Top 3 WordPress Design Tips 2018 – Website Design Dublin

Top 3 Tips on WordPress Design – Website Design Dublin

Today we asked 16 Expert WordPress designers, what their Top 3 WordPress design Tips are.

(Website Design Dublin)

When starting out on WordPress, there are so many customization options, and themes, and plugins and… to chose from that it might be a bit daunting.

Or… It might be the opposite, there is so much to chose from that you don’t know where to start and you want to try them all!

So we decided it might be beneficial if we took a little bit of the guess work out of this for you, by reaching out to industry experts that have been through them all, and to get some best practices to adhere to when thinking about WordPress Design.

Here we go…

Thor - WordPress Design Tips

This article is brought to you by DublinRUSH


(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Vladimir Gendelman
CEO and Founder,

1. Avoid busy, cluttered designs. If you try to cram a lot of different elements together, you’ll just confuse people. Identify the most important elements on a page and use visual hierarchy (including white space) to draw extra attention to those things.

2. Include social proof. Whether that means a comment section or highlighting testimonials from clients, if you can find some way to show users that their peers are engaging with and enjoying the things you offer, you’ll have an easier time earning their trust.

3. Always use responsive design. There’s simply no excuse for ignoring this anymore; if your site isn’t responsive, you’ll alienate anyone who browses from a mobile device.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Damon Burton

1 – Don’t overthink it. I’ve seen the most beautiful designs perform horribly and the most simplistic, boring designs perform amazing. Keep it simple.

2 – Design for responsiveness. I say responsiveness vs mobile intentionally. Yes, mobile is the dominant way to search now, but that doesn’t mean the other 50% of desktop searches are now worthless. Design for both desktop and mobile.

3 – Clearly state your value propositions. What good is your website if you don’t tell visitors why you’re the best? Convey a message that connects with your visitors’ emotions.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Sam Crawford
The Man Blueprint,

1. Find something visual! Pick a theme that is heavy on visual features
such as ‘Apostrophe 2’ which is a grid view theme that neatly organises
your posts so readers aren’t confused where your newest content is.

2. Get a theme that’s easy to customise and shows the dates of posts!
Having a theme that displays the date of each post lets readers see how
frequently you post – this is also good for building trust in readers.
Having a theme that’s easily customisable lets you address niggling issues
easily and doesn’t consume too much of your time that could be spent
writing A-grade content.

3. Include a contact page! There’s nothing more frustrating than being on a
great site and not being able to get in contact with the owner. Make sure
you have a contact page and it’s clearly set out – you never know who might
get in touch…

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Aaron Rains

1. If you are starting fresh with a new redesign and you want to rank
higher first and most important is to make sure that you have quality
content above the fold. Google put a lot of weight on this content when
crawling your website page.

2. Link page in your top navigation is vital. If you want a page to rank in
Google search queries make sure you link that page in your website’s top
navigation, don’t create support pages and direct links back to your main
category pages. You are reducing your crawl rate and the authority of that

3. Stay away from big background images. If you plan to have a slider on
top of your website make sure Google can crawl
the picture for indexation or you’ll have a big white space on top of your
site reducing your page authority.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Daniel Ali
Vice President / Project Manager, 

I use WordPress daily, for nearly all of my clients.  I am constantly
designing new sites and making edits on existing sites, so making my
workflow with WordPress more efficient is absolutely essential.  Here
are my tips as a professional designer, for someone that is new to

1. Themes, themes, themes.  Visit, this site will have
basically everything you need.  Some of the themes they sell are easier
to use than Wix (they have visual builders like Visual Composer or
Muffin Builder), but still provide the flexibility and benefits of
WordPress.  Most the time they even come with prebuilt templates that
you can just swap your info into.  Its that easy.

2. Plugins are your best friend, and not only for javascript
functionality. Many plugins add great design bonuses, and will save you
ton of time.  Need a responsive pricing table that is interactive and
looks great? There’s multiple plugins for that, all with their own great
designs and benefits.

3. Learn how to use to make simple and great looking graphics,
export them to your desktop, upload them to your site. Within 30 minutes
you will have professional looking graphics at no cost at all, and your
clients will be blown away.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Beecher Bowers
Owner, Shenandoah Websites

1. Don’t keep dangling plugins around. If you need them, use them. If
you don’t, remove them! Extra plugins mean additional page bloat and more
opportunities for future security holes.

