When it comes to a really great blog layout I’m a big believer in ‘less is more’. There is nothing worse than a cluttered and slow-loading homepage, and if you’re not carful having a bad layout will almost definitely loose you potential readers. Here are a few tips on creating an easy to use accessible blog layout!
1. Organised Sidebars
Widgets are useful- but pick the ones you display on your blog wisely! Don’t cram your side bar with every tool and widget going; pick the ones you think your readers really need. Social links are of course useful, as are navigation links. Take a look over your side bar and if it’s looking a little cramped consider a spring clean!
2. Neatly Sized Pictures
When you’re using pictures in your posts (especially if you’re using more than one) make sure the pictures are neatly sized. Either make all pictures the same size, or format them so they align properly. This will stop your posts looking messy!
3. A Really Good Font!
A nice, clean and modern font does wonders for the look and feel of a blog- I might even go as far as to say it’s the most important aspect of your blogs appearance! Take time picking your font, there are loads of free font sites as well as Google fonts which actually has some very nice ones!
4. Colour Coding
Pick a simple colour pallet that you like and stick to it throughout your blog design. Usually around 3 colours that blend well is enough- remember to keep it simple here!
5. A Clean Finish- and Space
Space is essential, clean white space preferably. If you have a coloured background, then try to keep it simple and light. Lots of pattern can be distracting and overwhelming for a new reader trying to navigate your site. Keeping your homepage clean and clear will help people navigate and explore your blog properly!
6. Don’t Overload on Info
This point refers mainly to your ‘about’ section and navigation. When it comes to your navigation bar, as hard as it can be try to keep the options you give to a minimum. Too much choice can be overwhelming, however if you really can’t cut down the options you give (often travel bloggers need lots of sections referring to different areas of the world) then consider a ‘start here’ page with advice on how to navigate the site! Equally, when someone goes to your about me section ideally they’ll have a good idea of what you’re about after the first paragraph. The idea is to intrigue people and hope they read the rest of your blog- not to tell them your entire life story.
7. Clear Categories and Navigation
Take an afternoon to sit down and go through your site properly. Act as though you are a new reader- or better still ask a family member or friend to do a little ‘audit’ of your site, making note of anything that makes navigation difficult or if there is anything more you could be doing to make your site more user friendly.
8. Good Quality Photographs
I cannot stress the importance of this, and have in fact mentioned this in many posts! Grainy photos which are badly sized are one of the biggest blog-turn-offs there are!
9. Don’t Cram too Much onto Your Homepage
Buttons, widgets, forms, photos- there is a lot to consider when deciding what to feature on your homepage! But keep it as clean as you can, be selective. Only include things that benefit your readers or your blog in some way- e.g. social media links.
10. Easily Accessible Contact Information
There is nothing more annoying than finding a great new blog- but being unable to find the blogger! Make sure your email and social sites are on hand for any reader.
Do you have any tips on making the most out of your blog layout?!