Food Blog layout using the block editor

This food blog home page layout is a simple layout that works well for the home page of a food blog.

This has been put together using the TwentyTwenty theme and the block editor. TwentyTwenty is the default WordPress theme and has awesome support for the block editor.

Food blog layout with Gutenberg blocks
Food blog layout (click on the image to see the entire page layout)

The layout has multiple blocks that include some of the core WordPress blocks and some blocks from other block plugins.

The colors in this layout are very neutral and help bring out the vibrant colors of the recipe images.

Click on the image to see the entire page layout.

Blocks used for this layout

Header image using the TwentyTwenty theme cover page layout.

The “Cover Template” from the TwentyTwenty theme was used for this page. The header image is the featured image added to the page. The overlay color is set in the theme custom settings by going to Appearance->Customize.

The background color of the page can also be set in the customizer.

Category sections

The next section was created by using a group block that contains 3 columns, created using the columns block. The group block has a different background color than the page background which makes it stand out in contrast.

Each column has an “Advanced Heading” block from Kadence blocks plugin, an image block and a button block.

Category sections group block for the food blog layout.

The advanced heading block provides options to set a custom font (font family) along with font size and line height. The font I used for the heading here is ‘Alex Brush’ which is a Google Font. This block also provides various other options like text-shadow and margins. Although the layout shown here does not have a text-shadow or a margin, it is easy to add them.

The buttons in this block can link to recipe categories like lunch, snack etc. This would be an easy way for the visitors to find what they need. Usually, when a visitor comes to a food blog, it is through a specific recipe link, but if they do land on the home page, this is an ideal way to send them to browse more recipes.

Media and text block - food blog layout

Call to action block – using the Media&Text block

The cooking workshops section was created using a Media&Text. The media part of the block can have an image or a video and the text part of the block can have multiple blocks if needed.

The text part of the block here shows and ‘Advanced Heading’ block from Kadence blocks, paragraph and button blocks. The heading has the same font as the section above it.

The button here is a call to action button that can be linked to a page. This block is ideal for a prize giveaway or as a link to your cooking videos. Save this block as a reusable block and use on other pages easily.

Latest Posts Block

The latest blog posts section is another group block with an ‘Advanced Heading’ block and a ‘Posts’ block from Stackable blocks plugin.

The block here displays the posts from the food category. If you add this layout to your page, make sure to select a category for the posts here.

Latest posts block as a group in the food blog layout

The advanced heading is similar to the other heading blocks and uses the same font.

The Posts block from Stackable, has more options compared to the ‘Latest Posts’ block.

Email subscription block for the food blog layout

Email Subscription Block

The email subscription block uses columns with a paragraph block on the left and an email newsletter block from ‘Atomic Blocks’ on the right.

Atomic blocks provides with an email newsletter block that is connected to Mailchimp. To use this block, you need to connect your Mailchimp account by saving the api key in the plugin settings.

You can select the Mailchimp list when you add the block to the page.

The footer has space to add widgets. The search widget was added to the left and the on the right side is an image gallery of the featured images of the recipe posts. These images are linked to the posts.

Footer layout using the TwentyTwenty theme.

Adding this layout to your site

Modify this layout easily to match your site’s colors and fonts. You can download the code and add it to your page. Just copy the code and paste it into the code editor of your page.

If you are not sure about how to add the layout code to your page, view the video below.

Make sure you have all the necessary block plugins required for this layout to work. This layout uses blocks from Kadence Blocks, Atomic Blocks and Stackable along with the core WordPress blocks.

Choosing the best membership plugin for your WordPress site

WordPress is a powerful platform to build and maintain membership sites. As with anything related to WordPress, there are many different plugins available to build a membership site. There are free and paid options. I am going to compare some of the free plugins to help you decide which one works best for your site. Before I go into the different plugins and their features, I want to talk a bit about membership sites.

Skip to the plugins list

What are Membership sites?

