If you’re using one of the many freely available content management systems available to create your own site, pretty soon, you’re going to have to deal with the question of what you want your site to look like. With thousands of choices available, free and paid, it’s a little overwhelming to know where to start looking.
While a site’s appearance is important in presenting yourself or your organization professionally, unless you’re a designer it’s not the reason why people are coming to your site. Your visitors, customers, clients, users – current or potential – are coming to find information or complete a transaction. And the theme you choose has to get your visitor to the reason why they came to your site as quickly as possible.
Do you produce textual or visual content for your site? Are the articles the reason why you have visitors? Blogs, online newspapers, and personal blogs are all typical of these kinds of sites. If your site is continually publishing and promoting online content, then you’re looking for a theme that will feature your latest written works prominently on the home page, with ample means to cross-promote older and related content. Keep an eye out for places in the theme where you can add revenue-generating content like ad banners or donation links.
Is the reason people are visiting your site so that they can eventually travel to your actual premises? Sites like these include restaurant sites, business centers, professional offices and amusement parks. Find a theme that you can feature images of your store, office, or location, as well as products or services that can customers can enjoy only at your location. If your service is appointment-based, make sure your visitors can find it easily.
If you’re selling a product or service online that can be purchased through your site, your theme has to be able to focus your visitors on making the sale. If your potential customer can’t reach the product or service they’re looking for, or if the fulfillment process is confusing, you’ll lose the sale.
Elements in your theme such as color, font, backgrounds and so on can be adjusted by any competent graphic designer. Starting out with the right theme type for your site is an important step in building your online presence. In the online world of split-second decision making, it may mean the difference between engaging a customer or losing the sale.
About the Author: Marc Gottlieb is the webmaster for JewishPress.com. Marc has been crafting end-to-end online solutions for all sizes and types of businesses since 1995. You can see more samples of his work at http://www.marcgottlieb.com. Marc made aliyah in 2006 with his wife and four children. They live in Gush Etzion, which is not in the West Bank. Marc's political comments are entirely his own and do not reflect the opinions of JewishPress.com.
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