Posts Tagged ‘Blog Design’
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. Read More
Despite the fact that vision issues affect no less than half of the world’s population, it will likely come as no surprise that web developers rarely make readability for the vision impaired a priority in their final designs.
While improving your site’s readability for the blind and otherwise seeing-impaired can be a difficult task with a site written in independent HTML, a site based on WordPress can be improved with the click of a button by utilizing appropriate plugins in order to make changes to the style elements involved.
If making your WordPress blog blind- and low-eyesight friendlier is a task you plan to set your hand to, take a look at these fantastic and wide-ranging plugins to make the job much easier! Read More
When people talk about the perfect blog, they always focus on content. The content of a blog is obviously extremely important, and in most cases the content is what decides whether a blog will be successful or flop like a fish out of water. However, the design of a blog is also extremely important. Many bloggers understand the writing aspect of the job, but it’s the blog design that causes frustration. Because creating a blog involves a little bit of web development and web hosting knowledge, so many writers feel a huge weight on their shoulders. Once bloggers have WordPress and other plugins mastered, they sometimes don’t even know where to begin when it comes to design.
When it comes to blog design, most put the lion’s share of their effort on the area that “above the fold” or what appears on the screen before the user has done any scrolling.
This makes a lot of sense because this is the first thing that visitors see and, as we have discussed before, you can’t ignore blog design as these first impressions can literally make or break your blog.
But what about the content at the other end of your blog? While it might not be the first thing that people read or even something your casual visitor will observe at all, it still has a series of critical functions for your site and ignoring it outright simply is not an option.
Most importantly though, it is the first place at least some of your visitors will look for key information and, if they do, you need to make sure you have what they’re looking for there. Otherwise, there could be legal or other related issues to not having your information available.
In short, you can’t afford to ignore your site’s footer. It’s an important part of your site and one you need to craft carefully both to maximize its usefulness and to avoid any unnecessary trouble.
Who doesn’t love the classic Magic 8-Ball toy?Â Did you know you can add one to your blog?
It’s true!Â There are tons of free widgets that you can add to your blog to make it fun, interactive, and even more useful.Â Listed below are several sites where you can find free widgets that you can install on your blog right now.
Some widgets will display on your blog with ad content, but some widget directory sites offer an option to pay for a pro account and remove the ads from the widgets.
Keep in mind, not all widgets are created equal.Â Read the reviews, check the star-ratings, and be prepared to delete the widget if you don’t like it or it doesn’t function properly once you install it on your blog.
Most importantly, make sure the widgets you choose to use on your blog match your blog’s topic, tone and your audience’s expectations.Â For example, if you write a blog about finance and investing, the Magic 8-Ball widget (like the one shown in the image at the beginning of this post) might not be appropriate, unless your audience knows you for having a sarcastic tone or sense of humor.
Check out these sites and browse around the widgets available.Â From countdown clocks to Etch-a-Sketches, there is a widget for everyone!
Widgetbox offers a huge selection of widgets and several different types of accounts with varying price tags and features.Â The basic account is free, and a free 7-day trial offer is available for the pro account.Â You can follow the link to see current Widgetbox fees.
SpringWidgets is owned by Fox Interactive Media and offers a directory that includes tens of thousands of free widgets that you can add to your blog by simply copying and pasting specific share code.
Widgipedia is owned by Vendio Services, Inc. and aims to be the ultimate widgets resource.Â Widgipedia is free and you don’t need an account unless you plan to create and upload new widgets to the directory.
What do you think?Â Are you going to spice up your blog with a widget?Â Can you resist the mysterious allure of the Magic 8-Ball?
I was watching TV and saw one of those commercials for Capital One with the well-known tagline, “What’s in your wallet?” and in my head, it turned into, “What’s in your sidebar?”Â Sometimes the strangest things can spark an idea for a blog post!
Of course, talking about what’s in bloggers’ sidebars isn’t a new topic, but perhaps because I was watching TV, the next thing I thought of after seeing the Capital One commercial was that Seinfeld episode where George couldn’t bear to part with anything in his wallet until it became so huge that he hurt his back carrying it around and sitting on it, and finally, it exploded.
So you’re probably wondering, “How does this relate to blogging?”Â Here you go… Read More
It doesn’t take much to make me happy.Â Sometimes a little WordPress plugin comes along that makes me smile, and WP Maintenance Mode is one of them.
Let me start by saying — I’m not a web developer.Â I’m not a blog designer.Â I know just enough CSS and HTML to be dangerous, and I have no problem keeping it that way.Â Would it be super handy to know CSS and HTML?Â Absolutely, but it’s one of those things that always gets pushed down in my list of priorities.
So now that I’ve revealed that little snippet from my life, back to the WP Maintenance Mode plugin.
Why do I like this plugin so much?Â Read More
One of the good (or bad, depending how you look at it) things about being a blogger is that you’re the publisher, editor, writer, and graphic artist rolled in into one. Apart from finding out a good topic to write about, most bloggers look for a good template to use, whether the blog is on WordPress or Blogger.
One of the most common questions that stump in the template decision isÂ “How wide should my blog’s template be?” And there’s a a couple of good reasons to why this is a bottleneck in the template selection decision.
See, the thing is that screen resolutions are as varied as the topics about blogging. It used to be that the only relevant resolution was 1024 pixels by 768 pixels (1024×768). But now, only roughly 1/3 of screens out there have 1024×768. The majority is now a resolution bigger than that.
The other reason is readability. With the changing resolutions, I won’t be surprised if people also tweaked their screens DPI (dot per inch) setting. This setting can make text and images to be displayed bigger (or the same with a lower resolution screen), even when the physical screen becomes bigger. This makes text more readable even with a ultra-high resolution display. Nonetheless, the upper limit in nice, readable web typography is 75 characters wide, give or take a few characters.
Now, with the variety in user needs, what’s the best width for blog templates? (Length or height is rarely an issue because people are used to vertically scroll).
Assuming you are using a 14 pixel size for the text and default character spacing, you would need at least 520 pixels for the main content area. Plus, if you add two columns 160 pixels wide (Why 160 pixels? This is to accommodate the widest standard skyscraper ad size), you would need an extra 320 pixels. Finally, you’d need approximately 10-15% buffer for margins. The final total? 924 to 966 pixels wide.
Surprisingly, this is very near the favorite 960 pixel-wide designs today. This number also seems optimal for common screens based on W3Counter’s final 2009 stats,Â 60% of displays out there range from 1024 pixels to 1280 pixels wide.
Happy Monday, folks! Things seem to be a bit slow in the Movable Type community right now. I think it’s a combination of the holidays and impending release of MT5. Still, we’ve got a few news items to tell you about.
Mike from Code Monkey Ramblings has forked Byrne Reese’s jQuery Comment plugin. This doesn’t seem to be a radical departure from the original. Instead, Mike has concentrated on small tweaks that improve the plugin and extend its compatibility with existing themes. Read More
Happy Monday, folks! Disappointing news for those of us waiting for the official Movable Type 5 release: It’s been postponed till January 5. In the announcement, Six Apart only says that there are issues to resolve so they’re waiting till after the holidays to release. I believe this is the third official release date we’ve had, let’s hope it’s the last one.
Byrne Reese has announced a new version of the Media Manager plugin. The previous version was broken by a change to Amazon’s API. Rather than patch the problem, Byrne did a major rewrite of the software to take advantage of an existing Amazon API library. As a result, folks upgrading from a previous version will likely need to update their templates. Read More