Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Do’s and Don’ts of Blog Design

There are so many blogs out there that have such wonderful, interesting and helpful content, but the design of their site lets them down. Most people read more than one blog so they don’t have a lot of time to decipher what you may have written. You don’t want them to give up and move on to the next blog. So, below are some tips on how to improve your blog design.

DO use soothing colours such as pastels, neutrals, and anything toned down and complimentary for the overall look of your blog.

DO NOT use large blocks of strident colours like hot pink or vibrant green or fire engine red. If you must use these colours make sure they aren’t anywhere near your text. If you need sunglasses to look at your blog, then change the colours.

DO NOT use white text on a black background. Please. I beg you. It hurts my eyes. Most people are used to dark text on a light background. It is easy to read and doesn’t offend in any way. (You are exempt from this rule if your blog is designed to show off your art or photography).

DO NOT allow a pattern to intrude over any of your text. Fussy backgrounds are often the worst culprit for this. Flowers and swirls and patterns don’t belong over your post or even behind it. Even if it intrudes a small fraction, move it. It’s annoying for the reader otherwise.

DO be shy in the use of animated gifs. Often they cheapen the look of your blog and they only serve to distract your readers from your words.

DO use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial or similar variants. And make sure the font doesn’t get too small. The idea is to keep it easy to read.

DO keep the most important sidebar elements up high. Many readers won’t bother scrolling all the way down to the bottom to find what they are after.

DO NOT make your readers scroll down before they can start reading. Best way to do this is to keep your blog title small. Also, if you must have an introduction, put it in the sidebar.

DO keep it simple. Simplicity is key. The design is meant to attract the reader, not distract.

Can you think of some other design elements that will aid your readers in an enjoyable experience? What are the design elements that most turn you off from a blog?


  1. Hmmm...I have not gone by all these rules...hope I don't "fail the class"...

  2. Hehehe.. nah, your blog is easy to read and that's the main thing of importance.

  3. Good advice. I took some of it this week! :)

  4. I like your blog design. You just need to post more :P (I'm assuming you'll start it up again when NaNoWriMo starts up again.)

  5. I am fairly new to blogging. I had no idea what I was doing when I started. I am an older woman so it takes me a while..Lol! Anyway there is still much I want to learn and have fun making changes.Such as I have noticed that some bloggers have headers using several of their pictures and some have scripture on them. I don't know how to do these things..I am not satisfied with the look of my blog and most likely will change it again...I am sure that, that could be a distraction,,,

  6. Hi Sunnycalgirl, I'm glad you commented because I couldn't follow you until you did. You don't have a link to your blog on your google friends Connect icon. I'm happy to try to answer any of your questions if you'd like to email me:
    lynfaw [at] gmail [dot] com


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