How I use OneNote to stay organised

One tool that I have been using for some time to stay organised is Microsoft’s OneNote. So what exactly is OneNote? OneNote is a tool to organise all your professional and personal information. You could describe it as a digital version of a binder that contains tabs like a multi-subject notebook. It allows you to capture information from the web, make handwritten or typed notes and you can collaborate with others just like using a whiteboard.

OneNote hasn’t caught on in the business world but is heavily targeted towards students because of its notebook interface. The general public is really not aware of how powerful this tool can be to organise all your information.

Ways you can use OneNote in the Workplace

  1. OneNote is a great tool just to get things done. Use sections, pages and subpages like you would use a physical notebook. Instead of printing that email or web page, simply send it to OneNote and file it within the section that you need to.
  2. Create a shared notebook so that you can collaborate with your team. Place the notebook on a shared folder on your server or your SharePoint site. You then have an online version of your notebook that you can begin collaborating with. You might use this to manage a project or simply to collect agenda items. You can also create passwords on individual pages so that only certain people can see them.
  3. Take better notes in meetings. For your regular meetings create a section for that meeting. Then create a new page for each meeting and link this to your Outlook invitation. During the meeting, take notes on that page and then email the meeting notes directly to all participants at the end.
  4. Use your notebook as a wiki. OneNote updates in real time so you have the ability to use it as a wiki for your team. You can link pages and notebooks so this allows for a wiki feel to your documentation.
  5. Take fast and simple screen shots. By using the Send to OneNote Tool, you can easily clip any screenshot and send it directly to OneNote. You can then save the screen grab as a PNG.

How I use OneNote

  1. I use OneNote to manage all project information. For each project that I manage, I create a new section. I then collect all emails, documentation and notes and add them to I also sync all meetings and take notes from those meetings all within OneNote and then disseminate them to all participants through a shared notebook. What is great about this is that I can go back and find all information related to any project that I have managed at a later date.
  2. I store all my travel information within a section of my notebook. Then for each trip I create a new page. I then attach all correspondence and information about the trip. This can include any reports that I need, itineraries, hotel details, restaurants and contacts. For travel where I a meeting new colleagues, I have been known to take a screen shot of their photo and put them all on a page so I can easily remember what they look like, their names and job titles before meeting them. This has been handy when attending large committee meetings as everyone names were easier to remember.
  3. I store all my passwords on a password protected page. What is great about OneNote is that it is free and you can have it on any of your devices, or use it on the web. That means your notes travel with you and you can access them anytime. I have a page within OneNote that is password protected and contains all my passwords. I can then access them from anywhere, anytime. Just make sure the password you have on the OneNote page is one you don’t use elsewhere and is very easy to remember, but hard to guess.
  4. I use it to store all research material for my writing. If I come across some information on the web that I would like to refer to later, I will send it to OneNote and create a new page within my resources section. This way I can come back to it at later and review the information when I need to.

These are just some great reasons to use OneNote. Are there any other ways that you use OneNote in the workplace to be more productive? Please share your experiences here.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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WordPress or Squarespace- what is best-

 

When setting up your online business, should you use WordPress or Squarespace? This is a question I get asked regularly from my students and clients.

I believe that both systems have their merits and that you need to pick the right content management system for your business. To help you make the decision I have created an online quiz which you will find the right answer below:

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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How I use Evernote and OneNote to be more productive

There are so many posts out there comparing Evernote to OneNote. But, do you have to make a choice? Not necessarily. Why? Well, both Evernote and OneNote have their strengths and weaknesses, and I find that to be more productive I need to use both.

For a while, I hopped between the two trying to decide on which one to use, so I had content all over the place which is not conducive to being productive. There is nothing worse than having content in several different places, and you can’t remember what content you put where. You need to set up a system that works for you and stick to it.

So how do I use each application? Below is a rundown of my workflow and how each application fits into the process

How I use Evernote

Brainstorming

For brainstorming ideas for my blogs, I use Evernote. Any idea that I think of goes into Evernote on my ideas page. I use Evernote for this as I never have problems with opening Evernote or syncing. It is always available, and I don’t have to fumble around with passwords which can be annoying with OneNote. Everything always syncs perfectly across my devices immediately. It is the best app for jotting down ideas on the go.

Content Planning

Evernote is great for content planning. For each blog idea I have written down and decided to write about, I create a separate note in my blogging notebook with the title and idea. I can then see all the posts listed that I have committed to writing for the year.

