Designing your own WordPress website might feel like an arduous task if you don't know where to begin. Thankfully, simple website design options do exist.
In this article, we'll help walk you through choosing a simple to use, premium WordPress theme and then show you how to setup your own site on WordPress quickly. Get your business or folio website up and running fast.
Why Use a Simple WordPress Website Theme Design?
When it comes to WordPress, there is no shortage of quality premium themes that are suitable for a variety of niches. From business to portfolio websites, almost anyone can find a premium web theme designed with a particular industry in mind.
You can also find multi-purpose themes that can be used regardless of the focus of your site. Finally, there are also simple WordPress themes that are a great choice for anyone who feels overwhelmed and wants a site design that’s quick and easy to setup.
Simple WordPress website themes come with several benefits that make them an attractive choice:
- Faster Loading Times - Due to their often minimal design, simple website themes will have a positive impact on your site’s loading time.
- Quick and Easy Setup - Simple website design themes are far from being boring or difficult to personalize. Their setup and the customization options are usually just a click away and require no coding.
- Better SEO - Another benefit of simple website templates is that they will improve your search engine rankings because your site will load faster.
- More Focus on Your Content - As mentioned before, the minimalistic site design will put your content front and center, which is perfect if you want your call-to-action to stand out.
3 Key Features to Look For in a Simple Website Theme Design
If you’re looking for a simple way to setup your website, you might be wondering how to choose the right template and whether you should go with an HTML template or a WordPress theme. While HTML templates are usually easy to install, keep in mind that you'll need to know basic HTML and CSS if you want to customize them.
On top of that, if you want your website to have a blog, then you’d have to update the template each and every time with your post written in HTML.
Unlike HTML templates, there is no coding needed with a premium WordPress theme. For starters, WordPress allows you to insert your posts and pages using a post editor that has a word processor-like interface. WordPress themes are also easier to customize as most of them come with a theme settings page where you can use sliders and drop-down menus to choose colors, fonts, and more easy website design options.
If you’ve decided to go with a simple to use WordPress theme, here are a few essential features that you need to look for:
1. Minimalistic Design
Simple WP site themes are not only easy to setup, they are characterized by a minimalistic and simple design with bold and eye-catching typography. Whitespace is prominent on all the pages and the content has plenty of space to stand out and draw the attention of website visitors.
2. One Click Demo Import
If you want a guarantee that your theme will be simple to use, look for one that has a one-click demo import feature. This allows you to install the theme and then import the demo content and layout with the click of a mouse.
Instead of spending hours trying to figure out how to re-create the layout you’ve seen in the demo version, all you have to do is edit the pages with your own content and customize the colors and fonts.
3. Simple Customization Options
Speaking of customization options, simple website theme designs will have the settings grouped in one location and you will be able to change the colors, the fonts, and everything else using sliders or dropdown menus, without having to write any of the custom CSS.
Before You Get Started
We’ll cover how to setup a simple WordPress theme to create your website design quickly in the next section. For the purpose of the tutorial, we’ll be using the Smart WordPress theme. It’s a minimal portfolio and business WP theme with plenty of whitespace and quick setup thanks to the one-click demo import feature.
Before starting with your site, you’ll need to buy a domain name, choose a secure hosting plan, select a great website theme, and write the content that will go on your site:
1. Killer Domain Name
Picking a domain name is the first step. Depending on the purpose of your site, you might choose to go with your business name or the name if your site will be more of a personal portfolio or a personal blog. Another option is to use keywords that are related to the topic and categories you plan to write about.
In most cases, you'll want to choose a domain name that ends in .COM as this is the most popular extension. However, using a domain extension such as .ME or .NET is a good choice if the desired name paired with a .COM is already taken.
2. Pro Hosting Plan
Once you have your domain name picked out, the next step is to purchase a hosting plan. Hosting plans start as low as $5/month, but you’ll want to do your research and choose a company that has good reviews and reliable uptime.
You can take a look at the hosting recommendations on WordPress’ website. Alternatively, consider using Envato Hosted, which offers premium managed WordPress hosting for $19USD (+ applicable taxes) per month along with your chosen premium theme setup, and premium support included.
The plan also includes:
- Up to 100,000 monthly visits of incoming traffic, 5GB of disk space, and 100GB of monthly bandwidth.
- Daily backups, server security, site monitoring, as well as premium support and quick setup assistance from our team of WordPress experts.
3. Premium WordPress Theme
With the domain name and the hosting plan out of the way, you need to decide on the appropriate theme for your site. There are plenty of premium simple WordPress themes to choose from that offer benefits such as support from the theme author and an attractive, responsive design.
