I may not be an expert on SEO and what not, lol (it’s a learning process, and I AM getting better, I promise!), but, being a naturally creative person, I do know a LOT about blog design. So, today, I’m going to share 8 don’ts in the world of blog design in an effort to help you make a super appealing blog.
- Don’t center ALL of your text. Centered text when captioning a photo is great, but centering ALL the text in your post is uber annoying, hard to read, and very unprofessional. Either left align or justify your text for the optimal reading experience for your audience.
- Don’t play music. Setting music to auto-play when someone visits your blog really slows down the loading speed for your blog. Plus, it’s really, really annoying. I often play Pandora in the background when I’m browsing the web, so when a blog’s music is mutilating the music I’m listening to, it makes me instantly click away. Plus, just because you like certain music, doesn’t mean everyone else has the same taste in music as you do.
- Don’t overcrowd your website. Say no to super busy backgrounds, blog designs, or sidebars. Stick to a single sidebar on the right. Having more than one sidebar makes your site look super crowded. Also, avoid having a sidebar on the left side (this is a classic designer’s rule) because your readers’ eyes automatically go from left to right. If something gains their attention first thing on the left sidebar, they may no longer have any interest in your content. Also, don’t have a gazillion buttons or flash images or whatever on your sidebar; try to keep it minimal. Having too much on your sidebar slows your site down and makes the design look sloppy.
- Don’t use light colored text on a dark background. Using white text on a black background (or any light colored text on a dark background) violates many designer’s rules and gives the reader a headache when they read it. So please stick to dark colored text on white or light colored backgrounds.
- Don’t make it hard to follow you. Keep your social network icons at the top of your sidebar or in your header where readers can easily and almost immediately find them. If you have them just somewhere on your sidebar or thrown in the footer, you’re less likely to gain as many organic followers.
- Don’t have too many annoying popups. Sometimes, popups have their place. One is bearable. Two or more–or pop-up ads–are too much. They get on nerves and cause people to exit out the the tab with your site. Also try to avoid displaying ads that pop up or slide out over posts–those get really annoying, too.
- Don’t have sloppy or default graphics. Save up and hire a designer if you must, but don’t display shoddy or pixelated graphics. And try to veer away from default theme graphics. Make your blog truly your own. It’s your brand, so make it unique and make it stand out above the rest. Have your own logo, a button that people can share, a favicon (that’s the icon that shows in a tab or in the address bar, depending on browser), and an overall visually appealing design. When it comes to blogs, the best ones to look at are often the most visited.
- Don’t forget to have a mobile-device friendly theme. A vast majority of online searches and website viewing is done via smart phone or tablet nowadays. As a result, it’s vital that your theme appears and functions well on these mobile devices.