WordPress Website Design Resources and Information
Free WordPress Plugins
Download FREE WordPress plugins created by the owner of My Island Designs for professional website designers. However, these free WordPress plugins are suitable for anyone who wants to streamline and simplify the process of building and maintaining a website.
Wireframe Layout Designer
CLICK HERE If you would like to design a layout for the home page or any other page of your website. This tool allows you to drag and drop page elements from the categories on the left side of the page to easily construct a wireframe layout for your site.
New Client Information
To help new and potential clients get started on the right foot, we created a website design process that clearly explains each party’s role in a website’s design, development, and management.
Useful information that will help you drive traffic to your website. Follow these helpful tips to improve on-site and off-site SEO, stand out in the search results and convert visitors into leads or sales.
Website Design Layouts
To help you decide on a layout, we have over 600 templates available for you to review. If you like any of these templates, write down the number or numbers and email them to us, and we will change the colors, pictures, and other elements to match your brand.
Web Design Resources
The resources section will help you grow your website. Follow the links to find pictures, icons, illustrations, videos, and other content you can use to add new pages and content to your site.
WordPress Introduction Video
We create websites using the WordPress content management system, the world’s #1 website design software. Watch these videos to learn about WordPress and why it is the best choice for your website.
All WordPress Website Design Templates
Business, Portfolio, and eCommerce Website Design Templates
1) Project Planning
Regardless of the type of website design you require, planning the details of your project is an essential first step. Some things you may want to consider during the planning phase include your brand colors, font styles, functionality, and client engagement.
Famous brands spend an enormous amount of money researching colors because choosing the right color palette for your business is very important. The sites below can help you create a fantastic color palette for your business.
We highly recommend using Google Fonts for your website. Google fonts are integrated into almost every modern theme because they are attractive, load fast, and look great. You can choose from over 800 fonts sorted into five categories including Serif, Sans Serif, Display, Handwriting, and Monospace.
2) What We Need to Get Started on Your Project
Before we can begin work on the project, we may need the following items or information, depending on the type and scope of your project. Please get in touch with us if you need help gathering or creating content for your website; we are always happy to help. However, copywriting, logo design, and other services are billed separately.
- Your Logo: Ask your logo designer for an editable file or contact us to have a logo made.
- Web Hosting Login (your account or Cpanel login). If you have not already signed up CLICK HERE to sign up for our recommended Web Host.
- If a WordPress site, we will need your login information.
- Colors, fonts, or other styling information if required. Try the color selection tools above.
- Text content, tell us about your business, staff, products, services, etc. (See Below).
- Images, pictures, or videos that will be used on the website. (See Below).
Download The Forms Below to Provide us With Text Content and Images
These documents are provided in Microsoft Word format. If you do not have Microsoft Word, you can download a free office suite that can open Microsoft Word files.
3) Upload Your Files or Email Them to Us
Now we are starting to make progress, you have already completed the planning and gathered all of the content. At this stage, you can email the content to us or upload it to our Google Drive online storage accounts We will send you a link to a folder where you can upload your files.
If your files are small or you do not have many, you are welcome to email the files to us. We can accept emails up to 25 MB in total size, but YOUR email service may not allow you to send emails that large, in which case you will need to upload them to one of the services listed here.
4) The Website Design and Development Process
Although the website design and development process can be very complicated depending on the complexity of the site, we have provided a simplified explanation of the procedure below.
Using the content and information you provided in steps 1-3 we will create the layout and design or redesign of your website.
After the design and layout are approved we add additional pages and required coding for the functionality of your site.
The last step is extensive testing, quality checks and any revisions you have requested to ensure you are satisfied with your project.
5) Going Live – Publishing Your Web Design Project
The final step includes cleaning up your project to remove all non-essential software and files, installing security and performance software, and testing your website on several devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. If we detect any issues during our testing, they are corrected, and we perform a final quality control check.
Finally, all is well, and we provide you with the login information for your new or redesigned site. If you have signed up for website management training, we will arrange a time and date that fits your schedule. If you manage your site in-house, you may refer to our client resources page and the custom dashboard we installed on your new site for tips on managing your website and making the most of your online presence.