Generally any site with pages, posts or other content protected by a login is considered a membership site. This is the simplest form of membership site. There are many different types of membership sites.

  • Sites with online member directories
  • Sites that give benefits to members based on membership level
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Visitor guides/Travel Bureau sites
  • Websites offering courses/tutorials

Since there are many different types of membership sites, there will obviously be many different types of membership plugins as well. So, how can we choose the plugin that will work best for the site we want to build.

Requirements of Membership sites

If you want to build a membership site, first you need to come up with the requirements for your site. Each type of membership site has a different requirement. So, until you have a clear idea of all the things you want or need on your site, you cannot decide which plugin you can use.

Here are some of the requirements of membership sites. You can download this list here.

Register new members and event attendees

Most of the membership sites will need to register members. So, you will need a registration form for the users to add themselves as a member on your site. These members can be individuals or businesses.

Display members

Displaying members is not a requirement for all the membership sites. Websites that offer courses or tutorials do not need to display their members.

Update member profiles

If your website has a lot of members, it might be easier to have them update their own profiles. This is faster and more accurate as well. In some cases though, you might not need this feature all the time. So, if this feature is available in the free version, it is beneficial, but otherwise, you might want to think before you shell out the money.

Give instant access to members only content

If you want to have some content protected by a login, you need to be able to give your members instant access when they sign up on your site. So, being able to restrict content based on user role or membership level is a huge bonus. Having this feature as part of the membership plugin makes it very easy to set it up.

Email members and/or send out newsletters

One of the major requirements of membership sites is the ability to email members or send out newsletters. Having all your member emails in your email marketing program is beneficial. It saves you a lot of time and is less prone to errors. This feature is available in many of the membership plugins, but it might not be pro feature.

Add contacts (CRM)

If you have a site like chamber of commerce or a visitor bureau site, your members will most likely be businesses. These businesses can have multiple locations and can have multiple people as the point of contact. In this case, it will be nice to have a CRM feature in your membership plugin that will let you add these contacts for each business. Then when you display these members on your site, you can also display the people with their phone numbers and email addresses.

Process monthly/yearly dues or donations

One of the main reasons for having a membership site is to make recurring revenue. So, payment processing is very important. Many of the plugins provide PayPal options in the free versions and other options are available in the paid versions. If you are not sure what payment option you like, it would be best to try out the free version first.

Create reports

Creating monthly and quarterly reports of your revenue is quite useful. While it is true that you can transfer all of the payment information into QuickBooks or other software, it is definitely beneficial to have to this feature as part of the plugin.

You might want to see the difference in revenue from last year and this year or revenue from a particular category of members etc.. Being able to see this information in the WordPress admin would be nice.

Content dripping

Content dripping is making the content available in a pre-scheduled timeline. If you have a website that has some courses, you might want to give access to the first couple of course videos in the first week and one or two videos every week after that.

Now that we have seen the major requirements of membership sites, let’s look at what plugins are available to build these sites.

Free Plugins

  • WP Members Plugin
  • S2 Member
  • Chamber Dashboard Plugins
  • Simple Membership
  • Ultimate Member
  • Restrict Content
  • Members Plugin

Premium Plugins

  • WP eMember
  • WPMU Dev Membership
  • Member Press
  • Magic Members
  • Member Mouse
  • WC Groups/WC Subscriptions
  • Digital Access Pass (DAP)

Below is a comparison chart for the free plugins and some of the major features they support.

