11 Principles to keep in mind while Designing a Great WordPress Theme
This is a guest post from Claudia Sommerfield see here bio at the bottom of the post.
While creating web pages on WordPress, the assortment of capabilities can make you a proud owner of one of the best designed websites on the Internet. However, if you forget to look into some simple basics, you may find yourself on the receiving end. This makes it extremely vital to remember some vital points while designing a web page on the WordPress platform.
Listed here are certain principles to follow before you design an awesome WordPress theme:
1. Validate your code properly
This is one of the basic principles to follow before designing a WordPress theme. You need to validate your work and ensure proper validation of the code too. HTML, CSS is the other areas to pay attention to where proper validation is concerned. This will be definitely appreciated by a knowledgeable surfer who is on the lookout for great and systematic validation of the WordPress themes.
2. Make your design work across browsers
It is always wise to make your WordPress theme work well in any of the popular browsers. You need to keep in mind the important browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera while preparing your WordPress theme. It is a well known fact that compatibility with popular browsers will fetch you an increasing number of visits across various browser platforms.
3. Comment your code regularly
This is a healthy practice in WordPress theme especially if you have made major modifications to your basic WP theme. This is akin to regularly servicing your code, so that you know what changes you have made along the way from the initial designing of the WordPress theme.
4. Be original
It is always wise to come up with something original if you want to attract visitors to your web pages. Internet surfers are more intelligent than you think and can easily identify a basic WordPress theme that is simply modified to the basics. This makes it unimpressive and the net savvy users may simply ignore your website. With thousands of websites built on the WordPress platform, you cannot expect web surfers to visit your page unless there is something eye catching or unique about your theme.
5. Be prepared for a test run
While formatting your content code, make sure it can handle all the default content of the Wordpress theme without any hassles. This can be achieved by a Test Run that will give an accurate feedback of your newly designed WP theme. If you feel that your design looks awkward in the Test Run then it definitely needs to be given a second look.
6. Make content a top priority
A beautifully designed WordPress theme with no quality content is like an empty vessel that makes more noise. Therefore, it is extremely important to put in some valuable content and quality stuff on your WordPress theme, if you want to run a long race. It is pointless having too many images with hardly any content to match it. Give top priority to the content on your WP.
The latest trend is to make your WP theme widget ready to keep up with the stiff competition amongst good websites. Most of the techno savvy web users love to use widgets and are impressed if you provide them with the same. Widgets have become an important means of cross communication and reference on the Internet and need to be given their place.
8. Customize the 404 page
This is one of the most vital principles to be followed since any bad experience by the user will keep him or her away from further ventures to your website. You should make it a point to always customize the 404 page to improve the user experience. Remember, once bitten, twice shy!
9. Provide Support and quick response
It makes sense to follow user response in order to keep upgrading your themes. For this, you need to provide the user with a quick user response and adequate support. If you respond quickly, chances are that the ser will keep coming back to your page and remain there for a longer time. You can do this by constantly administering your web pages and regularly reviewing them.
10. Customize unimportant pages
To have a good WP theme, you need to customize all the easy pages such as main index templates, search result page, attachment template etc. Make a detailed check list and customize all the easy to forget and unimportant pages for a better user experience. All these pages are always required but remain in the background. However, lack of customizing these pages may result in shoddy work and keep visitors away from your website.
11. Like it yourself
Before finalizing your theme, make a trial run and visit it yourself through any browser to check whether you like it or not. Simply put, unless you like what you have designed, chances are that other users may not like it too. This will give you positive feedback and you can make the necessary changes that are required. Following this principle will definitely help you in bringing out the best in you and give way to an increased web viewership to your WordPress themes.
To design a great and outstanding WordPress theme requires you to follow certain guidelines before you come up with the final theme. This will not only bring out the best in your creativity and innovation, but it will also help in attracting the choosy customers.
About the author: Claudia is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and technology. She recently read an article on nautical theme that attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on facebook themes.