Any Blog requires certain design characteristics to ensure the users remain as satisfied and engaged as possible. With the recent popularity of social media, expectations from blogs are higher than ever before. Any user would expect to immediately do a Facebook ‘like’ upon reading a good blog article today! By this of course we are speaking of a feature. How about design elements? They are just as important, although some of you may be unaware of the reasons!
A user expects a design that places images and text in an easy to follow manner. We’ve put together eight pointers, which we believe help fine-tune your blog design.
1. The Subscription RSS – One of the most important aspects of a blog is to have a high number of subscribers. So why not place your RSS subscription URL at the most convenient locations on the design layout? In fact, give your users the option to subscriber using either RSS or email. Display relevant information on sidebars, headers, postings and even footers!
2. A Custom Header – Give your blog a strong personality by making a custom header. This is how you can stand out from the crowd and get ahead of the competition at least as far as design is concerned. Remember to include these features in a header design – a logo, RSS statistics, orderly navigation tabs, a search option, profile icons and an optional banner space.
3. Easy Navigation – If navigation were not easy on your blog, how would a possible subscribe ever get round to even locating interesting information on your site? Plan your navigation with the utmost care! It is never a good idea to have more than seven or eight categories.
4. Comments – One of the reasons for the rising popularity of blogs is the fact the users are able to see comments from other individuals. So DO allow multiple comment options. By this we mean, allow additional control over comments if the user is signed in, but do not discourage comments from non-subscribers. More comments are GOOD for you and your blog!
5. Sharing Icons – Great content is of no use unless many people get to see it, if people are not able to share it with other people. Your efforts have had little impact. Why not use the rising popularity of social media by incorporating facebook ‘like’ buttons and such on to your blog?
6. Graphic Sizes – Depending on the nature of your blog template, you will be able to use images of UP TO a certain maximum width. Why not decide on a convenient image size and stick to it to give your blog a consistent and uniformed feel?
7. The Sidebar – Most bloggers are in it for the money, even if they are not expecting immediate returns. So keep this in mind when designing your template. Do you have enough sidebars to allow potential advertisements? Although you may not have advertisements YET, allow space for possible future ads by keeping the design simple and uncluttered.