1) Let Everyone Know About Your New Website
Whether you are having a website designed, a logo or some other graphic, planning the details of your project is an essential first step. Some things you may want to consider during the planning phase include colors, fonts, and themes.
- Word of Mouth Still Rules: Tell everyone you know about your new website and ask them to help you spread the word. Showing everyone how passionate you are about your site and what you do is contagious, so get out there and tell the world how great you are.
- Start a Newsletter: A newsletter can be added to your website, but it does not have to be online only. You can print copies of your newsletter and leave them on the counter to help your customers or clients better understand your products and services. Newsletters are a great way to get customers to revisit your website.
- Social Media: Using social media to promote your business can help you grow and engage customers and clients. Another overlooked aspect of having social media accounts is building your reputation, which is an essential part of off-site SEO. Having consistent business information on as many sites as possible can be a massive asset to your business.
Getting Listed On These Sites is Essential
Even if you don’t think you need an account on these sites, create one anyway and be sure to keep the name consistent on every site. If someone takes your name, and later, you decide to have a presence on one of these sites, it will be too late to get the name you want.
PLEASE NOTE: Some of these sites may not apply to your business, and many other sites may be excellent places to list your business. However, these sites are a good starting point for most websites.
2) Ask for Reviews and Testimonials
Getting reviews and testimonials from your customers and clients is a great way to build confidence in your products and services. You should ask your customers to review your business on sites like Angie’s List, Google+ and Facebook. Although Yelp allows your customers to post reviews, they do not allow companies to solicit reviews.
You can use testimonials to build a page on your website, on your home page, and even post in your brick-and-mortar store. You should request them from clients whenever you complete a project, from visitors to your site who have bought items in your store, or at any other time you think they would be willing to provide you with a positive testimonial.
3) Keep Your Website Fresh With Regular Updates
Google expects your website to be updated, and your visitors may also expect fresh content. Keeping your website updated tells Google and your visitors that you care about your site. Adding new pictures and videos or changing old photos and images is a quick and easy way to update your site. There are many other ways to update your site, so be creative and update it often.
PLEASE NOTE: It is essential to keep your business information updated. Out-of-date information can lead to unforeseen problems, like a customer showing up at your store and finding it closed. That customer will NOT be happy and may never return.
4) Adding More Content to Your Site
Regularly adding content to your website is an essential part of the SEO process. A static site will seldom do well in Google search results and will continue to lose rankings over time. Adding new content increases the number of keywords related to your site and encourages Google to index your website more frequently.
Alive or Dead? Updates are one method Google uses to determine if a website has been abandoned, so be sure to add new content regularly. You don’t necessarily need to add content every day or week, but you should put a process that allows you to add content often.
Great Ways to Add Content
- Start a Blog: This may seem hard at first, but it doesn’t have to be. We recommend our clients write about products, services, or events related to their business, which is probably the easiest way to add content to a website. Instead of thinking of a topic, write about what you know. For example, I met with Joe Smith of Acme Designs on Tuesday at his office in Kalamazoo. We reviewed his proposal for the new cabinets for our office kitchen, and he had some great ideas. Because we are a website design company, we needed a kitchen that was versatile and available to our employees around the clock, and Joe had some great solutions. Check out the pictures below to see some of the designs he came up with during our meeting. Well, you get the idea. Just post some images of the event, talk about it, and list the event’s time, date, and address. It is excellent information for your site if it is related to your business.
- Add New Pages: As your business grows and those creative juices start flowing, create new pages to showcase the latest products you are offering, new members of your team, or anything else that would be helpful to your visitors. Making your site more personal and providing valuable content for your visitors will help you improve on-site SEO and your rankings in major search engines.
- Add New Pictures: Is there some rule that says you can only have one photo gallery? I think not, so why not add more? If your business looks impressive or you have the opportunity to post additional pictures, do it. Company picnic, add a photo gallery. Any event is an excellent opportunity to add new text content or images to your site, so do it.
