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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?