Branding Through Design: WordPress Best Practices

Whether you’re just starting a new online business or trying to improve a current one, effective branding helps retain and increase customers. Brand awareness, while often difficult to measure, doesn’t happen in a vacuum and isn’t all that random. When it comes to branding your WordPress website, there are a lot of moving parts that work together to create a sense of consistency in everything from how it looks to the services you offer and how you articulate those details to customers. While it’s nigh impossible to be completely comprehensive about what makes a particular brand rise to the top, there are some tried-and-true consistencies in developing successful WordPress brands today:

Choose The Right Theme

This can be trickier than it sounds, as WordPress provides thousands of premium and free themes. Much of the visual nuance to how a website looks is a combination of the site’s purpose and personal taste of the designer, but there are some key elements to a good theme that any WordPress site can benefit from:

  • Themes that come with built-in search engine optimization, like Neve or SEO Crawler, will help your site drive up web traffic.
  • Most recent websites benefit from being compatible with mobile devices like phones and tablets. A theme that keeps visual design and website functionality consistent across devices will likely serve you better in the long-run, and colorlib has an excellent list of such to keep your customers engaged, wherever they may be!
  • Checking whether your WordPress theme accommodates other WordPress branding features, like plugins and email integration, helps keep your site adaptable without making you spend time searching for functional alternatives or sacrificing visual consistency.

Best Plugins For Your Site

As with themes, you probably know that WordPress offers thousands of free and pay-based plugins for different services that your customers could benefit from. How to choose which plugins is usually based on the kind of service(s) your site offers. The general methods and examples below will help customers associate your site’s brand with security, dependability, and audience-catching finesse:

  • Be selective and only shop from developers with a long track record of executable and well-engineered plugins. Having too many plugins on your site can cause slow load speeds and even crashes. The Yoast SEO and Akismet anti-spam plugins are both free and benefit pretty much any website’s search engine results while keeping away unwanted comment spam.
  • Find a reputable caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache to keep your website from crashing. Caching is important for any site because the process (and thus the plugin) stores the most frequently accessed information from your website for faster and more stable load times. Since 40% of Internet users will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load, speed and stability are essential parts of building your brand!

Publish Content Regularly On Social Media And Otherwise

Producing content, like About Us/Contact or Mission Statement pages, informational blog posts, video tutorials, and social media posts is one of the biggest parts of creating and maintaining your brand’s identity. Normally, the greater the consistency and variety of these content types, the stronger the likelihood that customers will continue committing to your site.

Some tips for tailoring content:
  • When producing written content, separate sections of it with headers, footers, and subsection titles. This is another form of creating a list, and especially on the web, lists bump up readability and make it easier to remember different parts of a given piece!
  • Go more in-depth with blog posts, articles, and videos. While being concise is always a good goal, short-changing the specifics in content that’s supposed to be instructional will leave your audience wondering where else they can go for more thorough information. Generally thorough but efficient communication will show your audience that you respect both their time and intellect.

When making a post or video, ask yourself if you can cut excess words, dead air, or if visual aides could speed things up without losing relevant information. WordPress itself has an excellent style guide for tips on reading levels, general grammar, and formatting.

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