Feeling like you were never blessed with the website equivalent of green fingers?
Nearly 30% of all websites run on WordPress. But as with all things web design, many businesses find themselves intimidated by what’s under the hood. That can lead to costly mistakes in presentation, bringing down your level of professionalism.
But there’s no need to fret. Here are 10 brilliant WordPress tricks to make your blog look professional.
1. A Trip to the Theme Park
Your WordPress theme provides the foundation of your blog’s visual layout. The importance of choosing the right theme is one of the biggest WordPress tips for beginner bloggers.
WordPress offers a variety of themes, but some are more cluttered and dated than others. If in doubt, look at other WordPress sites to see which themes are trending.
You can also try themes out before you implement them. Even the simple act of switching your theme for something more modern can up your professionalism in a matter of minutes.
2. Less Is More
Modern web design sensibilities favor minimalism. Simple websites load faster, are easier to read, and have better compatibility across devices.
Don’t try to break new ground here. If your website is visually noisy, you’ll stand out from your competition — but in a bad way. A garish design will leave your site looking like something from the early 2000s, so keep it clean.
You can still put your own stamp on your blog through your brand, colors, and the content you choose to share. Let what you do speak for you.
3. Going Mobile
WordPress offers a number of tools for testing your site’s compatibility with multiple devices — so use them!
More people now browse on mobile devices than on desktop computers. That means the way you see your site likely differs from the way your visitors see it. With WordPress’s preview function, you can see how your site appears on phones and tablets.
For an extra level of assurance, pick up your own mobile devices to test your site, as well.
4. Shipshape Your Sidebar
WordPress offers some fantastic and powerful widget tools for creating sidebar spaces. But it’s easy to get carried away with these and drown out their usefulness.
Less is more applies here, too. Prune your sidebar down to a few must-haves. Common options include a search bar, social media icons, and latest posts. This will provide the maximum amount of user functionality for the space they take up.
5. Home Is Where the Heart Is
Some WordPress tricks are a little situational, like this one, but you can use it to great effect. Choosing a static homepage in WordPress allows you to set up your blog so that visitors always land at the homepage — where you can outline your mission statement or provide a CTA before they dive into your blog content.
This can help establish your brand in a professional light and make your services easier to access.
Don’t be too afraid of obscuring your blog roll. You can feature your latest posts through the magic of widgets, so your content will always be available on your home page if that’s how you want it.
6. Now Trending
There’s no shame in cribbing from the best when it comes to design. These are the trendsetters who set the tone for the whole field.
Trends come and go, and web design is no different. Our current era of white space and large, scaling-friendly squares is the current status quo. But just as this replaced earlier trends, it’ll be replaced in time. So keep an eye on what the top names in your field are doing to ensure you’re on the same page.
We already touched on themes, but the trendiness of each theme will also wax and wane. Some themes look more dated than others, so don’t be afraid to refresh things occasionally.
7. Menu or Two
Menus are a double-edged sword in web design. In theory, they make navigation easier. But they can also spiral out of control in amateur hands.
Nesting your menus too deep will obscure your blog’s navigation. It’ll also make it nearly impossible to navigate your site on mobile devices, which will drive visitors away from your site.
Stick to menus no more than one or two levels deep — just enough to keep things organized without cluttering them up.
8. The Font of All Knowledge
We’ve all got a little too excited in the font menu at one time or another. But leave that habit in elementary school, where it belongs.
Modern professional fonts are simple and easy to read on any device. If you’re using an obscure and ornate font, you’re dragging down the usability of your site. Stick with the WordPress defaults for the best results.
9. Pictures Worth a Thousand Pixels
There’s a delicate balancing act to choosing images for your blog. You want your images to look crisp, which means you need them in high resolution. But large images can slow a page down. If you’re not careful, they can even drown out your content if you’re displaying them in their native size.
Aim for images with a balance between clarity and size. You’ll want to use your blog’s image size settings to control how large the images appear, anyway, so there’s no sense opting for images in full 1080p with bells and whistles on.
10. The Color of Magic
Colors play a key but subtle role in web design. It directs the eye, sets a mood, and can increase or reduce reading fatigue.
Modern site designs take a minimalist approach to color, favoring white space and eschewing the garish designs of the past. Stay away from choosing your own weird shades and stick to black, white, and one or two bold colors to break things up a little.
WordPress Tricks to Keep You Looking Professional
These WordPress tricks will take your blog to the next level of professionalism, boosting your credibility and attracting more views over time. And to top it off, most of these are simple tricks you could use today.
Looking to take your blog to the next level? You can check out our services here.