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Apr 12 2013
How to convert PSD to WordPress for multiple verticals: A complete guide
The rise in the number of websites powered by WordPress is evidence enough of the popularity of WordPress and the increasing realization by people about the importance of the Internet in everyday life and business. Being the best PSD to WordPress conversion service there is, we are getting projects from nearly every industry, each having its own set of requirements. The most common of them, the clients face are what should be the design of the site, what themes and plugins to use, etc. Thus to answer these common questions, we present a guide to you on converting a PSD design to a WordPress website for various types of website verticals.
Basics of PSD to WordPress Conversion
Before we move to different verticals, lets first talk about PSD to WordPress conversion in general. As the name itself suggests, converting PSD design to WordPress format means slicing the design and coding it into a working WordPress theme and website. The process starts by analyzing the design image and slicing and dividing it into pixel-perfect components. These components are then used to create a custom WordPress theme which is then configured to give the desired look and feel, coded to give the necessary structure, color scheme and font scheme along with necessary functionalities (which goes in function.php of the theme), and is then activated on the WordPress software. After activation additional functionalities are added through plugins and widget. The last step involves thoroughly testing the final site and making it live on the domain. To know about PSD to WordPress conversion in detail, refer to this post.
Now it must be apparent that if you keep aside configuring and adding functionalities step, the process of PSD conversion is nearly the same for every type of site with few changes in the approach a design is coded. However plugins, themes, and design style plays a crucial role in deciding the character of the website and even the success rate of the website. Thus for making a website of a specific type, the choice of plugins and widgets and the look and feel of the website is important. Thus to explain how to convert PSD to WordPress for various verticals like-
- Business Website
- eComerce Site
- Social networking Site
- WordPress Encyclopedia
- Video Blogs
- Online Dating Site
We will focus on what should be their basic design structure, and what themes and plugins could be used for making them.
Converting PSD to WordPress Blogs
The name blog derives from the phrase- Web Log. It is usually a dedicated website that is used by its creator to express his/her thoughts and views but the definition of blogs don’t have any definite limits and thus can encompass many things including ideas, thoughts, views, facts, creativity, teachings, tutorials, images, videos, and any information in general. There are more than 160 million blogs on the internet out of which 56.6 million are made on WordPress alone.
The beauty of a blog is that it is free from design restrictions and thus a great source for showing creativity. However no matter the type of blog, content is the main area of focus. The design of the blog should highlight the content. If you wish to have an impressive view count, special care must be taken for search engine optimization. A great attraction of a blog is the comments sections so it is advised to allow comments and be active in the discussions. In addition enable the viewers to subscribe to news and RSS feed to build a solid user following. Also if you wish your blog to be optimally read on mobile devices, which are growing day by day, switch to a responsive design.
WordPress originally started as a blogging platform so as such nearly every theme can be used for a blog. But few themes deserve special mention.
- Twenty ten, Twenty eleven, Twenty twelve: –There is no doubt that the default themes that comes with WordPress are the most popular themes and are also the most advanced ones. Though they are three different themes, they can be considered as one because of their similar design. Twenty eleven and twelve are responsive, are highly customizable, and can be used effectively for making any type of blog.
- Responsive: – The name says it all. The most downloaded responsive theme on WordPress.org it is a great option for creating a blog that you wish to read by the masses.
- Mantra: – A highly customizable theme, Mantra serves both as a great image blog theme and as a great portfolio theme
- iFeature: – consider to be one of the first touch friendly responsive drag and drop WordPress theme. Highly popular, highly customizable, and a great theme for making a mobile friendly blog.
As such most themes already have most of the necessary features but still some specialiezed plugins are necessary for every WordPress blog.
- SEO Yoast: – A complete search engine optimization solution for your WordPress blog. Very necessary if you want your blog to rank somewhere on search engines.
- Google Analytics for WordPress:- The main task of this plugin is to check the number of new views, present view count, older view counts and most importantly records at what page the users click most and how much they stayed there. Good for analyzing the future strategy of your website.
- Akismet: Once your blog gets popular you would be bombarded with hundred of spam mails daily. Akismet keeps these spam comments and posts out. It is a paid software but well worth its investment.
- Jetpack:- Jetpack is a plugin with multiple features such as email subscription, integration to social networking sites, website stats, etc.
- Subscribers plugins: – For a list of most useful subscribers refer to this post.
Creating Portfolios websites through WordPress
Portfolio websites are those websites in which a person, organization, or group showcases their products, talents, or works usually in an image format. They are usually used for commercial activities by photographers, business organizations, and creative artists and groups, but are sometimes employed by non-profit organization also.
Top WordPress themes that can be used to create a portfolio website
Main plugins that would find use in creating a WordPress portfolio
Increasing business through a WordPress Business Website
Business sites are the home site for any type of business or organization. For many businesses these are the sites that are the main source of their income and thus are very important for them. These sites contains the gist of what a business is all about, how it functions, how you can avail the services, what previous projects they have undertaken, and in some cases what they will charge you for their product or service.
The design of a business site varies widely as per the requirement and the company strategy. The final design is a complex structure that is made after considering the usability of site, targeted audience, marketing of products, and some other complex calculations. The home page is usually static and instantly conveys what the company does in general. As per requirements the site may use galleries and sliders, but the about us page and contact us form are a must for every such site. In addition the site must be attractive or unique enough to leave a lasting impression.
