How do you begin to set-up your own Design site?
Here I am going to discuss the key points you need to cross off, if you wish to setup your own design site. Some things I hope to discuss are in finding your design sites niche, which plug-ins are the best to use and how to setup your brand image.
The first thing your going to need is to think of a name relevant to the site your going to setup, if you are focusing on being a web design based site you would consider using words associated with this. (code, grids, frame, css, web.. etc) If you were a WordPress tips site it is feasible to think your site title would almost definitely feature WordPress in the name. Suitability of the name will instantly get readers to associate the type of content with that brand name.
After thinking of your name and what it represents you should brainstorm logo ideas and come to a simple and effective design. A logo doesn’t have to over complicate itself and should be as clear and concise as possible. It is the first thing uses are going to see when on your site and should be understated or users are going imprint your brand name in their memory. Make them know that your logo is something they should remember and relate towards so that they are more likely to return to your site.
Pick a theme for your site to suit your content and be original, no-one wants to see a boring layout which is hard to navigate around and is something that people have all seen before. In WordPress there are several great themes and plug-ins to be found so don’t hesitate in having a look around, some really great free themes are available but you can also find great themes which will make your site stand out which you can pay for.
Don’t pick something that’s already being done, it’s boring and it will be harder for you to attract readers who haven’t already seen the same type of content and articles before. Think what kind of angle you wish to explore your content from, try to be original in discussing topics in a way which hasn’t been explored before. An example of a niche which runs with content which may attract a selected audience would be Sexi Design.
By no means am I saying this is a perfect idea to go with but I love how Melody Nieves has based her content around the idea of how sex sells not only in design but in advertising and for us all as a culture. She writes relevant articles which discuss how sex sells and how subliminal messaging and subtle changes can influence us all in ways we won’t immediately take note of.
With Design Juices my content has come from the articles I was writing over at Design Something, I found that I loved to showcase relative unknown designers, artists and photographers. I love to provide round-up and showcase articles of topics which have an unusual theme which will attract a niche group of readers, the same old boring round-ups have been held up as tiresome by the design community as a whole. I aim to provide a different approach to the round-up style of article showcasing new and interesting works and styles by artists and designers who may not always get the credit they deserve. Why not give a break to new and exciting artists from across the web, I hope my positive thinking passes onto others and is appreciated by my readers.
You need think which strand of the design world your site is going to churn out its articles concerning, are you going to concentrate on web/graphic/product design? Picking a select number of strands from which your articles are going to base themselves around will help improve the niche from which you hope to create in attracting a devoted group of readers.
Whats going to be your written content? or are you going to be a showcase site? A word heavy post is always considered to bring in less hits and page views, so it is best to find a mix of the two ideas of having more article based posts as well as the odd inspirational roundup or showcase. People will often become bored with repetitive ideas if you being to write the same type of article each time. Try to mix things up and keep your site and articles as fresh as possible for your prospective readers.
Content can also be dictated by the kind of advertising revenue you that you are likely to receive, as well as what your users are asking for. Often established site’s are happy to listen to the advice of their readers in what content should be produced. There is no reason for you to be pro active in asking your readers for their input and then you can learn first hand what things you need to improve, and what things readers are particularly happy with.
Be sure to keep a look out for more help and tips with further advice in this series of articles on the essential elements of your first wordpress design site.
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