Did you ever think why WordPress is so successful? Mainly because it has a very intuitive, user-friendly, and easy-to-use interface. Even so, it doesn’t mean that you won’t run into any kind of trouble when using WP, especially if you are not a designer.
To avoid getting in this kind of a situation, it is recommended to look into how others tackle the visual part of WordPress and follow their footsteps. In this article, we will go through a number of common visual mistakes.
1. Poor-quality images
As you already know, putting enough attention into the choice of quality photos is crucial. If high-quality photos are nowhere to be found for free, it’s your duty to invest in buying them from a photo stock online. Depositphotos may be such a source of quality photos.
Problems with the use of proper photos don’t boil down to a reliable photo stock only. You should also know how to pick images properly. Avoid unrealistic photos that look too generic or dream-like. Instead, go for the images that offer a realistic look and feel. They will most likely have a positive impact on your visitors.
2. Not optimized images
Images are a critically important element of your website that aligns with your brand identity. They are also a crucial element of the overall UX. It’s no secret that optimizing images for SEO & UX can drive you lots of quality traffic or even maximize sales. For this reason, properly choosing, using, and editing images is crucial for your website.
When most people start using WordPress, they are in hurry to publish their first pieces of content. This makes them forget about the importance of optimizing images. Images that are too heavy, low-quality or improperly cropped can seriously slow down your website and even destroy the UX.
Before uploading any type of image to your site, be sure to optimize it for efficient performance. Here’s how you can make it happen:
- whatever photo editor you use, save images for the web performance;
- resize or compress all files for a quick load;
- add texts to your images; experiment with styles and fonts;
- add stickers, frames or borders to make images look original;
- flip, rotate or crop photos to make them displayed properly.
3. No white space
In web design, white space is a gap or blank space between images, blocks of text, buttons or any other visual elements. Having enough white space can help you keep the structure of the website logical, clear, and understandable for the end user.
No matter how hard you try, how you bullet-proof every other aspect of your WP theme, users will always be strong enough to kill the white space. Good news is that you can use special tools like Page Builder to keep those spaces between various visual elements blank.
This tool can help you organize and configure spacings across the website. But before you do that, check out some critical white spacing principles to keep in mind:
- Spacing does not help you divide things. Instead, it helps you to brings them together. Use white spacing to keep the essentials organized. Things that have a similar purpose (like the header of the page and the publishing date) should go together.
- White spacing helps your content breathe. The more you apply it, the better UX you serve.
- The use of white spacing should be consistent. With that said, every single column on your website should have the similar amount of blank space on the bottom, top, left or right.
As you can see, it all comes to widgets. The better you organize white spaces across your website, the more consistent and balanced your website will be. This will allow you to draw user attention to the thing that matters most – the content.
4. Prioritizing the wrong elements
Your chances to grab user attention are very limited. You need to set your design priorities straight and make the structure of design elements located on your website extremely clear and concise. According to the previously mentioned study, the logical flow of visual elements getting the most of the users’ attention is as follows: the brand logo, the navigation bar, and the links to social media profiles.
These design elements should be followed by the text section, the title image, and the content at the footer. Following this order of prioritizing web elements will make your design work for, not against you. Just be sure to research customers’ expectations and goals before prioritizing design elements according to users’ needs.
5. Diversity instead of consistency
Choosing the right color combination seems to be easy, but it’s actually quite a tricky thing. If you have some design talent, you may follow your gut feeling and use it when choosing the right colors. But relying on special tools is a bit better in this case. Why?
Well, the majority of WordPress themes are made out of two colors: a primary and a secondary one. If your logo is one-colored, adapting it to any WordPress site would be easy. You already have the primary color, so you just need to choose the secondary one. However, when your logo consists of a combination of different colors, finding a perfect match may be hard for you.
For this reason, you may turn to the service called Coolors. In this easy-to-use tool, you can pick up the best color combos and use them on your website. Just insert the hex color code and explore a combination of secondary colors that will smoothly support the main one.
6. Not mobile-friendly
Many bloggers ignore the necessity of making their websites mobile-friendly, losing many potential visitors and leads. To avoid this scenario, you should optimize your website for mobile devices:
- Finger-friendly design. What visitors usually use when browsing on mobile? Right, their fingers. That’s why you should choose a mobile-friendly WordPress theme, allowing you to make buttons and other visual elements clickable. Make sure that all actionable elements are not smaller than 50px and have enough white space around them.
- Quickly loading images. Since most people browse on mobile literally on the go, they often may have a poor connection. Optimize your images for mobile devices to prevent a snail-like site loading.
- Mobile testing. It’s essential to test your website on an actual mobile device. Google created a mobile-friendly test. You can use this service to find out if your website is properly optimized for mobile devices.
7. Not testing changes
Most WordPress users, not depending on their blogging experience, often edit their websites on live. This is probably the biggest mistake you can make as a WordPress beginner.
Instead of making changes to the live version of your site, you should test it while it’s still in a staging phase. This is a separate area with a sub-domain that cannot be accessed publicly. Put simply, it is like the admin room. Using it you can test any edits on your site – new features, style changes whatever – before they go live. This way you’ll fix potential mistakes and prevent future ones from happening.
Over to you
Remember that the best way to engage users with your content is to design for the human eye. Using a customer-first approach helps UX significantly and makes it much easier to understand user expectations. With the most common UX pitfalls we’ve mentioned above, we hope you have what it takes to kill it with your first WordPress site design.