Optimized Webmedia's WordPress Website Design and Development Processes
WordPress launched its blogging platform in 2003, and today it is the most popular website design platform. In March 2016, WordPress was reported to have covered over twenty-six percent of all the contents on the entire world wide web. WordPress is reported to be powering 26.4% of the web, and its dominance is continually increasing. With 59.4% market share, it is the most used CMS. Its competitors include Magento, Drupal, Shopify, and Joomla.
Benefits of using WordPress as your website platform:
- WordPress’ content management platform is user-friendly and comes with an insightful interface.
- It can be accessed from any location in the world as long as you have a computer and are connected to the internet.
- It is easy to learn and manage. You do not need any prior knowledge of HTML editing or FTP software to be able to make use of the content management system.
- It ranks well on the Google’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The WordPress code language makes it easy for search engine to index the content published on a WordPress site.
- The WordPress design can be fully customizable.
- The CMS platform comes with seamless blogging capabilities.
- Functionalities of WordPress can be expanded using Plugins and Widgets.
- It is a scalable system that makes it possible for multiple users to be assigned with various degrees of access.
- It allows users to integrate e-commerce features with the WooCommerce plugin.
As mentioned in elegant themes article called, 10 Rules of Good UI Design to Follow On Every Web Design Project, “Knowing the best practices to follow on every interface design project will put you far ahead of most candidates who simply fire off designs without taking into consideration the variety of details that go into the creation of an interface.”
The Steps to designing and developing a WordPress Website
1. Fact finding, Research, and Strategy
This step of developing your WordPress website involves the use of a lot of analytical tools and techniques, like industry research, economical analysis, SWOT analysis in addition to persona and target market analysis. These sets of analytical tools help you to gain a better insight into the market situations and help you to come up with useful branding tactics. It is at this stage that you gather data which includes articles, images, animations, video recordings, and login information.
2. Selecting your domain name
You need to be tactical when deciding on which domain name to use for your WordPress site. You can, in fact, choose it to gain maximum SEO. It is better to choose a short domain name than a long one. The elements of the domain name can be classified into four different parts. These are the high-level domain elements like the (.com, .co, .net, .ca), the root domain elements like (thisday.com), the Sub domain elements like (sub.example.com, and the Subfolder elements like (domain.com/subfolder).
3. Select a Web Hosting Package
There are a lot of things you need to bear in mind when you want to choose a suitable web hosting package. Some factors to consider are: The length of time that the hosting company has been in business; if the web host company supports sites designed through WordPress platform; the number of domains you want to host and can host; whether or not you are concerned about the location of the host company or the country where the web host company is located. The last thing you also need to consider is the cost of the hosting service.
4. Uploading the WordPress
The next step is to download and unzip the most up to date version of WordPress and upload it to the account you opened with a hosting company. Several hosting sites allow users to routinely upload and set up WordPress site as well as its database. It can as well be done manually with the use of FTP (file transfer protocol).
5.Develop a Database
A WordPress database is a place where you store your WordPress data like your content which includes articles, posts, different pages of your website, and comments, together with the site’s constructions, and user data. Each time you load your website, WordPress will enquire from the database for the required information to display your website.
6. UX/UI Design
Tools such as InVision or Sketch, enable designers to create mock-ups and wireframes. When you follow the best practices in UX/UI together with branding parameters, it will make it easy for your site visitors to easily navigate through your site and search for desired content without hassle content on your website. When you have finished this page, you will have a clear view of how the website will appear. Making use of the contrast, texture, and white spaces will improve the overall look of your site as well as the user experience.
7. The Development Stage
This stage of the website design is very significant. It is when the design is transformed into a WordPress website. It is also at this stage that the web developer develops the front-end HTML/CSS/JS theme for most recent versions of web browsers like the Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. After this, the CMS pages are developed complete with the contact form, content and images to go with the pages. When this is done, the web developer optimizes the website for mobile devices in addition to every type of web browsers. This ensures that people can access the site no matter the device or browse.
