Okay, so you've decided to embark upon the journey to start blogging. It ain't as easy as it seems. It's not just about writing your content (which you may be really good at) but also about making its presentation look outstanding.
These 11 simple tips will help your blog go from mediocre (or worse) to pretty.
1. Simplicity Rules
Simplicity gives your visitors a better experience as it puts more emphasis on the content itself and gives the design a sense of balance making it easy on the eyes. A little animation is okay. Going overboard with adding elements to capture the visitor's attention is not.
2. Color Scheme
Pick a color scheme with 1-3 colors and then stick to it. Try to keep these colors in mind even when posting photos.
3. Unclutter the Sidebar
Just because you have access to countless widgets don't stuff up your sidebar with them. Make sure there's enough white space between individual widgets and also between elements within a widget.
4. Maintain Consistent Styling
You might like a button on someone's website then like a subscription box on another site and want to use similar elements on your blog. However, you must remember to maintain a consistent design style for all elements of your blog design including fonts, widgets etc.
5. Think About Visitor Experience
You're bound to need additional plugins/features with the basic design of your blog or template but make sure these extra features do not impact your visitor's experience in a negative way. For example, you might need to add social sharing buttons, pop-ups or a live chat feature tab on your blog but make sure the design of these additional elements goes with the overall layout of your blog.
A header of a site is very influential because that's the first thing people see when they come to your blog. Make sure it's got something important about your activity - your logo, navigation, a call-to-action. The advantage of a sticky header over a regular header is that a sticky one stays on top no matter where on the page your visitor scrolls down to.
7. Know The Latest Trends
There are small styling and functionality features that can really make a difference and make your blog stand out against others; features like infinite scrolling instead of the plain old pagination can really make an impression. You can see a woking example of an infinite scroll here on our site
8. Use Awesome Photos
Pay attention to uploading only the best quality photos to your blog. Don't just find something off Google and upload it thinking it relates with your post. You want your blog to look Awesome; not just okay.
9. Gotta Be Responsive
Check your blog on multiple devices like phones, tablets, laptops, desktops. A quick way to do this right from your desktop is by using Screenfly
10. Get Rid of Ugly Ads
Some of us choose to show location/interest based ads like - Google AdSense blocks - on their blog to make a little money on the side. I have nothing against ads it's just that sometimes what happens is that even though the ads served to you may look pretty or at least acceptable, the ones served to your visitors around the globe are ugly enough to spoil all your efforts to make the blog look pretty! Something to think about.
11. Think of Your Industry
Lastly, 'Pretty' can mean different things depending on what audience you're catering to. Just because some wedding planner's blog has a feminine/cute color combination, doesn't mean that has to work for your blog too. You have to think about your own audience and then go for a specific style of design.
What Do You Think?
What do you think makes a blog really stand out and make a fantastic impression?