There’s just no denying that anyone who wants to get anywhere in the 21st century simply must have a solid, memorable internet presence. As the internet continues to rapidly overtake other communications systems and media platforms for daily personal and professional life, the need for that presence online, providing that lasting impression, will only intensify from now on.
Among many fields, this is becoming especially serious for financial professionals. Being a business of numbers to begin with, computers found their calling in financial industries faster than just about anywhere else outside arts and sciences. The cumulative result of this was that people in need of financial services turned to the internet for no-nonsense listings and research, rather than dealing with the many phone calls and subsequent diatribes which so characterized the old way of doing things.
At one time, this demand for a quality web presence for financial professionals would have been disastrous – while ingenious with math and the red tape of finance, few people in said field are web designers as well. Fortunately, WordPress prevents this from being that kind of disaster. With a push button interface for installation, management and maintenance as well as applying slick and attractive themes, anyone can make that lasting impression online with such a powerful tool.
Yet, for all the ease of installing WordPress itself, as well as themes, choosing the right theme is a whole different animal entirely.
There are a whole host of WordPress themes for finance, ranging from generic free designs to rather expensive elite ones and everything in between. While this kind of variety is fantastic in one sense, it can have the unfortunate result of being overwhelming – what does one look for in these?
Well, the truth is that it’s not actually that daunting if you bear a few things in mind.
First of all, if you’re aiming for professionalism, not just nice-looking hobbyist design, the free themes are probably not an option. While there are a lot of more or less good looking free themes on WordPress’ own site and others, they lack the verve and attention to detail only a paid theme tends to have. It’s very easy to fall into a loop of trying to take a mostly nice free theme, and touch it up with basic knowledge in an effort to add panache.
Having accepted that it’s unlikely that a free theme will cut the mustard, the next thing to consider is what sub-category of financial business it needs to represent. While there are many professional themes that can work for any financial institution, there are a great many designed to capture the tone and mood associated with specific types of service, such as legal offices, loan providers and accounting firms.
From here, it actually comes down to a little bit of design science.
In interface design, which is what WordPress themes more or less constitute, there are a few concepts which help determine the optimal way to achieve proper presentation, ease of use and leaving the right impression. These concepts together form UX, or user experience.
When it comes to financial services, while the stereotype of clinical “dullness” should be avoided, setting the proper tone is still very important. One must remember that the customers associate a certain tone and demeanor to financial institutions. While such things may be stereotypes which most financial professionals would rather avoid, there’s no getting around the need to give the kind of impression visitors expect.
This means that solid finance themes need to have a subdued, well-coordinated color scheme containing no less than three key colors but no more than six. Common colors that work well for the tone financial professionals need are shades of blue, maroon, brown and gold or the classic shades of black white and gray. While other color schemes won’t necessarily fail, there’s just something off about an accountant or attorney or the like having a website painted with audacious shades of green or purple or neon colors.
Following this, it’s also important to choose a theme that allows for a large but simple logo to be placed at the top of the site, along with a picture of the institution’s proprietor if applicable. This kind of bold yet humble projection of identity instills the confidence and simultaneous trustworthiness that members of the finance industries have always needed.
Finally, choosing the proper layout is very important as well. The number of columns and panels makes a big difference in not overwhelming visitors to the page. This is part of a science called “eye tracking”, where the layout of the site flows neatly from branding (logo) to mission statement, and on to relevant feeds of information.
Legal finance sites will need to aim for at least four columns, for various related news articles and other feeds that pertain to the industry.
Conversely, accounting, cash and loan and other more direct financial services will really need only two or so, for information about the company and a simple place for the occasionally-updated “newsletter” to be presented.
In closing, it’s also important to not forget one other consideration – browser compatibility. WordPress itself works on any standard browser, but some themes don’t work on some browsers. It’s likely that you’ll never find a theme that’s perfect for your site but also compatible with all browsers. Therefore, aim for the most commonly used browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.
When considering the type of financial industry in question, accepting the small expense for a paid theme, and just a basic understanding of these user experience tenets, anyone can find WordPress themes for finance that meet their needs nearly perfectly.Share