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Blog Features Vs. Blog Design

Blog Owners often make many mistakes when applying a new design to their blog, or even in how information is compiled and presented. Many of these mistakes are quite easy to avoid and many authors in the field have written scores of articles on how to make things look better. So why aren’t these tips being used? Why aren’t blog owners investing the time or doing the research to accomplish these things? Simply because as blog owners, we tend to get lazy.

On a day to day basis, new websites, blogs and social networks are popping up, offering tons of features to prove just how much better they are than another site. Yet somehow in this competition of whose the baddest, those using the site are forgotten, overwhelmed with available features that offer noforeseeableresults, and in the end another website becomes a barren, dusty and deserted area of the internet.

Here are some of the most common items that tend to get neglected, along with helpful insights on how to not only avoid making these mistakes, but also how to correct them in a fun, successful manner.

It’s too clunky. Time and time again, we’ve all come across a site that just was unbearable to navigate.

Missing or Incomplete Contact Information


Usually one of the most popular pages on any site after the homepage is the about us/contact us pages. Why is this? Simply put, we as humans are curious. We want to know who we’re dealing with, what benefit they are to us, and how do we get more information, in the event we do need it.

  • Make your contact and about us pages easy to find
  • Links for these pages are usually included both at the top and bottom of a site, depending on the style, or even via image links for more visibility. In this area, I strongly suggest that research should be done, and the best method of placement should be used.

  • Navigation achieves nothing
  • The navigation within your site should achieve one simple goal. Getting your site users exactly where you want them to be, while providing to them the available options and resources of your site in a manner that involves no more than 3 clicks. No one likes going to a blog or website to find information on “Cookies” and ends up being subjected to learning about cakes, pies and desserts before getting information on cookies. Simply put, be thoughtful of your site visitors.

    Site features/design isn’t browser compatible


    Before going any further, let me say this. With the advent of our Technology age in a sense, having a site that works in just one browser is a big no no. Your site should be able to be viewed properly in all major browsers, understanding and using Google Analytics and Webmaster tools comes in really handy in this particular area when making sure your site caters to your sites visitor needs.

    Will it ever load?


    The amount of time your site takes to load is very crucial in helping the SEO of your site, as well as attracting and keeping visitors. If it takes too long for your site to load, things like search engine robots/spiders will have a hard time indexing your site, your visitors will get frustrated and leave and any chance at attracting new visitors will be lost. Be sure your site is running at it’s best. Little things like image/media sizes, hosting, site theme can have an impact on your site in ways that to some, would be quite impressive.

  • Speed up WordPress.
  • If your site is like most blogs, it’s using WordPress. Personally I’m in love with CMS platform, it comes with tons of features, capabilities and best of all it’s free. With this comes a large user community that has created a plethora of themes and plugins both of the free variety and premium. Do in-depth research before installing any plugin, and always work with a developer or designer to have these jobs done, if you happen to be not so tech savvy just yet.

  • Why are ads everywhere?
  • Take a quick look at your blog, are the ads on your site drowning our your content, are they even relevant to the niche of your blog? If the answer is no, it’s time to reevaluate the intentions you have for your site. Visitors understand that ads make it possible for you to run and maintain your blog, however they don’t want to have it shoved into there faces. Keeps your ads relevant and minimal. Also if you’re looking to expand income from your site, research other ways in which you can accomplish this.

  • Security
  • Last but not least, your blog should be secure, passwords, downloads and anything involving a private information should be kept sealed. Services like Paypal help in the process of sending and receiving funds, and many solutions that can be found from doing in-depth research can help you better protect not only your blog but blog visitors. Content management systems like WordPress are also built to assist with this, and as mentioned before there are many plugins that go the extra length in providing your site with security.

    As you can see, by utilizing the broad range of tools and good old fashion intuition, we can give our site visitors the best of both features and information.

    What are some ways you’ve learned what works best on your site? How did you go about delivering to your site visitors the best features as well as design without sacrificing quality? What have you noticed works best when adding new features or a new theme to your site?

    Latest posts by David Y (see all)

    Comments

    1. Block quotes really tend to draw the eye. Using a clear font type and size is pretty important as well.

      • Kelli,

        Thanks for mentioning that. I’ll include that in a future article on how to style blog posts or some creative ways to style blog posts, fonts are very important in the presentation factor, and block quotes do a great job of emphasizing on topics of information. Once again, thanks for your comment, I truly appreciate it.

    2. Great post David. What I find so irritating is that there are still some blogs out there that dont even have about or contact page. There were many times I wanted to contact the blog owner, but for the life of me I couldn’t find any link to contact me page no matter how hard I looked.

      I juts don’t understand how you could miss something basic as contact or about page. Its one of the first pages you make for a new website or blog.

      Any way, great read. Thanks.

      • I truly am amazed at this myself, even some really great blogs lack a contact page. Another page that puzzles me as to why it isn’t there and I’m a little guilty of myself is the about us page, people want to know what it is your blog offers to them and how your blog was started.

        Thanks for your comment. Truly appreciated.

    3. Brian D. Hawkins says:

      Hi David, that’s a pretty detailed list. My site is still very young to the theme is plain, it’s not monetized and I’m just concentrating of a solid foundation right now; decent traffic/interaction, site structure, SEO and subscribers. The theme I’m using is very plain but it’s SEO friendly and loads fast which helps with the serps as well. It looks like you’ve covered just about all of that.

      • Brian, simplicity has a wider reach than clutter, from what I’ve seen your blog is on a pretty good track. Keep up the good work.

        Often times those who are new to the blog world focus more on earning a profit than building a solid base and community, in this area is where a lot is lost.

        Thanks for taking the time out to leave a comment.

    4. Blogger.comis one of the most popular blogging software programs available . There are two main reasons for its popularity. First, it’s been around longer than just about any other blogging software, so bloggers are very familiar with it. Second, it’s completely free and easy to use. Since Google purchase the blogger.com the features and tools available to Blogger.com users continue to grow .

      • Blogger.com has come a long way, and is great for those that want a quick blog and not caring much about seo and all the customization goodies that a WordPress blog offers.

        Thanks for stopping by!

    5. Hello,
      Great article and observation. There are too many websites and blogs with too many ads, many of them not relevant to their content.
      Pope

    6. may be i think always blog features are important.with out any features your blog is no use. nice share 🙂

    7. Roy Marvelous says:

      I recently removed all Google Ads. It were so cluttered and after 3 months months I had earned only $1.30 hah

    8. Mahendra Yadav says:

      Most of the Blogs dont have About Us and Contact Us page. Mostly all Bloggers are looking for Good Design but they dont see if its Browser Compatible, because its the reason that sometimes websites dont Load. This is very Useful post.

      • Thanks Mahendra,

        Glad you enjoyed the article. I agree with what you had to say as well. One thing I’ve also noticed is quite a few blogs fail to utilize a mobile theme for their readers.

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