WordPress is the most recognizable content management system (CMS) in the world. And there is a reason for its popularity—flexibility. With up front simplicity for beginners and an open source platform for advanced developers, the WordPress CMS offers a positive user experience (UX) for everyone. Many of us aren’t advanced web developers, but we still want to create a professional looking website.
Never used WordPress before and curious about whether you could create a WordPress site? If you are thinking of building your own website but are a little intimidated, read on to discover some user-friendly WordPress features that make it easy to create a WordPress site of your very own.
When it comes to themes, the WordPress world is your oyster.
(Don’t like oysters? Me neither actually.)
When it comes to themes, there are THOUSANDS of WordPress themes to choose from. Some are free and some cost money. The best thing is there are many attractive and totally free themes available! A theme is basically a pre-designed template that controls the appearance of your site. This is great for those of us who are not graphic design experts because most of the design work is done for you. When you choose Bluehost as your hosting provider, Bluehost takes you directly into WordPress to choose your theme template. Then you just install your theme and start customizing your site!
This is very helpful, because you start with a basic site structure and consistent design already in place. You can then customize the site with color options and fonts to add your own personal touch or to match your branding. WordPress also makes it easy to upload media content like images or videos.
Check out some different premium themes on these sites:
WordPress has your back
Besides the fact that there are thousands of themes to choose from, each WordPress theme includes free support. That may not seem like something to get excited about now, but if your site breaks or if you aren’t sure how to add a feature to your theme, the support definitely comes in handy.
Also, there are a ton of resources online that are completely dedicated to information about the WordPress CMS. Some great resources include:
“There’s a plugin for that.”
This is a quote popular in the WordPress community. And it’s true because WordPress has endless plugin options. A plugin is like an app that enables you to add different features and functions to your site. Some examples include photo galleries, contact forms, or even shopping carts if you want to sell stuff online.
Because there are so many plugin options, the best approach is to think about what you want to do with your site then make a list of things you need to reach your goal. Are you setting up a store? You’ll need an e-commerce plugin like WooCommerce. Looking to grow your email list? Search for an opt-in plugin. How about site SEO? Well, you get the point!
Welcome to command central
And by this, I mean your WordPress dashboard. The dashboard is your home base and provides a central location from which to navigate your site. Keeping in line with the flexibility of the WordPress UX, this dashboard is totally customizable too.
The dashboard is composed of “widgets”. The default widgets for a WordPress dashboard include:
- At-a-glance shows a snapshot of the number of posts, pages, and comments on your site.
- Activity shows all post or blog activity like scheduled posts, recently published posts, and the most recent comments on your posts so you can moderate them.
- QuickDraft allows you to quickly write and save a new draft.
- WordPress News links to the WordPress blog.
- Welcome provides easy access to some basic links you may need when setting up your new site.
Click here for even more dashboard features you should know.
Spread the word.
Is your main goal in launching a website to start a blog? WordPress is great for that. In fact, WordPress originated as a blogging platform then grew into a more advanced CMS. When you take the time to write blog content, you’ll surely want to gain followers and grow your audience. The best way to do this is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Without SEO, your site may get lost in cyberspace. SEO is a little bit more of an advanced concept for newbies as it deals with a bunch of mysterious search algorithms running on Google.
Did I just freak you out by saying the word “algorithms”?
Don’t worry about that. Because when you build a blog with WordPress, the platform is much more SEO friendly than some other blogging platforms. Also…there’s a plugin for that. Once you load your plugins to optimize your SEO, you will begin to see an increase in web traffic.
WordPress also makes it very easy to set custom permalinks, another way to optimize your blog SEO. In the most basic terms, a permalink is the URL of a webpage on your site. Each URL is unique and by default looks like this:
Permalinks are what search engines use to index content. But these default links aren’t very UX friendly because people like to look at page URLs to provide context on what the page is about. Apparently search engines prefer this method too. “Friendlier URLs” are much better. A friendly URL is a URL that uses keywords, making the URL more readable. When you go to Permalink Settings in Settings, WordPress allows you to choose a permalink for your page from five options it generates for you. You simply select the link you prefer and its set!
So instead of something like that picture above you’d get something like this:
WordPress is so feature rich that this post could go on forever. But these are five strong features that make WordPress standout when it comes to user experience. So what do you think? Do you feel better reading this article? What are your favorite UX friendly WordPress features?
Susie Yuill is a freelance copywriter and marketing strategy consultant, specializing in creating product marketing strategy & content that helps technology companies grow product sales and engagement. To learn more about Susie, visit her website at www.stellartechmarketing.