5 Essential Features Every Custom WordPress Website Should Have

When it comes to website development, the power of customization cannot be overstated, especially for WordPress platforms.

A tailored website is not just a digital footprint but a dynamic tool that, like it or not, will be judged on first impression by your customers.

This article focuses on the must-have features for your next custom WordPress theme; guiding you towards creating a WordPress site that is not just functional and visually appealing but also strategic in its lead-generation capabilities.

Responsive DesignHigh priority ranking factor / most traffic comes from mobile
SEO OptimizationCritical for online visibility and ranking
Custom Design ElementsPersonalized user experience and brand identity. Does not use pre-made templates.
Advanced FunctionalitiesAdds additional tools for your business to automate and engage your leads
Regular Updates and MaintenanceKeeps the website secure and efficient

1. Responsive Design: Essential in a Multi-Screen World

A responsive website design ensures your site is accessible and aesthetically pleasing on any device. This adaptability is crucial for enhancing user experience and is also a significant factor in SEO performance.

One easy test to determine if your website is mobile responsive is to open it from your phone browser. Do you need to pinch and scroll to view different sections of your website? Are there elements that are out of place, overlapping, or cut off? Any of these issues would indicate that your site is not completely responsive.

The Importance of Responsive Design:

In our mobile-first world, a non-responsive website is a business liability, especially if it’s causing errors or broken functionality on your website. According to Think With Google, over 50% of all website traffic comes from some form of mobile device.

All the more reason why your business website needs to be on-point when a potential customer visits from their phone.

important features of custom WordPress websites bar graph

Implementing Responsive Design:

If there are portions of your WordPress site that are not fully optimized for mobile, these three methods are how you can make quick fixes to uncooperative elements:

Fluid Grids: Fluid grids use flexible measurements (like percentages) instead of fixed ones (like pixels) to layout your website, allowing it to resize smoothly across different screens. In WordPress, choose themes that are labeled as “responsive” or use page builders which offer fluid grid layouts.

Difficulty Rating: 3/10 – Choosing a responsive theme is straightforward, but fine-tuning the settings may require some basic understanding of layout principles.

Flexible Images and Media: This makes sure that your images and videos resize and adjust to fit different screen sizes without losing quality or loading slowly. Plugins like WP Smush are great for image optimization.

Difficulty Rating: 2/10 – Plugins make this process easy, and most of the time, it’s a one-time setup.

Media Queries: Media queries are a CSS technique that applies different styling rules based on the device’s screen size, allowing for more customized mobile experiences. For basic adjustments, use custom CSS plugins where you can input media queries to alter the look of your site on different devices. For more complex changes, consider reaching out to our team today!

Difficulty Rating: 6/10 – Requires some CSS knowledge for basic changes. More complex implementations can be challenging without technical expertise.

2. Prioritizing SEO: The Lifeline of Online Visibility

SEO is essential in ensuring your website ranks well on search engines like Google.

It’s about more than just keywords; it’s about optimizing your entire site for better visibility and reach. While it is an ongoing process, a custom theme should always be launched with the foundational pieces of on-page SEO covered.

The Role of SEO in Digital Success

Having a website that is easily found and identifiable by your potential customers is crucial. SEO is your long-term strategy for organic growth that can pay off for years to come once you have achieved the vaunted #1 position.

Implementing Effective SEO Strategies:

  • Keyword Research and Optimization: Identifying the right keywords is critical. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner for research.
  • Content Quality: High-quality, original content is pivotal. It should provide value to your readers and include the targeted keywords for your local service area.
  • Backlinks: Obtaining links from reputable and relevant websites boosts your site’s authority, signaling to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy, thus improving your search rankings.

Bonus: Google Reviews: Google reviews are the sole driver of rankings when it comes to beating out your competition with the local maps pack. Be sure your Google Business page is 100% complete, and consider reaching out to previous customers and asking for a review if you haven’t already!

the importance of Google reviews for a website's visibility

3. Custom Design: The Heart of Brand Identity

A custom-designed WordPress site allows you to infuse your brand’s personality into every aspect of your website. It’s about creating a unique and memorable experience for your visitors.

Why Custom Design Matters

A custom design differentiates your brand from competitors. It allows you to create a unique user journey, tailor-made to engage your audience and guide them through your site in a way that aligns with your business goals.

Custom WordPress Site Vs. Pre-Made Template

Below is a detailed comparison of Custom WordPress Sites versus Pre-Made Templates, highlighting key differences to help you make an informed choice for your digital strategy.

FeatureCustom WordPress DesignPre-Made Templated Site
Brand RepresentationHighly tailored to reflect unique brand identity, aligning with local ethos.Limited customization options; may not fully capture the unique essence of the local brand.
User Experience (UX)Superior control over UX; can be designed to enhance customer engagement and interaction.Standardized UX; less flexibility to tailor user interaction and engagement specific to local audience.
SEO OptimizationCan be finely tuned for local SEO, enhancing visibility in community-specific searches.Basic SEO capabilities; may require additional customization for effective local targeting.
Scalability and FlexibilityEasily adaptable to business growth; can add/update features and content without major overhauls.Less flexibility; scaling or significant changes might be restricted by the template’s limitations.
Credibility and ProfessionalismProjects a more professional and credible image, boosting customer confidence in the business.May lack uniqueness, which can affect perceived professionalism and stand out less in a competitive market.

If you’re ready to discuss a custom website solution for your business, get in touch today for a free demo of our portfolio and how it works.

4. Incorporating Advanced Functionalities

To stand out, your WordPress website should offer more than just basic functionality. Advanced features and plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields can significantly enhance both the user experience and your site’s retention.

Enhancing Your Website with Advanced Features

Advanced functionalities like e-commerce integrations, social media feeds, or custom forms can transform a simple website into a powerful tool for business growth.

Selecting and Implementing Advanced Features

  • Automated Follow-Up Capabilities: Integrating automated responses and follow-up systems not only streamlines communication with your clients but also ensures timely engagement, one of the most critical aspects of lead conversion.
  • Interactive Elements: Tools like chatbots, interactive maps, or appointment booking systems can significantly enhance user engagement.

5. Regular Updates and Maintenance: Keeping Your Site in Top Shape

Ongoing maintenance and regular updates are critical for the security, efficiency, and overall success of your WordPress website.

The Necessity of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance ensures that your site remains secure from vulnerabilities and operates at peak efficiency. It includes updating themes and plugins, performing regular backups, and monitoring site performance. You never know when you will need a backup of a recent version of your website!

Best Practices for Website Maintenance

  • Regular Software Updates: Keeping WordPress, themes, and plugins up to date is crucial for security and functionality.
  • Routine Backups: Regular backups are a safety net against data loss and should be part of your maintenance routine.
  • Performance Monitoring: Regularly monitor your site’s speed and uptime. Slow loading times can deter visitors and negatively impact SEO.

Evans Digital Marketing is dedicated to helping businesses thrive in the digital world. With expertise in custom WordPress development, we ensure that your website is not just a platform, but a powerful tool for growth.

Lets connect and discuss your new website!


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