5 Steps to Creating a Custom Branded Website from a WordPress Theme

5 Steps to Creating a Custom Branded Website from a WordPress Theme

A WordPress website is an excellent step forward for a business that did not initially have a presence in the digital space, but it does not have the same effect as a custom branded website.

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Fortunately, converting a WordPress theme to a custom branded website design is something doable regardless of the theme and plugins initially used or the size of the business.

This process can seem overwhelming or unnecessary at first; however, you will reap the benefits of having a custom-branded website for years to come.

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A visually appealing site will create a great first impression on potential clients.

Your site visitors can even associate the particular colours used on the site with your brand if the colours are combined well; that they think about your brand every time they see a specific colour.

This will have a significant impact on your ability to sell products.

There are five tips that business owners should keep in mind if they want to achieve such an impact.


Tips for Turning a WordPress Theme into a Custom Branded Website

  • Look for Inspiration in Other Sites

There are many other sites similar to yours in Singapore and internationally.

Checking out such sites will give you a fantastic starting point.

Analyse the different layers used by the site to create such an interesting website.

Try to envision the images and different aspects you would have added to the site to create a unique user experience.

You can create this user experience by changing things such as background photos, font and text arrangement, and the colour of the call-to-action buttons.

WordPress themes such as Enzo, Hazel, Stockholm, and Crane are easy to customise.

  • Make a Decision on the Brand Image You Want to Have

The market a business caters to has a lot of say in the brand image the company wants to create.

For example, a business selling products for young Singaporeans may decide to convey a fun and entertaining persona while a business selling men’s products may choose to show a powerful and sophisticated brand.

A company looking to corner the women’s market, on the other hand, may want to indicate a classy and beautiful brand.

The purpose of the business is also vital in determining the brand image.

For example, a catering business wants to display an impressive variety while a yoga business wants to connect emotionally with the clients to keep them coming back.

The intended use of your custom branded site is another critical factor that should be considered before deciding on the image of the company.

For example, a brand that only needs a website to advertise the physical location of the business cannot use an image that indicates efficiency.

After all, you still need to go to the physical location to sign up for something or make an order.

It is easy to come up with a site that will have an impact on potential clients once all these factors are used to develop the brand image.

  • Colour and Font Choice

Men and women do not react the same way to different colours. Men like black because it represents strength, power, and sophistication while women love pink because it indicates feminine energy, love, and care.

Research into colours has also shown that men and women overwhelmingly voted for blue as their favourite colour while both despise brown.

Additionally, women do not like grey.

Different research has also shown that people’s preference for colours changes with age.

Therefore, it is crucial to find the colour that fits the age group you want your product/service to be the target.

The choice of font is a chance to subtly indicate the type of business you intend to be.

Using Times New Roman indicates a traditional and conservative way of doing business while using a font such as Broadway indicates a more easy-going way of doing things.

  • Use Images

Images have the unique ability to draw the attention of your site visitors.

They stay longer on the site as a result, and this ultimately leads to a better search engine ranking.

It also reduces the bounce rate on your site for an even higher search engine ranking.

There are three types of images you can add to your site to make it more visually appealing.

First, you can schedule a photo shoot and then add the photos to your site.

The images can be of you, your staff, or a model. Your visitors love seeing Singaporeans they can relate to on sites they regularly visit.

Second, you can add simple custom art to your site.

This adds a touch of simplicity to your site and can be crucial if your brand image is centred around simplicity.

Lastly, you can add high-quality custom art that is intensely visually appealing.

A high-quality custom art will immediately set you apart from your competitors. However, they are typically costly.

Stock images were an option you could use a few years ago, but they have since been discarded because they are seen as inauthentic by potential clients and lead to less engagement.

  • Keep Your Logo in Mind

Your logo is an integral part of your business and brand image.

Many companies have invested so much in logos that they use them in their marketing campaigns without necessarily adding the company name.

The size and colour of your logo can determine the design of your custom branded website.

For example, a large logo with conspicuous primary colours can be complemented by secondary colours on the site.

The placement of the logo on the site is also affected by the size of the logo.

Although many companies place the logo on the left-hand corner of the site, yours may not be able to fit. You will be left with no choice but to centre it.


11 Elements Your Website Design Should Have

The five steps discussed above will help you create a website for your business, but they are insufficient to thrust your business to the top of SERPs and generate leads.

It would be best if you considered hiring a reputable website design agency to develop a custom template for your website from scratch.

Here are 11 essential elements that the website design should have to unlock the full potential of your online business effectively.

  • Responsive and Interactive Hero Images

Google’s recent algorithm update, Core Web Vitals, advocates for websites to offer the best user experience.

How well your website interacts with visitors determines the quality of the user experience.

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It also influences metrics such as bounce, click-through rate, and on-site time.

