Let’s get the facts right: This is Responsive Design and User Experience
Ok, in case you haven’t read any of my past articles on responsive web-design , let me explain this phenomenon again: Given more people around the globe use their mobile devices (whether phones, tablets and everything in between) to access the internet than desktop computers, ideally, your website must have the ability to show it’s content regardless of which screen size it is displayed in.
Before we get deeper into this ‘adaptability’ or ‘responsiveness’ of a website, lets talk about user experience, or UX as it is called now a days.
Have you ever noticed the pleasure you get when you go to a website and all the information is clearly presented to you? You also notice the design is not only pleasant to the eyes but it also directs you towards the most important bits of data. Even more, the navigation of the entire website is so easy and intuitive you don’t even have to think about what to do next, you just know! Well, all of these factors are part of what is known as a good user experience, and you should remember this:
Google LOVES when you provide a good user experience for your visitors, so much so, that not only will it reward you when you achieve this, it will also punish you when you fail to do it correctly.
How are responsive webs-design, a good User Experience and Google’s new update related you ask? Well, it all kinda makes sense, it goes like this:
- More people are now using their phones to access Google than actual computers,
- Google cares the most about providing a great user experience,
- Responsive Web-design just happens to be the best way to provide the greatest user experience.
What does it all mean? Your website better be responsive by the 21st of April or Google will drop you from their search queries for failing to provide Google’s users with the best UX possible, even after Google itself told you to do so! Shame on your really…
If Google is Goliath, WordPress is like a 50 caliber automatic riffle…
I know it sounds slightly harsh on Big G’s part, but in all fairness it is not all bad news. Luckily for you, your business and every other entrepreneur out-there who is doubting what to do next, fear not, because it has never been so easily to create a fully responsive, functional and beautifully designed website than now. Let me introduce to your your new best friend, WordPress:
What is WordPress exactly?
I’m almost 100% your have heard of this amazing tool before, whether you read any of my past ravings about the wonders of WordPress Design or came across it’s name while surfing some of the most popular websites on the web ,one fact remains: With almost 20% of all websites on the internet created on it, WordPress has indisputably become the top platform for online businesses.
“In a nutshell WordPress is an entire Content Management Systems that allows developers to publish content online as-well as to create increasingly more complex websites.”
The power of WordPress resides on it’s huge community, because the software its free, millions of people collaborate on the daily basis improving and making WordPress ever more useful and powerful. Now a days, thanks to this ever growing and active community, you can find themes for pretty much any website.
Themes are specifically customized WordPress sites that you can install with a single click, there are thousands upon thousands of these themes catering to an impressively huge number of business, meaning that regardless of your business, chances are there are a number of themes already built for the exact need you and your business have. The possibilities are indeed almost limitless.
Choosing a professional theme
I have already takes the time to explain how themes make WordPress such a powerful tool. When so many professional designers and programmers have spent so many hours improving and perfecting themes, I have also made a list of my favorite WordPress themes I use when working at Voova Digital or when constructing my personal projects. Which should provide you with enough background information to start understanding the power of WordPress.
For this post however, I wanted to give slightly more specific advice for businesses, so let’s choose some of the best themes for particular types of websites:
- E-commerce Website: I personally would recommend Legenda Theme because of it’s simplicity and great compatibility with WooCommerce (the most powerful e-commerce plug in that will turn any site into a powerful online shop). It also helps Legenda comes with a range of beautifully designed pages layouts, which can be installed with a simple click. With a theme this beautiful and functional you’ll be selling your products world wide in no time
- Creative agency/ personal portfolio website: I would definitely use Salient Theme for something like this. This theme is one of the most beautifully designed themes I have ever seen, it’s quite possibly my favorite one and I try to use it every chance I get. The visual composer works very well allowing you to build any page you want without using any code. It also comes with very nice template pages and a single page portfolio which is truly stunning, Highly recommendable theme.
- Tour Operator/ Travel Guide: If you are thinking of creating a site for this type of business, I really encourage you to try this powerful theme called Tour Operator. It might seem simple at first, but what sets it apart is it’s diverse functionality: You can add locations as portfolio items and sell full custom tours, you can add individual hotels, restaurants and other properties and sell them separately, you can even set up a booking system and carry online bookings directly from the site (and you can get payed on it!). It might not be the easiest of themes to use as it relies a lot on short-codes (you need basic knowledge of coding and WordPress structure) but it is still an amazingly powerful theme that allows you to set up a working tour operator business without any costs really (other than the $60 it costs)
- Event and Music Organizer Website: I just recently found about this amazing theme called Clubix while building an events website for a friend of mine. It proved to be very pleasing to the eyes and packed full with amazing functionality: From an events calendar, to a shop where you can sell CDs, downloadable content and pretty much any product you wish to sell. It also comes with few template options allowing you to create a website without too much effort. It is an amazing option for people looking to create event promotion websites, music related websites or a website for an entertainment venue.
- Remember that if you haven’t found something that can be used for your particular business you can always head to themeforest.com and search their huge data base of professional themes (do please purchase professional payed ones, free versions tend to bring a lot more issues than you want)
Knowing where to learn to harness WordPress power
Ok, nobody is certainly perfect so in all likability you will come across more than one issue, but that’s normal! I been using this system for 3 years now and I too find myself going to these resources for help. You just need to know where is the best place to find the answers you need, here’s what I tend to do:
- The theme’s support forums: You will notice that on each theme’s web-page there is an extra tab called support. Here you can submit any question your might have and with in a day or two the developers of the theme will be there to assist you. The advantage if this options is that you gain access to the people that actually built the theme i.e nobody knows it better than they do.
- Download a Lynda’s video tutorial: I have purchased many of Lynda’s video tutorials. Not only they are extremely extensive, you can find a tutorial for all skill levels and they are constantly been kept up to date too! Certainly worth your time and money.
Getting more help from professionals
I won’t lie to you, yes WordPress is certainly the easiest way to produce a professional looking responsive website, but like everything in life, it does require time and effort before you can produce something of high quality. I’m also aware you provably are a busy entrepreneur with a tight schedule, but again, there are solutions for that!
If WordPress is easy and powerful enough to allow people who don’t have a lot of experience with it make complex websites, what do you think an experienced WordPress developer can do? I tell you from experience here, the power this platform provides to those who understand the basics of HTML, CSS and PHP code is immense. Our international team at Voova Digital can customize any WordPress theme to fit your particular needs, regardless of what they are, and we can do it fast and at a great price too. Just contact us with your project ideas, we’ll do the rest!
Well you know what they say about teaching a man to fish, some people rather spend their money to make a website but learn in the process. Web Courses Bangkok (which also happens to be the place where I learn to code and develop in WordPress) has come up with a 1 on 1 course called built it with us , where you get to sit right next to your teacher and build your website together! I kind of wish they would have developed this course while I was studying there, I seen some of the results people get out of this 1 to 1 type of class and they are truly amazing! Do give it a try if you are a hands on type of person!
As you can see Google is not giving us many choices regarding mobile friendly sites, if your site is not responsive you are bound to fail in the upcoming months. That said, the fact that tools like WordPress allows us to build extremely powerful and dynamic sites without the necessity of knowing code is also a very promising reality.
Whether you want to learn to do it yourself (I would personally recommend you do get some first hand experience using this amazing tool) or hire a web-designer/ design agency to do the work for you, WordPress is the fastest, easiest way of escaping Google’s wrath this April 21st when it finally rolls out it’s mobile friendly update. Hope you , and your business, are ready for the change. Let us know if you need some extra help