Editor’s Note: Let’s face it. Most creative businesses are run online these days and a good website is essential for artists, designers, and makers from all creative disciplines and backgrounds. Platforms like WordPress provide a great way to build a DIY website easily and quickly, but it’s important to find ways to set your site apart from the competition in an increasingly crowded marketplace. In this article you’ll find a few ideas excerpted from The Creative Person’s Website Builder by Alannah Moore, a book that takes an in depth look at using WordPress and other easy tools to create a professional website.
Like many creatives are you looking for a way to make your website without having any specific technical knowledge relating to website-building. As a creative person, you may find yourself feeling constrained by not having total control over the layout in the way that a web designer would—having to use a design that has already been created and built by someone else.
However, there are many ways in which you can make your website look individual. The easiest trick in the book to add personality is to choose an interesting background and change the font of the headings—or create a header image with an unusual font—giving you an instantly individual-looking site, even if the theme you’re using is very simple.
Using Google Fonts
Google Web Fonts offers hundreds of beautiful fonts. The easiest way to implement these is via the WP Google Fonts plugin. The plugin doesn’t let you see what the fonts look like, so the best thing to do is choose one you like by browsing the Google Web Fonts Directory (http://www.google.com/fonts), then using the plugin to see what it looks like on your site.
I suggest leaving the font of the regular text on the page the way it is (it’s important that the regular text on the site remains clean and readable) and only changing the font of the large headings—choose “Headline 1 (h1 tags)” from within the Google Fonts plugin settings.
Creating a header image with an interesting/ impactful font
This is another way to make an impact. You can easily download free fonts to your computer and use these to create graphics, even if you’re using an online service like Pixlr.
Get some unique graphics
A beautiful header design or hand-drawn lettering coupled with a very simple theme may be all you need to make your site stand out. If you’re a graphic artist then this will be simple; if not, it may be worth considering hiring a graphic artist to make you a header. This is a very effective and easily achievable way to make a site stand out, even if you are using a theme with few bells and whistles.
The following examples showcase a few live implementations of WordPress themes in use:
For more great tips and tricks for building your own creative website from WordPress check out The Creative Person’s Website Builder by Alannah Moore, available for preorder at MyDesignShop.