We all know how important the look of your blog or website is.
That’s the reason why you read this blog, isn’t it?
So pay attention while Yamini walks us through some lovely themes to fulfill any website need.
A website’s theme should not only complement the niche of the business but also reflect the personal taste and preferences of the owner(s). The color palette, visual elements and the framework all come together to make for a great user experience as well as create the brand identity and online corporate image.
A number of small and medium business owners prefer platforms such as WordPress and Blogger for their websites because they are little powerhouses for hosting, fully customizable, and most importantly require minimal investment.
We are taking this opportunity to put some of the talented designers in focus who are offering some great themes (and templates), responsive or otherwise that will help small business owners deliver their products and services out to the world and create an impressive web presence.
Go Responsive: Give Your Visitors an Intuitive Browsing Experience
At the moment there are about 4 billion wireless devices in use and out of these, over 1 billion are smartphones. Heck, 85% of us are busy with our devices while ‘watching’ TV these days. So, as an online business owner it becomes imperative that your visitors can fully enjoy your website on different screen sizes.
The tasteful design of the Mary-Lou theme, a gorgeous responsive WordPress theme by Mlekoshi Playground, is just right to give your content the attention it deserves with a professional, attractive layout that is minimal at the same time. It also has multi author support, which is great if you work with a team of writers. Besides this, it also comes with a neat Pinterest side bar widget. You can check out a demo of this fully responsive theme here.
Show Off Those Lovely Images
Stunning images or videos are a couple of sure shot ways of grabbing attention of your viewers and increasing the time spent on your pages. But before loading up your site with all your travel photographs, learn to optimize so that your website doesn’t end up becoming fat instead of phat!
The Avery Blogger Template featured here is suitable for a personal blog, a small online store or even a magazine. Designed by Dinosaur Stew, it is also responsive and supports images up to 745 pixels wide, so go ahead and show off those beautiful photographs to the world! If you are looking for a minimal magazine-style theme for your online project without clutter, then preview the Avery Template here!
Add a USP to Your Website Design
Adding a USP doesn’t mean developing a website so feature heavy that it refuses to load on your visitors’ browsers. You can add nifty little effects here and there that can give your guests recall value.
This premade Blogger template by Symufa is made for small business owners in mind. What we really loved about the theme is a cute ‘sparkle effect’ that comes every time one clicks on a link. Got a Pinterest addiction? Go ahead and integrate your Pinterest feed and marvel at the awesome image pop-up whenever you hover on a particular photo. See for yourself in this live demo of Retro Class!
Get Creative with the Color Palette
Color Psychology is real, people! And it can totally affect your conversions, either negatively or positively. So before going live with your website, make sure you invest some time and research in your color palettes or perhaps even run a short trial run with your beta audience.
We found Catherine, a WordPress theme for self-hosted sites by Lauren Gray Design, which looks absolutely inviting and appealing with its warm pink & purple color palette. Catherine runs on the powerful Genesis Framework* and comes with all the must haves for an ideal blog (or a magazine!). This quick little demo will let you experience this gorgeous theme in full action.
Always remember: Less is More
Nothing puts off viewers more than too much noise and clutter on a webpage. There is only so much that the human attention span can handle! Minimal designs are great for the fact that they load quite easily and thus increase the time spent on your website.
One of the WordPress themes on Luvly Marketplace, Emma by Anna Marie Moore, features a clean, minimalist design which can be used for a personal blog or an editorial website. Its crisp and well-structured layout is perfect for a user who wants to give their content maximum exposure through social media. Demo this super sleek theme here.
These are just some of the nuggets of knowledge that we have picked up as professionals and small business owners. However, as is the case with DIY, there is really no set rule, and learning by doing never stops (which is also the fun part, by the way!).
If you are also a DIYer or run a small online business, then let’s discuss! Share your experiences about WordPress or Blogger, which one do you prefer, and why? If you have ever revamped your website, tell us what were the changes in your visitor reception?
*Full disclosure: Clicking on the Genesis Framework link will not cost you anything, but may result in a small commission for DYOB.
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This is a great post! It’s interesting because the unique color palettes and the minimal themes caught my eyes the most. Those things are definitely important and often ignored!
Hi Angel. I agree, I like the minimal themes too.
Glad you enjoyed the post Angel Y. 🙂
And, you’re right, it’s the subtlest of elements that end up being the most effective. The good ol’ ‘Less is More’!
I personally have always loved designs that have a lot going on. I’m constantly battling the urge to put EVERYTHING in my design. I like this post because it’s a good reference on how beautiful simple can be.
I know how you feel Devin! Its difficult to know what to take out sometimes!
Like a nice looking outfit makes a person beautiful, in the same way a good theme can make a website beautiful and attractive. It clearly tells, how important is choosing a perfect theme for your blog or website.
So true Ruse, thanks for the analogy!
Can’t seem to find the Catherine theme anymore, Marianne?
Sorry about that Laura, this is an older post and that theme has probably been discontinued since it was published.