Websites are the lifelines of modern businesses, as they cannot imagine sustenance and growth without an online presence. When it comes to website development, WordPress is among the most popular platforms.
It is simple to use and offers a dashboard with a simplified interface. You can utilize it for creating web pages, customizing designs, and updating content on your website to match the evolving expectations of your audience. Not surprisingly, a major chunk of the online websites run on this incredible content management system.
While WordPress lets developers build exceptional websites without extensive coding, it can get overwhelming for beginners. Even seasoned developers can go wrong with some aspects of development with this seemingly simple platform.
The biggest concern is to balance aesthetics with functionality and business objectives. But you can overcome all these challenges by following the best practices recommended by experts.
Here are the tried and tested recommendations you can rely on.
Prioritize user experience
The primary objective behind building a website is to get visitors and retain them long enough to convert. But it is possible only if you keep the user experience in focus while creating your WordPress website.
Make sure you understand user expectations and integrate them into the design. Ensure that there are no obstacles for visitors as they navigate through the site and reach the end of the conversion funnel.
Consider user research before starting with the development project to have a complete and clear understanding of their expectations and design the site accordingly.
Keep pace with trends
Apart from focusing on UX, make sure your WordPress website’s design follows the latest trends. The online landscape is dynamic, and trends change faster than you expect.
Moreover, the competition in the space is daunting, and users prefer sellers who keep track of their expectations. Not keeping pace with trends means you can miss out on potential customers.
Even if visitors land on your website, they may not convert if the design is not engaging enough. Visual engagement is as much about following design trends as it is about working on aesthetics. Align the design with the current trends, and realign again as they evolve.
Focus on your personal productivity
WordPress development best practices are not just about following the design rules. It is also about focusing on your personal productivity as a developer. Opt for the best device that has the right features. For example, Mac makes a great option for WordPress developers.
Picking the right tools and apps is also crucial for productivity. It also depends on your work habits. Your Mac may often get cluttered with files and folders as you work on a development project. If you make it a point to free up this space, your productivity goes a notch higher.
Likewise, using productivity trackers helps you with completing tasks faster and better.
As a rule, your website should be compatible with every device, screen size, platform, and orientation to deliver the best UX. It is possible only if you ensure a responsive web design.
Responsiveness means you need not miss out on mobile users who make a significant proportion of the online audience. Lack of responsiveness can also harm your visibility as it leads to a drop in your SEO rankings. It may take a lot of testing and fixing to create a responsive design, but the effort is worthwhile.
The good thing about WordPress is that it offers a range of responsive themes that save effort and time in making sites mobile-ready.
Win with accessibility
Another must-follow WordPress development best practices is to ensure easy accessibility. It is possible with smooth navigation through the entire steps of the buying journey.
Just make the content easily accessible, and you can go the extra mile with the site’s UX. Start by structuring the website for an appealing look and feel, and make navigation simple and intuitive.
Steer clear of poor-quality content, complex layouts, and lack of search options. Create a design that allows users to move effortlessly from one step to the other until they access the action or information they seek.
Follow WordPress coding standards
Like any other development platform, WordPress has some coding standards every developer must follow. Doing so enables you to minimize common errors and ensure readability.
WordPress has a huge community of programmers who develop coding standards after several trials and errors. You may find it challenging to switch your coding style as a beginner, but you can ramp it up with some practice and consistent hard work.
The effort is worthwhile because you can create secure and high-quality websites by staying on track with the coding standards. Moreover, you will find these coding standards to write, read, and maintain over time.
Select themes and plugins carefully
WordPress developers have access to a range of themes and plugins that eases the development process. These add-ons enable you to do more with less as you can add extra functionalities to your website by using them.
But there are some risks involved when you integrate them. Some add-ons can affect the speed or security of your website. You can avoid these risks by choosing reliable third-party themes and plugins you can trust.
Pick ones that are frequently upgraded because the chances of compatibility issues are minimal with them. Audit the add-ons often to ensure they run seamlessly. Uninstall the redundant plugins because they can do more harm than good in the long run.
WordPress is an excellent development platform that helps you create the most incredible websites. But everything boils down to using the best it has to offer and it is possible only if you stick with best practices.
The user experience should be your top priority while focusing on personal productivity takes you the extra mile.
Additionally, keeping pace with the latest trends is vital as it keeps you in the race. Following these WordPress development best practices does not take a lot of work. But they can get you ahead of the quality, functionality, and security of your WordPress website.