Picking the Right Design for Your Blog
The right design is a great first impression for visitors to your blog. Before a viewer can process the words written on the page, they’re seeing the images, colors and layout of the blog itself. The perfect design can elevate your blog and make it stand out from others in your niche.
The first thing to consider is the purpose of your blog. Your template and design are the foundation on which everything you share is built. Choose one that will be the proper backdrop for the kind of content you want to display.
For example, templates that have large sidebars may not be the right ones for you if you’re looking to display art. On the other hand, they offer utility if you’re publishing written content and looking to provide visitors with a way to access related posts. Different templates have benefits for different purposes, which is why it’s so important to take your time and consider all the options before making your final decision.
If you’re choosing a premade template, there are options for free or paid versions. Free versions are inexpensive, but don’t come with support and may not offer all the features you want. Consider whether or not it’s worth spending money to get additional premium features, like a customizable child template or designs that optimize your page.
Choose colors that reflect your branding, area of expertise, and the kind of impression you want to make on your readers. When selecting colors, look at a color wheel to help you decide which tones compliment the others. Colors positioned opposite of each other on the wheel should complement each other. Choosing two of these and supplementing with other shades of those colors may help you choose a design that looks coherent.
Your color scheme also needs to serve as a background for what you’re posting. If you’re mostly posting text, a bolder color scheme may offer some visual interest. If you’re posting your own art, consider choosing a simpler color scheme that helps your work stand out.
Some fonts look really cool and interesting, but aren’t so easy to read. It can be difficult to tell until they’re in place, though. Readability is an essential part of design because it lets visitors to your site actually digest your content. Without a good font, your words may be difficult to decipher – and that can be frustrating enough to keep people from coming back for more.
Test a few different fonts and look for clean, simple ones. You don’t need a lot of cursive, loops, swirls, or overly stylized fonts for most parts of your blog. Go with simple, time-tested classics that look good on a computer monitor or a smartphone.
Knowing how to set up a blog to attract an audience is essential for success. One thing to consider is whether people will be accessing your site on mobile or on a computer. If you expect that people will access it on mobile – which many people do – then consider choosing a design that’s responsive.
Responsive design not only offers search engine optimization benefits for your blog, but it’s also helpful to your readers. Trying to navigate a site that is only designed for a normal computer is frustrating when you’re using a small mobile touchscreen. When the site adapts to the device the person is using, they’re able to better see your content. Many templates come with mobile options or responsive design included. In many instances, it’s worth choosing one of these.
Another thing to consider is what design elements you want your blog to have. Not all templates have a static menu bar at the top, for example. If there’s something you want to offer – like navigation options for visitors – it helps narrow down which designs are acceptable to you. The scripting language of the theme you choose, whether it has search available, and whether it offers infinite scroll or pagination are other things to consider.
Check out different sites before choosing a theme to see which features you prefer. It will help you get an idea of exactly what elements you like or don’t. Keep a running list as you go so that it’s easy to remember later when it’s time to make your own selection.
Consider your branding when you’re choosing a blog design. For example, if you have a logo you want to use, the template needs to be customizable enough that you can include images in the place where you want the logo. Some template designs are static and don’t have much room for changes. Others are more customizable and allow you to adjust almost any aspect of the design.
Consistent branding across your blog can help make you more memorable to visitors. If you have other sites or an offline business, consider making your blog design line up with those so that they look the same. Strong branding and great design will also go a long way toward setting you apart from the competition. If you don’t have a brand design yet, consider starting with a color scheme and logo – and expanding from there as your traffic grows and you think of new elements you want to include.
Test Different Designs
You don’t have to be married to the first design that you think you might like. Try a few different layouts and see how you feel about each one. For example, check how your images look on a three column layout versus a two column layout. Try out different background colors, fonts, and object positioning.
Getting feedback is also essential. You might find that you like black text on a red background aesthetically, but a survey of others might unearth the information that it’s hard to read. Canvassing for others’ opinions can help you determine how your blog is going to appear to your audience. Doing this can help you avoid problems later when you’re getting more traffic.
Choosing the right design for your blog can have a major impact on your readership. Elements that are attractive and easy to read that complement the content you’re posting can come together to create something special. Take your time, look at examples you like, and then try a few different types of templates so that when you choose one, you’re sure it’s the right one for your blog.