- Add Videos: Post videos to your YouTube channel and embed them on your site. Video content is very engaging, and just about any decent phone will take great videos these days, so let the camera roll and get some great videos for your site. There are always great opportunities to create videos for your site. It could be something as simple as an introduction, or you may want to make how-to videos. Regardless of what kind of videos you create, do it. People are visual by nature, so creating videos is another great way to add content to your site and keep it fresh.
5) Keeping Your Website Secure
We incorporate some level of website security into every site we build for our clients, depending on the package or service you purchase, but that only goes so far. Other factors will affect the security of your site, such as your hosting company. Regular updates of your files and plugins are also crucial since hackers will try to exploit known security holes in software that have not been updated.
Keeping your website software updated will go a long way towards keeping your site safe. Still, it would help prevent your website from being hacked if you learned more about securing it. It could have negative consequences, such as losing your rankings and customers who will lose faith in your ability to safeguard their information.
6) The Importance of Website Maintenance
If you want to achieve higher search engine rankings and maintain those rankings over time, you need to do everything possible to ensure your website remains protected and relevant to the major search engines.
In addition to adding regular content, a great start, you must keep your entire site updated. That means changing outdated information on your pages and in your blog posts. You will also want to update any information found to be inaccurate, as this will harm your reputation with customers and search engines as an authority site.
We recommend going over your site as often as possible to spot any issues and then updating anything you find immediately. The secret here is to create a schedule that works for you, something realistic that you will stick to over time. The length may vary from a week to a month, but it is essential to be consistent and never stop updating your site.
7) Website Security and Maintenance Packages
Every business is different; maybe you are just too busy to maintain your site and would prefer to have someone take care of it for you. My Island Designs has been providing our clients with security and maintenance services at a reasonable price for almost 20 years, so you know we will be here when you need us. We use the latest tools and technology to secure, back up and maintain your site to maintain optimal security and performance.
If you don’t have the time to keep your site updated, you can sign up for one of our security and maintenance packages, and you will never have to worry about security issues again. If anything happens, we fix it. Our staff can also help keep your site updated by making regular changes, including adding new content. Contact Us for a free consultation to determine the best security and maintenance package for your business.
1) FREE Pictures
All the sites in the bullet list below offer 100% free pictures, which you may use for personal or commercial use, without any attribute. However, even though the pictures are free, there are still limits to what you can do, such as using the likeness of an individual in a way that would be considered defamatory. So feel free to use these pictures for your site, but please use good judgment.
Bing.com – Here is one many people don’t know about, but it’s a great way to get free pictures. Visit Bing Image Search and search for whatever you are looking for, like “flowers,” and then click the search icon. You may filter the results when the page is loaded, as shown in the image below.
NOTICE: Neither My Island Designs nor Bing.com is liable for using these pictures. It is up to you to verify that the images are indeed free to use for commercial purposes. That said, you should be safe if you carefully follow the instructions above.
Many other sites may contain free pictures, but we believe these are the best sites for images that allow free commercial use. If you know of other sites, feel free to email us, and we may add them to our list.
2) FREE Icons and Images
All the sites listed below offer 100% free icons and other images, which you may use for personal or commercial use on your website, without any attribute. However, even though the pictures are free, there are still limits to what you can do, such as using the images in a product for sale. Please check with the designer or read the site’s policy carefully before using them for any purpose other than the design of your website.
- Open Clipart – Each image is available in different sizes.
- Pixabay – Use the filter feature to search for icons, clipart, illustrations, and vectors.
- freefavicon – Each icon is available in a range of standard sizes from 16×16 pixels to 256×256 pixels. Newer icons are also available in sizes up to 512×512 pixels. The 16×16 inch size is known as a favicon, the tiny image you see in your browser tabs representing most sites you visit.
Many other sites may contain free icons, clipart, and other images, but we believe these are the best sites that allow free commercial use. If you know of other sites, feel free to email us, and we may add them to our list.
3) Free Videos for Your Website
Most of these videos are best suited as background videos for headers or sections, though you may find some usefulness for other purposes. You will need to use the filter feature to find the videos you want. If you select the video filter, your search will only return relevant videos, if any are available. Unfortunately, not many sites offer good quality videos for free, so, the best option may be to create your own or purchase videos.