Drafting Content

Once I am ready to write a post I write in Evernote. I have written about Evernote and blogging previously so you can read about this on my blog post “Why I Use Evernote for Blogging”. Once my posts are drafted, I then copy them over to Grammarly for a quick check and then into my WordPress site.

How I Use OneNote

Task management

To manage tasks and projects, I use OneNote. I find that the task management tools in OneNote are superior to Evernote. This is because you have so many choices already built in and everything syncs to Outlook. Also, all my work colleagues use Outlook, so I can track tasks and assign them to others easily.

This is particularly helpful when you are in meetings as you are able to take minutes directly in OneNote, assign action items and then send out the meeting minutes immediately. This is such an efficient way of working.

Meeting minutes

As mentioned above I take all meeting minutes in OneNote. During a meeting, I will open up a meeting template directly from the meeting in Outlook and begin taking notes.

As action items are assigned, I will assign them immediately in OneNote, and they will go to the task list of the person who has been assigned the task.

I can then track these all in OneNote. Once the meeting is complete, I immediately send all the notes to the participants. Therefore you don’t have to worry about sending out the minutes later and are so much more efficient.

Both Evernote and OneNote

Managing Resources

Now, this is one area where I use both applications. Any resources I find on the web that are related to my blogs I send to a notebook in Evernote called “Resources”.

If the information is related to my full-time job as a knowledge and collaboration tools manager, I send it to OneNote.

Why do I use both applications for this? Well, I like to separate my work streams into different applications so that I am more organised.

I also do this with other project management applications I use such as Asana and Trello.

As you can see, there are uses for both Evernote and OneNote, so you don’t have to choose between the two. You need to come up with a workflow that works for you and stick to it.

Have any other ways of using OneNote and Evernote? Share your experience in the comment section below.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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The tools I use for managing multiple social media accounts

In this post, I am going to share with you the workflow and tools I use to manage multiple social media accounts.

With social media, you can feel that you are constantly chasing your tail and are never organised.

The key is to set up a workflow process so that you don’t waste time jumping between different programs and apps so that the process is as streamlined as possible.

Below are examples of the different workflows and tools I use to manage social media.

Posting to Instagram

  1. I take all my photos on my iPhone 7. I use square mode so that the picture is the right size.
  2. If the photo is a selfie, I will send it to Beauty Cam. In Beauty Cam, you can smooth out your complexion automatically and remove shine.
  3. The photo is then sent to VSCO where I apply the A5 filter. I use the A5 filter on all my photos for Instagram and my blog so that I always have a consistent look.
  4. Photos are then sent back to my camera roll.
  5. If the photo is being posted immediately, I then upload it to Instagram.
  6. If the photo is to be used at a later time, I add it to Planoly and schedule it.

Posting to Twitter

  1. I look through Twitter several times per day to find relevant content to share with my audience. This takes me about 10 minutes per day.
  2. I either just retweet content or retweet with my own message. The key here is to make sure that you share other people’s content each day as well as your own.
  3. Every Sunday I schedule 3 tweets per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These tweets are sharing my blog content.

Posting to Pinterest

  1. I look through Pinterest several times throughout the day to find pins relevant to my boards and pin them. I try to pin five pieces of content from other users every day.
  2. Every Sunday I schedule three pins per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These pins are my blog posts, and I pin them to multiple relevant boards.

Posting to Facebook

  1. I look through Facebook several times throughout the day to find posts relevant to share to both my Facebook business page and private Facebook group. My private Facebook group is for other small business owners that are my clients or who have attended my training. This group is also available to those that subscribe to my newsletter. I try to post at least one piece of content from other users every day.
  2. Every Sunday I schedule two Facebook posts per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These posts are my blog posts, and I pin them to my business page only. I only post new blogs posts to the Facebook group as you don’t want to bombard them with the same content every week.

Engagement

I also make sure that I respond to all questions and comments on all my social media channels within the day. This shows my followers that I am listening and engaged.

Have any other ideas to improve managing multiple accounts? Please share them in the comments below.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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My top 10 apps for working remotely

As a remote worker and technology professional, some apps are essential to keep me organised and to stay focused. Following are my top 10 apps for working remotely that can help you with your location independent lifestyle.

Slack

Slack is by far the best messenger app on the market. It is easy to use and has so many different integrations that you can streamline your workflow all within the one application.

