5 Really Annoying Blogging Mistakes That Will Make Your Blog Annoying To Visit

Blog MistakeOne of my biggest pet peeves when reading really good material is to read that content on a website that gives me a headache to navigate or view.

While there are many website design mistakes a blogger can makes I have compiled a list of 5 mistakes that can kill a blog before it even gets started.

1. Strange Fonts For Content Sections

While using a unique font to create your websites logo or perhaps even sidebar titles might give your blog a fresh feel that’s where unique fonts should end.  When it comes to fonts bloggers should incorporate georgia, times new roman, times or serif fonts into their content. If you view HuffingtonPost, New York Times and various other content based sites you will quickly realize that they use those standard fonts because they are easily recognizable and therefore easy to read. If you choose to use a custom font for your content I suggest polling your friends and family members to see if they find the custom font easy to read.

2. Creating A Compressed Content Area

First time web designers often make the mistake of cramming their content into a small area on their blog. For example a 250px side left sidebar followed by a 400px content  and then another 250px sidebar on the right, under that structure your content controls less than 50% of your websites realty. Remember that content is king and if you push out the king for a bunch of ads you’re likely to push out readers in the process.

3. Placing A Sidebar On The Left Side Of Your Website

Think about when you read a book, you read from left to right which means placing a sidebar on the left side of your page immediately draws a readers attention away from your content. When a visitor enters your website you want your awesome content to capture their attention immediately, this is why I suggest placing your content “above-the-fold” (top 500px of your page) and to the very left of your website.

4. Installing Videos and Audio Files That Play Automatically

I want to scream when I enter a site and videos begin to play automatically. First, it’s inconsiderate to the reader who may not be interested or able to watch videos (for example at work) and it’s annoying when I’ve begun to read an article and the “flow” in the article is disrupted by a loud video when my computer speakers are turned up. Video is a great way to increase “time-on-site” numbers but only if you don’t scare your users away by launching them before they have a chance to absorb the written content found on your pages. In cases of java based videos you might also be met by iPad and other mobile device users who can’t view your videos creating an entirely new mess for site viewers.

5. Failing To Brand Your Site

Website branding can be as simple as using the same colors throughout your site that you used for your logo and it can be far more complex. When designing a blog there are several factors I like to keep in mind, first I use consistent colors on the website to give my regular readers a sense of continuity. Second, I like to space out all sections of my site evenly, for example If I use 5px padding on my sidebar widgets I also use 5px padding to space out my content from the sidebar. I find that by creating a site that looks consistent in color and spacing users feel like the site is more “put together.” If you have the ability it’s also not a bad idea to have personalized sharing buttons created for Facebook, Twitter and other sites you use, this shows users that sharing your content is part of your website.

What website design mistakes do you commonly found when reading blogs?

Author: James Dunaway

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  1. My thoughts exactly…more or less…

  2. You know, I can agree with all, except 3 one: if you place sidebar on the left, more likely ads will be noticed and clicked 🙂 Also, you should remember, this ca cause greater bounce rate and worse UX.

  3. I’m happy to say I don’t make these mistakes on my blog. What Dainius says is true, the left sidebar can convert better on ads, but unless your goal is to convert on PPC ads it’s not worth doing.

    • Yes, you are right, indeed. But you want your visitors to read the content! You want them to come again and again and you want a better conversion by your regulars.

      Cheers, Dave

  4. These mistakes are so common. One very annoying one is the auto play on videos and every time you have to go back to that page, this video plays!

  5. Oh man! I really hate it when there’s an audio that autoplay’s every time I visit the main page of the blog… especially if it’s an annoying song.

    I know a lot of bloggers want to generate revenue but placing all those ads is a big turnoff for me. There are some ads that are strategically placed to trick a reader to click it. Well, I might click it but I’ll never visit the blog again.

  6. FaReal? says:

    Some of my latest pet peeves are as follows:

    • “Top XX” lists (“Top 10 Cities To Start A Business” etc) that are paginated into flipbooks. They, generally, are just a photo and a sentence on each page. STOP THIS!! I know you love the page views and the chance to serve a visitor yet another ad, but this practice is absolute lunacy. The entire list could easily be contained on one page, and people are trying to compensate for a lack of actual content, by spreading it out over 15 pages.

    • Hover ads/opt-ins upon arriving on the site. I can’t go quicker from “this place looks like it has some good info” to all-out rage faster than when the actual content fades to grey and I’m staring at a lightbox asking me to sign up or buy something. Pop-ups ads should be relegated to porn sites.

    • Toolbars. All the rage nowdays. You have webmasters thinking “hey, we’ll make this so much more convenient for our visitors” and then they chop-up an inch of screen real estate and cram it with flash ads and useless “tools” that really only benefit the site and not the user. These “toolbars” literally make me want to burn websites to the ground.

    • Sites that use some of the above (and other similar techniques) to effectively reduce the real estate for content down to a 400X300 pixel area. Stop cruddying up my screen. I’m claustrophobic (not srs).


  7. Some good tips.

    There are a number of things that are totally off putting, when you go to some sites.

    I would add those automatic pop ups that cover the screen, just as you begin to read the article.

    Another one I have come across lately, is one that makes it hard for you to leave the page even after closing the pop up boxes.

    Regarding the use of flashy fonts, that is something I often do.

    I did not realize it was such a big no no. I will need to make some changes to my current wide variety of font usage.

    The practice of squeezing the actual content section between two side bars, is something I decided to avoid when choosing a template design. The template looked great overall, with plenty of flashy widgets, though, the main post content section was way too slim. When making adjustments to try to expand the center column, the template became totally contorted(Causing a number of widgets, elements, etc to overlap).

  8. Thanks for sharing.Nice information.

  9. jakubgg says:

    Thanks for good tips.

    I am not sure about the content in between two sidebars is that serious crime, though. I seriously hate those crammed all-in-one sidebars that have more items than phonebook.

    Design with two sidebars (left and right) can provide better UX. More important things can go to the left, auxiliary stuff to the right.

    The key here is “liquid” design.

    If the website width is set to, say 960px stiff, and no matter what device you use for browsing it stays that way you are in trouble (or your visitor is actually).

    Using @media, providing different css for different devices will fit the content to your view-port nicely. If you don’t know anything about it – one of the frameworks like Less Framework will do it for you.

  10. FaReal? says:

    Speaking of “mistakes”, there’s one of the spelling variety in this page’s title (at the top of the window).

  11. One of my blogging pet peeves is a copy-and-paste content. Like seriously? I visit because I want to learn something new, not reread articles. It also strips off bloggers the authority and the credibility. These two are so important especially when one is trying to build a brand.

  12. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on several websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  13. thanks for share!

  14. All good points, except the left sidebar. Nonsense.

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