The mantra, a picture worth a thousand words, is applicable and relevant to the website design. Including heroes and images will help you connect with potential customers.

The images should be not only memorable but also responsive and interactive.

The web visitors should be able to pique their interest in your brand and encourage them to scroll down to the page to read about what you offer.

Placement is essential when designing a website. Ideally, the hero images should be placed above the fold; that is, the website section visitors first see on the screen when they visit.

We recommend putting them in the background and having text overlays to create an exciting and memorable visual experience.

Search for quality images that can tell your story and match your brand’s overall vision.

One of the benefits of adding them is that they eliminate the need for having too much text and videos.

The visitors know what your business is about by looking at the image. Make sure that the website is responsive to be viewable on mobile devices.

  • Background Videos

Video is more effective in describing a product or service than text.

In a recent poll, 94% of digital marketers said that video helped their clients better understand their products and services.

86% reported an increase in leads after using video for marketing.

Having a background video on your website will add immense value and intrigue to the page.

Use it to tell your brand story and convince customers that your brand is the best in the market.

More importantly, it will increase users’ dwell time, giving you more chances of convincing them to convert.

Like hero images, you don’t need to have length product and service descriptions.

The background videos will get the job done as shown on Wistia homepage.

The first moments of the video should evoke positive emotions and capture the viewer’s attention to entice them to watch the entire video.

Remember, our brains process video content 60,000 times faster than text. Modern online customers would rather watch a video than spend time reading blocks of text.

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  • Unique Typography

The average attention span of an ordinary website visitor is 8 seconds. Your website should capture the attention of potential customers within the first 3 seconds of them landing on the page.

If it fails to do so, you risk losing potential customers to your competitors.

One sure way of grasping their attention is by using unique typography. Unlike a decade ago, there are a plethora of fonts that designers can use to customise your website.

The font should make the text pop out from the background and surrounding elements and enhance readability.

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Concisely, unique typography is like your business logo.

It’s what will differentiate your brand from the rest. It will give customers a hint of your business personality. Make sure the designer considers the selected font’s applicability across browsers, computers, and mobile devices.

If the font is new and not supported by the popular browsers used by the target customers, the site will look awkward on different devices.

The credibility and professional outlook you worked so hard to create could easily be washed down the drain due to such a mistake.

  • Hamburger Menus

Menus bring to life a website architecture and enable visitors to navigate the pages seamlessly.

Most of the websites we reviewed during our research have long menus tailored to help visitors access different pages directly.

While this is good, it unnecessarily occupies a large space on the screen.

Save space by replacing such a menu with a modern hamburger menu. The latter has a professional look, is intuitive, saves space, and offers the same desired user experience.

Getting rid of the old and dysfunctional menu will improve site navigation, endearing your brand to more customers.

You will also get more real estate on the screen by including other elements such as a Call-to-Action button.

  • Card Website Design

Pinterest introduced the card website design. Initially, web designers were sceptical about it, but with the increasing need to offer unique, quality, and memorable browsing experiences, more brands are opting for a card website design.

This new generation design is visual and helps customers understand what the brand offers by providing bite-sized pieces of information.

The design doesn’t overwhelm them with a ton of content immediately after they land on it for the first time.

The content is organised using cards that customers can click on when browsing using a computer or smartphone.

Each service or product is assigned a dedicated card that is clearly labelled to avoid confusion.

One of the highlights of a card website design is that it makes the homepage clean and other website pages look organised and professional.

The image on each card should give the audience an idea of the content before clicking on it.

In a nutshell, card design is increasingly becoming popular on B2C and B2B websites.

It’s preferred over other design options for its ability to offer digestible chunks of information that are easy to digest.

In addition, it makes it possible for brands to highlight different products and services side-by-side without cluttering the pages.

With most people using mobile devices to browse the website, the cards should be 100% responsive.

Your website should be able to adjust the card sizes based on the screen size of the device used by the user.

  • Inclusion of High-Quality Product Images

The inclusion of product images on website pages is not new.

The images as effective in highlighting product features. However, if you want to rival competitors, you need to use larger images.

The most successful e-commerce platforms apply this hack on dedicated landing pages and product pages.

In the picture above, there is one large feature image, and right under it, there are additional product images to complement it.

The images are responsive to offer the same browsing experience to visitors regardless of the device used to access the website.

One of the main reasons why you should consider replicating the same on your website is to highlight or communicate your product’s unique selling points effectively.

Contrary to popular briefly, over-size images that are properly optimised are scan-friendly.

They help potential customers who haven’t decided whether to buy the product to make a decision faster.

As they scroll down and sideways to view the features, you will get additional time to display a CTA button or a form to capture their details for an email marketing campaign.

