Musings on Website Design and Themes

For this month, the Seattle WordPress Blogger Meetup Group got together and talked about website design and themes.

  • What makes for good design?
  • Have page builders, like Elementor, replaced themes?
  • What is the future of WordPress?
  • Good website design vs bad
  • Why keeping things simple can make for less headaches

Are website themes still relevant?

It seems that the trend is that people are choosing website themes less and less.

Some of the issues are that they can run slow, they are less flexible, and can look outdated after a time.

Website Builders

Website builders are much preferred these days as they make designing and building a website much easier before.

It used to be that you had to hire a web designer or go with a templated theme. But now the page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi put the controls in your hands.

However, one drawback to these page builders is that they tend to slow down your site. And with Google’s emphasis on website speed as being a high priority, this can be a big issue.

Further, things are continuing to evolve in the website and WordPress space.

The landscape is getting more competitive

The popularity of the page builders has put WordPress a bit on the defensive, in my opinion.

It used to be that WordPress was the DIY way of building a website. You choose a theme and you could then handle the content creation duties on your own site.

But the builder apps have improved that and WordPress is having to evolve. As a result, they introduced Gutenberg.

Gutenberg and the Block Editor

Gutenberg is a new way of editing and it has brought us the block editor.

The block editor is a way of building content through blocks. It’s WordPress’s answer to the page builders.

It still has a ways to go but the advantage is that it doesn’t require a separate plugin. This means that your site can run FAST!

The future of WordPress and Gutenberg is bright. Let’s hope it lives up to the promise.

website themes

Simple Design

Further in the presentation, is an argument for a simple, and maybe more plain, site design.

Simplicity requires less plugins and less design elements. Therefore it tends to be more reliable over time. It breaks less as things continue to evolve.

So, if you are someone that possibly won’t keep on top of the constant little changes taking place in the web building world a simple site design may be for your.

Good website design vs Bad

Finally, we wrap up the formal presentation with some examples of good design elements vs bad design elements on websites.


We hope some of this is helpful in your choosing a site design and planning for the future.

The Seattle WordPress blogging group meets every 4th Saturday of every month at 10am Pacific time. You can rsvp on the Meetup site.

Hope to see you at the next one!

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