According to web credibility research from Stanford, 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. Web design might be the number 1 factor in a sale that you have full control over. And the fact is in my experience small businesses have the worse websites of them all (ugly, generic content, missing information like a contact email).
With first impressions, trust and credibility all on the line, I recommend you get a great website design giving yourself a leg up over the competition.
Most common mistakes in web design
- Untrust worthy
- Poor converting
- Hard to edit
Luckily WordPress has a thriving community of designers who either do custom work or package there work in an affordable version called a theme. And a great theme will help you avoid the most common pitfalls. Follow the steps below to get a great performing, great looking and great to work with website.
Estimated time: Complete these steps in as little as 30 minutes if you go with a pre-made theme.
1) Get a WordPress Theme
After hosting and a fresh WordPress install, you’ll want a nice theme/design. Here are my top 4 choices for responsive websites or in other words websites that behave awesome even on different mobile devices. Now over half of all searches are on a mobile device. And half of all smart phone searches have some sort of intent to buy local. And with less then 25% of small businesses having a mobile responsive website, you’ll have a huge leg up.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking all WordPress themes are alike. One thing is true, most look good but once you start working with a theme you’ll find out fast if you choose wisely. They can be extremely easy to work with and customize or near impossible to make it look like the live site demo/brochure. And definitely they are not all responsible/mobile friendly. Here are my top three suggestions.
- Small Biz Theme from Expand 2 Web. No one has an out of the box theme with more thought for small business and no one has an optional forum with better support. (Starts at $47 when you pay for 1 month of forum/training. Or buy it for 1 flat rate of $97)
- Or go for a custom theme by choosing BartonSEO, Holst Web Services or Google custom WordPress theme design. – This option is best if you have a lot of money, time and are very particular about how you want things.
- And for the money concise you can always Google “responsive WordPress themes”. – But you have been warned what to look for.
1a)Downloading the SmallBiz Theme
Depending on if you just purchased the theme or signed up for the forum locating and downloading the SmallBiz Theme will be different. Follow the email instructions to gain access to the theme and download it. You’ll know you did it correctly when you have a .zip file on your computer.
2) Installing the SmallBiz Theme
Now that you have the default WordPress installed and the SmallBiz Theme, you can activate it on your website. Here is a video Don put together on how to install the theme. It’s a bit old but the steps are the same even if you choose a different theme.
Log into your WordPress site, should be your website.com/wp-admin > Appearance > Themes > Install Themes > Upload > Select your .zip of the theme > Install > Activate
3) Basic Setup of the SmallBiz Theme
Their are so many different needs, levels of understanding and options that the SmallBiz Theme can help you with. To help you I’ve included a broad overview of the theme by Don, this link to the user guide, and another video done by me walking you through the setup we choose.
A personal walk through of how we choose to set up the website:
Before and After – 0:25
> Getting Started – 0:48
> Homepage Layouts – 3:06
> Company Logo – 3:35
> Color & Font Family Options… – 4:55
> Homepage Text & Images | Business hours… – 6:12
> SEO… – 6:50
> Widgets – 7:30
> Menu – 14:00
Next up in the guide is Researching Keywords – Picking the right pages
[Credits to people and posts]———–