly what your client is looking for. What are they trying to achieve with their website? Who are they catering to? Some of the goals that websites have include generating leads, selling a product or service, improving brand awareness, improving customer relationships with the brand, etc.
Once you know precisely what the site is trying to achieve, you can only start working on building it and designing it. And keep in mind that if you truly understand a website’s purpose, it shouldn’t be a long list of things; it will probably be one to three things.
Tip #3: The Right Tools Are Your Best Friend
Let’s assume you already use and know the essential tools like Photoshop, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. But there is a different set of tools that isn’t so well known and can give you precisely what you are looking for.
Now you might be wondering which tools we are talking about. The truth is I can’t name them because there are so many tools out there that will differ depending on what you are looking for. Thankfully the internet is a fantastic place to find what you need. Look for those tools, and use them wisely.
Tip #4: Modify Or Design From Zero?
When building a WordPress website, you might encounter two main routes: either you take a ready-made theme and modify it to fit your goals or make the site from scratch.
Either of these routes will come with its pros and cons. For example, when you choose to modify an existing theme, you will be using something that has already been tested and proven to work. Additionally, you will get more support and a community to help you out as you are dealing with pre-existing things.
However, you might find that your creativity might be impaired when starting with something already existing or even box yourself in things that don’t fit what you are trying to achieve. If this is the case, starting from zero might be more advantageous for you. Either way, ask yourself whether you want to modify or design from scratch and weigh both options before starting.
Tip #5: Don’t Shy Away From Plugins
We aim to help you build a dream site hassle-free. To achieve this, you must embrace plugins.
Just as we did before, we won’t mention the basic ones you probably already know and use, like Akismet, WordPress SEO, or Contact Form 7. Instead, we will look at some less obvious that will be a great addition to your site and benefit clients greatly.
- Revive Old Posts: Saving time in today’s fast-paced world is a godsend. This plugin helps you share posts on social media without spending hours doing it manually every day.
- Better Click to Tweet: This plugin lets you expand the site and brand’s reach by allowing users to share content to their Twitter account, all with just one click.
- Advanced Custom Fields: This one allows you to customize the user interface further and gives clients some extra content and elements that they can use in their posts.
- Optimole: Saving space on your server will always be a good idea. That is exactly what this image optimization plugin does. And the best part is that it runs on autopilot, so just installing it and activating it will optimize your images to occupy 80% less space without losing quality.
Tip #6: Don’t Leave Them Hanging
A common mistake that designers make is that once they finish the website and the client has paid, they disappear, leaving the client hanging — and closing their doors to future earnings. Don’t be afraid to step in and offer your help with creating content, even if it is just the initial content they’ll need to get started. And better yet, maybe arrange an ongoing deal about content creation.
If the site ends up not meeting their expectations, and maybe it is not a problem in the design but a problem in their content creation, they might not realize this and won’t come back to you. But, if your site thrives thanks to your design and content, they might start new projects and ask you for your services again. Think long-term.
These tips will help you create a site that is precisely what you want and what your client needs. However, that last time is that one that will have a more significant impact on your client. They will see they can count on you, and it can help you create a bond that even if your site is not perfect on the first try, they know you are there to keep fixing and twitching the necessary things to make it what they dreamed of. Client happiness is always crucial in this line of work.
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