In most cases, changing the entirety of a blog’s design can be too overwhelming and expensive.
If you’re already happy with your blog’s layout and artistry, but still feel like it needs some additional refining, then this post will illustrate your options.
I have put together five tips that can be applied to your current design, significantly improving its appeal.
1. Enlarge headings
Most people will scan a blog’s content and read only the blog post subheadings. You can easily streamline this process.
Make sure your headings and subheadings are large and clear. Remember the correct hierarchy – H2 is bigger than H3, etc.
Not only will your blog posts be easier to read, but they will also appear more organized and professional.
See the example below:
2. Increase the contrast
This is one of the most common blog design mistakes: a light gray body text may look nice aesthetically but it can be a marked problem for many people. Not only will persons with poor vision find the text difficult to read, but also individuals using small mobile screens and low quality monitors.
Try to make a clear contrast between the background and the text. Doing so will make your blog easier to read and your content look cleaner.
See the example below:
3. Add more space
Don’t be afraid of whitespace! First, make sure you have optimal spacing between the main content and the edges of the page. There should be at least 20 pixels of space. I’ve been using 30-40 pixels recently as a standard page inner spacing.
This provides a clear separation between the text and other elements. It will also make the text lines shorter, which is easier to read.
Also, don’t forget about the “micro whitespace” within your blog content:
- around the images (at least 20 pixels)
- before and after the block quotes
- after the paragraphs (the ‘margin-bottom’ can be same as your body text ‘line-height’ to keep a nice text flow)
- before the subheadings
Look at this simple example:
I think I will repeat “more white space” frequently in my blog. Examining the whitespace can tell you a lot about the designer.
4. Eliminate distractions
Try reading a book while someone is flashing a light in your eyes. The experience is similar to reading text posted on a page full of flash banners.
Choose advertisers who don’t use ultra flashy banners and try to reduce the number of graphical elements around your content. These are very distracting to readers.
Social media sharing buttons are also important. These can become irritating, particularly if you’re trying to force people to share your content in an overbearing manner.
Keep the social sharing buttons in well known places — at the top or at the bottom of the post — so everyone will know where to go to share it.
5. Make your blog easy to navigate
First, make sure you have a simple main blog navigation menu which is easily accessible. For instance, place the navigation menu at the top of the website. Your location on the website should also be obvious by highlighting the current page.
If you use many categories and sub-categories, using breadcrumbs can be very helpful.
A list of categories in the sidebar, or internal blog post links, are also a part of the blog navigation. Make sure your links look clickable. Do this easily by underlining the clickable text. You can also highlight links in a different color or add an inline background (as shown on my blog).
As you can see, there is no sorcery involved in a solid blog design. It’s all about keeping everything clean, well-organized, intuitive and user-friendly.
This is the age when we can do nearly everything on the web. There are very few technological boundaries. You can make flying pink cows (really?), with flashing buttons and fireworks in the background.
However, we typically won’t do that. We care about our readers and want to create a fantastic and pleasurable user experience. Essentially, less is more.