11 Simple Tips To Improve Your WordPress Template
Does your website look same as any other WordPress website? Is your website good to the eyes of your users? Are you really getting returns from your business, that you thought of? To grow your business, it is necessary to turn your visitors in to customers. Good user experience plays a key role in this.
We have come up with some important points to enhance your website performance and to encourage people to return to your site again and again.
1. Use Featured Images:
It is the most effective way to make your theme visually more appealing. Apart from beautifying the page, it represents the content, mood and theme of a post or page. You can cleverly play with it, its size to make impact on your visitors.
Featured images also allow for advanced customization options, such as to display custom header images for your specific posts and pages. In addition to this, you can also set thumbnails for special features of your theme.
2. Use Custom Page Templates And Layouts:
Page templates and layouts in WordPress are powerful tools to add variation in your page structure and highly customized functionality to your website.
In addition to adding new features, page templates provide you leisure to deviate from your site’s monotonous structure by adding featured image in any part of the theme, you desire. It is always recommended to use page templates, if your theme allows you to.
Else, follow some simple instruction from WordPress codex and create your own page templates. Short codes can be also used to change some of the basic layouts. Plugins such as Easy Columns plugin can be used to create grid system or magazine style columns for your pages.
3. Avoid Using Social Media Buttons And Widgets:
Social media has become the most popular way to connect to the people now a days, which is why social media sharing buttons are so prominent on website designs. Official sharing buttons denote the number of share a page has, that is why they are so popular.
Unfortunately, they increase loading time of a website immensely due to the calls they make to external services. Use of simple text links or locally stored media images can reduce your page size up to 1 megabyte.
4. Use Responsive Design:
Today, with growing trend of smart phone, tablets and ipads, mobile users have become one of the major parts of your WordPress website traffic. Hence, it is very important that your website adapts to multiple screen resolutions.
If your website is not responsive, one of your mobile visitors may feel inconvenient to use it and won’t land up on your site again, which will be in favor of your competitor.
5. Image Optimization For Website:
It is very well known that images improve visual effect of the page and helps your article to be shared more on the social networks. But the sad part is that they take lot of your storage, increasing the page loading time of your site.
Hence, the best practice is to optimize the images for web. Optimization helps to reduce page loading time by almost 80% as it removes all necessary data from images.
Plugins like WPSmush.it and resizing of image can be used for the same, but are not so effective. Photo editors like Photoshop also help you to optimize images by providing ‘Save for Web’ option.
90% of a web page is graphics’ dependent, therefore image optimization is very important for smooth running of your website.
6. Choose Your Advertisement Wisely:
Advertisements are undoubtedly important for a website to survive, but they also decrease speed of your website. Adding advertisement from third party increases page loading time due to the call they make to external servers. Hence, it is necessary to maintain a proper balance between income and speed.
The most effective way to promote the product on your site is to link directly to the page using an image which has been optimized. Using text link instead, would be a better option.
If all other areas of your website are optimized, few advertisements won’t cause much damage.
8. Keep Your WordPress Installation Updated:
Keeping WordPress updated is very necessary. It not only fixes bugs of older versions, but it also enhances the performance of your WordPress. Time to time updates are available for WordPress, which should be done without any delay. Same goes with its plugins.
9. Reduce The Number Of Plugins:
WordPress allows us to use innumerous plugins, which is one of the great things about it. But large number of plugins can slow down your website and can even cause it to crash.
The only solution to it, is to add absolutely the one, which is needed and delete the rest. Keeping your plugins updated also helps.
10. Set Your Own Permalinks:
From SEO point of view, using the default setting of the permalink is not so efficient. Switching the setting to (/%postname%/) is the preferred one.
11. Set Easy And Obvious Navigation
If you want your visitors to explore your website, navigation through it should be effortless. The end users should be provided with one or more navigational elements such as:
- A navigation bar (essential)
- A categories list in your sidebar
- A search box
- An Archives page
- Navigation in footer
WordPress provides powerful Custom Menu feature (Appearance>Menu).