Everyone wants to create a website that crushes the competition and is unforgettable. However, crafting a website to stand out – for the right reasons – is an art.
Creating a website that stands out isn’t about publishing controversial content and intense graphics. It’s not about resorting to flash animations and background music from the 1990s, either. In fact, making a website stand out for the right reasons doesn’t involve its features at all. A website stands out when the user experience is so smooth, visitors hardly notice the website at all.
Visitors notice all the inconveniences about a website
Website visitors notice, yet work around inconvenient aspects of any websites they visit. If you want your visitors to notice your website, you’ve got to eliminate the obstacles they work around. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Use plugins that minimize features
WordPress plugins usually add features to your site. However, if your goal is to create an exceptional experience for your visitors, you need fewer features, not more. Thankfully, there are plugins you can use to minimize and organize native WordPress features.
Eliminate the obstacle of disorganized content
The Ultimate Category Excluder plugin helps you remove clutter from your site by excluding chosen content from your front page, archives, feeds, and searches. For instance, if you’re publishing content that you only want to be accessible via your main menu, this plugin allows you to exclude that content from all the areas where they’d normally show up.
This is especially helpful when you’re using posts (rather than pages) to publish content that isn’t considered an article. Visitors should never be able to access “about us” or “contact” pages while browsing article archives or categories.
You need dynamic sidebars
A multitude of sidebar plugins allow you to create dynamic sidebars that display specific content based on the page being viewed. Any sidebar content that doesn’t go with a page can be excluded.
Websites with extensive static sidebar content are a distraction to visitors because it forces them to scroll vertically through multiple sidebar sections just to navigate the site – on every page. With dynamic sidebars, you can display only the content relevant to each page, eliminating a majority of the distraction.
2. Your slider doesn’t need to be animated
Less is more, especially when it comes to your homepage slider.
Almost every WordPress template comes with a slider, the most popular being Slider Revolution from Theme Punch. Although sliders look cool in a vacuum, they can be a huge distraction for visitors. You don’t need to create an animated slideshow just because you can.
To avoid distracting visitors, use your slider differently by using a single static image. For instance, the Lively Mood website displays a static image using Revolution Slider. Without viewing their source code, you’d never know they were using the most popular slider plugin on the market.
3. If you’re going to break the mold, do it intuitively
Nothing new is ever embraced unless someone is brave enough to try it first. That may be a great idea for breaking out of your box as an artist or furthering your career. It’s almost never a good idea to apply that sentiment to your website.
For example, >a href=”http://www.designova.net/expose/index05.html”this website is daring to be different with a horizontal scroll. They’ve converted the mouse pointer into a clever symbol that indicates the screen is scrollable left to right, but it isn’t intuitive.
Once you figure out that you need to click and drag the screen horizontally to navigate the content, will you be given another counterintuitive element? This type of innovation just gives visitors anxiety.
No matter how you dress it up, a horizontal scroll is never going to be intuitive for people. Apple already pushed the envelope (successfully) when they switched up the vertical scroll.
The vertical scroll in computer applications, including browsers, used to scroll according to the direction the actual scroll bar was moving. Scrolling up brought the page down; scrolling down brought the page up. Since people were clicking on the actual scroll bar, it made sense.
When tablets became popular and the act of scrolling became swiping the full screen, the direction of the scroll was reversed. When swiping, it’s more intuitive to swipe upward to scroll up, and downward to scroll down.
Minimal design always wins
WordPress is a beautiful content management system when used responsibly and according to marketing and design principles. The key to creating a memorable website is to make the visitor experience easy.