This is the first and most important aspect of your website; if it looks boring and the same as every other website, then it usually is.
Most sites use a black font on a white background. There are reasons for that, but in terms of attracting and retaining visitors it does not work. You need to show your commitment by investing at least time into your site design.
The WordPress 2010 and 2011 default themes are pretty good, but there are lots of sites using variations on those two themes.
At the very least you need to find an attractive free theme and install that. Wait until you have your categories and pages written, along with a few posts before you spend time choosing a theme.
Buying a Theme
I have bought theme packages from three different companies and paid someone to modify one of those themes for me. All told I have spent $200 on themes, none of which can be used out of the box and all of which require me to understand CSS and Java before I could modify them.
I recently bought one theme that allows me to modify it myself just by changing a series of drop downs. This theme is $89 for one site and $177 for unlimited sites. If I had bought it two years ago I would have saved the $300 I have spent trying to find a theme that does it all for me.
If you want to be able to personalise your site yourself, even without any technical knowledge whatsoever, then Thesis is your best option. Check out this page to see exactly what you can change and how to change it.
This site uses Thesis and it took me only a couple of hours as a first-timer to change it from a default black on white, 4 column arrangement with a featured image to its current stylish appearance.
- You need to have superlative posts that offer a unique point of view or information
- You need to write with your target readers in mind at all times
- Be different; if you think the Emporer has no clothes then say so
- Use images in every post
- Use diagrams and flowcharts – Any post can be turned into an infographic
- Make it easy for your users to spread the word about your site, install a social site plugin
- Interlink your posts
. . .
Over to You . . .
What is the most boring site you have ever come across?
Tell us about any well-designed sites you use
Does being different work for you?
Written by Phil Turner, an ex-teacher from Ireland. Phil believes that to succeed in anything you have to help others and share your own knowledge. He makes a living mostly by writing on his own sites, which include HowToMakeExtraMoneyWriting.com and 21CWoman.com.
- The Best WordPress Theme (infobarrel.com)