Category Archives: CMS

Today’s Hottest WordPress Design Trends

If you’re a webmaster, you know how quickly a web design can start to look dated. If visitors to your site see an obsolete looking website, it sends a message that you’re out of touch with the latest trends, and if you’re not willing to put the time and effort into making your website look great, they won’t bother to look at it. That’s why you’re always better off having your WordPress themes done professionally, and then making sure that you keep up with what’s hot and what’s gone out of style before your potential customers start rejecting your website out of hand.
Here are a few design trends that are hot in WordPress-based web development right now:

Mobile Ready Themes

Mobile Ready Website
More and more people are browsing the web from mobile devices and tablets, and that trend is likely to continue. Many well-established bloggers and niche websites are stubbornly resisting this trend, but smart webmasters and savvy businesses understand that if you don’t have a responsive website, you’re dooming yourself to a smaller and smaller potential pool of visitors with every passing month. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “responsive,” it means that it automatically resizes itself depending on the screen size of the device that it’s being viewed on. WordPress themes have been at the forefront of responsive design, so users are becoming accustomed to seeing them, and in the not-too-distant future you’ll seem like a dinosaur if your site isn’t viewable on a smartphone screen. WordPress estimates that over 60 percent of new WordPress themes are now responsive. According to Pew Research’s Internet Project, over 60 percent of all cell phone users are currently going online on their device, double the amount from just four years prior. Don’t miss out on these potential customers or readers because your site isn’t viewable for them.

Bold Fonts Are Pushing Graphics Into The Background

Bold Fonts
Not too long ago, almost everyone looked at the Internet through a widescreen monitor. If you came across a website that had big fonts on it, it would seem amateurish, or like a large-print book for the elderly. With today’s responsive layouts, just the opposite is true. Users with smartphones and tablets aren’t going to look at your website at all if it’s entirely written in Times New Roman with 12 pixel heights. It’s annoying for mobile users to continually have to resize text constantly, so larger text and less iconography are becoming standard on more and more websites. According to Smashing Magazine, 16 pixels is now the smallest typeface webmasters should consider. It’s not just mobile users that are becoming used to bigger typefaces, either. Deskbound Web surfers don’t mind being able to sit back in their chair and read your site instead of hunching over to see Arial 10.

Death To The Drop Shadow!

Drop Shadows are Dead
It wasn’t too long ago that cutting-edge web designs featured lots of drop shadows, 3D graphics, wallpaper backgrounds that mimic wood grain or book bindings, rounded corners, and lots of gradients. Now you’re much more likely to see perfectly flat looking designs that rely on interesting fonts and layouts but with lots more whitespace and cleaner and simpler feels. This trend reaches its ultimate examples with super-minimalist designs. The days of Flash splash pages are long gone, and designers of text heavy sites and portfolio themes that are supposed to showcase the site owner’s work, not the web designer’s work, are letting the content carry the site, and getting out of the way. If there are a lot images on a site, using images for navigation just adds visual confusion. Even the venerable New York Times realized that its online pages looked too busy, and redesigned accordingly.

Beware Too Many Mouse Clicks

Stay away from themes using to many mouse clicks to navigate
If you’re choosing a WordPress theme for your website, remember that an increasing amount of users are going to be viewing your site using touchscreen devices. It’s foolish to continue relying on mouse clicks for all the navigation on your pages. To make it easier for everyone to navigate your site, look for ways to allow touches, swipes, and taps to move around your web pages. Users that are viewing your site using traditional desktop arrangements won’t mind using their mouse to click on links and commands that function well on touchscreen devices, but mobile users will soon get tired of navigating around your site if you ignore them. Look for designs with easy, clear, and big navigation. Users without mouses like image galleries that automatically cycle through their component images, or allow users to navigate with a swipe as well.