Finally, you’ll need to plan and write the content for your site. Make a list of all the pages you want to have on your site a write a couple of paragraphs for each of them. You may want to consider adding a services page that lists your packages if your website is business oriented. Don’t forget to include a Contact page as well as an About page so your visitors can learn more about you and have a way of contacting you.
How to Create Your New WordPress Website Design (Quickly)
Once you have everything in place, it’s time to move to the next step and setup your new site. We’ll cover the steps to install WordPress, your theme, required plugins, and create your pages.
1. Installing WordPress
First, you’ll need to install WordPress. When you purchase a hosting plan, your hosting provider will email you the details needed to login to the backend of your account. Use the username and password they send you and visit the link to your account’s dashboard or cPanel.
Once in your dashboard, look for the WordPress icon. Most web hosts nowadays have a one-click WordPress install but if your host doesn’t have it, look for a section called Website Installers, Softaculous, or One Click Installers. Find WordPress, select it, and click Install.
You will be presented with a form where you need to enter the username and password you’ll use to login to your WordPress dashboard. You’ll also need to enter your email address, site name and description, and choose a directory where to install WordPress.
Unless you have a very good reason not to do it, leave the directory field empty and then click the Install button.
After the installation has finished, you will see a message that WordPress has been installed. You can now login to your WordPress dashboard with the username and password you selected during the installation process.
2. Installing Your WordPress Theme
After you have logged in to your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes > Add new. Then, click Upload Theme.
From there, you just have to select the zipped folder that contains the theme’s files and upload it. Wait for the installation to complete, then click Activate.
3. Installing Required WordPress Plugins
With the theme activated, your next step is to install any required plugins. You’ll notice a notification in your dashboard telling you which plugins are required along with a link taking you directly to the installation screen.
Select all the plugins and choose Install from the dropdown menu. When the plugins have been installed, go to Plugins > All Plugins and select Inactive plugins then choose Activate from the dropdown menu.
Customizing Your Simple Website Design
Once the WordPress theme has been activated and all the required plugins installed, it’s time to customize your website design, content appearance, and quickly set up your pages.
1. Importing and Adding Your Content
The fastest way to set up your site is to import the demo content. In your dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Import Demo Data. Click the button and wait for the import process to finish. The tool will import all the pages, blog posts, and theme settings.
After all the content has been imported, go to Pages > All pages and click to view each page so you can find a layout appropriate for your site’s purpose. When you’ve found a layout for the homepage that you like, go to Settings > Reading and choose that page to be your homepage. Do the same for the posts page. Then, click on Save settings.
To replace the demo content with your own, simply click on Edit with Visual Composer. This will allow you to easily replace the content or add new elements with a quick drag-and-drop.
If you want to add more pages or if you want to create a page from scratch, go to Pages > Add New. Name your page and then use the Visual Composer to quickly create a layout, and add elements such as rows, columns, sliders, and more.
2. Setting Up Menus
After you’ve setup all the pages, you need to add a navigation menu so visitors can find their way around your site and locate the information they need.
Still in your dashboard, go to Appearance > Customize > Menus. Since you’ve imported the demo content, several menus have already been created. For this tutorial, I’ve chosen the Primary demo.
To add pages to your site, click on the + sign and select all the pages you want to appear in the main navigation. Remember to keep the navigation simple and add only the most important pages to make browsing your site easy.
You’ll also need to check the box next to Primary navigation and then save the changes.
3. Styling Your Simple Website Theme
This is the last step is to customize your new website design. In your dashboard, go to Smart Options menu in the sidebar. From here, you can upload your logo and favicon, enter a description and title for your site, customize blog settings, and more.
Styling options will allow you to choose the colors for your theme as well as the fonts.
Lastly, don’t forget to configure your footer. You can link your social media profiles by going to Footer options and entering the link for the desired profile in the Footer Link box and the social media site’s name in the Footer Text Link box.
Create Your Site Quickly With a Simple WordPress Theme
Using a simple WordPress template to create your website design is a great way to get your site up and running quickly without getting overwhelmed with all the design options and spending too much time on customizations.
The Smart WordPress theme is just one example of a simple WordPress theme with premium design options, with many more available on ThemeForest. Browse through our collection of simple WordPress themes to find the one that catches your eye and use it to get your site up and running as fast as possible.
And be sure to use a premium WordPress hosting provider, like Envato Hosted, to setup your site securely, with quick installation and theme setup assistance.