Features/PluginWP Members PluginS2 MemberChamber DashboardSimple MembershipUltimate MemberMembers PluginRestrict Content
Register New MembersYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Login FormYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Membership LevelsYesYes (5 levels in the free version)YesYesNoNoNo
Membership ListingsProProYesYes (Some pro options)YesNoNo
Process PaymentsProPayPal StandardPayPal Standard, PayPal SubscriptionsPayPal, StripeNoNoPro
Restrict ContentYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Create ReportsNoNoYesNoNoNoPro
Update Member ProfilesNoYesProCan Delete ProfilesNoNoNo
Newsletter IntegrationProYes (MailChimp, AWeber)Pro (MailChimp)Yes (MailChimp),
Pro (AWeber, ConvertKit)
Pro (MailChimp)NoPro
Content DrippingYesProNoNoNoNoPro

Looking at the chart, you can determine which features you need for your membership site and choose the plugin accordingly. If a feature is not available in a plugin, it is not necessarily a bad thing. If you do not need that feature on your site, you can still go ahead and use that plugin.

Most of these free plugins provide premium options with more features. I think it is always better to try out the free plugins and see which ones you like. Then, you can go ahead and purchase the premium versions.

List of plugins for different types of membership sites

Restrict access to content

  • Restrict Content
  • Members
  • Ultimate Member

Online Member Directories

  • Simple Membership
  • Ultimate Member
  • Chamber Dashboard

Restrict Content based on Membership Levels

  • Simple Membership
  • Chamber Dashboard
  • S2 Member


  • WP Members
  • Simple Membership
  • S2 Member

The membership site checklist is a handy guide to help you choose the best membership plugins for your site.

Gutenberg (Block Editor) for Small Businesses

The block editor also called as Gutenberg was merged into WP core in Dec 2018. It was made the default editor as part of WP 5.0. I have been testing the editor even before it was released and I love it. In the past few months, there have been a few improvements and updates to the editor. Though there is a lot of room for improvement, there are a bunch of cool features that we can use now to create nice pages and posts.

Most WP users have used the block editor at least a few times by now. The WP users have mixed feelings about the new editor. Some people like it so much that they never want to see the old editor ever again. Some people hate it that they installed the classic editor plugin and are happy. Then there are people who don’t like it as much, but don’t mind using it.

Some of the cool features of the block editor

The block editor has all the features of the classic editor and some more. Here are some of the neat features of the block editor:

  • Can change the layout of your posts and pages. With the classic editor, you can only do what your theme template allows you to do. Now, you can move the content around to achieve a different layout.
  • The classic editor did not have the table option by default. With the block editor, adding tables is a breeze. You can not only add a table with a single click, you can also style it.
  • Adding columns to your posts or pages is now really simple which gives you the ability to modify the page layout.
  • You can add widgets in your posts and pages. The widgets usually live on the sidebar, but they have a lot of useful information. With responsive websites being the norm, the sidebars usually get pushed to the bottom or entirely disappear on tablets and phones. So, being able to add widgets to your posts is a huge advantage. You can add your latest posts from a certain category, a calendar, search bar or a RSS feed link.
  • If you have a WooCommerce store, adding latest products or products that are on sale is a breeze. You can add a bunch of different products with the click of a button. It makes it very easy to add products as part of your promotional post or page. Earlier this was possible by using shortcodes, but the blocks make it easier.
  • You can also save your blocks to be reused at other places which means that you can create an ad or a promotional item once and reuse it on other posts and pages. If you change the reusable block once, it gets updated everywhere. Read more about reusable blocks.

Managing the blocks in the page/post editor

There are many blocks being added with every new release and with so many plugins adding their own blocks to the list, it can become overwhelming. Sometimes, you might feel like there are too many blocks, and in that case, you can hide them through the block manager. If there are certain blocks that you don’t use at all, you can simply choose not to display them in the list of blocks.

To access the block manager, click on the three vertical dots on the top right corner and select the ‘Block Manager’. In the Block Manager, uncheck the blocks that you do not want to show up in your editor.

Block Manager Popup

If you want some distraction free writing mode in your editor, you can choose to display all the block and document tools at the top of your editor.

Setting the toolbar to be at the top
Toolbar at the top of the editor

How does the block editor help small businesses?

If you are just getting started with your business or if you are a local small business owner, you are most likely trying to keep the expenses low by doing most of the website related stuff yourselves. This is one of the big reasons WordPress is a good platform for you. It gives you the ability to setup and manage your websites at a low cost.

