Best Practices for Creating a WordPress Website – Ecommerce or Otherwise
Over the past few years, businesses have shifted their operations to the online sphere. The web is where customers are, and businesses want to be there.
With that in mind, companies are beginning to realize the importance of digital marketing, and the role that a website plays in that strategy.
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, and for good reason. It is incredibly flexible, easy to use, and has a vibrant ecosystem of developers, designers, and marketers who are eager to help you create and grow your website.
Whether you are a seasoned marketer or a brand new to the industry, in this article, we’ll outline some best practices for creating a WordPress website.
Set A Budget
Before you start developing your website or purchasing any web-related equipment, you must set a budget. This is especially important if you are a smaller business because you may not have the finances to blow on expensive tools and gadgets.
Decide how much you can spend on the platform, theme, plugins, and marketing content (like PPC or organic SEO). After you’ve set a budget, you can determine how much you can allocate towards each of those areas.
Hire A Developer Or Design Team
If you’re looking to build a custom site from the ground up, you’ll have to hire a developer or design team. As mentioned above, WordPress is incredibly flexible and customizable, but it also has a very high learning curve. Designing a WordPress site can be a daunting task, especially if you aren’t a developer.
Even if you are a seasoned designer who has built numerous websites in the past, designing for WordPress can be tricky. You’ll need to understand how to use the platform’s specific tools to create the look and feel of your web property.
Hiring a development team or finding a freelancer to help you is the simplest route to having a high-quality website. However, it’s not always the most cost effective solution. Depending on your budget and what type of website you want to create, you may be able to do-it-yourself.
Establish Clear Goals
A common issue that plagues most businesses is that they don’t know how to measure success. Without clear benchmarks to track progress, it’s nearly impossible to determine whether or not you’ve achieved the results you want.
When you establish clear goals, both short- and long-term, for your website project, you’ll be able to easily track your progress and determine whether or not you’ve reached your destination. Additionally, you can benchmark your success and determine what needs to be changed in order to improve upon it.
Choose A Suitable Theme
When deciding which theme to use for your website, it’s important to consider the goals and vision you have for the project. Do you want something sleek and stylish? A traditional look and feel? Something in-between?
The perfect theme will depend on your budget, what type of content you want to showcase, and the overall feel you are going for. Before you make a purchase decision, try out a number of the themes on the market and see which one resonates with you the most.
Choose A Suitable Domain
If you’re looking to build a brand new website from scratch, you’ll need to decide on the domain name. If you’re using WordPress, the first thing you should do is visit WordPress.com to see if they offer.com domains. If not, you’ll have to purchase a.net,.org, or.biz domain. The choice of domain determines the overall feel and tone of your site.
Since you’ll be assuming the role of the webmaster, you’ll need to ensure that the domain name is both SEO-friendly and easy to spell. For example, if you are creating a sports blog, you wouldn’t want to use the.com domain of a clothing company.
Learn Key SEO Techniques
SEO (search engine optimization) is extremely important if you want your website to display in the organic results of a search engine (like Google or Bing). After you’ve chosen a domain name and begun the design process, it’s time to dive into SEO. As the name suggests, SEO is all about optimizing your content so that it will rank high when potential customers use search engines to find providers of your product or service.
You’ll need to learn how to use keywords effectively, how to create an optimized website map, and how to establish your blog as an authority in your industry. Don’t worry, this is something that can be learned and implemented into practice easily.
Create A User-Friendly Experience
Your visitors (people who come to your site) are the lifeblood of your business. So it’s important that you invest in making their experience pleasant and easy. When visitors land on your site, the first thing they’ll see is the website’s header, often composed of images, text, and color. The header is the gateway to your content, so it’s critical that it offers a good user experience.
From the layout and typography of the header to the color scheme and overall feel of the website, everything should be cohesive and accessible. If someone arrives at your website and cannot easily find what they’re looking for, or if the content doesn’t pop up when they expect it to, you’ve done something wrong.
Create Useful And Actionable Content
Since your visitors are the lifeblood of your business, it’s only natural that you’d want to provide them with content that is both useful and actionable. When someone visits your website and doesn’t find what they’re looking for, the last thing they’re going to do is leave without taking action.
Useful content is just that, content that is both useful and helpful. Sometimes, this can be as easy as creating a helpful FAQ section on your website or blog. Other times, it might necessitate purchasing a tool that will streamline a certain process (like an online store or a booking engine for a hotel).
While it’s important to provide helpful content, it also important not to overwhelm your visitors with too much information. If someone visits your site and doesn’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll likely leave your website without taking any action.
Actionable content is exactly that, content that your visitors can take action on. This could include ordering a product, making a donation, or applying for a job. Whatever the case may be, you’ll want to ensure that the content is easy to find and accessible. Your visitors will thank you for it.
Keep It Fresh
Flexibility is important when it comes to website creation. As your business changes and evolves, so should your website. If you’ve been in business for a while, it may be time for an upgrade. However, if you’re just getting started, it’s important to keep new content coming regularly. Having a steady stream of fresh content is what will keep your site attractive to users and gain you credibility in your industry. If you want to be taken seriously as a thought leader, establishing yourself as an expert in your industry, and having a large following, you’ll need to keep providing valuable content regularly.
Track Website Performance
You can’t improve upon something you don’t measure. In order to determine the effectiveness of your website, it’s important to track a variety of metrics. If you’re not aware of how to use Google Analytics, this is an easy step by step guide that will help you get set up quickly and easily.
You’ll need to track the following metrics to properly evaluate the performance of your site: