In its default setup, WordPress isn’t particularly friendly towards visual content, per se.
I mean, sure, you can publish blog posts that are chock-full of images, videos, even infographics. But when it comes to the structure of those posts themselves, you’re stuck with the standard content-sidebar layout.
This sort of thing isn’t very visual, but we can change that. In fact, making your WordPress blog ready for visual content isn’t difficult at all. The solution? Plugins and themes (don’t worry, you don’t have to change your current theme if you don’t want to).
Here’s what’s up:
1. Use simple shortcode plugins
The first trick is to take advantage of what’s called shortcode plugins.
Shortcodes are small pieces of code that you can place within your normal blog post content. Then, WordPress takes those pieces of code and replaces them with some pre-defined output.
Explaining this dry is a bit tough, so allow me just show you an example instead.
The plugin I’m using is called Shortcodes Ultimate (SU). It gives you access to over 50 different shortcodes that let you create various cool things.
For example, if I use a shortcode like that:
[su_button url="http://MYSITE.COM/" style="3d" size="12" center="yes" icon="icon: bullhorn" radius="4"]Go To My Site[/su_button]
The plugin then processes it and displays this in its place:
That’s just one very simple example. But following the same principles, you can create all sorts of boxes, columns, buttons, tabs, sliders, and etc. When all put together, you can end up with nice visual content. The only thing limiting you is your own creativity.
Just to give you a more complex example, the whole page that you can see in the GIF below was built with SU on top of a standard blank page template in WordPress:
The best thing is that the plugin is going to work with your current theme.
2. Check out advanced “page builder” plugins
The next step up from SU are plugins that are a bit more advanced in the way they operate. Where SU was about picking individual shortcodes and then putting them manually in your blog post content, page builder plugins offer a nice visual interface for the whole thing.
In some cases, they even support drag-and-drop, so you don’t need any coding skills to use those plugins. Basically, using them resembles building a Word document. And, much like SU, they will work with your current theme.
An example of what’s possible (coming from my tool of choice – MotoPress):
There’s a number of popular solutions on the market, both free and paid. If it’s me, my winners are the aforementioned MotoPress (paid) and SiteOrigin Page Builder (free), but I encourage you to research this yourself before picking your plugin.
This should help you out: top drag-and-drop page content builders for WordPress compared. Individual plugins to look into:
- SiteOrigin Page Builder (free),
- Live Composer (free),
- MotoPress Content Editor,
- The Divi Builder,
- Visual Composer (the bestselling plugin at CodeCanyon).
3. Use a theme that lets you build custom pages
Some WordPress themes come with custom page building functionality available right out the gate. Basically, think of it as a theme that has some sort of a page builder plugin already built in.
If your current theme doesn’t provide you with such a thing, maybe it’s a good moment to get a new one?
Here’s an example: our own theme called Create. It comes integrated with some page building goodies. It allows you to create completely custom pages and arrange them however you see fit. Ultimately, you can make your every post or page look different (and as visual as you need it).
The advantage of using a page builder theme vs using plugins, is that with a theme, everything was tested and optimized to work well together. All content is mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly, and the design is consistent across every visual element.
The thing to remember is that those third-party plugins were meant to work with all themes on the market, which means that some compromises needed to be made to make that happen. There’s no such problem when you get a theme with the functionality built-in.
Okay, so there you have it! Three simple ways to post visual content on a WordPress site. Do you have any other tricks up your sleeve?