A WordPress website for small business is a process. And it’s not really Design as we know it. It’s more of a selection process with the visual design as the last item of import. Here’s the basic recipe that I always follow:
- Define goal / calls to action
- Create content outline to support goal
- Define functionality for the theme & site
- Plan for hyperlinking and posting
- Choose theme that supports the above
Goals & CTAs. Can’t move forward without these being clearly defined. Phone call, email contact, make a purchase?
Content that compels the user to act to achieve the goal or action and is clearly organized. Include supporting content to build authority and credibility.
Functionality includes email newsletter signups, post pub notifications, share buttons, follow buttons, calendar, signup forms, ability to choose different layouts for pages/posts, change colors, fonts, use sliders, etc.
Hyperlinking is linking to content you’ve already written (primarily on your own website) then in the outside world by you and others. Search engines like to know you play well with others and aren’t just and island.
Theme Selection is the last item on my list. For my personal brand, I like something clean and crisp. It may evolve into something else later but I don’t want to force that image now because it doesn’t exist yet.
For theme selection I look at tech specs and abilities and use a spreadsheet to compare them on key items (often supplied in the descriptions) like responsive design and built in tools like color selections, sliders, layouts, etc.
I sift through dozens and choose 3-5 I like then add them to the spreadsheet. If they fall short on any of the points I really want, I drop them and find another. See Choosing a WordPress Theme for more on this. Done.