Before the block editor, you needed a page builder or theme templates to add a new page with a different layout. With the new block editor, that is made very easy. You can now easily setup a promotional landing page or ads within minutes and change it as you see fit. Ofcourse, with just the block editor, the possibilities are limited, but there are plugins that provide amazing layout options which make it very easy. Some of the page builders also now work with the new editor which give you more possibilities. You can find those plugins at the end of this post.

With the new editor and a couple of supported plugins, you do not need to depend on a web developer to build you new theme templates. This will save you time and money. It will be worth it, even though it has a small learning curve.

Read why small businesses need to have a strong online presence?

Page Layouts

Creating page layouts is very easy with the new editor. There are a number of layouts that you can create.

Here are some examples of some simple page layouts that you can create in a matter of minutes that will increase your page views and ultimately result in more clients.

  • Promotional sales
  • Portfolio layout

Do I need a Gutenberg ready theme?

With the block editor being drastically different from the classic editor, the themes and plugins need to add support for the new editor. The editor works with all themes by default, but, some of the features like full width will not be available unless the themes declare support for those features.

Displaying images in full width mode is one of the nice features of the block editor. The themes need to declare explicit support for this feature. Below are screenshots from editors that show the if the theme supports the wide width and full width modes.

Gutenberg ready themes also take into account the color palette of the site. Each theme has a set of colors that determines the appearance of the site. Since with the new block editor, you can choose some of the background and font colors, it is important that the color palette is limited to the ones that work well with the theme. You can still choose a custom color by clicking on the ‘Custom Color’ link.

Regular Color Palette in the block editor
Regular color palette
Theme specific color palette.
Theme specific color palette

How to find a Gutenberg ready theme?

Themes that provide complete support to Gutenberg are tagged as ‘Gutenberg Ready’ in the themes repo. You can go to and search for ‘Gutenberg Ready’ in the search bar.

Alternatively, you can use the feature filter to filter for ‘Block Editor Styles’. Both these searches might not give you the same results.

Read more on how to choose a theme for your WordPress site?

Other plugins that add features to the block editor

There are a number of plugins that add more blocks to your default editor. These blocks give you additional functionality. Each of these plugins provides enhanced block features which gives you more power to create custom page layouts.

If you would like to learn more about how to use the editor, you can find some amazing tutorials here –

Adding custom CSS and JS to your WordPress site

WordPress provides many different ways to customize your site. You can build a custom theme that is unique to your site or you can use an existing theme and tweak it to suit your needs and style.

In all these years of working with WordPress, I have had countless occasions when I had to add a little custom code to the site. If you are a web developer, then this does not seem like an issue at all. You just know where to add the relevant code and you also know how to troubleshoot it if it does not work.

For those of you who are not quite the developers, but would like to have fun with your site, WordPress makes it easy to add code snippets. There are many different ways to add custom CSS or JavaScript to your site. You can use a plugin, or the customizer (only for CSS) or dive into creating a child theme and get your hands dirty with some coding. Whatever method you choose, there are lots of options and good documentation to get you through.

Using the Customizer to add custom CSS:

The Customizer has been part of WordPress for a while now and we have all got used to adding CSS quickly. Go to Appearance -> Customize. In the customizer, there is an option for ‘Additional CSS’. Click on that and add all the CSS you need and save. This is by far the easiest way to add custom CSS to your theme.

This method is good if you need to change or tweak a couple of things on your site. If you want to add CSS for many sections on the site, using a child theme is better.

There is no option to add custom JavaScript in the customizer with the default WordPress theme.  You will have to use some plugins. Some other themes might provide this feature.

Plugins for adding custom CSS and JS

There are a number of plugins that let you add custom code snippets to customize your site.

Custom Header Footer Scripts for Customizer enables you to add scripts to the header and footer of your theme via the customizer.

