Blog Design Tips

Making sure you have a nice and organized blog design can make the readers experience better when visiting your blog. In this article I am going to discuss a few tips about how to layout your blog and hopefully end up with a better user experience.

Helping Hand

Recommended Additions

  • Mugshot : One thing I add to all my blogs is a picture/mugshot of myself. You can obscure it somewhat if you don’t want people to see your face. But having a picture will help the reader to associate a little bit better with your blog.
  • A nice template : There are many free template websites that can help you get started. Once you have a start, then tweak it to suit your needs.
  • A contact form : (like this one for wordpress) to allow your visitors contact you easily.
  • An “about me” page : give the reader an opportunity to read more about you if they so wish. It doesn’t have to be in so much detail, but more and more bloggers are adding these and when I visit a new blog I tend to read that at some stage. Mine can be found [here].
  • MyBlogLog : MyBlogLog can be a great addition to any blog, it lends it’s self easily to having a community behind your blog and it’s also a great way to see just who is visiting it. My community can be seen [here]. The MyBlogLog widget on the right hand side of this page is easy to add and to customize to fit nicely with your design.

Things not to have in your blog

  • Too many ads: AdSense is great, but don’t pepper your site with too many large banners (btw. ;))
  • Too personal information : It’s your call on this one, as to how much you tell your readers. Personally I don’t think putting my address or cell phone number on a website is the right way. Remember you don’t want someone calling to your house at 11pm at night to discuss a recent post !
  • Broken Images & Links : make sure you keep your BlogRoll up todate and that you upload your pictures to your blog rather than cross linking images. These cross linked images are likely to be moved and may not be available to someone who visits your site in a year. If you upload them to your webspace you can be sure that visitors will always see them.

What do you think ?

Does anyone have any top tips on must have and must have nots for their blog ? Let me know via a comment, I’d love to hear about it.

9 thoughts on “Blog Design Tips

  1. You missed the biggest addition of all. RSS

    I see that you are using RSS, but didn’t mention it in this post. Allowing readers a way to subscribe to your content is very important.

    I use blogger and am working on building my own contact form. Emal is so junky these days. I agree that usign a contact form is much cleaner.

    BeachBum

  2. True about RSS. It’s not an exhaustive list, but yes you are right. Plus I fell like I am always banging on about RSS 😉

  3. Hi!

    Nice tips on blogging and themes. Any suggestions how I can make my site attract more visitors? thanks

  4. Thanks Hectril for your kind words.

    I had a quick look at your site and I did see that there is a lot of white used, i.e. background and that areas are not so well separated. I would use borders on my div’s a bit more and have different font colors for H2 & H3 tags i.e. the “Categories” part. You could always move the search box up to the top of the page as you have room there.

  5. Hey Becks, found your site from JohnCow.com and enjoyed your posts so far. I would add to your list of additions that maybe they should incorporate “Social bookmarking” buttons at some spot in the site. These can potentially increase a blog’s readers, traffic and subscribers…

    Keep up the good work here…

  6. Thanks MC. Do you have any recommendations for “social bookmarking” wordpress plugins ?

    I’ve looked at a few but I couldn’t make up my mind !

    BeckS

  7. To be honest I haven’t used WordPress as much as Blogger yet, only a bit of experience with it and its plugins. But I like what addthis.com has in terms of the bookmark widget you can place into your site. I’ve seen many blogs using it, self included. I’ve found the code setup on WordPress can be tricky to deal with, but that might be a good short term solution.

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