The immense popularity of WordPress development among website builders has led to the emergence of WordPress theme development as a separate new field. There are numerous multipurpose themes as well as those designed for specific business verticals or occupations and users are constantly demanding the fabrication of new templates that are visually appealing while possessing all the requisite functionalities. Some valuable tips are being presented here which will be helpful for any WordPress theme developer in conducting his/her job more efficiently.
A developer can easily save time and other resources by using a starter theme for fashioning a completely new template. Such a theme will provide a nice platform with all the requisite files for developing the new template meaning that the professional does not need to write fresh code. A starter theme provides a ready-made foundation on which the theme developer has to simply remove all unnecessary elements and add new code for the intended design and layout.
One of the primary requirements that any prefabricated template must fulfill is that the new interface created using it must be easily deployed on all major browsers. In order to ensure this, it is essential that testing for compatibility with all major browsers is conducted throughout the process of development. Spotting a problem related to multi-browser support while the template is being created is always better than finding out about it after deployment in the user environment.
One of the most important tips that will prove to be advantageous in improved WordPress theme development, is to strategize the design of the structural layout keeping the end-user in mind. For instance, introducing a sidebar which eventually is left empty as users do not add any widgets to it will only result in a reduced visual appeal. Instead, the content can be displayed in a full-width manner and a facility of adding widgets is provided so that the user is empowered to make the final decision.
All good themes possess the common feature of easy to identify input fields that are distinctive in appearance from surrounding elements. It also improves the navigation of the website and developers, therefore, must evaluate the input fields by using browser extensions to find out whether the visual contrast is optimum or not.
The primary objective of building a website is to expand the user base of an organization and for this, it is essential that the interface engages them for longer time periods. A comments section provides an opportunity for building a personal relationship with visitors and therefore theme developers must give proper attention to its styling so that author comments appear prominent, while nested comments can be distinguished from other remarks besides ensuring that they are optimally displayed on mobile devices.
Most professionals feel that adding a number of features will attract a lot of users but this approach must be discarded at the earliest. Researching the target audience for understanding the nature and number of features that must be incorporated in the template is compulsory and must be done before starting the project. People are looking for purposeful designs which contain all the functionalities needed by their business and not for multipurpose templates with numerous unnecessary features that they will never use.
Adding widgets to the footer is not a new tip but most professionals overlook this aspect, when in fact it can help immensely in increasing the conversion rate of the interface. Introducing a facility for adding widgets to the bottom part of the website will help in targeting visitors who have navigated through the whole interface and are on the verge of leaving it. The presence of other useful and interesting content will make them spend more time and be helpful in converting them into subscribers.
Developers must conduct multiple tests of their finished product on the Theme Unit Test platform of WordPress to ensure that all content elements are being displayed in the expected manner. Uploading the theme on an unused WordPress installation will be helpful in identifying any user experience or integration issues. Professionals testers can also be engaged for completing the process in an even more efficient manner.
In order to fulfill the demands of users and create highly attractive and productive interfaces, it is important that all WordPress theme development professionals keep up to date with all the latest best practices in the field.