Simple Custom CSS and JS is my favorite one of all. It makes it very easy to add custom code and has a lot of features even in the free version. It also has options to add custom HTML.

CSS Hero is another plugin that can be used to tweak the CSS of your theme. This premium plugin lets you customize your site live. It gives you an easy interface to edit and see the changes as you are making them.

Using a child theme

There a lot of WordPress themes that you can use to build your site. Each theme gives you certain functionalities along with a certain look/design. If you choose a theme, that gives you the features you want for your site, but would like to change the look and style of it, child themes are best way to do it.

You can use child themes to use the functionality of the parent theme, but change the look and styles of your site. You can add/remove some functionality through the child theme if you like. Creating a child theme requires some knowledge of coding. There are some great tutorials that will guide you though the process of creating a child theme.

Here are some useful links for creating child themes.

Once you have a child theme in place, you can add new CSS and Js files by adding them to the child theme’s functions.php. You need to properly enqueue them.

Importance of strong online presence for small businesses

A couple of weeks ago, on our way back from the beach, we decided to go to an Indian restaurant for dinner. We wanted to try a new place. So, I started googling for restaurants near us and started checking out the ones that we could try. I wanted to check out their menu to see if they had a particular dish that my kids wanted to have. To my surprise, two or three of them did not have a website and even if they did, they did not have a proper menu.

This made me think why wouldn’t somebody who is doing business, not have a proper website? In this day and age, a website is very important for the success of your business. It can make or break a business.

Let’s take the example of restaurants. If they have a website with their menu and hours on it, it would be helpful to a lot of people. People are in a rush trying to find things quickly. People use ‘Siri’ and Google to find things online. If you do not have an online presence, they will not find you. You need to optimize your site to show up in the “near me” searches. Having your business address registered in Google search is not enough. You need to have a website and at least a couple of social media profiles that talk about you and your business.

Wider Audience

Having an online presence helps you gain wider audience. Your website is accessible to people around the world. You might think that your products/services are local, but never underestimate the power of the web. Even if it is local, your site will help you gain more customers. People usually tend to search for products and services online first. Even if you don’t sell anything online, your potential customers will checkout your site and if they like what they see, they might actually come to the store to buy the products or contact you for your services.

Website accessible at all times

Your website is accessible to people even when your office/store is closed. People don’t have the time to go and visit different stores before buying a product. Many of them prefer online shopping in the comfort of their homes. So, having a website means that your will show up as an option for your potential clients.  Some services cannot be bought online and in that case give your potential clients a chance to read about you and get to know you. That will make it easy for them to make the decision to hire you.

One of the reasons people ignore their websites and social media is because they do not know where to start. There is so much information thrown towards us, that we are utterly confused on what is important. 

Here are the three main things a business needs to thrive online. These are just the starters, but can quickly evolve into much more. 

  1. A website
  2. Social media presence
  3. Strong SEO


Setting up a website is one of the easiest things and also one of the first things you should do. Here are the things you need to setup a site:

  1. Domain Name 
    As soon as you decide on your business name, check if you can purchase a domain name the same as your business. If your business name is a unique one, then it should be easy. You can do a search for domain names easily –
  2. Hosting 
    Once you have the domain name, purchase a hosting account to host your website. You can find some good hosting options here. I use SiteGround for my site and recommend it for my clients as well. Their customer service is excellent. You can check out Site Ground’s hosting options here.
  3. CMS 
    Using a Content Management System like WordPress will make it easier to add new content and maintain your site in the long term. Although WordPress is easy, there might be a learning curve. Once you install WordPress on your site, you can add pages and content to your site. There will be some options to customize your site. You now have a brand new site that you can show off to the world!! 
  4. Design for your site: WordPress comes with a number of themes to choose from for the look of your site on the front end.  You can choose a free theme and setup your site. If you want a custom design for your site, you will need to hire a professional to help you with the design and the building of the theme. Here are some tips to choosing the right theme for your WordPress site.

