So, you just purchased your awesome WordPress theme, you have set it up, and now you are about to start creating those static pages that contain the most important information about your business. Great. Just keep it simple.

Avoid making it busy
There is no need for that, really. It is better to have a simple, meaningful page with carefully thought-out content, than loading your page with paragraphs of text that nobody will ever read. You might be tempted to put a whole biography, write 5000 words about how awesome you are, but really, in the context of a website, you have low chances of someone to read the full story. Quantity does not imply credibility in this case.

Stop using un-necessary shortcodes
Ok, you really like those skills stats that show that you are 97% good at photoshop and only 55% at illustrator, but don’t overdo it. Personally I do not see why I should let my potential clients know that I suck at one field and I excel at the other. If you suck, don’t do it. Focus on what you are good at and highlight it.

When the time comes to add your own content, you struggle to make it as good as the demo’s. What’s wrong here?

Trust your theme’s designer
So, your theme’s designer has spent  a whole day to decide a combination of fonts, their size and line height. Just because he provides you the option to change those, this does not mean that you should do it. It is very sad to see when some customers of ours try their design skills on their own product/site and they fail. Don’t change colours of headings, don’t overuse bold or italics, try to achieve a good balance between everything.

Remember what won you that day that you decided to purchase that specific theme? It was the design, and how it displayed the content. But when the time comes to add your own content, you struggle to make it as good as the demo’s. What’s wrong here?

It’s simple: The designer created the demo content using the theme’s default styles, and… he is a designer. He knows how to keep the bloat away and to create something nice and simple. On the other hand, you get tempted to play the role of the designer, just because of lack of quality of your content. Don’t. If you are not sure about it, better keep it minimal and avoid the collateral damage.

The beauty and power of typography
In a well-designed theme, typography is enough for the content to look great, even if you simply use text. Make good use of Headings hierarchy, use some quotes to add some visual rythm to the page flow, and focus on the power that typography by itself conveys.

Why am I saying all this?

Cause I have seen it happen. Content pages destroyed by tweaked styles, shortcodes, tons of Call to action buttons, columns, and colour combinations that just don’t work. Pages that if the author had just used carefully crafted copy content and nothing more, the page would be far more effective and more inviting that it is. And as a design geek, it really breaks my heart.

Chill out. You purchased a theme to add your content. Just do it. You have paid for the hard part already!

4 Comments

  1. Great post John. So true. I see it happen with my themes as well. Simplicity and beautiful typography is key to great design. Nuff said.

  2. Thanks Leo. Indeed, if you think about it, that’s all it’s needed. And it’s a responsibility of us, all theme authors, to educate our clients, and not to rely on complex short-code powered layouts to have a good result. One day… :)

  3. I agree … btw – your themes are very clean. Total breath of fresh air!

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