I use Slack to integrate with Trello and Google Drive so that I can chat with clients about documents and project plans.

If you are a digital nomad, there is also a fantastic community on #Slack which you will find at nomadlist.com

It costs to join, but this particular forum contains an abundance of information about the digital nomad lifestyle as well as everything you need to know about any city you might want to work from.

Slack is ideal for small businesses and is free for certain features. You will find that large organisations are also using Slack as their preferred tool especially within IT development areas.

Trello

Trello helps me keep on top of all my project work and content management. I create boards for each of my clients and manage all my tasks with lists.

I can also exchange notes and updates with my clients and integrate boards with Slack so that my customers and contractors are notified when tasks are completed.

I also use Trello for my editorial calendar. When I have a new blog post idea, I add this to the schedule so that it won’t be forgotten. This saves having lots of pieces of paper floating around in my bag and all over my desk.

Rescue Time

I’ve just begun using this Rescue Time, and it has been an eye-opener as to how I spend my time. This app tracks all of your tasks on your laptop or smartphone and shows you where you have spent your time that day.

I have found it quite disconcerting about where I spend my time (too much time on social media), but it has helped me to improve my productivity.

Trail Wallet

Trail Wallet is an expense tracker for those who travel and who like to set a budget for each destination. With Trail Wallet, I can easily keep track of all my daily expenses.

You can keep track of your expenses, even in different currencies and set daily budgets.

You can then analyse where you have spent your money and hopefully improve your spending habits.

Fitstar

I have a subscription to Fitstar Yoga, an app for yoga that adapts as your fitness level progresses. As someone who travels a lot, this is an essential for me as it keeps me active.

Since I am also sitting a lot of the time, yoga is the best exercise for me. I also have a travel yoga mat so that I can do a workout at any time. Paired with fitstar, there is no excuse not to spend some time on the mat every day.

Tripit

The Tripit app allows you to keep all your travel information in the one app. I can send all my flight, hotel, car hire, etc.. details to the app so that everything is kept together.

So for each trip, I only have to open one app, and all my travel details are there. This saves me jumping between my e-mail, an airline app such as Qantas and Evernote where I keep my itinerary. Tripit keeps it all together and will even go through your inbox to pull out all travel details for you.

HoursTracker

I use HoursTracker to track the number of hours I spend on any project. I have set up all my clients in this app, and when I spend any time working on content for them I select start and then finish, and it tracks the time.

I can select the hourly rate I charge for each client if that is applicable so that I can track this and provide a statement if needed.

Whether or not I am being paid by the hour or project, I still track my time. This is precious information as I am then able to provide a good estimate of how long it will take me per project and what I should be charging.

Coschedule

I use Coschedule to schedule all my own social media activity. I spend one hour every Sunday entering in all the posts I would like to tweet, pin and send to Facebook for the coming week.

This saves me so much time thinking about what to post each day. This, however, does not include other people’s content.

Part of a social media strategy is to also share other’s content, so I do this part of my social media activity manually each day.

Planoly

Planoly is my go to app for planning out my Instagram feed. I take photos every day and the ones I think that will work for Instagram I upload to Planoly so that I can see how they will look in my feed.

I like to be spontaneous with Instagram, however, sometimes you get a great shot that you want to share at another time. Planoly helps you visualise your feed and schedule these posts.

Feedly

I use Feedly to find relevant content to share with my audience. Feedly aggregates content from around the web based on topics that I choose and then brings them into the one feed.

I am then able to Tweet and share to Facebook anything I find that is relevant to my business or clients.

I also save all those articles I find that I don’t have time to read and then can come back to them later.

So there you have it, a quick rundown of my top 10 apps that I use to run my business efficiently. Do you have any other favourite apps you would like to share?

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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How to choose the right software for your business

What software are you currently using? Do you know if your software is up to date and really meets your needs? Software is a large purchase that can also require fees for licensing, training, and technical support. In this blog post, I’m going to help you to choose the right software for your business using a three-step process.

The Three-Step Process

Everyone loves software! However, a software investment is a big purchase. Software purchases should never be done impulsively, even if you get it at a bargain price. After all, it’s not a deal if you end up paying out for technical support or training.

Step One: What Do You Need?

For the first step, you as a business owner should make a list of the things you need the software package to do. Make sure you consider future wants and needs, too. For example, if you only have a few staff right now, collaboration tools probably aren’t high on the list.

However, if your business is going to grow significantly, you may include that as a requirement. Once everything has been considered, make a master list of wants and needs.