8. QA Testing
It’s important that before you launch your website online, that you put it through thorough bug testing. It is as well essential at this stage to make your website responsive both to mobile devices and other platforms to make sure your website functions impeccably on all browsers.
9. Optimize your site for SEO and Set-up Analytics
Pay close attention to your SEO strategies, so that your copy can draw as many targeted and qualified traffic to your website as possible. The Yoast SEO Plugin is perhaps the most popular plugin used for optimizing the SEO of your website. It makes optimizing your blog content and pages extremely simple. Other SEO factors to consider include 301-redirects, meta-tags, optimized images, and generating XML sitemaps are important so that search engines can map all of your pages. It’s also important to optimize page load time (check the speed using Google Page Speed Insights), setting-up Google Analytics, and integrating social media. Setting up Google Analytics will be valuable as it can enable you to track visitor data such as how long they landed and stayed on your page, how many views, and which pages were viewed. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to read our other related blog, “SEO Best Practices in 2017”.
10. Publish your site online and get some training
Even though the WordPress platform allows users to edit their web content readily, it may be essential to get some training to be able to learn how to properly manage a few things on your site such as WordPress Maintenance including security updates or allow in-house uploading, editing, and deleting of content. Content Marketing Vancouver helps website owners to plan, craft and deliver web content that drives leads and generate sales.
11. Website maintenance, Back-ups, and Caching
You need to update your WordPress sites and plugins constantly. You may run into problems if you don’t do this. Hackers can have access to your site. Also, try to delete all spam messages regularly.
It is also important to back up your website, and more importantly the database, on a consistent basis. A few popular WordPress plugins for backing up your website are: VaultPress, BackupBuddy, and WP-DB-Backup.
If there are multiple people viewing the exact page, it’s possible to display a static version rather than processes the page with every instance. The W3 Total Cache plugin can help with this initiative. Activating this plugin can potentially double your blog’s speed and reduce server load. Keep in mind that the load time speed for your website is a ranking factor with google.
12. Test your Website
To test the strength of your website be sure to try out “Hubspot’s Website Grader”. You can check for Performance, Mobile Responsiveness, SEO, and Security.
Performance: Optimizing your website’s performance is critical for increasing website traffic, generating more leads, and improving conversion rates that will in turn increase revenues for your business. This test is broken down into page size, page requests, page speed, browser caching, page redirects, compression and render blocking.
Mobile: Optimizing your website for mobile performance is important so that you don’t miss out on mobile generated traffic, leads, and revenues.
SEO: It’s important that your website is visible for users to discover you, and easy for search bots to understand, using better Page titles, Headings, and Meta descriptions. Be sure to also have a sitemap that enables users to navigate your site quickly and easily.
Security: SSL certificates help protect websites from attacks and gives your site visitors confidence that your website is authentic and trustworthy.
13. Online Marketing center
When your website is completely setup, it can act as the central hub for driving fresh qualified sales leads by making use of the best practices in SEO, Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing. It’s important that your marketing team takes the necessary steps to ensure you get qualified traffic and leads. As mentioned in the 1stWebDesigner article, Web Design Best Practices for Reviving a Stagnate Website, “A successful website is one that understands these needs; thus, its design should lead people to do exactly what they are there to do. With this in mind, you have to keep in mind that the conversion potential of the website is an integral element of the website’s design.”
If you’re about to embark on creating a new website, or are in the thought-process of redesigning your website, be sure to use this resource to harness the industry’s best standards in the design and development of WordPress websites. Keep in mind that although you can build a simple site using WordPress themes, it’s recommended to customize the overall site. Ensure that best practices in user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) is used to help with conversions and ultimately bring in quality leads and customers through your website.
This post was published by Donald Kim of Optimized Webmedia. Optimized Webmedia is a customer centric, 360° Digital Marketing agency, specializing in SEO, AdWords, Content Writing, Social Media Marketing, and Website Design. To learn how Optimized Webmedia can help optimize your website to attract more visitors, book a free consultation.