If you have a blog, you probably want people to read it. Whether you’re blogging about your personal life or trying to attract customers to your business, you need to avoid several common design mistakes that drive people away from blogs. Although these mistakes are common, they are easy to avoid if you know what they are and how to identify them. Follow these tips for making your blog-reader friendly.
You might love Lucida Handwriting, but your blog readers may have a hard time reading a script font. Unless you blog only for yourself, the needs of your readers should be your top priority. Use a non-script font in a size large enough to see at several different screen resolutions. You do not want to force your blog readers to change their browser settings just to see what you have written.
Color can add a little personality to your blog, but it can also hurt people’s eyes and make them never want to come back. If you add color to your blog template, make sure it does not clash with other colors on the site. Avoid using neon colors, as these are often difficult to see. Do not use dark text colors on a dark background or light text on a light background. Before your blog goes live, ask a few people to look at it and let you know if the colors you used make the site difficult to read.
Text, video and pictures are important components of every blog. However, you also need some white space. Do not cram text together without using paragraph breaks or post dozens of pictures side-by-side. White space makes it easier to read your text and look at any photos or videos you post on your site.
Your blog’s design should match the theme of your content. If your blog is about marketing and you use a template covered with sports pennants, people who find your blog might get confused and leave without reading anything. Use colors, text and pictures that relate to your theme. If you use your blog for business, make sure the theme is professional and portrays your business in a positive light.
If you do not have the funds to hire someone to design a theme just for your blog, make some changes to an existing template to create something that is entirely your own. Most blog templates come with certain fonts, colors or widgets. Move the widgets around, change the colors or try new fonts. Making these changes will set your blog apart from other sites using the same template right out of the box.
Online readers do not have time to search your entire site for important information. You need to put it where they will see it as soon as they land on your blog. This means putting the most information at the top of the page so readers do not have to scroll down to see it. If you have an important announcement about your blog, you can create a static post that stays at the top of the page. This will help ensure that all of your readers see this important information.
Unfortunately, your blog might not look the same in every browser. If it looks fine in Chrome, it might look buggy in Internet Explorer. As you make changes to the design of your blog, check the site in several browsers to make sure it displays correctly. You may have to make some slight adjustments so that the blog displays properly in all of the major browsers.
It’s difficult to determine how a reader will react to your blog if you don’t get feedback from other people before you go live. This is why you should conduct a usability review. Sit down with a few of your friends and ask them to visit your blog, click on all the links and use all of the features. Your friends should then give you their honest feedback about what works and what doesn’t. Making changes based on these suggestions will make your blog easier for readers to use.