What makes a perfect WordPress website?

July 20, 2018 DESIGNirvana 0

As compared to other Content Management System (CMS) like Joomla and Drupal, WordPress is the best CMS as it offers a great level of flexibility and unbeatable features to web developers and designers.

In the competitive online world, it becomes for businesses to establish a unique identity. In fact, website owners want dynamic websites that can quickly engage the visitors and create a sophisticated UX. That’s why web developers have created over 40 million websites on WordPress in the past few years.

With the help of a blog, you can simply create a perfect WP website that can drive more customers to your site.

Let us discuss the 15 steps that will help you create a compelling WP site:

Select a Domain:

Choosing a Domain is the most important step as it creates your identity on the web. Without it, users would not be able to find out your website. Therefore, it requires a lot of thought and ability to take intelligent decisions.

Well, there are four vital elements:-

1. Top-Level Domain:

The top–level domain (TLD) is the last part of a domain name. And, one of the most popular TLD is .com.

Well, there are various different TDLs that are created especially for companies or organizations (.gov.edu), some particular to countries (.in, .co, .us, .es) and some are used as the alternative to .com like .net, .info, .org, etc.

2. Root Domain:

You have complete control over the root domain. You can choose a root domain as per your business needs. While registering a domain, you need to remember that it should be unique and contain only of letters, hyphens and numbers.

3. SubDomains:

It is a domain that comes before the root domain. After purchasing a root domain, you can create subdomains at zero additional cost.

4. SubFolders:

It is indexed after the TLD, for example, domain.com/subfolder.

Select a Hosting Package:

One of the most important things for the website owner is to choose the right host and package. A hosting company should authorize you, never restricts you. Thus, it is necessary for you to choose a reliable hosting provider that can offer you the affordable and most suitable hosting package.

Configure the nameservers:

After getting both a domain and hosting package, you will be required to point the domain to your host’s nameservers, with the purpose to connect the domain name to the server. Once signing up, your hosting company would send you the names of the nameservers. They will look like ns1.nameserver.com and ns2.nameserver.com.

Then, you can navigate to your domain’s control panel and find for something along the lines of “change nameservers”. Here, you need to enter the nameservers.

After completing 24 hours, you will know that it’s working if your domain displays your host’s landing page when you write the URL in a browser.

Download WordPress:

Download the latest version of WordPress and upload it to your hosting account by making the use of FTP (File Transfer Protocol). It is a process of transferring files between a desktop and hosting server.

After connecting to your server through FTP, you can view the list of folders. Look for one named public_html or your domain name. It is the place where you can upload WP.

If you want your site to be on the root domain, then you need to upload it directly. And if, you want to activate WP in a subfolder, then you need to create the folder and then upload the files.

Develop a Database:

A database stores all your WordPress data that include content (posts, pages and comments), user data and configurations. Whenever the page loads, WP queries the database for all the necessary information, like a title, content, tags, categories, published dates, etc.

By using your host’s control panel, you can create a database and its username and password for WP to connect with.

Tweak wp-config-sample.php:

After setting up the database and its username and password, you can use the FTP client to edit the wp-config-sample.php file.

First, you need to rename the file to wp-config.php. Then by using a text editor, you can open the file.

Activate WordPress:

WordPress will ask for some basic information to complete the installation process and then, you can create an account. This process is short and simple.

Once submitting the information, you will be able to access or log into the admin panel.

Select a Compatible Theme:

WordPress offers thousands of free and handy themes to make your website design unique and compelling. But, it is important for you to choose the perfect and most suitable WP theme.

In order, to get the perfect WP theme, then it should meet the following requirements:

  • Engaging design
  • Solid code
  • Valid HTML and CSS
  • Compatible with the latest version of WordPress
  • Excellent readability
  • Compatible with the famous and useful plugins, etc.
Secure WordPress:

Security of your WordPress sites plays a potent role as it keeps your site protected from hackers. If you want to secure your WP site, then backing up is extremely important. There are few things that you need to follow to keep your site away from hackers:

  • Regularly Update your WordPress
  • Avoid using wp_ as the database table’s prefix
  • Remove the WP version from the header of a site
  • Remove the username “admin”.
Create Important Pages:

You want your visitor to find the things quickly when they land on your website. Obviously, your potential users access your site to view certain features. Thus, it is important for you to create some basic pages that will help them to quickly view the desired page. You can create:

  • Home page
  • About page
  • Products and services page
  • Contact page
Enhance for Search Engines:

In order, to survive in the online world, it is important to utilize the online marketing technique. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most productive technique to drive more traffic towards the site.