Building a website isn’t rocket science, but there are some things to keep in mind while you are building or setting up your site.

Websites make lasting impressions on people. You have a few minutes to make them interested in your products/services. So, you should make sure that your brand value/personality shows through your website. That will help people make the connection between you, your products/services and your website. Make the website easy to use and have the information easily accessible.

Your website should speak about you and your business just like you would in person. Your website is one of the best resources you have to convince users to purchase your products/services.

How much do I spend on my website?

So, now the big question that bothers every small business owner – How much should I spend on my website? Unfortunately, there is no magic number anybody can give you. You have to figure it out based on your requirements.

The good news is that you do not need to put down an enormous amount for a starter website. 

Just like you would not start a company with 10,000 employees on day 1, you do not need an expensive website with all the bells and whistles to get started. You can have a starter website for about $2,000.00. As your business grows, you can add more features to your site.

Does my website need a re-design?

Social Media

Social media is as important as a website. People like to engage and get updates and information through their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts. Having these for your business will definitely increase your customer base and result in more sales. Social media channels are a place where you can interact with your clients.

You do not need to have a profile on every social media channel out there. Some social media are preferable for some businesses. Facebook and Twitter are generally relevant to all businesses. There are other social media channels like Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc which you should definitely look into.

Post about product updates, offers, new products etc on your social media. Make it so that your potential customers are guided back to your website from all the social media channels.


Search Engine Optimization ensures that your site will show up on major search engines. Most people end up on a site from search engines. If your site does not show up in a search, it is very likely that you won’t be found on the internet. 

SEO is an ongoing process. You have to keep working on it to make sure your site shows up for relevant searches. If you use WordPress, there are a number of free plugins that will help you with SEO. I use the Yoast SEO plugin which offers a number of options even in the free version.

You can dedicate entire days for your SEO and there will be still so much more you can do. But, since you also need to focus on your business, you can start with a few things and learn as you go.

  • Add your site to the Google Search Console and the Bing webmaster tools. The webmaster tools help you see how your site is showing up on search engines, how your pages are ranking and what search phrases or words are people using to land on your pages. You can use the free Yoast SEO plugin for this.
  • Add an XML sitemap. XML sitemap is like a table of contents for your site. This helps search engines crawl all the pages on your site more efficiently. Sitemaps also include information about when the pages have been updated and the meta data of the pages.
  • Make sure your pages are loading quickly. If you have great content on your site, but it takes forever for your pages to load, people will quickly leave the site.
  • Have a mobile friendly site. Most of the website traffic these days comes from mobile phones and tablets. So, making your site mobile friendly is very important.
  • Optimize your page content and images – There is a lot you can do to optimize the content of your pages. Get started by having a title and description for your pages. This can be done using the Yoast SEO plugin if you are using WordPress. Adding descriptions to images using the alt tags and optimizing the image sizes helps.

There is a lot more you can do to have a strong online presence for your business. Get started with the minimum and add as you build your business online.

Get tips and tutorials on using the new block editor, WordPress themes and plugins!

How to build a website using a free or purchased WordPress theme?

In all my years of working with WP, I have to admit that there have been very few instances where I had to setup a free or purchased WordPress theme for a client. So, I have not seen the frustration that is caused when you try to setup a theme and it ends up very different from the demo.

Recently I was helping a local non-profit organization with setting up a new WordPress site. After a quick call with them, I found them a free WP theme. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when you are downloading or purchasing a WordPress theme.

As I went on to setup the theme, I came across all the frustrations of making it look like the demo site. Part of me (who likes to code) was screaming that it would be a lot easier if I coded it up exactly like how I wanted it. But, that would definitely take more time and that was not my job here either. So, I settled for setting up the theme based on the instructions. Lucky that the theme I downloaded had good documentation that helped. If not for the docs, it would have taken me a much longer time to figure it out.

