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Here’s How to Be the Worst WordPress Designer on the Planet (In 8 Steps or Less)

If you want to be the worst WordPress designer on the planet, search no more! This is the only guide you’ll ever need!

Here’s how to achieve your majestic goal in eight steps or less!

Editor's note. Click here. Important! Kind of...
Caution. Sarcasm is used wideeeely in this article. Please don’t take it personally. It’s just that some WordPress designer practices are way too common out there in the wild. And not only do they harm the clients, but they also have a huge negative impact on the community of designers and developers themselves.

In other words, please treat this post as a guide about the things you should never do if you’re a WordPress designer who’s building sites for clients.

But before we get into that, here’s a video version if you’re in a hurry, or can’t be bothered, or don’t like to read – which I’d expect from an aspiring worst WordPress designer. See this video on Facebook.

Becoming the worst WordPress designer in 8 steps or less:

1. Consider “pretty” being the most important parameter of site design

Pretty designs are good designs, everyone knows this! 🤓

And if you work with clients then delivering something that’s not incredibly pretty will get you fired quicker than Neymar fakes a foul.


Why would you care about things like … I don’t know, conversions, SEO, clear content presentation, web friendly fonts, good contrast for the visually impaired? Nah… creating something that simply looks attractive is much more important!

2. Think that flat design is be-all and end-all

Apple was the first company that took flat design to the mainstream. So naturally, everyone and their dog decided to follow suit.

The result? Nowadays, every new design has to be flat (don’t mistake with “fall flat,” which is kind of different; although on many levels kind of the same).

In short, here’s why you should go for flat WordPress designs:

  • They’re quicker to build (so you get more money for your time).
  • They’re easier to build (you just slap some vaguely resonating blocks next to one another and call it a day).
  • They’re trendy as hell! Makes it easy to convince your client that what they’re getting is the absolute pinnacle of WordPress fashion these days.

3. Have the “I can do this myself from scratch!” mindset

from scratch

Really, why would you ever want to use a quality theme or a nice builder plugin when you can basically create a whole WordPress site + an original theme for it from scratch?

More than that, you can even convince your client that this makes your product better(!) and that they should pay more for it! After all, you’re doing so much work!

Never mind that you could easily get a much better result building upon what other people have already created, or simply delegating this task to an external company. Nah, this would be too simple (and too time effective)!


4. Laugh at your client’s previous website

This one is a must! Laughing at your client’s previous site is a mandatory step in every design project! Actually, you should probably do the laughing even prior to securing the job.


This will help you get your (so-called) expertise across and convince your client that you know better than everyone. There’s a good chance they’ll be thinking, “Well, this person seems to be confident since they’re so eager to critique the site we currently have!”

5. Target audience? “People who breathe” seems to be it

Websites are websites! There’s nothing more to it.

If your client asks you to build a website (no matter its type or the topics it is supposed to cover), it’s a website they will get! What else could a WordPress designer do?!

You really don’t need to go into much detail about what the website is meant to achieve, what the target audience is, or what financial goal is there to secure.

That is your client’s problem!

Your problem is making the site pretty! (Go back to #1 for more context on “pretty”). So, you do your job and let them do theirs.

6. Don’t use other people’s ideas

Some people say that everything’s a remix – that whatever we do is a version of something that someone else has already done, or a combination of a number of somethings.

Well, those people are wrong! This isn’t the way a real WordPress designer does things!

other ideas

You should only rely on what you – on your own – can come up with creatively, while being locked up in a hut somewhere in the wilderness. No external input, no external human interactions. Only you and your ideas, not tainted by any outsider knowledge, or insights.


7. Think that you know best

Similar to #6, but this time we’re taking it much further.

Apart from not getting ideas from other people, you should also disregard every bit of information you find. Purely because it’s “not valid for your current project.”

Keep in mind that whenever someone writes about a given problem and whatever solution they have, it almost always applies only to their particular situation and nothing more. I mean, how could it possibly be applied to anything else?

You should disregard it, especially if the proposed solution requires some additional effort on your part on top of what you’re already doing. Clients won’t pay you for that effort, so what’s the point?


For instance, countless case studies say that email lists have a positive impact on profits for virtually all kinds of businesses. But this surely doesn’t apply to your client’s business. After all, they are in the [_____] niche, and no one there uses email newsletters, so you should probably suggest abandoning the idea.

8. Solve all problems with more plugins

WordPress is cool in itself, but the problem is that a blank WordPress site looks kind of empty.

There are two great solutions to this:

  • apply some good layout or good content presentation, or
  • throw new plugins at the site until the design feels full enough.

If you ask me, solution no.2 is much easier to implement. Here’s a list of plugins that are totally useful and will help you fill every sidebar and every widget area that’s at your disposal: calendar plugins, sliders, newest posts, popular posts, random posts, comment widgets, widgets presetting the number of people online, clock widgets (letting people know what time it is), guest books, blogrolls (a what?), custom tag clouds.

The rule of thumb here is simply this: The more stuff there is, the more work you’ve supposedly accomplished. Therefore, your client must be happy.

“Wait a minute! I don’t want to be the worst WordPress designer at all!”

I’m glad you’ve come to your senses.

Okay, let’s do away with the sarcastic tone for now…

In some way, writing this was fun for me. But on the other hand, I also feel kind of uncomfortable because these practices are indeed out there, and a lot of people subscribe to them. I like to believe that most of the time this happens unconsciously, but who knows.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we should all be very careful with the way we handle our design / WordPress work. It’s really easy to fall into the dark side. All it takes is a little laziness or negligence.


Anyway, can you think of any other things that the worst WordPress designer would do? Let us know in the comments.

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. Learn more below:
Yay! 🎉 You made it to the end of the article!
Karol K

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Jason Witt
May 10, 2018 4:37 am

Commercial themes and page builders mean generic and boring, not quality. Then you say don’t use plugins right after you say to use prebuilt themes and page builder plugins. Hmm….

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