You can find a few themes in WP that come with built-in SEO features. However, you can use a plugin to make your settings uniform across all of your websites, regardless of the WP theme. WordPress SEO by Yoast is the best SEO plugin.

Set up Analytics:

Analytics allows you to track your visitors, with the useful data on their browsing like:

  • How visitors landed on your site?
  • How long they stay on your website?
  • Which page they viewed?

You can simply install it, as it gives easy to use a feature to a website owner.

Create a Google Analytics account and then put the JavaScript code you are given before the </body> tag in your WP footer file.

Backing Up:

One of the important steps is to backing up the WordPress website. If something went wrong, then you can use the back-up system to protect your data. This should be part of any website maintenance plan.

Set Up Caching:

Every time when the user loads a page, WordPress processes that page on your server. It involves fetching the time and content from the database and executing other procedures.

W3 total cache is the best plugin that offers the feature like minification that uncovers whitespace from your HTML, CSS and JavaScript files. In other words, minification makes your file smaller in size and thus, the user can load it quickly.

Conclusion

This blog post is written with an objective to make your WordPress website perfect. All the steps mentioned in the post will guide you to building a productive and quality website very quickly.

Web Design versus Graphic Design: Which is more important for the web?

July 17, 2018 DESIGNirvana 0

John Naughton says in his Guardian post, how graphic designing is ruining the web, presenting various valid points and arguments. This post elicited many responses from the web community, coming from various noted blogs such as this and this.  While this is open discussion dates back to a couple of years, the relevance is not lost. The debate continues. 

Why do people have problem with graphic design being a part of the web?

John’s feature in The Guardian which basically started this debate raises a number of points, and most of them are not in the favor of graphic designers.

Here’s what a part of the community thinks of graphic design:

The web was once nothing more than a collection of simple text pages marked up with some tags. Those were the times when browsers controlled how the web pages were displayed to the user, which, apparently didn’t go down too well with graphic designers. It wasn’t long before Web pages became more visually appealing, started to have animations, images, video components, and other interactive media all thanks to graphic designers.

However, now, instead of fetching the web page from a single location, browsers assembled its various components from different locations, combined them all and presented to the user when requested and this is where the problem began. All these images, graphics, and other visual elements began adding weight to the webpage, which grew from an average 93.7kB to over 679kB from 2003 to 2011. Now, if you are a lover of minimalist design, or have a slightly overt logical bent of mind, this would appear a sheer wastage of bandwidth. After all, you are using 679kB of bandwidth to convey, perhaps, not more than 10kB of information.

But can the web exist without graphic designers?

What is it that first catches your attention in any object, tangible or intangible? It is definitely its physical attributed such as shape, size and color. The same goes true for any webpage. While the content of any website is essentially one of its mainstays, it is its design that includes elements such as color, typography (read font play), shapes, logos, and layout that make or break the deal. A graphic designer’s role is greater than just making a website pleasant to look at. A person who dons a hat of graphic designer has to establish a communication bridge between the audience and the site.

A lot of things combine together to make for a great website and graphics is one of them. While having good graphics is no excuse for having a weak content, for those conducting business on the web graphic design can make a huge difference. The web is swarming with billions of pages, with millions being created every single day. People are always in hurry and have become used to give only a fraction of their attention to web pages. They quickly scan pages and exit if it fails to engage them and one sure shot way of stopping them from doing the same is by using engaging and well-designed graphics.

Good graphics initiates a call to action

Good visuals give your visitors confidence in your business. In addition, a graphic designer helps initiate a call to action by facilitating tasks such as buying something online. After all, human beings are most impacted by what they see. Good graphics can help evoke an emotional connection with the visitors. There is ample proven research to show that colors are able to affect our moods and thus consequentially affect the decision-making process. A graphic designer’s job is thus to use these colors in persuading people to do things that are in their interests, as said by the iconic designer Milton Glaser.

Finally, graphic design also adds a creative spirit to the website and be recognized with the overall branding strategy of the product, business or website where it is being used.

However, a slow loading website is still a pervasive problem, and no one seems to like it.

It was never about Graphic design versus Web design. It’s Graphic design with efficient Web design

Jack Schofield, in his blog made various points about the factors that might be contributing to the bloating of web pages. Countering John’s rant against graphic designers, he rightfully pointed out that an attractive design has got little to do with painfully slow websites. Often web designers are guided by a pervasive notion that a useful website must have a lot of plug-ins, widgets for social networking, fancy flash, videos, and other shiny stuff, not to forget the complicated code.  These are the major culprits that make a website literally suck.

