This might be your worst fear – that your website will be just “one of the many” and turn out forgettable. And it’s no wonder why: whichever your niche is, there are plenty of other websites competing for the attention of your target audience.
Although this fear is justified, there’s nothing impossible about making your website stand out. All you need is some time, competitor research, and the six tips below!
Keep in mind, however: this isn’t a task that can be accomplished overnight. “But what if I have tons of homework to take care of?” Don’t worry: that’s what services like WritePaper are for! If you have a lot on your plate and your website is your top priority, you can offload those boring (and time-consuming) assignments to their professionals.
First, Choose a Memorable Name
If you’ve already settled on the domain name for your website, you can skip this part. But if you haven’t, give it plenty of thought. What’s the point in an outstanding design and content if people will forget your website’s name as soon as they close the tab?
Here are three key characteristics of a great domain name:
- it’s easy to type;
- it’s short and simple;
- it doesn’t contain any hyphens or numbers.
Those are the golden standards for choosing a domain name. But what about making it memorable? How do you do that? Here are a few suggestions:
- opt for an unusual extension like .co or .me;
- have some fun with wordplay;
- avoid typical associations with your activity (like the word “coffee” if your website is for a café);
- translate a word into a foreign language and use it;
- choose a word or two that have little to do with your activity (e.g., Apple has nothing to do with apples);
- come up with a new word by combining two other words (e.g., “classic” + “books” = “clooks”).
Tweak the Theme Until It’s Unique
Next, let’s talk about the looks of your website. If you’re a beginner in web design, creating one from scratch can lead to suboptimal results in this regard (unless you have great taste and talent). So, most likely, you’d prefer to install a theme to save yourself some time and effort.
There’s just one problem that even the best among WordPress themes are prone to: you’re not the only one using them. This automatically means your website becomes “one of the many”.
But don’t worry: you can customize WordPress themes, as long as you make sure the one you’ve chosen supports the latest version of the in-built editor. Here’s a short overview of what you can do within the editor:
- change the fonts;
- use a different color palette;
- add more blocks;
- create custom page templates.
Pay Special Attention to the Fonts
Let’s discuss the fonts in more detail. You need to strike a fine balance between making the text easy to read and showing off your uniqueness with unusual fonts.
The best way to make sure you’ve managed to do so is to show your website to someone else and ask them to read the text. If they can’t, this font doesn’t do its job.
Here are a couple of guidelines you can keep in mind when you choose the fonts.
- For the main text, opt for serif, monospace, or sans serif fonts. Make sure it has a wide range of weight options and includes italic, strikethrough, and black variants.
- For headings, you can use display and handwriting fonts.
As for the practicalities of font management, you don’t have to be limited by the fonts available in WordPress by default. You can add fonts from Google Fonts using the Easy Google Fonts plugin or manually. You can also check out the fonts on platforms like Typekit, fonts.com, and FontSquirrel.
Go With an Unusual Color Palette
Take a look at your competitors’ websites. The chances are most of them follow a similar color palette (e.g., they all use shades of blue or a cool palette in general). If that’s the case, how you can stand out is a no-brainer: you need to choose a color palette that your competitors have overlooked.
If you’re not a professional designer and you’ve just begun to master WordPress, here are four common pitfalls you should avoid.
- Choosing more than three colors. Opt for one primary color and one or two additional colors you’ll be using for emphasis. (The color of the main text doesn’t count.)
- Choosing colors that don’t go well together. To find great complementary colors for your main one, go to Adobe Color or a similar platform. There, use the color wheel and try various harmony rules to settle on a good combination.
- Avoiding shades of the same color. You can – and should – use the shades of the colors you’ve chosen for additional emphasis.
- Using the same color for links as for the rest of the text. If you do this, users won’t realize that there’s a link there (even if you underline it).
Add Interactive Elements & Animations
First, let’s talk about interactive elements. People love them – but only if they’re useful, i.e., if they serve a specific purpose. For example, if appropriate, you can add
- calculator forms;
- surveys and quizzes;
- interactive videos and images.
As for animations, here’s a hack: prioritize micro-animations. They’re subtle and don’t stick out, but they make the overall user experience smoother. Here are a few ideas:
- loading animations (you can add one with WP Smart Preloader or LoftLoader plugin);
- animated GIFs;
- CSS animations that get triggered when a user hovers over text or image or clicks a link (you can use the Animate It! Plugin here).
Here’s a word of caution, though. Don’t overdo it: if you add too many interactive elements, your page may become too slow. That will only annoy your users, and it can negate your other SEO efforts.
Create One-Of-A-Kind Content
At the end of the day, design matters, but it’s not what matters the most (although web designers won’t agree with this, ever). Whether your website will be remembered or forgotten hinges on the quality of your content.
When it comes to text, it always has to be concise and insightful. For example, if it’s your homepage, its content should reflect who you are and what you represent. In the case of a blog post, it has to be unique and contain one-of-a-kind expert knowledge that is hard to come by elsewhere.
But this piece of advice goes beyond writing. If you truly want to stand out, all the images and photos you put up should also be custom-made – or, at least, customized. Don’t ever use stock images as-is!
Standing out is essential in beating the competition and carving out a place for yourself online. That said, though, there’s one final piece of advice that you should take away today: too much creativity is counterproductive.
The thing is, users already have certain expectations and habits towards every website they visit. For example, they want to be able to find your contacts without any hassle. They also expect to see the “About” page or at least a section with this information. And they never want to have to guess what this or that button will do.
So, don’t forget to maintain this balance between uniqueness and usability. Don’t put aesthetics above user experience. And when in doubt, test!