WordPress is an incredibly powerful platform upon which you can build many different kinds of websites. Traditional blogs are supported, of course, but you can also use WordPress to easily create websites that don’t look like traditional blogs. Best of all, WordPress is available free of cost – as both a fully hosted service (at WordPress.com) as well as free software that can be downloaded for installation on your own web server (available at WordPress.org).

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But the popularity of WordPress also has a downside. It’s estimated that there are over 70,000,000 websites running on WordPress (approximately half at WordPress.com, and the other half self-hosted), and many of these websites use the same themes and types of layouts. A key element of your website’s success – whether you measure “success” in terms of sales you make on the website or simply the number of visitors you draw – is distinguishing it from other websites that might be competing for the same sales or visitors.

Here are some suggestions for customizing your WordPress website so that you can increase the likelihood of your success.

Header Image

At a minimum, you should use a custom image in the header of your website to distinguish it from other WordPress sites that use the same theme. While the basic layout from the theme may be recognizable on other sites, having a unique header image will go a long way towards making your website stand out from those of your competitors.

Layout Options

Many WordPress themes have built-in options for changing the layout of your website. These options often include whether to have a sidebar (or two) on your website, and where those sidebars are located (left side, right side or both). Take a quick survey of your competitors’ websites to see if you can configure yours differently.

Plugins and Widgets

Another great opportunity for customizing your WordPress site is thoughtful use of plugins and widgets. Plugins can add numerous functionalities to a website, and widgets let you include certain types of information in the sidebars and footers of your WordPress theme. Choose plugins and widget types that support the overall purpose of your theme, and use them to distinguish your site from those of your competitors.

Custom Themes

Finally, if the budget for your website supports it, you might wish to consider the ultimate way of customizing your WordPress installation – a custom theme. A WordPress designer can create a theme for your website from scratch, with whatever layout and functions you require. A custom theme can have a unique look and feel that’s different from other WordPress websites, and help you stand out from the crowd.

While it might be impossible to customize your WordPress website to an extent that it’ll be completely unique in every way, it is possible (with a little effort, and perhaps expense) to help your website succeed by making it look different from all the others.

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Author : Susan Haynes

I have been in software industry for more than 10 years. I have developed different type of software using different languages. I have knowledge in languages such as Ruby, Python, PHP, Flash, .NET, Java, and jQuery. Currently I am working as a Tech Lead in Singapore.

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