Your blog's design can be the distinctive factor that descrete you from the vast majority of other blogs available out there. First impressions count and making sure that you have all the elements of a great blog design can ensure that readers will enjoy the content that you present.
Here, you will read about the 10 essential properties of a strong weblog design.
1. Good readability
One of the most significant ingredients of a weblog design is readability. Make sure that the background and foreground colors that you choose have enough contrast to make your content easy to read (test the colors before submitting). Use enough line-spacing for paragraphs to make huge blocks of content easier to read.
Though readers can easily change their font size settings via the web browser, make sure that the font size of your text – specially for paragraph elements – is large enough (12-14px usally enough for most cases).
2. A strong focus on the content
Ensuring that readers do not get distracted by the site design and focusing on your posts' content can make the decision of subscribing to your blog and coming back to read more of your content an uncomplicated choice. Some good advice to improve your weblog content include making sure that your header section is not excessive tall so the visitors with lower resolution can readily read the post title without requiring to scroll down. Another way to center the blog design onto the content is by making sure that there are no distracting items in the background. The content is the meat of a weblog – make sure that you give its design the attention it deserves.
3. High findability
Using the sidebar (secondary text) of your weblog to show recent and hot posts may result in a more page views: present what you've provided to the visitors, make related post readily accessible to them while reading posts.
Having a search feature integrated into your blog application is always a good thing: if you are looking for a free search tools – consider the Google AJAX Search API.
Remember that the more interesting content you display to the reader, the higher the likelihood that he or she will consider subscribing to your RSS feed.
4. A great comment section design
The comments section is where all the action happens. It is in this section that readers get the opportunity to give you feedback on the topic you’ve written about and to share their own knowledge and opinions on the subject. Having detailed debates and conversations about your posts can invite people to share their views and in turn really get the website going. Having a good comment section design tells your readers that you care about what they have to say and have given them a great place to share them in.
To supercharge your comment section and to encourage discussion, check out an application called IntenseDebate that opens up features to help you design an engaging comment section.
5. Tight integration with social networking/media sites
Make it trouble-free for your readers to share your content within their networks. Many people like sharing the content that they have been reading on places like Twitter, Digg, and Facebook. For easy social media integration and sharing of content, consider using an application called ShareThis!.
6. A memorable header
When a person visits your blog, one of the first things that they will be guaranteed to notice is the design you have at the top of the web page. This is your chance to create a memorable first impression as well as to imprint your brand into their memory.
7. The use of effective visuals in the content
The failing of many blogs is that images within the posts aren't design well. Utilize image captions to make pictures more interesting and make them more meaningful to the readers (Utilize the ImageCaption MooTools plugin).
Additionally, when your topic is such that you require the sharing of numerical data, try to make them more attractive by utilizing effective data visualization methods such as graphs and charts; not only this renders boring data into more interesting visuals, but also it may help visitors understand the data you are discussing better.
Lots of sketched images, watermarked pictured, and pictures with a various alignments in different sizes may lead to a look that give the impression to the visitors that you have spent a little time or no, to write your content.
8. A semantic HTML structure
Having a nice design for your blog is all fine and good – but you should also make sure that your HTML code is designed and coded right and keeps semantics in mind. This not only makes it easier for you to maintain your blog, but also promotes better search engine results, which in turn can lead to more exposure to your web property.
9. Logically structured content
If your blog is a vast area and you write about different contents in a wide range of categories, your navigation should be up to scratch so that users can find what they are interesting in. Organization is the key to success and investing the appropriate amount of time in planning and designing your site’s navigation will pay dividends when users try to seek for more stuff on your site.
10. A good headline/post title design
When reading a weblog, it is always the headlines that draw the readers into a post. It isn’t only how the headline is worded that is important to entice the reader in, but also how it looks and grabs their attention that can lead them to read the rest of the content. Use distinguished font styles that are bold and large so that readers don’t miss your post titles.
Consider providing meta information such as the author’s name, the date of publication, and sharing features near your post titles to give greater context to what they’re about to read.
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