There are some really badly designed blogs out there in the blogosphere. Some are just simply awful with text in strange places, weird brightly coloured backgrounds, scrolling glitter text and fonts you cannot read.
Learning the basic principles of good design is a must have tool for anyone that already has a blog or is thinking of starting one. One mistake newbie bloggers often make is their blog design. Some have little or no html/css experience and do not realise that different browsers and mobile technology can affect how your blog appears. It may look fine on Firefox, a browser generally used for web design, but check it out on internet explorer and you may find the layout doing something strange. That is why tools like Rapise from Inflectra and other multi-browser testing tools are so popular by simplifying testing.
I actually run my own blog design shop now but started off knowing very little about blog design and only knew very basic html. Over the past 3 years I have taught myself how to do things which takes time, energy and patience. I have made many mistakes and found that putting a “}”in the wrong spot can be disastrous and break the entire html code.
But starting off requires only the most basic of blog design aesthetic “rules”. If every blogger followed these “rules” rather than creating a crazy, colourful design that no-one can actually read, then they may just find that readers will stick around for longer than a few seconds.
Here are my top 4 tips for a good blog design:
1. White Space
The best blog designs have a lot of white space, even a white background. This simple aesthetic tip makes the blog much easier on the eye which means people are more likely to stick around. A bad background design can cause readers to jump to the next blog of their interest rather than sticking around to get a bad headache.
2. Simple Fonts
It is best to use 1-3 fonts throughout the entire blog. Any more than this and it can start to look messy and unprofessional. You can get free web fonts from Google Fonts which are super easy to install into your blog template.
3. Easy to access Social Buttons
Make sure your readers can see where to find you on the web! Ensure you have installed different types of subscriber access such as a Google Friend Connect follow gadget, social icons; follow by email, RSS or mailing list. Give readers the option of choosing how they want to follow your blog.
4. A kick-ass Header
Make sure your header isn’t so large that it takes up the entire space “above the fold”. Ensure it is neat, centred and relevant to your blog. A good graphic designer should be able to make a logo or something for you if required.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for next week.
Ilana Morgan is a freelance writer, blogger and magazine editor from Australia who enjoys writing about fashion, design and technology. She writes successful vintage fashion blog and loves her cat, family and cups of tea.