WordPress powers more than 1/3 of websites online, making it the most popular CMS in the world. It gained popularity because it is an intuitive platform for web designers of every level - from beginners to pros - who want to create a beautiful and functional WordPress design. What's even better - it's completely free.
So, WordPress is a handy website-building tool, but there are some things you need to know to avoid website design mistakes.
These are basic guidelines explaining how to create a WordPress design. Together with some tips and tricks, they will help you make a beautiful and flawless website.
- Decide how to create your website
- Find a good hosting provider and a domain
- Get inspired by other WordPress designs
- Pick the best WordPress theme
- Choose your colors carefully
- Use good images
- Personalize your fonts
1. Decide How To Create Your Website
There are various ways to start with WordPress design. While you can head over to WordPress.com and choose a plan based on your individual needs, I’m using WordPress.org in this tutorial.
Also, if you choose the right hosting provider, it can be significantly more affordable.
WordPress.com has its benefits, too. For example, it is very user-friendly and easy to understand. If you are creating a simple website, a blog, or even a small online store, there are definitely enough features available on WordPress.com for a great WordPress design.
Still unsure which one to choose - WordPress.org or WordPress.com? Read more in our article explaining all the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
2. Find A Good Hosting Provider And A Domain
When choosing a hosting provider, inspect the individual plans: while many providers offer unlimited storage, high speeds, and high-grade encryption, these features often come with the premium, so - more expensive subscriptions.
Choose a plan that grants you all the capabilities you need while also providing a good value for money.
I’ve created this tutorial using Hostinger because it has competitive pricing plans with attractive capabilities.
Do not forget about the domain. Ideally, you should find a hosting provider that offers to buy a domain. Some offers even include free domains.
You should also think about a good domain name. After all, it is a part of your blog, website, or store's identity, so be sure to choose a catchy and memorable name for your website.
3. Get Inspired By Other WordPress Designs
Before you start with your WordPress design, it’s important you get inspiration from competitors. Good artists borrow, great artists steal, right?
In this case - look at other WordPress websites that operate in the same industry or niche and copy the aspects of these sites you like the most.
For example, if you will design a creative blog or a website, take a look at this Adobe's 99U creative blog and a resource page that was built with WordPress. The minimalism with the pop of color really works in this instance.
Or, if you're starting out with an online store, you might gain inspiration from the beautiful way that products are showcased in Method website.
Remember that you should never steal actual work from other sites. While reusing ideas is okay, copying their exact code, images, and overall brand identity will be seen as plagiarism and will affect your reputation.
4. Pick The Best WordPress Theme
One of the main benefits of using WordPress is that the platform has hundreds of themes and templates for you to choose from. Better yet, many of these are free and very easy to install.
However, the best WordPress theme for you depends entirely on the purpose of your site. For example, the theme for an online jewelry store won’t be the same as a professional portfolio website so make sure the design you go for aligns with your user intent.
To help you out, I tested the top-rated WordPress themes that included some made by well-known design agencies and even WordPress itself. Here are the 5 best WordPress themes.
Avada is one of the best-selling WordPress themes because of its great customization capabilities. You can choose from 7 header designs, 4 premium sliders, and over 10 widgets to create up to 6 column layout pages. Avada offers integration with WooCommerce and 6 layouts for blogs.
Avada costs $60 (this is a one-time fee). For this price, you get an extensive knowledge base, video tutorials, automatic updates and 6 months of support included. Support can be extended to 12 months for $18.
Oshine stands out because of its stunning, yet completely easy-to-customize designs. It has 47 demos designed for all kinds of websites: from portfolios to online stores. Themes include parallax sliders, video backgrounds, and beautiful image galleries.
If you decide to buy the theme for $59, you will also be provided with automatic updates and ticket support for 6 months. This period can be extended to 12 months for $17.63.
Flash is one of the best WordPress themes because of its professional and highly responsive designs. This versatile theme has an integration with siteOrigin page Builder Plugin and Flash Toolkit, making it user-friendly and easy to customize.
Flash features WooCommerce support and is fully compatible with all major WordPress plugins. It also provides multiple WordPress blog templates.
What's great is that there is a free version of Flash. In case you need additional features, you can choose paid versions which cost from $69 to $249 (these are one time fees).
Divi offers superior functionality and unlimited customization features, making it incredibly versatile.
The theme works with the custom Divi website builder making it easy to customize layouts with live preview. Alongside are colors, icons, page, post formats, and pretty much everything else you may need. This allows you to create a dynamic interface without any coding skills.
Divi's versatility comes at a price of $89 a year or a $249 one-time fee. For this, you get pre-prepared website packs, premium support, and updates - that's a really good value for your money.
Uncode is one of the most unique WordPress themes. Not only does it provide excellent functionality and stunning designs but has additional benefits - it also includes premium plugins and customer support options.
As for the building experience, the theme is designed for unveiling creativity with highly visual and responsive designs. Uncode claims that every imaginable design is possible with its 50+ concepts allowing to create unlimited layouts.
You can purchase Uncode for a one-time fee of $59. For this, you get extensive knowledge base, video tutorials, and support for 6 months. You can extend the period to 12 months for $17.63. Free updates are also included.
5. Choose Your Colors Carefully
When it comes to color, often less is more. Unless you know about color theory, you may want to stick to two or three colors. If you’re concerned about your website looking like a children’s coloring book, I suggest you go for two neutral and contrasting colors across your site.
However, if you have the time and patience, play around with a color wheel to find complementary colors and new exciting color schemes.
In many cases, using a black and white color scheme or mixing in one, more vibrant color to the palette can be more than enough. Whichever scheme you decide to go for, make sure it aligns with the graphics on your site as well as your logo.
5. Use Good Images
The key to making sure that the appearance of your website aligns with your personal or business goals is to make sure you use the right media. When it comes to adding pictures to your website, there are two options.
The first one is to hire a professional photographer to take them for you. This is necessary if you're selling a product and want it attractively showcased.
In other cases, as with some blogs, hiring a photographer can be very costly and even unnecessary. So, I recommend getting images from a stock photography website. Some of the most popular ones include Unsplash, Pixabay, and Flickr. You can find plenty of good-quality images that will complement your content.
However, always respect the copyright owners. If the picture is for personal use only, don't use it for commercial purposes. Also, if the images are licensed, buy the license and support the artist.
6. Personalize Your Fonts
Another aspect of your WordPress design you can personalize is your fonts. Of course, you can go for one of the fonts already available, but using a font plugin will give you more choice.
For my website, I used Google Fonts for WordPress because it gives you access to more than 870 font choices and it is free. To install this plugin, simply navigate to “Plugins” on your dashboard and click on “Add New”. Then, search for “Google Fonts for WordPress” and once you find it, click “Install Now”.
Once the installation is complete, click “Activate”. This will redirect you to your installed plugins.
From your installed plugins, click on “Settings”. This will redirect you to the WordPress editor where you’ll be able to test various fonts to use for your base, headings, and buttons typography.
Final Notes On WordPress Design
WordPress offers many useful resources for website designs - you just need to know what to look for. First, decide between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, then carefully choose your hosting provider and domain, and start designing!
You can get inspiration from other websites and create your own using WordPress's many themes. It is important to remember that WordPress design will be good if it fits the website's purpose. Once you find the best WordPress theme for your website, there will be little left to do but concentrate on your content.
Do you have other WordPress tricks you’d like to share? If so, please do so in the comments below.