When we consider a theme, we look at the demo pages which are beautiful and they promise many different layouts. But, when you finally download the theme and install it, most of the times it is nothing like the demo. It is drastically different and then you are frustrated. Then the biggest question is “How do I make my site look like the demo?”

Many people switch to WordPress because they were told it is easy. 5 minute installation, add a theme and content and voila!! You are set. Yes, technically it is true that it is very easy and those are the steps to get your site up and running with WordPress. But, if you are new to WordPress, it might be mind boggling to figure out all the details like posts, pages, plugins etc.. WordPress is easy, but as with everything, there is a bit of a learning curve.

So here are some tips that can save you hours of frustration while you are trying to make your site look awesome.

If you already have a site running on WordPress and are planning to switch to a new theme, there are a few things you need to remember:

  • Make sure the new theme is compatible with all the plugins that you are currently using on your site. The theme should mostly only change the look of your site, not how the site functions.
  • Remember to set up a staging site to test the new theme. It is never a good idea to just randomly change themes on your live site.

How to setup my new theme?

Once you have the theme and have activated it, it will most likely not look like the demo. Don’t feel disappointed. The theme demo is made to look good so that people will download and use the theme. Also, the theme demo has the best features displayed. The theme authors are not lying. It is still possible to get that layout with a little bit of work.

Here are the things to keep in mind:

Dependent plugins:

The first thing to figure out is to check if the theme is using any specific plugins. If yes, then you will probably need to install and activate those plugins to get those features. A good theme usually has a notice to say which plugins you will need. If it is not saying that in the WP admin, then you’ll have to go to the theme documentation to find out. Again, a good theme should always come with clear instructions and documentation. If you cannot find that, then you might want to re-think using that theme.

Home page setup:

Most of the theme demos show the homepage of the theme. For this home page to show up when your site loads, you have to go to settings->readings and set the home page as a static page and select another page for your blog posts if you have any.


You will most likely want to use your own images. Make sure you are uploading the correct image size. Otherwise the layout might get messed up.


Many themes give you the option to choose some fonts for your headings and body text. If you want the font exactly as in the theme demo, look in the docs for it. But, here my suggestion would be to play around with the fonts and see which one looks good on your site.


I know that whatever you see in the demo looks beautiful. But, that does not necessarily mean that it applies to your site. If you have a logo, then you might want to use your logo colors across your site so that it will all blend together. Most of the themes give you an option to choose accent colors which will be applied to the nav menus, buttons, links etc. Play around with those colors and see which one works best for your site.


Don’t be afraid to tweak the elements on the pages to make them work for your site. For example – in the site I was setting up, there was an “About Us” block on the home page. It was just an editor section where we could add content. It was nicely placed and I loved it. But, the organization I was working with did not need that section on their homepage. So, I used that block to showcase a couple of YouTube videos. These kind of customizations will help with your company branding and make your site look different.

The good part about downloading a theme is that you are getting some awesome features for little or no cost. The downside of that is the theme is not built for your company website. Many other websites are also probably using the same theme. So, you have to leverage the customization options the theme gives you to make your site look unique.

Does my website need a re-design?

One of my favorite pastime is scrolling through websites randomly just to see the design layouts. This gives me inspiration. There are truly awesome websites that I come across and this is one of them –

Then, there are sites that clearly look like they need to be updated – not just the design or the layout, but also the content.

Then there are sites which are in the middle – where the design is not so outdated, but the site still looks like it can be pruned up a bit. I sometimes wonder if the site owners know that they need to update their site? But, then again, how do you know if your site needs an update? How often do you update the layout, colors and the content? How much do you need to spend on the re-design? Is it worth it?

So, first thing we need to look at is:

Why do I need to redesign my site?

Your website is mostly your online store – whether you are selling physical products, digital products or your services. You hope to gain new clients and keep your old ones.

Let’s assume you have a physical store. You will make sure the store is presentable, it is up to date, clean and visible to your old and potential new customers. You work hard against your competitors to make sure your site is more visible and visually attractive along with stocking the latest merchandise in the front to attract your customers.

