Years ago, most businesses believed that simply having a fancy website was half the battle. But with so many websites out there, just having a website for your business is no longer enough. And in order to effectively take your business to market and to discerning consumers, you need to invest in a high-quality, effective web design. Remember, a perfect website is one that can successfully take the elements of your business and present those elements to the world in a way that’s even more awesome.
In fact, statistics revealed by ironpaper.com reveal some interesting facts to highlight the benefits of effective web design for businesses. These stats highlight that:
- 48% people decide the credibility of a business on the basis of its website design.
- 94% people mistrust or reject a website on the basis of the web design.
- 40% people cross out a website and move away to different sites if the loading time exceeds 3 seconds.
- 47% people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
Here’s another set of statistics culled from sites such as NN Group, Comscore, Econsultancy and ironpaper.com that make it easy to understand why you’ve got to get a great website in order to hold the attention of your target audience.
- 44% of mobile users find it difficult to navigate through web pages and 6% find it difficult to interact with it.
- 62% companies that designed their website(s) for mobile platforms and 64% of companies that designed their website (s) for tablets registered a boost in their sales.
- Colors increase web recognition by 80%. Sites with dark color schemes registered growth by 2%, whereas sites with lighter color schemes experienced 1.3% growth.
- 70% people look at lists with bullet points and 55% look at lists without bullet points.
- 67% of shoppers prefer buying from websites that are compatible with mobile devices.
- 27% sites used HTML5 and accounted for 49% of page views.
After a careful look at these stats, you understand why you need a great website to make your presence felt in the ever-so competitive online market. But getting a website that can capture attention and interest from your audience may prove to be too expensive. So what do you do when you don’t have oodles of money for such expensive website design? Fortunately, you’ve got WordPress (like our journal here)!
WordPress is open source and integrates well with search and social marketing. It remains the most sought after tool to create a creative and professional website without having to spend an arm and a leg. A right choice of WordPress website can give you head start and advantage over your competitors. Illuminea.com reveals that more and more startups are now whole-heartedly embracing WordPress to get their websites off-the-ground. In case you think you’re good without a wordPress website, here are just 5 statistics culled from sites such as Expandedramblings.com, TorqueMag and Managewp.com that will make you rethink this assumption:
- 74.6 million websites depend on WordPress. Around 23% of sites globally use WordPress.
- 409 million people view WordPress blogs daily and WordPress related keywords score 37 million searches per month.
- The combined traffic is 14.7 billion monthly page views and it receives 5.5 million comments per month.
- 22% of new U.S. registered domains run on WordPress.
- WordPress is most popular with businesses, least popular with news sites.
It clearly wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that WordPress is a dream come true for startups that yearn for a killer first impression. But here, it begs a question whether coming up with a unique, creative and useful WordPress website is sufficient to make your business shine on the Internet. The answer is no, what’s a WordPress website without that perfect theme?
What is a WordPress theme?
A WordPress theme is all about producing a unifying weblog design. According to codex.WordPress.org:
A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. Themes may include customized template files, image files (*.jpg,*.gif), style sheets (*.css), custom Pages, as well as any necessary code files.
Why is it important for startups?
Startups can benefit immensely from WordPress themes. With sassy designs and impressive headers, WordPress themes provide a sleek and smooth look and feel to the otherwise dull looking website. This allows for creating a respectful and solid image of your website and business, and makes a positive impression on your consumers and prospects. Themes help you project confidence, credibility and give your clients an ability to understand your business easily. This eventually helps you achieve your business goals rather easily.
If you’re a startup, you wouldn’t disagree that there’s just one chance for creating that first impression. And if you aren’t able to live up to your visitors’ expectation, there’ll be no chance for a “do over”. This means if your site isn’t interesting and engaging, your visitors will migrate to your competitors’ sites and you will lose potential customers. Unconsciously, chances are that you are giving away the business to your competitors and you don’t even know about it.
Therefore, it makes sense to invest a little time, money and energy in a procuring a high-quality, effective web design. But finding a perfect WordPress site design that can summon interest from your target audience is too difficult a task. However, with the growing number of online crowdsourcing platforms, it’s not entirely impossible.
How to ensure that you are choosing a properly coded theme?
Now, when you’re planning to get a theme for your WordPress theme, it makes sense to ensure that you choose a properly coded theme. And to do so, you need to check if the theme code is valid or not. You may use the Markup Validation Service by W3C in order to do this.
Simply enter the URL of the site where you plan to use the theme you like. Check the live demo site to find out if the selected theme is coded properly or not. Below is a snapshot of the result you will get if your intended theme is valid and good to be used:
Most WordPress themes are either free or cost very little! There are umpteen sites that maintain extensive catalogue of WordPress themes, from where you can browse, pick and customize themes that fits your bill.
Selecting an effective business WordPress theme
Right selection of WordPress theme is extremely crucial to the success of your business website. Therefore, it is important to carefully heed these three vital points when picking up a WordPress theme for your business wordPress website:
- Find out if your intended theme makes sense to your target audience or not. Do not simply select a theme if it looks appealing to you. Remember, your personal design choice doesn’t matter much to your target audience and it is vital to understand which theme will make navigation and usability easy for your target customers.
- Take time to learn about your market and customers. This way, you will come to know exactly what your audience would love to see in your site. Though this exercise may be a little time consuming, it will help you select a perfect theme for your website. To know more about your audience, use Google Analytics, Keyword Planner and heat mapping tools such as CrazyEgg and ClickTale.
- You must clearly chalk out your business goals in order to better understand which WordPress theme would suit the mood and objective of your business in the long run. Note that not all the themes are created to meet all business goals.
No matter which WordPress theme you choose for your business, make sure that the selected theme adds value to your business. Analyze the business message that you want your audiences to perceive and find out what your consumers’ expectations are. Being prepared ahead of time helps you understand who you’re going to attract online, what you should and shouldn’t add in your WordPress theme to make that good first impression.
This is a guest post by Saumya Raghav. Saumya is an author, editor, ghost writer, content coach and columnist for Designhill, the fastest growing custom design crowdsourcing marketplace. He has authored and edited several articles, blogs, columns, case studies and research papers on graphic designs, e-commerce, startups, digital marketing, SEO techniques, etc.