2. Appropriately size your images. There is no reason to use an image
resolution larger than will be displayed on your visitor’s screen. It will
decrease the time it takes for your page to load and enhance your
visitor’s experience.

3. Take caution when using free plugins for commercial projects. Unless
there’s a large user base, there is a good chance the plugin will go
months or even years without an update and support may be slim, if it’s
even available.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Usman Moses
Legendbaze Media

1. Great Images
Images will make or break the appearance of your site.
Poor image choice is the most common mistake I
encounter in new websites. If you plan to use images,
don’t cheap out — it will reflect poorly on your brand.
Good images are going to cost you a few bucks. Great
images are going to cost you more than a few bucks.
If you don’t have the budget for quality photography,
there are a few options for finding good free imagery.

Paid Photo Resources — Good, affordable images.
They also offer one free image per week. — Similar to iStock in terms
of pricing and quality. — Similar to iStock in terms of
pricing, maybe slightly higher quality. They also
have great artwork and fonts available. — Cream of the crop editorial
images. They are fantastic. They are not cheap.

Free Photo Resources
Unsplash – Free high quality photography, our
personal favorite.
Use Instagram — A great way to get your own
good looking images for free.
Flickr Creative Commons — You can find great
images here. The usage conditions vary, but you
generally need to give credit to the photographer.
stock.xchng — An excellent free resource. You
may have to do some digging on the site for
quality images.
Wikipedia Commons — You’re free to use any
images or media on Wikipedia.
Ask permission — It doesn’t hurt to ask your
favorite photographers. You’ll have more luck with
this if you provide credit and have site traffic.

2. Font Choices
Once upon a time, in my youth, I thought Papyrus was
a great font. Then I became a designer, and realized
it’s not. Making great font choices is very important to
the design, professionalism and above all else, the
legibility of your site. If you want people to read your
content — make it easy for them.
When in doubt, use Helvetica, Arial or Georgia. They
are widely recognized as legible fonts online that have
stood the test of time. If you’re not a professional
designer, and a font looks “ boring “, that’s probably the
easiest way to recognize it as being a good font.
Seen a great font, but don’t know what it is? Try
WhatTheFont from MyFonts.

Using fonts on the web isn’t like choosing a font in
Microsoft Word. By default, there are only a handful of
core fonts that can be viewed universally on the web.

This problem has haunted web typography for years.
Very difficult workarounds evolved using images,
Flash or Cufon. It wasn’t until relatively recently that
great solutions began to emerge.
Web Font Solutions
Google Fonts — Free and good, most of them
Typekit — Basically a premium version of
Google Fonts, offering high quality fonts on your
site for a price.
Fontdeck — Similar to Typekit, but with
different pricing options.
@font-face — My personal favorite method, but
it requires a little more effort and font ownership.
Font Sources — If you’re looking for a specific
font, you can probably find it here.
exljbris Font Foundry — They have a collection
of free quality fonts. — Veer offers some great fonts for
design. — A huge collection of free fonts.
Use carefully, because most of them are pretty
WordPress Font Plugins
WP Google Fonts — Easily add Google Fonts to
your WordPress site.
Typekit Fonts for WordPress — Keep in mind,
you will be required to register for Typekit.
Fontmeister — A promising font plugin for
managing web fonts from multiple sources.

3. Colors
Unless you are well versed in color theory, getting too
creative with the color scheme on your site may be a
disaster. It might look like a chimpanzee finger
If color isn’t your cup of tea, a great rule of thumb is to
use 2 neutral, contrasting colors (preferably shades of
black and white) with the sparse use of 1 highlight
color throughout your site.

If you’re feeling more ambitious, try implementing a
palette from ColourLovers. Remember to make wise
color choices that match your brand.
We create our themes to provide basic color changing
options for the links, buttons, highlights and
background. We have tried to keep the options
minimal to reduce the risk of a color disaster.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Loretta Oliver
Niche Twitch Blogging and Content Resources,

WordPress makes everything so easy when it comes to design, features,
and layouts that everyone can feel like a professional with their
website maintenance. While helping my clients with their niche
websites I’ve found that it also makes it really easy to over-do
things, which leads to cluttered design and unfocused purpose.

