I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve visited and thought to myself “What the hell is this?” when looking at the design elements; no dominant fonts, no dominant pictures, lack of anything new or exciting, or too many sidebars that are wastes of space. One of the best things you can do is sit back and ask yourself if you’d actually stay and read the material on your blog based on how it looks. Most of the time, people are lying when they say their design is top-notch. Most of the time, people think fantastic content will keep people on the website. Nope, sorry. While good content keeps established readers there, good website design keeps new readers there for more than one second before leaving.
Now, are you ready for some blog design tips?
1.) Use Dominant Fonts and Pictures
What does this mean? It means using larger fonts for your more important headlines so they stand out more (dominant headlines) and using larger pictures for your more important stories (dominant pictures).
What this does is focus your readers on the areas you want them to focus on. If everything on your website or blog was the same shape and size, there would be nothing to focus their attention on, making your readers unsure of where to look first.
Readers are lazy, so by giving them a starting point to focus on, you’re helping them follow the material on your site in order of importance.
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2.) Use Sidebars Sparingly
Sidebars are great. They help organize your past material, give you space to advertise and even give your readers a place to comment on occasion. What’s not so great about them? Too many. I’ve seen websites where they should have just made the entire layout comprised of sidebars there were so many.
While they definitely help in small numbers, having too many sidebars floating around just makes things confusing. Of course, this is all relative to your layout and how much content you have. Bigger, more popular websites like Huntington area Audi will use more sidebars (which will look fine) than smaller sites with not as much content.
3.) Avoid Using Many Fonts
Font overload is a problem that many websites face. You may think using a few different fonts for your pages might not be a big deal, but you can clearly see how weird it looks.
For instance, using a different family of font for the headline and then using another for the body text would look odd and just plain ugly.
4.) Consistency is Key
Every page on your blog or website should float the same amount of pixels from the left, every page should use the same family of fonts and every page should follow the same design cues.
You know why? Because this isn’t an amateurish Myspace page, that’s why.
Every website and blog has a theme to it, and by keeping your style consistent and concise, you’re saving yourself from looking like a beginner, even if you are one.
5.) Try Not to Use Super Dark Colors
Having a dark theme is fine, but do your best to avoid a full page of pitch black. When you visit a website that is incredibly dark, your eyes need to adjust to that. Once you look away from that dark page, you’re blinded. People may stop visiting your site altogether because of how annoying it is on their eyes.
Using lighter colors keeps the eyes from having to adjust to the dark colors, making the experience much more pleasant. Check out a lot of your favorite websites, and I’ll bet most or all will have a light color theme.
If you follow these design tips in tandem with other design tips you might find, you’ll be well on your way to running a successful blog or website. Trust me, these are important!
About the author:
Joe Petchonka has been a writer for over five years and has written for newspapers, websites and automotive dealerships. In addition to having an extensive writing background and bachelor’s degree in English, he has helped companies develop professional material to help them achieve their goals. He currently writes for Nexteppe, a company helping dealerships sell online classifieds and more through the use of social media and web design.