Nowadays, designing a blog is really simple. When I started 7 years back, there were very less help available about blog setup. At that time, I decided to start this blog to speak about blogging. Later, my focus was changed a lot more about blogging. When it comes to blog design, you cannot please everyone. However, in terms of “ease of use” and “SEO”, it is possible.
All you have to pick the right WordPress theme and set it up.
In that case, it’s really simple. At the same time, considering your blog visitors and your goal into an account, “designing a blog is an Art”.
It should be sculptured like an Art with deep dedication, you should give your blog a LIFE.
This article lights up with some of the great and most important things to consider in designing a better blog especially using WordPress as the CMS.
Branding is Everything.
The success of any blog stands mainly on the Branding.
You must make your visitors to feel a better brand on your blog. Starting from the domain name to design aspects, you have to create that feel.
I have used a unique domain name, BlashO. I picked this name because its something that easily rolls on your tongue 😉
Show the visitors what you are, in the first impression.
- The first impression should be the best impression always.
- Your homepage should be self-explanatory, if some newbie comes to your blog. He or she should know, what your blog is about easily on the first look.
- Keep in mind, 80% if the web surfers are looking for information and they will be running from one website to another to find the information what they want.
- Showing the visitors that what you are offering with “focused information” helps them to stay on your site for a longer duration.
- The homepage is the face of any website.Not all users come to your homepage first, a possibility is that visitors may come from a search engine to your internal page looking for information. You should ensure that every page of your blog should convey the relevant information to them, with your blogging goal in mind.
- If you look at BlashO’s home page, you can quickly understand what BlashO is about, you don’t even need to scroll the page or click on any links. At the same time, I have kept it short on the front page.
Use of Easy Navigation and Clear Layouts (it’s all about WordPress theme).
When it comes to navigation or layout design, keep it simple.
That’s more powerful.
Having a complex navigational page makes the visitors get annoyed and they will run out of your blog with confusions. Don’t dump your blog with full of links or Ads, keep a limited number of links on each page. It is important to provide the navigational links at the right place.
- The visitors should be able to reach the home page on a single click from any of the internal pages.
- Always, be careful in selecting the right color combination’s, that really makes sense. Don’t forget to highlight the key pages of your blog.
- This is fully dependent on your WordPress theme.
- I am using Avada here in BlashO, it allows me to easily customize the blog design and also, its a clean & optimized theme which loads faster.
Reducing the Loading Speed of your Blog.
Speed is all about improving the user experience.
A fast loading page will be able to serve the content to your visitors as quickly as possible. It can improve the search engine rankings + with better user experience naturally comes more conversions (depends on your blogging goals).
You can simply follow the below steps to reduce the loading time of your blog:
- Use a WordPress recommended web hosting service like SiteGround (read my review here).
- Use an optimized WordPress theme like Avada theme or Elegant theme.
- Use a WordPress cache plugin (like W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket plugin) in order to statically cache and serve the content.
- Use a CDN delivery service like Maxcdn.
- Note: With all the above steps, BlashO is loading time at around 1 second only.
Higher the loading time, higher the bounce rate (that means when a blog loads slower, visitors may move out of your blog quickly).
The following infographic shows that a loading time of 2 seconds will have lower bounce rate and a loading time of 6 seconds will have higher bounce rate:
Check Web Browsers Compatibility + Responsiveness to Smaller Screen.
There are a lot of web browsers available on the market. Make sure that you run a test and verify your blog navigation/design at least with all the major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, IE. You can also check with text-only browsers like Lynx to ensure how a search engine like Google looks your blog. You can also check for compatibility issues using an online tool like browsershots.
You can refer to the browser usage trend, to understand where you have to test more.
Use the Google pagespeed insights and make sure your WordPress blog is responsive. Nowadays, most of the WordPress themes are responsive and you don’t need to worry much about it.
Bonus point: Always focus towards “your goal” and “your visitors” in mind while making a blog design. Also, maintain a professional touch in each and every aspect of your blog design to show that your blog is “great”.
Now tell me what do you think, building a better blog design is really an Art?