There’s a saying in business, “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” That saying is particularly helpful in terms of setting up a website. With the use of WordPress you can have a blog OR website up and running within minutes; even if you lack html skills.
Many people think that if they use a platform such as WordPress it is for a ‘blog,’ but you can easily customize it to look like a regular website with the key difference being it will be easier for you, the blog owner, to add and update content.
The thing is, with smartphones and new lightweight laptops coming out frequently, its becoming easier and easier to pick up and go work on your website at the nearest coffee shop or even to work remotely with a friend. It also means consumers are constantly mobile and accessing sites while out, at any time of day. So how can you make your website stand out? One way is looking less like all the other blogs online and taking on a more professional appeal.
This article is going to assume that you already have a domain name, hosting and WordPress installed. But now we are going to incorporate some tips to make it look and feel less like a ‘blog’ and more like a ‘website.’
First and foremost, back up all your files before you start changing the theme in case you run into a problem. Trust me, it happens, be prepared.
Start with the Sidebar
One of the main giveaways of a blog is the sidebar. Particularly default titles that include Categories, Blogroll and the like. The good news is that changing these titles is super easy by editing the sidebar.php file within the theme you are using.
Don’t panic if you are not familiar with PHP or HTML. Changing these titles is easy and can usually be done right within the WordPress dashboard.
Another dead giveaway of a blog is the url structure which usually includes “categories”. You can easily rectify this by using clean permalinks which can be easily accomplished with the plugin, WP No Category Base. Basically the URL will go from
/, giving your site a less blog-type feel and a cleaner URL.
To Comment or Not
Comments are a core function to blogging. So this option will likely depend on your site objective. If you want your site to merely appear more like a website, and less like a blog, you might want to leave commenting as an option. But, if you simply want to supply advice or products you might not want to deal with the monitoring of comments. Another option is to change it from saying “Comments,” to “Leave a Review,” which sounds slightly more professional.
Tags and Tag Clouds
These are also tell-tale signs of a blog. And, if I do say so, some bloggers get mighty carried away with tags and clouds that over power the page. That being said, having “Tags,” which are essential keywords on each post does help the reader to browse through other posts within that category, so it is possible to strike a balance. Tags are also helpful for SEO benefits.
Use Pages Sidebar as Main Navigation
While we did mention the sidebar above, it’s worth further mentioning that the pages section can easily serve as your main navigation. On a regular blog the pages are typically set aside for “About Us,” “Contact Us,” and the like pages. But you can use a plugin such as Page Link Manager to move those administrative links to the footer of the side and leave your core pages on the sidebar.
There are more things you can do to make your site look less like a blog, but this is a pretty decent start. The beauty of WordPress is that you can find plugins to help you do nearly everything you need.
Belinda Lima is a freelance writer for andgeeks.com and bbgeeks.com. She graduated from the University of Texas with her Graduate degree in Creative Writing and now uses her word smith talents and her love of technology to write about a variety of social media, consumer electronics, and mobile accessories topics in her articles.
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