By Amanda Karen | CrunchSum
Did you setup and design your own WordPress website without help from web developers or designers? If yes, good for you!
With users accessing your site from varying browsers and operating systems, to changes in the way that the world is now accessing the internet, when setting up and designing your WordPress website there are at the very least 5 important things that you must consider.
1. Cross Browser Compatibility
Whenever you make a design or functionality change you need to confirm that this change is visibly and functionally operating the same across all browsers. For example, how a border or shadow of a text box appears in Google Chrome, should look similar, if not the same in Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.
2. Tablet Compatibility
Have you viewed your site on a tablet such as the iPad? Does it look as expected or are some elements out of place? According to some late 2011 tablet research via Apple:
“Tablets represent 30% of non-desktop traffic.”
Tablet traffic is potentially 30% of your web traffic and is likely only going to increase! This makes confirming that your website looks as it should on a tablet very important. You do not want your WordPress site to look wrong when viewing via tablet.
3. Mobile Compatibility
This can perhaps be the trickiest of all. It’s no secret that mobile web browsing is on the rise. There are countless mobile use statistics out there, but to quote a couple specifically:
“A majority of respondents use their mobile phone to access the Internet since it’s more convenient to use and they always carry it with them everywhere they go.”
“28% of Internet usage comes from a mobile phone.”
Long story short, if you are using WordPress for your small business website, you need to make it mobile friendly. With little to no programming knowledge (and that’s okay!), the easiest way to ensure that your site is functional and readable via a mobile device is to utilize a WordPress plugin.
4. Mobile and Tablet Themes and Plugins
One quick Google search will reveal that there are a ton of mobile WordPress themes and plugins that you can use to make your website mobile and tablet friendly. Rather than listing any here, I encourage you to search out the most optimal themes and plugins for your business goals and objectives. Do you have a favorite? I would love to learn what you are using for your business website!
5. Responsive Themes and Plugins
Maybe you do not want to create multiple versions of your website – one for tablet viewing, one for mobile. The use of a responsive theme or plugin can help you eliminate the need for multiple versions.
One of the best things about building your website on top of WordPress is that, with the right theme or plugin, the platform can support and easily become a responsive website. In layman’s terms, this means that your website can detect which type of device the user is viewing your site from (i.e. desktop screen, mobile, or tablet) and adjust such things as image size, etc. accordingly, to ensure that everything will function and visually look as it should. This is huge. For anyone that has tried to build their own website from scratch, you know how difficult it can be to get this right.
There are countless responsive WordPress themes and plugins that you can use as part of your design. This article is just an example of one, among many resources, that list several responsive WordPress options.
This is just a sample of some important web design aspects to consider when designing your own WordPress website. There are obviously several more areas of website design that could be explored and discussed further. What things do you like to consider?
What are your favorite web design tips and tricks? Leave a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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