If you’ve been a blogger for a long time, or just a little while, web design is something you might want to look into. As a blogger I visit a lot of other blogs out there. Other blogs have given me ideas on how to design my own blog and what I’ve found from some of the most popular/most visited blogs is they all have one thing in common. Design! As well as having a good design for your site, you want to also make sure that every feature on every page is running smoothly and your website is operating the way it should. These are the sorts of services that a specialist like HostiServer can provide you, to take care of the technical aspect of your blogs and websites.
A good clean well thought out website or blog design is really key in making sure you have return visitors, there are some great examples featured here if you want some inspiration.
Here are six things I notice when visiting other blogs or websites.
1. Disorganized Sidebars Having content like ads or boxed images appear outside the lines. This looks so disorganized and it kind of drives me nuts because I’m a person that likes clean lines.
2. No Author Bio/No Name: or not mentioning your name in your About me page. Here’s an example: “Happy stay at home mommy to six beautiful children…” Great, what the heck is your name so I can leave you a proper comment? You’ll be surprised that a good half of the blogs I visit do not mention a name in their personal bios. I don’t know if this is intentional to stay anonymous, but if that’s the case then call your self by a nick name like sincerely “PscychoCoffeeAddictMom”
3. Crappy Pictures: If you are a product reviewer or food blogger, you really need to learn how to take pictures that are flattering, not something you just threw up. Don’t have natural lighting in your home? Take that bowl of freshly made food to your closest window or right outside on your deck and get proper lighting on it before you snap a picture of what you just made. Indoor fluorescent lighting tends to make food look horrible. And no you don’t need an expensive camera to do it right, for a long time I used my iPhone’s camera before I got my Nikon and most smartphones these days include pretty descent cameras in them. If you look at my recipe pictures from back in 2009 or 10, you’ll see how much I’ve learned about taking food pictures since then. 😉
This soup might taste delicious, but doesn’t look very good in the pot on the stove does it?
Put it in a pretty bowl and move it toward natural lighting (not fluorescent) and you get a much better image!
4. No Menus: If you blog about a niche of things wouldn’t it be nice for visitors to be able to visit past posts and find those posts by the category it falls into? For example I blog a lot about recipes and home improvement. So when you click on my Home/Garden tab, you’ll get a drop down menu of all related things, and a myriad of posts will pop up that includes that subject.
5. Text that is hard to read: If you have a loud noisy background and crazy neon font, that kind of says “Myspace”, not professional blogger.
6. Your Header is a series of ClipArt Pictures: Ok so you don’t know where to find images for your blog header. The best ones are actually the images you take yourself that shares a little bit about who you are and what your blog could be about. Don’t use clip art!
Want to work with brands or are considering making the jump from personal diary type blogging to professional blogging, then you need a professional looking design. The best way to achieve an absolutely professional appearance for visitors to your site is to enlist the services of people who have experience in the web design business. This Austin Web Design company would make a good first point of call to transform your digital presence into something you’ll want the world to see! Your blog needs to be memorable and stand out from the rest. Hiring a web designer can help turn an ordinary website into something visually stunning. You can learn more about professionally designed websites and blogs here.
Because I tend to pump out a lot of posts I like magazine style designs. I want readers to be able to find my most popular and most recent posts quickly. If you visit my “home” button, you’ll see what this looks like and how I feature a lot of posts at one time and have it categorized by what I blog about most. This kind of design has helped posts that I wrote 2 or 3 years ago continue to get comments and page views.
Having been a blogger since 2009, my blog has seen a lot of changes over the years. I can tell you my very first blog template, back when I was on “blogger.com” was one of the samples they give you when you first start out. But the more I got into blogging, the more I saw that bloggers who work with the brands I wanted to work with, had a look unique only to theirs. I tend to redesign my blog about once a year keeping up with current trends and now with everything being mobile, you need to make sure you have a mobile friendly website. Many people will be visiting your blog on their phones or tablets and if they can’t navigate through your website on their devices or leave you a response via their tablet, they may never visit your site again.
If you are on blogger.com consider switching to WordPress. WordPress has so much more to offer. Selling anything online? Just install the WoCommerce plug-in and you get tech support for it and don’t have to worry about a bunch of coding or an off-site store you don’t have any control over.
I do some web design for customers on the side and I’m currently working on a site for a client who is opening an online store, selling lavender from her farm about an hour outside of Tucson. What do you think the images on her website are all about? Lavender!!! So my advice to her was to consider getting professional pictures taken of her lavender field and her farm and products she plans on selling. Do a photo shoot and get your best side out there on your blog or website that makes a statement about you and who you are, or what you are selling. Nix the selfie in the mirror poses! That is so old school and Facebookish.
Web Design is extremely important in this ever evolving online world we live in. Making sure that your website meets the current trends really is important for its growth and readership.
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