Three quick design tips that any website can make use of…

1. Include the search bar. Many WP themes and frameworks include the
search bar by default, but if yours doesn’t be sure to add it with a
widget. Not only does it make the site more user friendly, the
searches people perform can help guide your content creation plans by
letting you know what your visitors need and want.

2. Minimal widgets in the sidebar. If you’re using a sidebar and not a
full content page, keep the widget use to a minimum. The page will
become cluttered quickly and users will just ignore it if it doesn’t
lead them to a purpose.

3. Choose your color scheme thoughtfully and avoid using the same two
blues that everyone on the internet uses these days. Choose 3 to 5
colors for your design and use them consistently. Tools like and are great for
inspiration and choosing colors that work well together.

Usually I recommend two main colors and one or more accent colors.
Your colors can become branding of sorts, but they can also help guide
people through your content in a few ways. For example, if you have
three accent colors and three levels of membership, or three
categories, or three of anything, you can use a different color for
each of those.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

David Tyler 

I’ve designed every one of my voice over website’s since 1995, at first with HTML and now using WordPress.

Here are my 3 design tips.

1) More people are accessing the web and your website using mobile devices, so make sure your website design is responsive…that it adjusts appropriately no matter the screen size. You could be losing over half of your potential audience if it doesn’t. ( )

2) Understand what people are coming to your website for and make sure THAT is a featured item above the fold on your front page. If you have a catalogue of products and that’s why people come to your website, make sure there’s a big green button easily accessible at the top of your front page that says,Browse Our Catalogue.

3) Keep the user experience in mind and design with plenty of white-space between and around elements. It can be easy to start cramming your pages full of content, especially when considering SEO…but if the user starts feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information on your page, they’re likely to leave for wider open pastures.


(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Rachael Hartman
WordPress designer,

1. Pick a theme that’s highly customizable. This will give you the most
room to make it look the way you want it to look without having to do a lot
of heavy-duty design yourself.

2. Design for mobile. Don’t ever forget to switch views to ensure that
everything looks good. Double-check your user experience on every page.

3. Fully utilize the differences between pages and posts to better suit the
content you’re creating. For instance, highly visual content is better
served as a page. Text heavy pages are better served as posts so that they
can be tagged and the design can be simplified and streamlined.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Mike Friedman

1) Limit the number of plugins you use. Code as much as you can into the
theme and try to avoid overdoing it with plugins. Having too many plugins
on a site can slow it down and cause it to be sluggish. More importantly,
plugins are one of the top ways that hackers get into sites. They must be
kept up to date to avoid vulnerabilities, and unfortunately, not all plugin
designers continue to support their plugins effectively.

2) Work to limit duplicate content. By default, WordPress creates a lot of
duplicate content. Make sure you are using canonical tags and/or
noindexing category, author, and tag pages as well as date archives where

Google is pretty good at figuring a lot of this stuff out, and despite what
you might hear, you will not get penalized. However, you want to make sure
the pages that you intend to have ranking in search engines are indeed the
ones that end up ranking. I have seen cases before where some weird tag
page or author page ends up ranking for a key term. That won’t help

3) Make sure your site design is responsive and lays out properly on all
different sizes of devices. These days people are not just accessing the
internet on their desktop computer. They are using laptops, tablets,
smartphones, and iPods. Before long, they may even end up using their
watches. You want to make sure that visitors to your site can easily
access what they are looking for no matter what type of device they are

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

David Waring
Co-Founder, Fit Small Business

1. Use a great framework like Genesis. This not only gives you a big head
start when designing your site but also standardizes many of the
foundational elements and avoids the bugs that will inevitably come if you
try to build things from the ground up.

2. If you are not a coder but want to still design your own site, check out
Divi. Divi is an inexpensive and super easy to use drag and drop website
builder that works on top of wordpress.

3. Keep things simple and clean. Research shows again and again that
fancy design doesn’t impress anyone but the designer. Users want simple,
clean, and straightforward design that makes the site as easy to use and
fast as possible.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Adam O’Leary
President, Encite Marketing 

1) Be Consistent: When you are designing any site consistency is key.
Users don’t want to see different fonts and text sizes – they want it to
look professional and organized.