As such to create a business website it is advised to create a custom theme, but these themes can also be customized to create a good business site
These plugins could be used to achive some important functionalities in your business site
Setting up an E-commerce Website using WordPress
E-commerce Shops as the name suggests are the online stores from where viewers can purchase or in some rare cases even sell items. As such there are hundreds of eCommerce sites now available on the internet that sells everything from very large items to a small pack of chewing gum.
As such the design of every ecommerce site is similar. The ecommerce website site should have a good search and search filter features, a good product gallery, online payment features, product feature page, and should facilitate product browsing according to categories. For more info refer to this post.
There are many paid themes dedicated to creating an ecommerce website each having loads of features, however these free themes can also get the job done easily.
These are some must use plugins for your ecommerce website.
Building a WordPress Social Networking Website
There is no need to describe what social networking websites are as they are the latest and internet rage nowadays. But the thing that most people don’t know is that WordPress can be used very effectively to create your own personal social networking site or a website to communicate with your friends.
The best way to create a social networking website is through a plugin rather than theme, so you can choose any good base theme and convert it into social networking website. The design of the website should be easy to use and easy to understand, along with having some of the common design features such as addition, deletion, and editing of comments, notifications, mails, personal messages, group messages, online chat, Audio chat, video chat, group chat etc. However you can include or exclude any of the features as per your requirement.
Creating a social networking site through themes is very difficult. Its best to use a custom theme or use a simple WordPress theme and add plugins to get desired functions.
BuddyPress is the ultimate plugin for creating a social networking website. It is also one of the most popular WordPress plugin and has nearly every feature that you may require from a social networking website. But there are some competitions to it and you can of course obtain individual functionalities through individual plugins.
Developing a WordPress Encyclopedia
Most subject experts (subjects other than computers) are not that familiar with programming languages and thus may not be very efficient in sharing their knowledge through a website. For people like them, WordPress is the best platform to start a website for sharing their knowledge and make the internet a little more informative place. WordPress can be used very easily to create informative encyclopedias and blogs.
Creating a design for an encyclopedia is little tricky. The site should only have a simple design that should not outshine the given information. Text, content, images, videos and other media related to the information, plays a significant role, along with the way that information is organized and presented. In addition facility to ask questions, propose change should be given, along with making the architecture as organized and as navigable as possible. Also since most people require access to information on the go, a responsive design would be highly beneficial for a site.
As said earlier the best theme to use would be a simple and responsive theme. So here are some popular responsive themes that you can use to create a encyclopedia.
Here are some simple plugins that would be useful for making a detailed encyclopedia
Connecting Users through a Forum in WordPress
Forums are websites on which users can ask questions, give answers, present their views on a subject, or participate in a discussion on a subject. Forums have been in existence as long as the internet itself. In fact some of the very first sites were discussion forums where programmers can interact and share their thoughts.
A design of a forum is nearly standard for every forum website. The homepage usually displays latest threads, most popular threads, and categories by which the threads are organized. The forum should have a user login facility, allow users to post comments, reply to comments, start a new thread, browse open threads, and participate in a discussion going on in a thread. Just like social networking website, forums are also created using plugins and inbuilt functionalities rather than using a specific theme. Thus you can use any simple theme and transform it into a good forum.
Here are some simple themes that can be customized to create a forum. They are very basic and are thus are easily compatible with most plugins.
BBPress and buddy press dominate the form plugin category but there are some additional plugins that are just as effective.
Making a Video blog in WordPress
A latest trend in blogging is creating video blogs. As the name suggests, a video blog is a type of blog in which the ideas and information is conveyed through videos rather than texts. With the growing popularity of YouTube and other video sharing sites, video blogs are rapidly gaining popularity.
The design of video blog is not much different from an image portfolio site. Just instead of images, videos are stored and displayed in galleries. To create a video blog you would need a good video plugin. You can also upload videos on video sharing websites like YouTube and Vimeo, and embed them in your website. For SEO purposes it is much advised to include additional texts with the video explaining what it is about, author information, time etc. as search engines still cannot automatically read video content.
Here are some good portfolio themes that can also function as a great Video blog
Must have plugins if you wish to create a video blog
Connecting People through a WordPress Online Dating Website
Online dating and matchmaking websites is an offshoot of social networking websites that are more focused on promoting romantic relationships. They are another type of websites that are gaining huge popularity on the internet.
The main difference between social networking site and online dating site is the profile that the users make. The information that users provides about themselves are the main area of focus and the site try to extract as much information as possible about the user to more accurately represent what type of person they are. These site usually have features that facilitate online communications such as online chat, Audio chat, Video Chat, personal messages, etc. Again for creating a good social networking and online networking site you need to rely on plugins rather than on themes.
The Internet is a very vast place with nearly every website unique in some way or another. So If you look at it that way there can be many different industry verticals. For this article we have taken only the most famous and most used ones. Each theme and plugin given here is available free of cost and is the best option in its category. However creating a working website of any type requires harmonious blending of themes, plugins, and in-built functionalities combined. That can only be achieved through experience and knowledge. So it is highly advised to hire a professional PSD to WordPress Conversion service especially if you have a commercial website.