Let’s get it out there first up… Rightside Design uses WordPress. The Rightside Design website uses WordPress. We love it for so many reasons and it has become such an amazingly powerful tool to assist in building websites.
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Now that I have said that (last thing I want to do is sound like I am rubbishing WordPress), I am going to share my thoughts on the impact that I think WordPress is having on the look and feel of websites.
WordPress makes creating a basic website easier (not always quicker). You can buy wordpress templates (or themes) from loads of places online (one of the biggest, Theme Forest based in my home town of Melbourne) and start building once you have installed WordPress and the theme to your server.
Not only does it assist the website developer it offers CMS (Client Management System) giving clients online access to update the site, add or change new content… you can even add a page to your website using an iPhone! Now that kind of thing definitely wasn’t happening when I started putting websites together.
It all sounds too good to be true, which it kind of is, but I think you can pick out the WordPress websites now if you know what you are looking for.
WordPress theme developers seem to follow trends and fill the market with themes that have similar looking layouts. Have you ever noticed a website with a footer divided into 3 or 4 sections… that’s usually WordPress widgets at work. Have you seen the long single page websites that you scroll and scroll and scroll and content seems to move past at differing speeds? That’s a parallax website which has become extremely popular in the WordPress world. Responsive themes are another recent offering that allows the website to check the size of the screen you are using and decide the best way to display the site to suit.
These trends are a great thing for websites overall as it gets a massive group of people looking at layout design and coming up with solutions that are the best from a User Experience (UX) point of view. There is nothing better than successful navigation around a website and finding exactly what you are looking for.
But is the fact that so many websites are starting to take on a similar look and structure detracting from the user experience? There is a pretty good chance one day soon (if you haven’t already) that you will come across two websites that look almost exactly the same as they have used the same WordPress theme.
Do the end users notice or even care, or are they just after the cold hard information the website has to offer?
There’s an element of creativity being lost… is anybody else out there noticing this or is it just me?
At the end of the day, I am always more than happy to help clients with a website whether it be designed and developed from scratch or use a WordPress theme, but I will make 100% sure that they understand the Pros and Cons of using a WordPress theme and the impact it will have on their website.