Friday 10 October 2014

7 tips for good blog design

Wednesday is craft day around here, my sister-in-law comes over and we chat and create and eat cake. When she was over earlier this week, I asked if there was anything I could help her with in this series. "Blog design" she says, "I want to know what works for good blog design before I start messing around with mine."

So here are seven tips* for good blog design
  • have only 1 sidebar. This will allow your main text column to be bigger, and easier to read. And put the sidebar on the right hand side. Most people read left to right, and when they jump on a site to read a post, they're not interested in your sidebar unti they've finished reading.
  • make your photos big. I mentioned this in the essential elements post, but it's worth mentioning again. I want to be able to see your photos quickly, in one go, without having to enlarge them or worse still, just squint to try and figure it out because I'm on the computer.
  • use dark text on light background. Light text on dark background is hard on the eyes. Please don't do it.
  • turn off autoplay anything. If you have anything set for autoplay, you also have a very high bounce rate. Turn. It. Off. Now. Not everyone has headphones attached to the audio jack, or visits your blog at home.
  • use a serif font or san-serif font for your text body. Again, it's easy on the eyes.
  • coloured text is ok. If it's a dark colour. After all, I use purple. But just one, the same one every time.
  • don't centre your text. Sentences break up in unnatural places, making it difficult to read. Left-aligned or justified text is best. (I've only recently discovered justified text, and I love it!
Look closely at the blogs you love. What is it you like about the design that keeps you coing back? How can you translate that to your space?

* These tips are subjective, I've gleaned them from years of reading blogs, sharing my blog, seeing what others like, discovering what I like. You can do what you want with your blog, but what would you're readers like?



  1. Yes, the light fonts on dark backgrounds! Gah! The free WP site still has lots of these. It is so counter-intuitive to me, so it's weird one I see one. There is a blog that I love written on a dark background, with big slabs of text. She is SUCH a great writer and I love her work which is why I persist, but it is very hard on the eyes. One day I might get cheeky enough to suggest a change. LOL. She is relatively new so I don't want to say anything to dent her confidence, because we all make less than stellar design decisions when we are starting out. I can think of several that I did! I'm really loving this series, by the way.

  2. You are providing great tips in this series Cate. Thanks to Hugzilla for referring you! I hate light fonts on dark backgrounds too. I'm thrilled to see in an earlier post you recommend Blogger. So many people say to move to Wordpress. It's too late for me to do that and I must say I prefer Blogger too. You've won me over... I've subscribed :)

  3. I love the white background too, I pretty much click straight off a black ground, much too hard on the old eyes... Great tips Cate


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