2) Be Intentional: These days sites are being transformed to be far more
simplistic and aesthetically pleasing. If your content can’t just be
translated through photos, as most of them cannot, then the messaging you
put on your page should be direct, simple, and purposeful. If it is
extraneous or can be found on a different page, chances are it shouldn’t be
on the homepage.

3) Design Choices: Have you ever heard of Adobe Kuher? You should test
out your website colors on this awesome app! You can ensure that the colors
on your site mesh well and continue the consistency. They have a number of
“color rules” to abide by from triad to complementary. This will help your
audience see the professionalism of your website in addition to adding to
the positive experience they have on the page.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Stephen Gibson
Founder of Vyteo 

I’ve built and managed many WordPress sites over the years. Sometimes it
seems I spend more time updated them than I do adding content to them.

1) WhiteSpace is essential. WordPress makes it easy to tack on any number
of plugins to do any number of wonderful things. These both slow down your
site and drown out your content. Use whitespace to lead the user’s eye to
what’s most important- your content.

2) Use fonts larger than you would like. Designers oftentimes prefer
smaller fonts. Recently I installed HotJar to take screen captures of my
users. I watched the recordings as users would come to my site and enlarge
the font. Don’t make your users do this simply because it looks better.

3) Using a creative 404 page will never get old. This is an opportunity to
do something creative that you aren’t allowed to incorporate into your main
design. Also, make them intelligent 404 pages with suggestions of the
actual page they were looking for based upon the URL they tried to access.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Richard Lowe Jr
Owner and Senior Writer with The Writing King

1. Use color intelligently. It’s tempting to just splatter colors all over
the place. Instead, design your site to use the colors for your brand and
be consistent throughout the site. Use colors to point out things you want
people to see, such as important links or text.

2. Use multimedia creatively. Every article on the blog should include a
mixture of images, videos, infographics, and anything else needed to help
illustrate your points. You don’t need to use all of them for each article.
This will help with engagement from viewers, and you’ll attract different
searches for each type of media.

3. Favor long articles over short ones. Search engines such as Google
prefer articles to be longer than 2,000 words, and that’s the amount of
space generally needed to discuss a topic. Put your important points at the
top for those people who read only a few paragraphs, and get more detailed
later in the article. This will give you lots of room for key words and
phrases, and you’ll be able to include lots of multimedia to spice it up.

(Website Design Dublin) Top 3 WordPress Design Tips by:

Daniel Lambert
President with Plush Republic

As Steve Krug does a great job of explaining in his book, Don’t Make Me
Think A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, the key to success online
is usability. Accordingly, here are my three WordPress website design tips
to improve user experience.

Tip #1 – Intuitive Design 

Design from the mindset of your prospects/visitors. Be clear about what you
offer and where visitors can find the answers to their questions by using
compact layouts. Use the same WordPress page layouts throughout the pages
along a user path to avoid confusion.

Tip #2 – Self-Explanatory Navigation 

The navigation is often overly complicated. Every stakeholders wants a hand
in what should be in the main website navigation. Your navigation options
should reflect what questions and expectations your visitors have when
landing on your site. It is easy to setup multiple navigations in
WordPress, so A/B testing navigation options is a must. Setup a few
variations and always be testing

Tip #3 – Clear CTAs

At the end of the day, you want your visitors to take an action, and if
you’ve done a good job attracting the right traffic, they’ll want your
expertise. Match your CTAs to the copy on your pages. Don’t overly
complicate your pages with multiple conversions points. Create clear
calls-to-action on each page of the user journey that would answer the
questions your visitors would have at that stage. Test these like you are
your navigation.

  • Cheers for the feature!

    One thing I would add now is that if nothing is really cutting it in terms of themes and you’ve been at it for a good few months, maybe consider buying a wordpress theme or going self-hosted if you have the patience.

    Buying a premium theme really took my blog to the next level.


  • Wow!
    Great tips.
    My boy friend is a beginner WordPress designer. He learning WordPress design since 2 months. I think this article will be very much helpful for him.
    I will share this post with him & will recommend him to read this post carefully.

  • Each Expert had their own tips and i see mostly, A responsive web design is mandatory for a website. Error free website and website redirecting, compatible images shows high impact on website speed and design. As there are many tips mentioned in your post,i do follow your tips to make a great website.

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