Using Wordpress for Web Design: 3 Things You Should Know!

Launched in 2003 to provide easy access to a suite of blogging tools, WordPress quickly became a popular choice for running full-fledged business websites with newly developed Content Management System(CMS) and enhanced personal publishing experience.

Bringing you a variety of customer-friendly features, settings, customizable code and plug-ins to choose from, WordPress also offers a simple yet polished interface similar to the extensively used desktop publishing software. One can easily figure out their way around Wordpress without requiring any technical expertise, or prior experience in web design.

Let's discuss some of the most essential components of a WordPress powered site and how you can use them to your advantage:

1. Themes: The overall appearance and aesthetic of your website should appeal eye of a potential or existing customer, therefore it is very important to pick a theme that not only aligns with your brand image, but is also easy to navigate through. WordPress has a long list of themes available for you to choose from depending on your requirements in terms of colour, text and graphics. To change a theme:

  • Go to your 'Dashboard' and click on 'Appearance'.
  • Select the 'Themes' option from there, under which you will find 'Manage themes'.
  • Click on 'Available Themes'. This will provide you with the screenshots of all the available themes. To see how one of these themes will look on your site, select the 'Preview' option, which will display your site updated with the chosen theme in a separate window. The WordPress Theme Directory will also supply you with the version and specific details corresponding to the theme.
  • In order to update your website with one of these themes, just hover your cursor under the desired theme and click on the 'Activate' button.

It is always a good idea to create a backup of your current theme before applying a new one, in case you want to revert to the old one in the future. A back up also helps when the data on your site gets corrupted or erased due to unavoidable circumstances. WordPress offers a variety of plug-ins that create a back up of your site periodically.

2. Menus: Most users tend to use custom links, pages, tags and categories to make their website more interactive. WordPress allows you to create a navigation menu for all these items, so that they can be presented to your customer in the most accessible way possible. Remember to check if the theme you are working with allows the menu feature. Certain themes come with a default menu feature which can be modified in the following way:

  • Go to the 'Appearance' tab in your 'Dashboard' and click on the 'Create a menu' option.
  • Select 'Add menu items' in the same window, that will lead you to a list of themes, links, tags, posts, pages, categories, post types, taxonomies and more, that you can add to your customized navigation menu.
  • By clicking on 'Rearranging,configuring and Deleting Menu Items', you can update the details of the menu according to your requirements.

3. Posts: Posts are basically the entries you create on your website that include text, graphics, illustrations, video files and precisely everything else that you want your customers to see. Arranged in reverse chronological order, there isn't a predefined limit on the number of posts you can make on your website. You can often add a comments section to your posts, allowing visitors to leave their views, opinions, suggestions and feedback about the content. Here's how you can create your first post on WordPress:

  • On the 'Administration Panel', select the 'Posts' tab.
  • Click on the 'Add New' option. In the window that opens, type whatever you want to display. Select a category, add tags, attach image files and include other features from the selections below the post.
  • When you're done, click on 'Publish' to see your first post up on your site.

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