Scrolling Beats Clicking

One Page WordPress Websites
Since scrolling is much easier on smartphones and tablets than desktops, look for single-page websites to grow in popularity. If you’re got a site with lots and lots of pages that require users to navigate with mouse clicks, you might see users leaving when they reach the bottom of the first page. Hardcore salesmen have used one-page sites for years to keep users from leaving their pages until they’ve reached the end of the sales pitch, and if you want people to keep reading, you should do the same. Just look at the popularity of sites like Pinterest and Tumblr that allow almost infinite scrolling to see where the market is heading.

Simple Steps To A Killer Business Website

Here are a few tips on how to make a killer business website! Small business owners should know by now that’s it’s essential to have a website. But many small businesses still stubbornly resist having an online presence, or just settle for the bare minimum, little more than a glorified business card with a URL.

Consumers Look Around Online Before Almost Every Purchase

Shop Online

It’s unwise for businesses to ignore the importance of a nicely designed and up-to-date website with a handsome theme and lots of content. Retailing Today found that 81 percent of consumers go online before going to the store to purchase major items. That was a 20 percent jump from the year before. For items like appliance, flooring, furnishings, bedding, electronic devices, jewelry, lawn and garden equipment, glasses, and many other items, shoppers spent an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major purchase. If your website doesn’t have rich content presented in an up-to-date template, or worse yet, if you don’t have a website at all, chances are you’re going to miss out on a potential purchase.

Small businesses should view investments in Web presence as equal in importance to any other kind of infrastructure cost. It’s unlikely that a business will be able to survive in a connected world much longer without it.

A well-designed website give potential customers a sense of professionalism about a company, and many businesses that are run on a shoestring manage to show the world an Internet face that rivals the biggest corporations. The Internet can serve to level the playing field if you use it correctly. Here’s how to proceed:

First, You Need A Name

Get a nice domain name

You might have read that all the good URLs are already taken, but it’s really not that hard to find a web address that’s short and descriptive for your business. There are many low-cost registrars of domain names available and you can use their search functions to tinker with a variation of your brand name or business focus to find an unused one. Try to avoid dashes or numbers in your URL, because these can be confusing when spoken aloud. You can purchase a domain name and hosting for your site from the same company to save billing confusion. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out how little it costs. It’s common to keep a domain name and hosting costs to under $100 pr year.

Get A Template

CMS platforms and development tools
With many beautiful and responsive templates available for any website, and the easy integration of commerce into all the major Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Google’s Blogger, there’s no reason for a business owner to hesitate to develop a solid web presence any longer. The need for in-depth knowledge of HTML and Cascading Style Sheets and other arcane knowledge of web design is a thing of the past. Pre-made templates overlaid on top of constantly updated CMS utilities now offer even the least web-savvy person a user-friendly back end where entering information is as straightforward as typing an email.

All the prominent CMS offer users lots of add-ons for specific needs, so if you want users to sign up for newsletters, take a survey, or include you on their social network, it’s easy, and either free or low cost to add them later.

If you’re going to venture into online retailing, you can find instant ecommerce plugins for all CMS types that make order taking and inventory management a breeze. Utilities like Shopify offer dedicated pages for commerce that integrate with your existing templates for an easy and seamless combination of information and sales on the same website.

Getting Found On The Internet

Just getting your website up and running doesn’t guarantee that anyone will look at it. Like a brick and mortar store without a sign, traffic passing by doesn’t know what you’re about, or even that you’re open. You’ve got to advertise a little. Put as much content on your site as you can manage, up date it often, and then tell everyone you’re there.

SEO process
First, help yourself with free and easy methods of online publicity. Put your web address on all your correspondence and your stationery and business cards. Every email you send should have not only your return email, put your URL on it. Search Engine Optimization is asophisticated business these days, so you can hire a SEO company to draw attention to your website, or you can spend money on advertising using utilities like Google Adwords to send search users to your website for as little as a few pennies per click.

Business owners need to stop thinking about websites as a large, complicated, and potentially expensive undertaking and start thinking about how they can leverage an online presence into an important revenue stream. It’s a very rare website that can’t cover the costs of developing it, and a well designed website is bound to expand an existing customer base and grow your business in ways you can barely predict before you get going. Amazon once only sold books, and look how that turned out.