Step Two: Evaluating the Software

Now, choose at least three software packages that are in the general area of what you’re looking for. If possible, get trials and have a few staff members test them out.

Once you’ve evaluated the package, write down some basic information about each.

  • Why do you want to use this software?
  • What is the initial investment? (Make sure you include the cost of software and the cost of installation time. Also consider any computer upgrades that will be necessary, as well as time or resources needed to set these components up.)
  • What will the cost be later on? (Make sure you consider upgrades or annual fees.)
  • Will I need training? How much will that cost in time and money?
  • What support options are available? (We suggest talking to people who have used this software and dealt with their technical support.)
  • Will this software improve my businesses productivity? (In the short term, probably not, but in the long term, the benefits should be significant. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.)
  • Will this software grow with my business?

Then, compare the software’s list of features with your list of wants and needs. Any package that doesn’t cover all of your needs should be disqualified automatically.

What if none of the packages you evaluate seem right? Well, the good news is that there are thousands of different software packages out there. Determine why none of the packages suited your needs. If there’s a single feature that you want and none of them seem to have, you may want to look for a product that has that feature and then see how it stacks up against your list of wants and needs.

In the unlikely event that no product exists to do what you want, you’ll have to consider alternatives: combining several pieces of software, paying someone to develop the software, or doing the task by hand.

Step Three: Making the Purchase

Before you make the big buy, get prices from at least three places: software stores, big-box stores, and many websites all sell software. A caveat about ordering from the Web: stick with names you trust.

About Upgrading

Rather than purchasing a whole new software package, you can choose to upgrade your existing software. Yes, I said choose: upgrading is always a choice. Don’t let anyone make you feel that you have to upgrade. In some situations, it makes more sense than others, and upgrades are usually an improvement to the software.

As well, staff may require less training if they’re already familiar with the software. (Even if you’re just upgrading, we still suggest some training, even if it’s just an hour’s briefing session on what’s new in the package.)

When considering an upgrade, make sure you have answers to these questions:

  • How many versions am I upgrading? (For example, if you were upgrading from Message Plus 1 to Message Plus 6, you’d be upgrading 5 versions. Keep in mind that often the bigger the version leap, the bigger the learning curve.)
  • What new features are added to the product?
  • What features have been removed?
  • What is the initial investment?
  • What hardware or software (operating system and supporting applications) changes will have to be made if I upgrade?
  • Are there any hidden costs?
  • How do support options change? (Many companies stop supporting software when it reaches a certain age.)
  • What known issues exist with this upgrade?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being extremely unnecessary and 10 being vital), how important is this upgrade?

Hopefully the above information will help you in making the decision-making process much easier.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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Overview

So what exactly is the difference between categories and tags on your WordPress blog? Both of these are used to organise your blog posts and make it simpler for readers to find and navigate your content.

In a nutshell, if categories are the table of contents of your blog, tags represent the index. They also offer an opportunity to increase traffic to your site via search engines.

A simple way to think about this is that all categories and tags should represent a keyword that your reader might search for. For example, if I was searching for a handbag, the category might be fashion and the tag could be handbag.

Categories

Categories are the main way of organising your blog posts within WordPress. They are similar to folders on your computer that you use to organise your files. If you are familiar with the term metadata (data about data) these categories are the metadata of your site.

When mapping out how you want your users to navigate your site, you need to come up with some high-level categories. For example, if your blog is about fashion, your main categories might be work wear, casual, travel and street style.

You can then link these categories to your main menu as a drop down link so your users can navigate to each of the categories.

Tags

Tags are also used to categorise your posts, however, are more detailed. For example, a post might be categorised as work wear but you might add tags such as spring, shoes or even a brand name. Anything that will give a good overview of what the post is about should be included. Also with tags, if there is no obvious way to tag a post, don’t tag it. Not every post needs tagging.

Tips

  1. Before starting a blog write down the main categories you plan to use. For ideas, you can look at other blogs in your genre to see how they categorise their posts.
  2. Make sure when you add tags that you use the same version for the word. E.g. use bag, rather than bags or handbag. Be consistent.
  3. Invest in a plugin to bulk edit categories. This will save you time if you need to rearrange them in the future.
  4. Use Quick Edit to change categories. This is a quicker way to edit your post. To do so, just hover over a post and select Quick Edit.
  5. Undertake an audit of your tags every so often to ensure they still reflect the structure of your blog posts. This will ensure you are able to make the most of the ability to link related posts.
  6. Don’t go overboard when categorising your content. A post should typically be in no more than one or two categories and you should limit your tagging to only relevant content.

