Beginner’s guide to WordPress blog design and layout

WordPress provides impressive features for creating a blog or website. The fact that WordPress powers more than 33% of the Internet shows its worth for website management.

WordPress is equipped with point-and-click features for beginners. With the WordPress themes and live customizer, you can easily create a website or blog, where a website refers to a one-page site with static information, while blog contains updated content on a specific topic or niche.

Before diving deep into WordPress blog design and layout, you need to know about essential blog design elements. Conversely, your blog may lack essential blog functionality that affects your blog’s SEO.

In this article, we talk about WordPress blog design and layout, along with the blog’s essential elements, guidelines, and tips to make your blogging more effective with WordPress.

Essential elements of a WordPress blog

The following facts help you improve your blogging experience and performance. Some of these belong to the content, while others focus on designing and branding your WordPress blog.

1. Identify your blogging niche

The topic you want to blog about refers to the blogging niche. Although the topic or niche doesn’t relate to a blog’s design and layout, you must consider one for branding, audience, and SEO purposes.

2. Blog logo and branding

A logo represents a graphical representation of your blog, business, or product. You will need to create a logo and use the WordPress live customizer for setting up it on your blog.

3. Color scheme

The color scheme of your blog affects the reader’s psychology. When designing your blog, you need to finalize the primary colors for your blog. Read more about color scheme and how does it affect your blog’s performance.

4. Content

Content refers to the blog posts on your site. For better blog designing and layout, make sure you focus on presenting essential elements on your blog home page.

5. Sidebar

You can choose to show or hide the sidebar on your WordPress website. As sidebar holds different widgets, you can show or hide various content as well. On the Widgets page under Appearance, you can manage different widgets for the sidebars.

6. Sharing options

Your WordPress blog should provide easy ways to share content. Fortunately, WordPress plugins like Social Pug help you show sharing buttons on your blog posts.

7. Email capturing

Once you set up a WordPress blog, create content and proceed to drive traffic to your site, you’ll need to obtain the audience’s emails. You can achieve email capturing with plugins or web tools like Leadpages and Optinmonster. As you grow your blog or create a product, you can make use of email marketing tools for marketing your products and services.

8. Header and footer

The top section on a WordPress website refers to Header. Similarly, the lower section is known as the Footer. Both sections are essential parts of a website or blog. To make changes to the header or footer, you need to look into theme’s live customizer and widgets.

9. Comments

Allowing comments on your blog posts engages the audience. Needless to say, you can engage your audience, help, and make them qualify for sales. You can also enable or disable comments for each blog post. Moreover, the comments page provides more options for the comments management on your blog.

10. About page

An About page is one of the essential elements on a blog or website. It helps your audience know about your blog or business. As you grow your business, earn testimonials and clients, you can update About page as well.

11. Widgets

Widgets represent small areas on sidebars, containing different types of content such as posts, links, images, videos, and forms. On a blog, a post page includes a sidebar on the right.

12. Images

As a blogger, you need to write content for the readers. Graphics, like other parts of an article, reserve equal importance in blog posts. With appropriate pictures and screenshots, you can teach your audience, engage them, and help them get technical knowledge with ease. For free images for your blog, sites like Pexels and Pixabay provide royalty free images with full rights.

Guide to WordPress blog design and layout

1. Choose a blog theme

After you purchase a Hosting plan for your blog, you need to set up a WordPress installation. In most cases, hosting plans provide WordPress Auto Installation. However, if you prefer manual WordPress installation or need one, you need to install WordPress on your hosting. Once you finish, choose a theme for your blog and proceed to install it on your WordPress website. To get started, you need to log into your WordPress Dashboard, click on Themes under Appearance. On the next page, you can add, remove, and activate/deactivate the WordPress themes.

2. Focus on designing the basics

Once you create a blog, the next step is dealing with the basics, such as setting up a title for your blog, uploading a logo, selecting the colors, and choosing a permalink structure for your blog post URLs. Also, you need to set comments, create and write the primary pages, and set up menus where necessary. In the WordPress Dashboard, you can quickly deal with the said options.

3. Go into advanced options in WordPress blogging

The WordPress Dashboard provides cutting-edge features for website management; however, when it comes to improving your blog performance, you need to go through technical routines. For example, install a cache plugin to speed up your WordPress website. Similarly, the Yoast SEO plugin helps you improve your content’s SEO. Also, once you notice traffic on your blog, installing the Google Analytics on your blog enables you to see the traffic metrics, including traffic sources and search ranking of the pages. In the same manner, set up a lead capturing system on your blog. It helps you capture visitor’s emails on autopilot.

4. Enhance blog performance with WordPress plugins

As WordPress plugins help you increase your blog’s functionality, you can consider installing plugins on your blog. Here is a list of plugins that enables you to tighten your blog’s security, speed up, and redirect URLs on your blog.

5. Copy the masters (premium courses)

Most of the World’s top websites run on WordPress. Such sites play business on the Internet. By looking at the top websites, you can forecast highly effective ways for your blog. Alternatively, you can polish your blogging skills with WordPress premium courses.

6. Hire professionals

If you don’t prefer going through technical stuff, you can hire professionals for the said purposes. As a blogger, hiring professionals helps you manage your blog with ease. To get started, you can hire workers on Freelancer and Fiverr.

Professional tips

  • Technical aspects: A WordPress blog consists of specialized routines that affect your blog’s performance, such as permalinks, installing cache plugins, and backing up your blog. You need to set the required facts once and don’t change for at least six months. For the basic technical stuff in a WordPress blog, head over to this tutorial.
  • Search Engine Optimization plays a vital role in blogging success. In the first face, install the Yoast SEO plugin. Also, don’t forget to write SEO-optimized content for your blog.
  • Google Analytics enables you to see your blog measures, such as traffic sources, error pages, and search rankings. To get started, set up a Google Search Console account and install the Google Analytics for your WordPress site.
  • Don’t change your blog design. Once you finalize your blog design, keep it until you need to change something. If you change your blog structure regularly, it affects your site’s technical SEO, audience, and branding.
  • Don’t change the default sections of your blog including a sidebar, footer links, search box, comments, and menus.
  • Fonts affect your blog’s readers. Use Open Sans for blog posts and pages. You can also install Google Fonts for changing fonts on your blog.
  • Use the Web Tools for designing images, banners, and graphics for your blog. One of such tools is the Canva, which helps you create attractive feature images for your blog posts. Also, you can design banners, Pinterest pins, and logos with the Canva.

Final thoughts

You can start by selecting a blog theme for your blog. Once you upload a WordPress template, playing with the WordPress Live Customizer helps you set the primary options on your blog.

On Widgets page in the Dashboard, you can see the default widgets in the WordPress, such as a widget for recent posts. Alternatively, on the same page, you can find widgets bundled in your premium theme.

After setting up the essential design elements, don’t overlook the power of using WordPress plugins. For example, installing the Google Fonts helps you manage fonts on your blog. Similarly, the WordPress Text Editor provides the basic formatting options for the blog posts. Personally, I love using Shortcodes Ultimate for adding design elements to my blogs, such as comment boxes, testimonials, highlighted text, and expandable sections.

As you grow your blog, you can perform A/B tests for improved performance. It helps you find things that play well and enables you to see old content, defaults, and designing features that pose threats to your site’s performance.

For more information on blog designing with WordPress, read this tutorial on Torquemag’s blog. If you find something hard to follow, you can ask in the comments. Also, don’t forget to read more tutorials on our WordPress Knowledge Base.

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