The size, scope, and amount of data on the Internet are expanding at a rapid rate with every single second. According to Netcraft’s November 2020 Web Server Survey, more than 1.2 billion websites are functioning on the internet. On WordPress alone, approximately 1200 websites are built daily.
With such an impressive number of active websites on the internet, the competition is tough. The tried and tested method to cut through all competition is to brand your website to stand out in cyberspace.
Branding has evolved a lot over the years. Even today, people think that your colors, tagline, or the way you communicate represent your brand. This has changed! These are very important, but they are just a tiny piece of this puzzle called branding.
Who has the ultimate power over your brand? Your stakeholders: clients, employees, partners, etc.
Why so? If all that you communicate isn’t consistent with your behavior, it’s all for nothing. People can’t be fooled that easily, and they’ll definitely sanction promises that aren’t delivered. Social media has empowered everyone by giving us a voice. And brands are walking now on thin ice.
As Marty Neumeier puts it “a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”
Now, today we’re going to talk about visual identity (one of the many branding tools out there), and how to build it inside your WordPress site. So follow me!
Branding on WordPress: Getting Started
In ways more than one, branding is the most exciting and creative part of the process of building your website. WordPress makes this process more thrilling with a host of features, themes, and settings that will make your website look professional in an instant.
To get a head start on all your competitors, use WordPress’ exciting features to kickstart your success.
1. Choose an attractive theme
An alluring theme is the first element that catches the eye of a viewer. WordPress offers a vast variety of themes that are compatible with many different types of websites, be it crisp and efficient looking ones, colorful and preppy looking ones and so forth.
There are several themes available on the free version of WordPress and in case you are comfortable with shelling out a few bucks, the paid version has exclusive themes available for use.
Once you choose a suitable theme, you can move forward and edit and customize your website as per your requirements.
Everything including the fonts, graphics, and color palette you choose will cement a visual identity that will stay in the minds of viewers and customers. This means it becomes even more important to stay true to the brand personality and make sure your website echoes the same.
Here’s how you can install a WordPress theme.
2. Include a unique logo
A logo is not just an extra visual element. A logo that is well-designed, attractive, can be memorable.
As a newcomer in the digital landscape, questions like “how to make a logo” are bound to confuse you. Here is a quick primer to choose the perfect logo for your website.
The most common way is to hire a professional, but you could very well design a logo yourself. With a working knowledge of an illustrator like Photoshop or Canva– making a logo is an easy task. Even without any background in design, you could trust an online logo maker to do your job.
Certain guidelines are important to keep in mind while crafting a logo that will be synonymous with your brand. This includes making sure the logo is neat and creative, it resonates with the brand, and is generated ethically without any plagiarism.
A logo is a key element in enhancing the brand image in the minds of viewers and arousing curiosity in the minds of potential customers. Only making the perfect logo is not all, to complement and enhance the visual impact of your logo – choose a complementary theme, pay attention to its placement, and avoid clutter around it. Additionally, creating a favicon can prove to be a make or break step. Simply use your logo as your favicon for maximum brand reach and retention.
Uploading and placement of your logo and creation of a favicon are steps that may seem complicated but are made simple with WordPress’ user-friendly interface. From your dashboard, go to Appearance – Customizer. Now, depending on the theme you’re using, the submenu may differ.
In my example, I’m using the Mesmerize theme. All I have to do is head over “General settings” and identify the “Site identity” submenu. In here you can also change your website’s title.
3. Choose a global color scheme and typography
Now that your logo is done it’s time to figure out the colors you want to identify with. This can take a while, there are so many combinations out there, that it can get overwhelming. but, in order to start, you definitely need to know your product/service and your audience.
Let’s say you sell electronics in Indonesia, make sure to avoid green if possible…
Did you notice that most of the fast-food brands out there use red and orange in their logos and other visuals? It’s because red speaks to people’s appetites, it’s making them hungry.
Green goes with fresh food, eco, bio, environmental topics.
And the list can go on.
What does this mean for you? Do your research! Take your time, don’t hurry this. Dig a bit into the psychology of color, to understand the relationship between emotions and colors. You need to make an informed decision when choosing your brand’s colors. They will affect your website design, social media visuals, and much more.
How can you change the global colors for your WordPress site? It depends on your theme or builder. Free plans are usually a bit limited, oftentimes paid ones let you do any change you want. Usually, you can make the changes inside Appearance-> Customizer.
Going back to my previous example with the Mesmerize theme, inside “General settings” I have” Colors” and “Typography”.
You’ll now have the option to add any color you want.
Moving on to typography, there are some rules you need to stand by:
- Don’t use more than 3 different fonts, else, your website will look unstructured and unprofessional.
- Don’t go over the board with your font choice, it’s a trap! Unless your website has something to do with a very creative line of business, you’d better stick to standard system fonts. You wouldn’t want the reader to be more interested in the font than in the actual content.
- Use fonts with distinguishable letters.
- To ensure readability ensure a line-height of 30% more than the character height.
- Careful with the contrast between the text and its background!
4. Tell the world about yourself
Let us pause for a bit and come back to you. Design and logo aside, the star of your website is your personality and creative talent. Without an interesting personality to shine through, an attractive looking website can only do so little for a brand. This truism holds for all kinds of websites – personal blog, business, e-commerce, and more. To keep a person gravitating to your website, to convert a viewer into a customer, add relevant pages that tell viewers more about you.
Think of a crisp and concise ‘About me’ page that details your journey as a blogger, business person, fashion enthusiast, or baker. Talk about your motivations, your passions, your dreams – all in a few words to not bore your visitor. Information like this is necessary to make sure your visitors feel an emotional connection with your venture and your services.
In a succinct ‘About blog name/business name’ familiarize your visitors with the core values of your venture, vision and mission statements, awards and recognitions, services, and other necessary details.
In case you happen to run a business that is looking for clients, adding a ‘Testimonials’ page can prove to be fruitful. Displaying real-life testimonials from your previous and current clients or both is a smart way of establishing a reputation in the minds of your potential customers. It makes visitors feel that your services are reliable, praiseworthy, and worth a try.
Finally, the most necessary yet often ignored page is the ‘Reach out/Contact me’ page. Simply putting out your social media handles is not enough. An email ID and contact/telephone number are crucial even in the 21st century. In case you feel uncomfortable in putting out sensitive information like this, install and use one of the many contact form plugins available on the internet.
Branding your WordPress site is a process that may test your patience at times but it is the thin line between success and failure that must keep you working. The aim is to build a brand identity that is salient and resonates with people. This can be achieved by executing 3 simple steps: choosing an appropriate theme, incorporating a logo, and publishing relevant information about yourself and your venture. With WordPress’ exciting roster of features, themes, and plugins you can create and customize a unique website that will stun your audience.