If you’re designing your own blog, you need to hit the ground running, so follow these guidelines to get to where you need to go.
Ensure your site is mobile-responsive
Around 80% of internet searches are made on a mobile device now, so your site needs to render well so it’s easy to use and read. If it’s stuck in desktop mode, people will leave.
State your mission first
Your visitors must be able to work out what you’re about within three or four seconds. Using a bio or a succinct tagline to get this across is a good way to do it.
Give readers space
Using a lot of whitespace lets your site – and your readers – breathe.
Keep your sidebars clear from whistles and bells
Just stick to widgets that your actually need or your sidebars will look too busy and they’ll slow your site down.
Keep your header height low
A tall header forces people to scroll down unnecessarily.
Use clear and obvious navigation
People like to be signposted, otherwise they’ll read one page, scoot about, get lost and go.
Nix auto-play ads, music and videos
Readers won’t like clicking a link that suddenly blares into life, making them and their small children jump. If you use embeds, make sure people have to opt-in for sound.
Make sure there’s a contact link or button clearly visible on your blog
Don’t forget, blogging is another form of social media, so make sure people can respond, comment, add you and so forth.
Think like a visitor when you look at your blog
Look at your blog through visitors’ eyes – if you don’t think you can be objective enough, ask a trusted friend to have a look for you instead.
Do not use white-on-black
Or any other white, yellow or grey type on a dark or bright background. It hurts and it’s not 1996.