WordPress is wonderful in its ease and functionality for both website newbies and website wizards alike, which is why nearly 1 in 5 of all websites on the web use WordPress. But perhaps the problem with everybody using WordPress is that it is difficult to keep ahead of the trends when it comes to WordPress themes and web design. Originality in web design is just one of the metric by which visitors judge your website, so it is important to keep your website looking fresh and on trend if you want your website itself to stay on trend. Otherwise, your visitors could become unimpressed and bounce from the website altogether.
Here is a four-step guide to the updates you should be thinking about in terms of WordPress themes and templates for 2013 and beyond, if you want to impress your visitors.
1. Responsive web design is a must
Responsive design has been the big buzzword of both 2012 and 2013, but it is important to recognise that responsive design isn’t a trend—it’s the future. In our current digital age, there are so many ways that people can access the internet: by computer, tablet or phone. Having a website that looks great on all those different platforms and in all resolutions is not just an added plus, it is truly essential. Opting for a responsive theme like Salient will allow you to reach visitors on any platform, at any time. Keep the future in mind, and go responsive to ensure you are maximising your website’s reach, usability and power.
2. Integrating your eCommerce options
WordPress is the go-to option for eCommerce websites as it makes setting up payment options easy as pie. Using plugins like WooCommerce, an optimised theme can turn a blank website into a fully functional shop in no time at all. If you opt for a theme or template that specifically markets itself as an eCommerce solution, you can usually rest in the knowledge that both the look of the website and the behind-the-scenes mechanics are optimised for eCommerce. Go with a trusted eCommerce theme like MayaShop: with thousands of users and good ratings, you know you are putting your commerce into the hands of a trusty template.
3. Themes built with SEO in mind
Search engine optimisation is important for keeping your website at the top of search engine results pages, and one of the most important mechanics behind that is on-page optimisation. Making sure that your website can be seen, crawled and interpreted easily by Google is important if you want to go on to do further optimisation down the line. Most themes are already SEO optimised, but as recommended by marketing firm OrangeSoda, there are some SEO plugins for wordpress to help you on your way.
4. Getting an Industry-Specific Theme
While any theme or template can be customised to fit whatever industry your website is in, buying a theme that is customised for the specific needs of your industry and therefore the specific needs that you website will have is one way to make life easier for yourself. For example, real estate agents could benefit from having AgentPress, a premium theme that is made specifically with the needs of real estate agents in mind. There are plenty of industry-specific themes out there if you have a look, so why not see if there is one that can fit the area of your website? It saves you a lot of trouble with customisation, which saves you a lot of valuable time.
Writer Biography This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon. Her interests are entertainment, tech and SEO but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. If you like her writing, please follow her on Twitter.