  • Semi-Flat Website Design

Gone are the days of static website designs. They were great by as trends change, online customers’ needs and expectations also change.

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For starters, a flat web design is one with elements that don’t offer a three-dimension perception to visitors.

The flat and semi-flat design is gaining prominence due to its ability to help visitors understand content more accessible and faster.

Studies show that websites with this design load more quickly because they don’t over complicated and unnecessary technical elements.

Your competitors probably have this design, and so should you if you want to topple them off the top spots on SERPs and reign supreme in your niche.

Uber web designers went the extra mile to add a twist to the flat design by incorporating subtle dimensions and shadows.

As shown in the screenshot above, the essential graphic elements on the page have a unique sense of depth that naturally draws on thanks to the surrounding shadows.

The bottom line is that a flat design will help you convey the message better to your customers.

It will also breathe life into it and exhume your brand personality by including unique elements and shadows.

Consistency is vital when creating a flat web design.

All the pages should have the same design to avoid making the visitors feel like they strayed to another website.

More importantly, focus on offering the best possible user experience on each page to generate sales and impress the search engine bots.

  • Inclusion of Feature Videos

Earlier, we mentioned the power and need to include videos in your website design.

The background videos will capture the attention of potential customers and encourage them to do business with you.

Go the extra mile to post short feature videos.

This is a new trend that businesses use to highlight their products’ main features. Unlike the background videos, feature videos are short, engaging, and concise.

The main goal when creating the videos should be to highlight the best features within the shortest time possible.

Borrow a leaf from the Invision.com homepage.

The page has a short illustrator video that shows how easy it is to use the product. The video should be in high-definition to achieve this objective.

The strategy is currently widely used in B2B websites but can also be applied to B2C websites.

Consider using it to influence your target customers’ buying decisions positively.

  • Embrace Mobile-Friendly Layouts

63% of organic search visits are from mobile devices. It’s also estimated that mobile devices account for 58.16% of the global website traffic.

Based on these facts, ensuring your website has a mobile-friendly layout is crucial.

This layout will ensure page elements are displayed correctly on different devices and accommodate point-and-click mouse control.

With traffic sources increasing, the website should be able to adapt to other devices instantly and offer the same browsing experience.

Therefore, invest in a responsive web design with a mobile-friendly page layout to profit from the increasing web traffic from mobile devices.

The designer should confirm that the user interfaces, images, and text are optimised and properly rescaled on different devices.

Also, some browsers tend to compress website pages.

So, preview the website on different browsers before it goes live.

It’s also a good idea to request users in other locations to test the website to enable you to pinpoint sections and pages that need to be tweaked.

  • White Space

White space is predominant in websites that have a minimalist design.

Today, it’s a critical feature that you should consider whether you’re designing the site from scratch or improving an existing website.

The trick to having enough white space on the pages is striking a balance between the number of links, videos, and text. Your website visitors naturally gravitate towards the critical elements of your website.

Use white space to direct them to them and make them stand out from the background and other elements.

There is no one-size-fits-all regarding the amount of white space that’s good for a website.

The rule of thumb is to ensure there is some white space between the different content elements on the pages.

White space will improve site navigation by guiding the customer’s attention to the essential elements that move the needle for your business.

For example, if you decide to include your best seller product above the fold section of your homepage, make sure to separate it from the other content and elements with white space.

Doing so will make it pop out and encourage the customers to click on the CTA button or links to visit the dedicated product page or landing page.

On the same point, avoid distracting the customers by removing noisy elements that may be surrounding the product.

  • Optimise Your Website for Speed

Page speed directly impacts the overall quality of the website user experience.

If your website loads fully in 5 seconds, it’s faster than 25% of the web.

If it loads in 2.9 seconds, it’s faster than 50% of the web, and if it loads in 1.7 seconds, it’s faster than 75% of websites online.

Optimising website images is the first thing you should do to enhance load time.

Here are five more tips on how to optimise website speed today.

    • Use the right content delivery network (CDN)
    • Enable browser caching
    • Have the website hosted by a reputable company and on a dedicated server
    • Minimise HTTP requests
    • Combine and minify files
    • Apply asynchronous loading for both JavaScript and CSS files
    • Defer JavaScript loading
    • Reduce time to first byte

Apply the above website load time optimisation hacks to increase online conversion rate, ranking, and credibility. Here is an article we recently published on how to optimise and test website speed.


Final Word

Having a superb product/service is a priority for many companies.

A majority achieves this, but they struggle to market the products/services to Singaporeans.

The struggle is typically rooted in either not having a presence online or having an ineffective WordPress website.

A custom-branded website solves this problem by ensuring that the right people in Singapore view your fantastic product.

Contact us today for custom web design services in Singapore. We will help your brand stand out from the crowd and get a firm footing.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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