Have any other tips about categories and tags? Please comment below as I’d love to hear about them.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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Choosing a WordPress Theme

Below is a comprehensive guide on how to choose a WordPress theme that is the right theme for your business. One of the biggest decisions you need to make when starting to build your own WordPress site is what theme you should use.

Some people will tell you that a WordPress website costs $2,000 – $5,000, some websites do cost that much, but it is not true for everyone. Not everyone needs to spend that kind of money to get their website up and running.

You will need a professional looking website which is going to cost some money, but it is an investment in your business. You will also need to choose the right theme, to begin with, so that you don’t waste money in the long run. This guide will help you do just that.

Firstly here are some standard expenses you should expect to pay with the responsibility of website ownership.

Expenses

Required Expenses

  • Domain name: $10 per year (I use CrazyDomains.com.au)
  • Shared hosting: $100 per year (I use CrazyDomains.com.au)
  • Theme: About $70. I recommend purchasing a professional theme which I will talk about further in this post
  • Your time if you DIY: $???? based on if you do it yourself. I charge $50 per hour for this service if you need guidance or assistance

Optional Expenses

  • BackupBuddy plugin: $80 per year
  • Akismet plugin: $60 per year
  • Graphic designer: $500 or more
  • Website developer to assist you with coding if needed. This varies but expect to pay around $2,000 if you use a developer
  • Monthly WordPress maintenance and support: Some developers charge up to $600 per year. I offer this service for as little as $29 per month.
  • Web fonts: Free to $100 or more
  • Stock photos: Free to $20 per image. (I use Canva which is $1 per image)
  • Content: Free if you DIY but up to $100 per page if you hire a copywriter

Other Expenses

  • MailChimp: Around $120 per year for your newsletter
  • CoSchedule: $120 per year for managing your editorial calendar and social media updates
  • Dropbox: $120 per year for space for you to share documents with your clients
  • Planoly: $7 per month. An application I use to manage all my Instagram posts.
  • Leadpages: $30 per month. Additional service to manage extra web pages for all my business opt-ins
  • Convertkit: $30 per month. Email marketing

Important Plugins

Plugins you need

  • Yoast SEO – helps your website get found on Google
  • W3 Total Cache – speeds up your website
  • Wordfence Security
  • Backup Buddy – Automatically backs up your website
  • Google Analytics for WordPress – Website data

Other Plugins to consider

  • Contact-Form-7 – Free form builder
  • WP Smush it – Compresses your images, so they load faster
  • Akismet – Blocks spam
  • WP Editorial Calendar – Free editorial calendar
  • CoSchedule – Editorial calendar that links with social media
  • Click to Tweet – So visitors can tweet your content
  • Clef – lets you log in to your WordPress site with your phone
  • Coming Soon Page by SeedProd – Shows a coming soon page
  • Easy Pricing Tables – Used to create pricing tables for your products
  • Regenerate Thumbnails – Changes thumbnails sizes
  • Slider Pro – Elegant and professional sliders
  • Google XML Sitemaps – Generates a sitemap to help Google
  • Broken Link Checker – Checks for broken links on your site
  • Pretty Links – Helps make your links look pretty
  • Widget CSS Classes – Helps to style the widget individually

What are your goals?

Before choosing a theme, you need to consider what type of business you are running and where you want your business to go. Think about a 3 to 5-year plan as you need to make sure that what theme you pick and the type of site you develop can manage everything that you want to do with your business. You may not need everything to start with, but you need to make sure your theme can be built upon in the future.

Below is a checklist of some goals you might want to consider:

Goals

  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Increase the number of people who purchase from your affiliates
  • Increase the number of people signing up to your newsletter
  • Decrease your bounce rate
  • Increase the number of people who contact you about your service
  • Increase the number of people who attend your courses
  • Increase the number of products sold
  • Increase purchases from existing customers
  • Increase subscriber numbers
  • Have a maintenance free website
  • Fully automate your business

How do you earn money?

At the moment does your website make you money? If not, where do you plan to make money in the future? Using the list below, highlight the different money making options you are considering.