Since for the most part, your website is your online store, you need to work just as hard to keep it updated, clean and visible (through SEO) to your customers. Just having a website up is not enough anymore. You need to work and yes – spend a little money to make it work for you.

Re-designing your site means so much more than just re-doing the design. It means making sure that the content is up to date, the site is updated to the latest versions of any software you are using, and most importantly looking at data to make sure you are giving your customers what they are looking for.

So, again back to our question of how do you decide if your site needs a redesign?

How do you know if your site needs an update?

Let’s look at some factors that will help you decide if your site needs an update/re-design.

  • When was the last time you updated your website?

If you have not worked on improving the look and feel of your site in the past 3 years, then it is high time you do it now. When it comes to websites, a lot changes in 3 years. If you do not keep up, your site soon looks very outdated.

  • Has your business changed?

Has your business model changed? Have you added new products or services? If yes, then you need to make sure that your website has the new

  • Do you have an online store?

If yes, then is the online store up to date? Are the products easily visible and accessible to your users? Are you getting enough sales from your store? If the answer to any of the above questions is a ‘No’, then you should consider redesigning your site.

  • Is your site mobile friendly?

Having a mobile friendly site is really important. More and more people are viewing and purchasing through their phones and tablets. If your site is not truly responsive, then you are going to lose visitors. But, you do not have to completely redesign to make your site mobile friendly. There are ways to make your current site mobile friendly.

  • Are you trying to get more visitors to your site?

You might have some great products and great content on your site. But, if the content is not easily accessible, you are going to lose visitors. To improve this situation, it is best to think about how to present your content beautifully on the site so that people will stay longer and eventually buy your products or services.

How often do you need to update the layout, colors and the content?

Your site needs to have content updated regularly. In the case of large sites, it is advisable to go through your content monthly and make sure everything is up to date. If you site is small, updating it every 2-3 months should be enough.

Usually having a blog where you are adding new articles on a regular basis helps you add the latest information to your site. This also helps with SEO. The other pages need to be updated on a regular basis too. Make sure your homepage is showing the latest products and other information is easily visible.  If you have a lot of events on your site, you need to make sure that the old events are not showing up on top. Sometimes phone numbers and addresses change and they need to be fixed on the website as well. Keeping your site updated also lets your customers know that you are detail oriented which in turn helps your business.

Regarding the layout and the colors, I wouldn’t necessarily change them frequently (as this takes away the familiarity for your users), but would change it every couple of years or so. This will help you prioritize your content and attract more visitors to your site.

How much do you need to spend on the re-design?

This is the most important thing of all. Many of the sites are not updated as they cannot spend a ton of money on re-design every couple of years. But, you do not need to completely overhaul your site every couple of years. You can change the layout of the home page or blog page or services pages. If you use a CMS like WordPress, it makes it easy to add page templates which you can swap for a new look. Getting a page template created wouldn’t cost you a lot of money compared to a complete site design.

You can change the look and feel of your blog page, or your sidebar by reducing clutter. You can add/remove items or text or images from all the pages and make sure all the content is current and updated. This will keep your site fresh and will help keep your site visitors longer.

But, that said, once every two – three years, it is advisable to consider a re-haul of your site. Many things change in the world of web design and development. New features become available which help make your site faster and give you more control over the site. It is always advisable to make use of these to build a better site for your users. Re-designing also helps you go over the site’s content and remove the unnecessary content.


WordPress Site Maintenance

When we think about websites, the first things that come to mind are the ease of use, design and performance of the website. Most of us choose WordPress because it is easy to use and the ease with which you can add additional functionality using plugins. But, one thing that is easily overlooked is the site maintenance. Without regular website maintenance, the performance of the site suffers. So, it is very important to allocate some time/budget for site maintenance. Continue reading “WordPress Site Maintenance”

Verified by MonsterInsights