I suggest you stick with WordPress for these small sites. It’s simple to setup and use: you can always hire an inexpensive freelance developer at Elance to do this step for you if need be. You’ll need to ensure any theme is SEO-friendly, of course. I have used plugins such as Yoast, as well: I’ll go over these plugins and much more in the next post, where the heart of SEO takes place: on the page!
Selecting The Right WordPress Theme
There are several considerations for a ‘theme’ (how your site will look and act.) Each of these are vital: each must be right, or people won’t visit.
free: no need to pay for themes with so many excellent free ones available.
relates to your site topic: make sure you don’t pick an art theme for a tech niche! Users will pick up on that and not like it: be gone
KISS layout: Keep it simple, stupid! (Hey, I didn’t create that saying!) You only need one or two columns: so plug that in when you search.
Responsive layout: this one is absolutely crucial, with 45% of users hitting the web from their phones. Your theme must look great on any device. If the de- sign is “responsive”, that means the theme ‘responds’ to the device it’s being viewed on.
Social media integration: Any theme had best provide access to the major so- cial media platforms: FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on.
Browser compatibility: like responsive design, in that if your theme doesn’t support a certain browser, you lose everyone who uses it. How to ensure a theme works on browsers? Look for W3C standard compliance.
Great navigation: easy for users to see, understand, and reach what they’ve come for. Breadcrumbs are also a good idea although not vital. (You’ve seen sites where just above the content, there’s a string of text indicating where you are such as “Home ->Animals->Penguins”. Users on the “Penguin” page can click “Animals” and go up a category.
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SEO compatible of course!Should be compatible with the Yoast plugin.
Do not worry about colors: you can change those. The features above are vital… when you find a theme that ticks all those boxes, and preferably one that ‘pops’ for you, grab it! And don’t forget: themes are simple to change. You are free to experiment, and by all means, you should.
Finding a Developer
If you don’t want to fool with setting up your own site, developers can be had on the cheap! However, you definitely need to know what you’re doing when you select one. Keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I use the largest freelancer site, Developers from all over the world are available, for every conceivable price range. All you need do is place a free “brief” (or description of your needs.) You’ll have many responses: there are qualities you do want and others you don’t.
Your best bet is to be absolutely clear on your needs in your brief. For instance, “Need a WordPress developer to aid in theme selection & site setup” would be a good header. In the body: “I need a developer to help in locating and installing a good responsive theme for a new site. Developer also should be great with SEO.
= be knowledgable about themes & how they relate to topics
= Be great with SEO
= have a complete Elance profile
= Be detail-oriented
= Deliver on time.
I’m just having one site done as a test. If you work out, I’m planning a bunch more.” For the pay rate, select “Fixed” and “0 – $500” for the range. Don’t get more specific. When sorting through the results, of course you’ll look at the cheaper bids first.
Fine, but look at a few details before putting that developer in the “maybe” pile:
Number of jobs (if you see 0 jobs, file 69 immediately!)
Over-all rating (***** is best)
Skills: should have “WordPress” listed, “SEO” as well Developer’s location: you don’t care! It’s a fallacy to believe that only American developers do good work.
I’ve hired many developers myself: some of the best were Indians. As long as they check the above boxes and can communicate clearly with you, consider them along with every- one else. (If you are on a really tight budget, look at the Indian developers before anyone else.)
Almost done! You should have roughly 5-10 names in your “maybe” pile. Now you simply have to check details on each one. Go to their profile, and ensure that:
Under their job list, you see WordPress and SEO listed They have good feedback on jobs completed Look at their portfolio. Do their sites look professional? Are they mobile- friendly?
Once you’ve done that, you’ve certainly narrowed your search. Now simply pick the one who offers the best rate and time-frame: done!