Money Making Options

  • Selling physical products online
  • Selling digital products online
  • Affiliate marketing
  • A membership or service with a regular monthly fee
  • One-on-one coaching services
  • One-on-one consulting services
  • Online classes delivered through your website
  • Webinars delivered through email
  • Online classes delivered via video
  • E-courses delivered by email
  • Podcasting
  • Selling sponsorships or ads on your site
  • Selling ads from ad networks

Options for Payment

You also need to research how you are going to be paid for all of the above. Via Paypal or Stripe? Taking credit cards over the phone? Or using other services such as eBay or Etsy. You need to know these answers before considering what plugins and theme to use.

What do you want people to do?

When people arrive at your website, what is it that you want them to do. Where will you direct their attention? It is important to have a call to action in the first part of your site, which we call above the fold and in several different areas. Following are a few options you might want to consider:

Calls to Action

  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Sign up for a challenge
  • Subscribe to a resources page
  • Purchase a physical product
  • Purchase a downloadable product
  • RSVP to an event
  • Sign up for a webinar
  • Contact you via email
  • Sign up for a coaching session through a booking form
  • Join a Facebook Group
  • Follow you on a social media network
  • Tweet something
  • Answer a question or quiz

Types of themes

There are five different types of themes that you can choose from. They are:

  1. A blog with a sidebar on either the left or right
  2. Parallax style themes
  3. Portfolio style themes
  4. Grid style themes
  5. E-commerce themes

Blog with a Sidebar

A blog style theme that focusses on content and has a sidebar to the left or right. The sidebar usually takes up about 1/4 to 1/3 of the page. The main content changes on each page but the sidebar usually stays the same. You can purchase some themes that can customise this for you.

Your sidebar will contain widgets of information such as a photograph of you, links to your social media channels, possibly your Instagram and Twitter feed and blog post categories.

This is the most common type of content website. Especially if your sites main focus is the blog or on content. If you are not sure if you need a blog for your site, I have written a whole other post to help answer this questions. Does your site need a blog?

Parallax Style

The parallax style of website is used mostly for a single call to action. The page is designed as one long vertical page that contains all the information about your website.

These were originally designed so that they are easier to use on a mobile phone however you can achieve this by making sure whatever theme you choose is responsive.

A long vertical homepage is the standard feature of this theme. There is usually a nice featured image in the background that stays stationery as the content moves.

These themes are great for brick and mortar type businesses, especially those that see a lot of traffic from mobile sources. This is because the page tends to load a bit faster than other themes with lots of content, images and pages.

It is also great for sites that have a single call to action, where the front page is basically a sales page. You might also use this style for a single webinar, service or event.

Do not choose a parallax style theme if you want your blog and content to be the first thing that your visitors see.

Portfolio Style

You could add a portfolio page to any theme however when I talk about portfolio style sites; I mean sites that have been designed to have images, products and services on the front page.

These themes may or may not have an option for a blog, but the homepage is generally optimised to show off your products and services instead of your blog content.

The homepage is designed to contain beautiful pictures and will usually have one or more widgets for this purpose. There also may be a slider to display multiple images to promote a product or service.

You should consider this type of theme if you have something to sell, whether it be images, products or services.

Photographers, artists, illustrators – anyone who has visual content should consider this type of portfolio website.

You can also have a blog with this type of theme on a page within the inner workings of the site. However, if your written content is the main part of your site that you want your visitors to see, then you shouldn’t use this type of theme.

Grid Style

The type of website highlights images and content. It looks like Pinterest and uses what is called a “masonry grid”.

The images are aligned vertically in columns, but float randomly in those columns – they are not organised into rows. This is great for content that is of varying heights but a standard width.

Outside of Pinterest, it is rare to see a website using this masonry grid style. This is because it can look cluttered very easily and there isn’t a single focus to the site.

If you planned your site carefully, you could use this as a portfolio of work or just a blog.

E-Commerce Style

An e-commerce style site highlights physical products and has a shopping cart. It is designed to sell your stuff from your own website.

Usually, the e-commerce part comes from a plug-in such as Woocommerce, but there are also specific sites you can use such as Shopify.

Don’t use an e-commerce theme if you don’t need it. Your site will load and perform slower.

Need help?

Now that you have learnt a bit about WordPress themes and what to look out for, start hunting around for the right theme. Take a look at some other websites that you might want to emulate and start from there.

If you need help deciding on a theme, I would be happy to give you a recommendation on a theme that would work for you. You can book some time with me through my services page or if you need assistance building and managing your WordPress site there are other packages available.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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