Everyone loves WordPress, right? That might sound like the world’s biggest cliche, but think on this – there are 1.3 billion websites on the internet – and more than a quarter of them are powered by WordPress. Of course, the fact that there are over 300 WordPress sites out there is a testament to its versatility and robustness, but it also means you need to go the extra mile to make your WordPress site stand out from the rest.
Variations on themes
WordPress is built on the basis of its great choice of themes. Sure, there are some that will not cost you a thing, but the first step in standing out from the crowd is to invest a few dollars and buy the best WordPress themes, choosing something that will not have been adopted by thousands, or even millions of other users. But choosing your theme is just the first step. Here are some subtle variations you can incorporate to give your site a unique twist.
1) Featured content
Including a featured content gallery gives a really professional touch, and keeps your home page looking fresh and relevant. There is a simple plugin that does all the hard work for you – it’s a wonder that everyone’s not doing it, so get one in there quickly before the genie comes out of the bottle.
2) Add social media icons
There are even more people on Facebook than there are websites in the world – over two billion at the last count – so having social media links on your page has to be something of a no-brainer. WordPress provides a handy walk through on how to get these exactly how and where you want them.
3) Don’t insist on plugins
Here’s a technical tip that will reduce your bounce rates by preventing you from irritating your visitors. I’m sure we have all been on a site where themes only work if you have certain plugins installed. Really, it’s not up to you to be telling users what they should or shouldn’t install. The solution is to have the clever bells and whistles there to enhance UX if the visitor has the required plugin, but to do without it otherwise. If / then is one of the old pieces of programming coded we can all remember from years gone by, and a script along the following lines will do the job:
[php]<?php if (function_exists(‘plugin_name’)): ?> ***work your plugin magic*** <?php endif; ?>
4) Leverage custom fields
Custom fields do exactly what they say on the tin – they can really make your WordPress theme stand out from the rest in extraordinary style. Use of custom fields is a whole topic in itself, but this article from wpbeginner will get you off to a flying start.
5) Show most popular posts
This is related to the first point, in that it gives you a chance to have some highlighted headlines that people will want to read and that are, you would hope, constantly changing. Your most-read posts are popular for a reason, so promoting them will also attract even more traffic, which can never be a bad thing.