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Important Design Considerations in Blogs

Many bloggers do not care for their blog's design. It is important that you have a very professional theme for the blog, as well as a fast-loading design. Here are some things you need to care for.

1. Keep Your Stylesheet Outside

It is always better to let your CSS Stylesheet be cached in the browser. It will enable the loading of subsequent pages on the blog a lot faster. If you check my blog's source, you will see that all my Stylesheets are kept externally in my own Googlepages server. This will enable the browser to cache these files and use it when a new page is accessed, without downloading the Stylesheet again.

2. Do Not Enable Too Many Widgets

Always see if you can save space by removing unwanted widgets. They will not only take up a lot of space, but also will run out your bandwidth. A blog check at least once in a few months is very necessary.

Also, you may want to consider adding more than one facility through a single JavaScript widget. This is possible in Blogger. For instance, if you want two HTML/JS widget on the sidebar, one on the top of another, then create only one widget and place both the codes in it. This will help you track your design easily.

3. Don't Put Excessive Text on Template

Putting in a lot of text on your template causes it to appear in all of your pages. If this text is keyword-targeted, it may be deemed as content duplication by search engines. This can actually affect your blog's rankings negatively.

If you really need the text, use image or some multimedia content, such as Flash instead.

4. Coloration

Follow light colors throughout the blog. Don't put too excessive coloration in your design. Links should be colored blue, and the content, light black. Visited links should be made brown or dark purple.

Here is NASA's color standards guidelines: http://colorusage.arc.nasa.gov/guidelines_0.php

5. Organize Your Widgets

Don't put up a design in which email subscription option is on the top of right sidebar and RSS subscription on the middle of the left sidebar. Group your widgets together and keep them in the most expected places. Here are some guidelines:

The search box, by standards, should be placed on the top right-hand corner in case of blogs and content sites and centralized in case of search engines. The logo should be placed on the top left-hand corner. Navigation may be on the right sidebar, below the search bar. Copyright notice should be placed at the very bottom either centralized or left-justified in smaller, lighter font. It is also advisable to have the same menu on the top and the bottom and it can be reproduced on the top of the left sidebar as well.

6. The Design Should Work in Different Browsers and Resolutions

For more on this testing, please check out the post on compatibility testing your blog.

7. Unnecessary Social Community Widgets

I found many bloggers using widgets from BlogCatalog, FaceBook, and MyBlogLog together on the blog. This is unnecessary. You need to keep one of the widgets only. Now, you have the option to place Google Friend Connect on the blog. You may just put links to your profiles to various social networks on the sidebar.

Conclusion

Make your design better following these guidelines, and always understand the importance of uniqueness.

Comments

  1. Laurel, thank you so much for these tips. I use Wordpress and I'm new at this. It's so helpful to me. I'm going to print it out and read it again later.
    If you wish can visit my new blog at:
    http://m8malone.wordpress.com

    May Your Glass Always Be Half Full

    ReplyDelete

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