Category Archives: Visual Art and Design

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Reasons to Choose WordPress for Your Blogging Platform

WordPress has become the de-facto standard for blogging. While there are more than a dozen different blogging platform from which to choose, an overwhelming majority of bloggers prefer WordPress. In fact, some estimates suggest there to be more than 74 million WordPress blogs and sites online.

So, why do so many bloggers prefer WordPress over the likes of Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, Tumblr, and similar platforms?

WordPress Is Free

Yep, WordPress — both the hosted and self-hosted version — is free to download and use with no strings attached. This is in stark contrast to many other blogging platforms, some of which charge monthly or yearly subscription fees to use. If you’re looking for an inexpensive solution for your blogging needs, check out WordPress.

Installation Is Quick and Easy

Setting up a blogging platform on a new domain may sound like a difficult and daunting task. After all, you must create a new database and connect it to your blog. With WordPress, though, installation is quick and easy. It’s so easy, in fact, that just about anyone can set up a new WordPress site in just 5 minutes or less. Furthermore, many server control panels come with pre-installed scripts that allow users to set up new WordPress installations in just a single click. Setting up a new blog or website doesn’t get any easier than this!

WYSIWYG and Code Editor

WordPress offers both a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) and code editor. If you want to embed media into a post or page, you can do with the code editor. But if you simply want to publish an article or blog post, you can use the standard WYSIWYG editor. The ability to switch between the two editors is a huge plus that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Plugins, Plugins, Plugins!

Arguably, one of the greatest benefits of using WordPress is the vast array of plugins it offers. A plugin is essentially an optional file or group of files that is intended to add new functionality to a WordPress site or modify an existing feature. Plugins can perform a wide range of tasks, such as automatically creating an XML sitemap file, enabling browser caching, filtering spam comments, and removing duplicate content. Rather than hard-coding these features directly into your blog, just download and activate the appropriate plugin!

Easily Change Your Blog’s Design

With WordPress, you can change your blog’s design with the click of a button. WordPress supports interchangeable templates known as themes. If you want to use a new color scheme and layout, for instance, just find and activate a new theme. Within seconds, you’ll have a brand new design for your blog. Keep in mind, however, that you may have to update your navigation menus and links after switching to a new theme.

Have any other blogging tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!

Things To Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme

web-design-pitfallsOne of the perks of using WordPress as your content management system (CMS) is the ability to change your site’s design with the click of button. Rather than building a new template from scratch, you can simply download and active a “theme.” There are literally tens of thousands of different WordPress themes available, ranging in all styles, colors and designs. But with such an enormous selection, how do you know which one to choose?

Frequency of Updates

Arguably, one of the most important factors that should influence your decision is how often the theme is updated. Being that WordPress is updated several times a month, themes and plugins must also be updated to function and remain secure. If a developer fails to update his or her theme, users may notice broken elements. Make sure your site’s theme is supported by an active developer who constantly releases new updates.

WordPress Theme Library

Themes can be downloaded from the official WordPress theme library or a third-party website/source. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great themes available on third-party websites, but you have to use caution when downloading them. Since they aren’t hosted directly on the WordPress.org website, there’s a greater risk for the files containing viruses or malware. Therefore, it’s recommended that beginners stick with themes from the official WordPress theme library.

Terms of Use

Pay close attention to the terms of use when choosing a theme for your website.  Some themes are free to use for both personal and commercial purposes, but others may only be used for commercial websites. If a theme says “non-commercial,” you cannot use it on sites that are intended to earn money. Furthermore, many themes have licensing restrictions, meaning you can only use them on X amount of websites. Carefully read through the theme’s terms of use to ensure it’s suitable for your needs.

Responsive or Non-Responsive?

With Google emphasizing the importance of maintaining mobile-friendly websites, it’s a good idea to choose a Responsive theme. Responsive themes use a combination of CSS3 media queries and proportion-based grids to create a universal layout that loads and functions the same, regardless of which device the visitor is using to access your website.

Have any other tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!

Make Your Blog ‘Trustworthy’ With These Signals

checkmark1Does your blog properly utilize trust signals? If visitors feel that your blog isn’t trustworthy, they’ll likely exit out and head over to one of your competitors (never a good thing!). In order to keep your blog’s visitors actively engaged, you must show them you are trustworthy and credible. So, how exactly are you supposed to accomplish this?

About Us Page

Every blog should have an ‘About Us’ page set up for visitors to learn more about their operations. Whether your blog is strictly informational, or if it sells a product or service, adding an About Us page instills trust and confidence among your visitors. They’ll be able to visit this page to find out what your blog is about, how you got started, and why you’re the best in the business.

Of course, contact information is another critical trust signal that bloggers shouldn’t overlook. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to add a phone number and physical street address to your blog, but you should add your email address so visitors can contact you. Maintaining a sense of transparency shows visitors that you’re trustworthy and not trying to run a scam.

Here’ s a tip: use an email address that’s attached to your blog’s domain address rather than a free service like Yahoo Mail or GMail. Doing so looks more professional and will have a stronger impact on visitors’ confidence in your blog. Many domain hosting services will provide you with an email address tied to the domain name.

Design / Layout

Your blog’s design and overall layout may also impact visitors’ opinion regarding whether or not your site is trustworthy. Ever find yourself searching for a product online only to stumble across an e-commerce website with a poor, amateurish-looking design? Sure, you have! Chances are you took your business elsewhere rather than rolling the dice on a site with a poor design.

Whether you’re using WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger or any other blogging platform, make sure you take the time to customize your blog’s design appropriately. WordPress allows for interchangeable ‘themes’ to instantly modify your blog’s appearance. If you’re using WordPress, stick with a premium theme to instill greater trust in your visitors rather than one of the hundreds of free themes. Visitors will take notice of your blog’s theme, viewing it with greater authority and trust than before.

Other Trust Factors For Blogs:

  • Website speed
  • Testimonials
  • Function (fix broken links)
  • Seals and logos

What are your thoughts on trust signals? Let us know in the comments section below!