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Getting Started: What you
should do BEFORE buying
your first WordPress theme
Andrea Napierkowski
CurlyHost LLC
Why am I speaking?
• I love to organize things
• I love to research new information
• I have a B.A. in International Relat...
– Andrea Napierkowki
“Every website is a puzzle - you first need to find
all of the pieces before you can start putting it...
Do You Need a New Site?
• Has it been 3 years to 5
years?
• Is your site easy to view
on a any device without
pinching or ...
Free Website Builders
• www.wix.com
• www.weebly.com
• www.ucoz.com
• www.yola.com
• www.moonfruit.com
• www.webstarts.com...
– Albert Einstein
“Make everything as simple as possible, but not
simpler.”
Minimalism is a movement, not a trend.
• Less is more
• Show restraint in your
design
• What path do you want
users to tak...
– Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Largely self-taught, Van Gogh gained his
footing as an...
Design Trends of 2014
• Flat Design Elements
• Mobile First
• Parallax Scrolling
• Less Text
• Bold Typography
• Fixed Nav...
– Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)
“What has been will be again, what has been
done will be done again; there is nothing new
under t...
A Few Puzzle Pieces
• Head over to awwwards.com
for inspiration
• Get mentoring with
grandrapids.score.org
• Find a unique...
How to choose a WordPress theme
• Sometimes it takes
LONGER to update an old
theme than to start fresh
• Head over to
them...
A Few Don’ts
• Don’t set up a WordPress.com
site and then buy a
WordPress.org theme
• Don’t force a bad theme to work
on a...
This is not Field of Dreams - if you build it people
WILL NOT come until you tell them about it
• behance.net/curlyhost
• ...
Other Helpful Sites
• www.google.com/analytics
• smallbusiness.yahoo.com
• www.bingplaces.com
• biz.yelp.com
• grandrapids...
Plugins I Use on EVERY Site
• http://www.gravityforms.com/
• http://jetpack.me/
• http://www.w3-edge.com/products/w3-total...
http://designforgoodwm.com/
http://grgivecamp.org/
Thank you.
Questions?
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What to do BEFORE you buy your first WordPress Theme

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When it comes to getting a business off the ground, there are lots of decisions to make. From finding the right theme / plugins / host, figuring out fonts, writing good copy, finding great images, and getting your site ranked, it’s tough to know where to begin. In this session I’ll provide a list of steps and to-dos to help you get started and get your business off on the right foot.

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What to do BEFORE you buy your first WordPress Theme

  1. 1. Getting Started: What you should do BEFORE buying your first WordPress theme Andrea Napierkowski CurlyHost LLC
  2. 2. Why am I speaking? • I love to organize things • I love to research new information • I have a B.A. in International Relations • I have a certificate in Web Design & Development • I started taking clients in Aug. 2011 • I’ve worked on over 150 sites since then
  3. 3. – Andrea Napierkowki “Every website is a puzzle - you first need to find all of the pieces before you can start putting it together.”
  4. 4. Do You Need a New Site? • Has it been 3 years to 5 years? • Is your site easy to view on a any device without pinching or expanding? • Is your site using trends that have trended out? • Does your site’s type look small? • Does your site require Flash? • Has your site’s target market changed? • Is your site hard to navigate? • Now, be honest, does your site just look dated?
  5. 5. Free Website Builders • www.wix.com • www.weebly.com • www.ucoz.com • www.yola.com • www.moonfruit.com • www.webstarts.com • www.imcreator.com • www.snackwebsites.com • www.squarespace.com • www.devhub.com • www.jigsy.com • www.doodlekit.com • www.yep.com • www.sitezulu.com • www.jimdo.com • www.homestead.com • www.breezi.com • www.bravesites.com
  6. 6. – Albert Einstein “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
  7. 7. Minimalism is a movement, not a trend. • Less is more • Show restraint in your design • What path do you want users to take? • What is the essential information that needs to be understood? • How does your competition talk about what you do? • What makes you different from them? • How will people experience your site? • What elements can you integrate to stay fresh?
  8. 8. – Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art “Largely self-taught, Van Gogh gained his footing as an artist by zealously copying prints and studying nineteenth-century drawing manuals and lesson books.”
  9. 9. Design Trends of 2014 • Flat Design Elements • Mobile First • Parallax Scrolling • Less Text • Bold Typography • Fixed Navigation • Condensed Navigation • One Page Sites • Mono or Hyper Color • Tiles (Pinterest) • Bigger, better images • Video Backgrounds
  10. 10. – Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV) “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
  11. 11. A Few Puzzle Pieces • Head over to awwwards.com for inspiration • Get mentoring with grandrapids.score.org • Find a unique color scheme at kuler.adobe.com • Get a unique font at google.com/fonts • Share files with dropbox.com • Hire a designer or photographer at 599work.com • Check out moz.com/learn/seo to write for Search Engines • Use hemingwayapp.com to write better copy • Get paid with square.com/cash • Get accounting at waveapps.com
  12. 12. How to choose a WordPress theme • Sometimes it takes LONGER to update an old theme than to start fresh • Head over to themeforest.net and search for “responsive WordPress” • Search for number of purchases (the higher the better) • Read the documentation (good themes tell you how to exactly do everything) • Sign up for the theme support (good themes have a whole forum dedicated to help) • Google your question (you’ll be surprised at how much help you can find on google)
  13. 13. A Few Don’ts • Don’t set up a WordPress.com site and then buy a WordPress.org theme • Don’t force a bad theme to work on a good site • Don’t buy a theme before you have any content • Don’t force whatever content you do have into a theme that doesn’t make sense for your audience • Don’t reinvent the wheel - someone created a plugin for the exact functionality you are looking for • Don’t give up until you’ve read the documentation and used the developer’s support forums • Don’t copy the look of just ONE business - copy many, many different examples • Don’t edit your new theme - make a child theme
  14. 14. This is not Field of Dreams - if you build it people WILL NOT come until you tell them about it • behance.net/curlyhost • facebook.com/pages • business.instagram.com • tumblr.com/business • google.com/business • business.linkedin.com • business.pinterest.com • business.twitter.com • flickr.com/services/dev eloper/business
  15. 15. Other Helpful Sites • www.google.com/analytics • smallbusiness.yahoo.com • www.bingplaces.com • biz.yelp.com • grandrapids.craigslist.org • google.com/webmasters • bufferapp.com • ifttt.com
  16. 16. Plugins I Use on EVERY Site • http://www.gravityforms.com/ • http://jetpack.me/ • http://www.w3-edge.com/products/w3-total-cache/ • https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo • http://www.ruhanirabin.com/wp-optimize/ • https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-google-fonts/ • http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/ • http://akismet.com/
  17. 17. http://designforgoodwm.com/ http://grgivecamp.org/
  18. 18. Thank you.
  19. 19. Questions?

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