Many people who want to start a blog often choose WordPress over other free blogs because of its design and functionality. Aside from that, this blogging platform offers a lot of free themes and designs that suit the taste of the blogger. The problem is that there are so many good designs that they can’t decide which one to choose?
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Do not worry! All bloggers begin with the same dilemma. The design of a blog reflects who the blogger is. A bad design makes you a lousy blogger, whereas a good one attracts more readers and improves traffic. Other people argued that choosing a theme depends on a person’s taste, but not because you like it, doesn’t mean it is good.
To guide you, here are a few things that you should learn about the elements of design and how you can further improve your WordPress blogs.
Simplicity is beauty. Professional designers obey this basic design rule. A simple blog theme makes a blog easier to look at. Minimize the use of elements like huge pictures, advertisements, and heavy texts to avoid making the readers feel suffocated.
Color is another element that you should watch out. Color should match the type of topics you write for your blog. Dark colors exude seriousness while bright colors show liveliness. Pick a palette and stick to this palette. Don’t choose so many colors because it makes a design cluttered.
Segment and Organize
There are many ways to segment parts of a blog. In common themes, there is a box above the page for the heading; a right column for the blog entries; and a left column for the side bar. If you have to pick a style other than the usual, you have to make sure that everything is organized. Use line or white space to separate parts.
Based on eye-pattern tests, the upper left corner is the first part that people look at, so the most important part of your blog– the header- should be placed there. It is important because it is your blog’s identifier.
Light is Right
A simple and segmented design helps in creating a light layout. Light layout prevents overwhelming design and improves the readability of your contents. The important design element to help you is white space. White space is like a window. It creates ventilation that helps avoid suffocating the readers.
Medium sized images also help in making a layout easy-to-look at. It is better to create slide shows rather than posting all the images on a page. But you need to make sure that it does not ruin the functionality of your blog. Make sure that slide shows won’t make your blog load slow.
Functionality is the Key
A design should be functional. You should not view its functionality on your perspective but on your readers. Do they have good eyesight? Do they have good internet connections? Can they easily navigate around the blog?
- Readability. Readers do not really read through your blog. They just skim parts of it. To entice them to read and not skim, you have to improve the readability of your articles. Use sans-serif because even with small font size, it is still readable. 11-12 is a good font size for articles. Serif can be used for headlines to differentiate it from the body. Sans-serif on headlines only works if you emphasize it with size, style, color, or line.
- Loading of Pages. Slow pages drive readers away. Pages with basic HTML coding, load in 2-5 seconds so if you add huge files (images, videos), load of advertisements and too much third-party widgets, you blog definitely becomes slow. Decrease all these things. Keep images in medium size; advertisements should not be too intrusive; and don’t add widgets that don’t improve functionality.
- Easy Navigation. You should guide your readers around your blog. Categorize your posts so that they can easily look for articles they want to read. It also helps to add “related articles” at the end of your post because it encourages them to check out other blog entries.
Basing design on personal preference is one of the common mistakes in designing blogs, or for that matter webpages. Follow the guide to help you improve your blog.
Your readers’ opinion is important. If possible, ask them what they think about the theme and do necessary improvements. After all, you did not create a blog to share articles for yourself, but for your readers.
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