The Good, Better, And Best Practices In WordPress Web Design

Having WordPress web design troubles? WordPress has evolved from a widely used publishing tool to a full blown content management system (CMS), and its flexibility in design and coding has made it the platform of choice for many webmasters and online entrepreneurs. If you want to delve into WordPress wed design, here are a few design pointers to keep in mind:

Why Templates are Good

WordPress is quite popular as a platform that can offer a multitude of templates — both free and paid — that you can easily use to design your website. Indeed, several WordPress web design companies offer their own templates in addition to those provided by other online companies, and some have made a name for themselves as premier WordPress template designers. Most of the benefits of using WordPress templates are plain to see:

  • Easier design
  • Quicker process
  • Preformatted layout
  • Several personalisation options for most templates
  • Professional and aesthetic quality

With a good template, you already have the basics of an aesthetically pleasing, professional, and impressive WordPress web design — all that’s left is to make it your own by filling the website with your content.

Furthermore, some paid or premium templates offer code templates along with preformatted design. These code templates make coding HTML or CSS much easier for webmasters who lack the technical skill to do it on their own from scratch. Code templates could serve search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes, design tweaking purposes, external integration purposes, and others.

WordPress web design templates are part of the reason WordPress is such a popular blogging platform and CMS.

Why Creating Your Own is Better

For DIY websites for the technically-challenged, WordPress design and code templates offer an almost hassle-free way to launch a stable, decent, and functioning website. But for people who can manage to put together HTML websites from scratch — or for webmasters who have the budget to hire a web design company or firm — creating their own design is almost always better.

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Templates still have a place for original WordPress web design, if only as inspiration or to serve as the basic blueprint. After all, the best templates in the web follow aesthetic, navigational, and design best practices. But for websites that are meant for such endeavours as ecommerce, creating your own instead of heavily relying on templates is better because it allows you to:

  • Tweak everything
  • Format and design webpages to suit your branding campaigns
  • Personalize or customise every element of each webpage
  • Design elements of the page to match a particular season, special marketing campaign (such as product launches), or promotional offer

Note that all of these advantages stem from the fact that you have complete control over the code that is the foundation of your WordPress web design. You (or your web design partner) can factor in inbound marketing best practices into the design to ensure efficient ecommerce. As mentioned earlier, templates can still make the work easier — but only if the template allows code-level customisation, and if you or your web design partner have the capacity to change the preformatted areas of code that build up the template without messing up the entire setup.

Why WYSIWYG / Drag-and-Drop is Good

Depending on your hosting provider or the platform from which you want to perform your designing, your WordPress website can be created from what is called a WYSIWYG tool. WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get — which basically means it’s a design tool that is used to straightforwardly add, modify, and delete webpage elements in a visual or graphical standpoint. If you place a button here and some text there, what you see is what you get. The design that you see building up before your eyes is what your website will look like in the end.

Drag-and-drop editors are WYSIWYG-type website design tools. They may have extra or programmable functionalities — and it is preferable that they did — but in essence you still work from a graphical or visual point of view instead of a line-by-line code standpoint. Obviously, WYSIWYG editors are ideal for DIY designers and people who do not have advanced HTML or CSS knowledge to effectively design every visual element of their webpages.

If you would want to go for WYSIWYG WordPress web design, however, it is best to find out if at any time you can delve into the code of whatever it is you intend to design, and if you can edit the code as well. You would not want to be limited to the drag-and-drop side of things; not if you want a fully functioning, professional design with all the features of a proper website. Don’t worry, there are plenty of tutorials, resources, and forums on the most typical HTML and CSS coding tasks you might encounter. There are even places to ask help for when you find yourself in a rare coding conundrum.

Why Line-by-Line Programming is Better

In the same way that creating your own WordPress web design is better than relying entirely on templates, line-by-line programming often trounces WYSIWYG design tools. For ecommerce or business websites, search engine optimisation snippets that you need to embed into the code is one of the important factors that makes line-by-line programming preferable.

While some WordPress templates appreciate the need for SEO-related code and offer an accessible means to place snippets on specific parts of the website, and some apps or plugins can offer the same function, nothing really beats hands-on programming. In the end, it’s all about what you need the website for: is it just a blog or for personal affairs, or will it be the hub, the portal, and the online shopping mall for your business?

The goal for which the website is established should dictate whether or not you should decide to let professional WordPress web design firms handle the job. That, or you can learn HTML and CSS. This is more time-consuming, but a worthwhile skill to learn and have. The former is almost always the case however, and will most probably be your choice as well for WordPress web design.