Websites are hardly an exclusive property of graphic designers.

They are only called in to bring in aesthetic sensibility to a site, in order to ring emotional bells with customers. While graphic designers often tend to focus hard on aesthetics, sometimes to the detriment of other factors, but that’s where other members of the team have a role to play. A web designer is also an important voice on the table and shares greater responsibility of keeping the website up and running smoothly while maintaining the best possible visual standards.

Be it any industry, the way forward has been to create products that not only have better utility than their predecessors but also register a better visual appeal with the audience. Whether it is cars, motorbikes, pens, bags, ships, or yachts, designers will continue to push the boundaries with their imagination.  On the same lines, technology and engineering should also continue pushing themselves to give products that are simply not better, but better than the rest. The same way, web designers should keep up with their graphic counterparts to ensure the website machinery keeps flowing smoothly and without glitches.  That includes taking efforts to minimize JavaScript and CSS files, optimizing images and enabling HTTP compression amongst other stuff.

Graphic design and Web design: Twin wheels of a good website

The onus of a better website doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of graphic designers and therefore, blaming them for laggy performance is nothing more than eyewash. Good websites are a product of superb design, optimized code, and informative content.  While a person applying for a graphic designer’s job should also keep in mind the technical constraints of web designing, it is ultimately the test of a programmer’s and web designer’s expertise, abilities and skills to ensure a perfect appearance doesn’t undermine the performance of the website.

How to design your website to increase conversions

July 7, 2018 DESIGNirvana 0

Attracting traffic to your website is just part of the story. Obviously, it’s important that people visit your site, but it does not really help if the traffic does not lead to an increase in conversions. You need to ensure that people who visit your website go on to buy your products, or pay for your service. This is the only way you are going to increase profits and help your business to grow.

There are actions you can take which is more likely that traffic will convert into sales. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to consider when you are designing your website.

Make the buyer journey simple

No-one wants life to be complicated. When people are buying online, they want the whole process to be easy to navigate and complete. If you have a sign-up process, do not make it too lengthy. You only really need to know a person’s full name and email address from the outset; asking lots of other questions will put people off. It’s often a good idea to give people the option of purchasing as a guest, without the need to register. This is popular with busy people who are looking to make a quick purchase.

Keep information clear and concise

Think about what you would want to know about your brand that would make you want to make a purchase. Make sure the information you provide is to the point and tells people what you can do for them.   If you have additional information, that could be useful, consider creating an online brochure or magazine. Doing this means that people can access the additional information if they choose to, but it does not detract from the direct message of your home page.

Consider different payment methods

Not everyone wants to use a bank card or a credit card online. If you stick to allowing only these payment methods, you are not going to optimize your conversion potential. Online wallets, such as PayPal, are popular with many people as they provide a secure and simple way to make purchases online. It’s a good idea to allow visitors to your website to use alternative payment methods. Conversely, you should not provide so many options that the process becomes unwieldy and puts people off completing their purchases.

Show alternative products

When people are shopping for a product on your website, take the opportunity to provide suggestions about other products they may be interested in. You can do this while they are browsing or when they are actually making a purchase. People are often attracted by a product that can accompany an item they are buying. There is also the chance that someone has decided against purchasing a certain item, but decides that the alternative you suggest is just right for them.

Make sure calls to action are prominent

Calls to action need to be created carefully. You do not want people to feel as though you are being too invasive, but you need to be clear as to the action they should take. It’s often a good idea to include a call to action on each page. Make sure they are prominent and included in the early part of your content.

Include relevant and real testimonials

People tend to follow the example of others when it comes to making a purchase or using a service. This is why including honest testimonials on your website can be such a useful tool. If you receive an email from a customer, complimenting you on your service, ask for their permission to use it as a testimonial. You can also create testimonials by using a well-crafted feedback form. Think about the questions you need to ask in order to get the information you need. Always remember to ask permission before you use any customer comments.

Use video to demonstrate your product

People often like to see how a product works, before they make a purchase. This is why including an instructional video on your website is often a good idea. Remember to keep videos to the point, so that people will be more inclined to watch. If you need help with your marketing videos, speak to an expert in marketing online. They can give you the benefit of their experience and expertise.

Your website should be designed with conversion in mind. As you can see from the points we have included, you need to show people what you can do for them, make all of your information clear, and make the buying process as simple as possible.