You may be an excellent writer with a powerful message, but if your blog is a mess, you will drive away readers. Blog design is almost as important as the contents of your blog. Good design can showcase your words to their best advantage. Bad design can detract from or even destroy the message you hope to convey.
Hiring a professional to design your blog is ideal, but some of the most serious blog design mistakes are actually due to simple missteps. Even an amateur blogger should be able to avoid the glaring design blunders described below.
Too. Much. Stuff.
It’s true; a blog will be type-heavy – that’s the nature of a blog. Readers expect this. What readers don’t expect and won’t tolerate are lengthy blog entries and affiliate links and in-line ads and banner ads and pop-up ads and pop-over ads. This also applies to back-links embedded within your blog copy. Monetizing your blog is fine, but annoying your readers is not the way to increase traffic to your blog.
Photos and graphics are great, and add visual appeal to your blog. However, using large, uncompressed images can make your blog pages really slow to load, even over fast broadband connections. Simply converting your images from BMP to JPEG format can reduce the file sizes dramatically without an unacceptable loss in image quality.
Using too many uncompressed images on a single page can make a page shimmy around on the browser screen. Crowded, junky-looking blog pages are also unappealing for readers to print out or share. While it’s possible to add a printer-friendly format for your blog entries, doing so adds an extra step some readers may not be willing to take.
Bad Color Combinations
Endless blocks of type are boring, not to mention hard on the eyes. So, yes, adding color to your blog is desirable. Even using colored type for your blog copy is fine, as long as the type is easily legible. However, attempting to use color to attract readers can backfire if it’s overdone, or if you combine colors that don’t coordinate together well.
Loud blocks of clashing colors can literally give readers a headache. Even if they don’t actually reach for the aspirin, readers will be put off by glaring colors and flashing displays that serve no visible purpose. If you’re writing about rainbows, including an illustration of a rainbow is charming. Otherwise, it’s difficult to imagine how rainbow stripes would be a fitting element of blog design.
Poor Logo or Banner Design
Many blog templates allow bloggers to insert their own headings or logos. If you already have a logo or banner that readers associate with your blog, by all means, use it. However, if you’re creating a new logo or banner just to distinguish your blog, you should seriously consider hiring a professional for the job. An amateurish logo design can only detract from your blog, no matter how well written.
While many templates make it easy to put together a simple, clean-looking blog layout, a logo is an entirely different matter. For one thing, you must consider how your logo will look on different browser screens. Internet Explorer has long since given up much of its dominance to Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari browsers. As smart phones and tablets become more prevalent, you must also consider whether your blog design in general or your logo in particular will look good on the different platforms used for those tools.
- Host Wisely: Three Most Disastrous Web Design Mistakes hostwisely.com/blog/three-most-disastrous-web-design-mistakes/
- LogoInn.net: These Three Logo Design Mistakes Can Break Your Brand Image
- Pixel Crayons: 13 Website Design Mistakes that Designers Should Avoid
Guest post contributed by Charles Dearing, for WhoIsHostingThis – A review site and webmaster tool that enables you to discover which web hosting company any site is hosted with. Visit the site to read this review.