This is a guest post by one of my favorite people online, Fran of freeborboleta.com. When it comes to blogging and WordPress, we think alike. It’s always fun to have a friend you share common ground with. Fran is a talented web designer who is sharing 5 common design mistakes bloggers make and how we can fix them!
1. Center-Aligned Text
I’ll admit I even used to make this mistake – I thought center align text was cool! But actually, it just makes your posts look messy and hard to read. The problem for readability is that as readers move from line to line, they have to find the beginning of each line, whereas with left-align or justify text, the beginning of all lines are in the same place.
How to fix it – either left-align or justify your text. Your page will look much more crisp and polished.
2. Fonts + Color Overload
As tempting as it may be to have lots of fun fonts and colors galore to showcase your fun personality, sites with fonts and colors overload become eyesores and look messy. They seem all over the place and there’s no cohesiveness.
How to fix it – stick to 2 fonts – 3 fonts MAX (one for main body text, one of headlines, one for special text) and 1-3 colors (one main color, an accent color and one neutral for text). Make sure your fonts are readable specially for your body text, use serif or sans serif fonts and stay away for script fonts.
3. Difficult Navigation
Design is not just how it looks, but also how it works, said a smart man once (Steve Jobs, btw). A cute blog design will only get you so far – people need to be able to use your site, find other posts to reads, and pages to visit.
How to fix it – make sure your menu is in a prominent place and uncluttered. Provide a search bar and make sure it’s easy to find. List your main categories! What are those 3-5 top topics you write about? Make all of these things easy peasy to find and use.
4. Cluttered Sidebar
Yes, that Libster award gave you the fuzzies and high five for finally getting into that blogging network. But do you really need those buttons on the sidebar? And let’s get real here for one minute – how much money is that ad really bringing you? one or two bucks a month is not worth the clutter!
How to fix it – go through your sidebar and clean up all that clutter. Delete poor performing ads and move badges to your about page or their own page.
Further Reading – Quick Tips for Your Blog’s Sidebar
5. Poor Images
We live in a visual world and images are everything these days. If your images are lacking, people might click away before ever getting to read your killer content.
How to fix it – make sure your images aren’t blurry or stretched. If you’re taking your own photos, make sure to use natural lightning and go light on the filters. Make all images the same width as your post.
About the Author – Fran
Fran is the owner/blogger of freeborboleta.com where she writes posts and offers web services to help bloggers and entrepreneurs make their online spaces awesome.
Kristie Hill says
Very relevant to me!! Thank you!
Designing a blog page is not enough, you have to make it both attractive and interactive for your viewers. While designing your blog, you might commit some common mistakes which will ruin the purpose of your blog. It’s true, even if you have the most engaging content if your blog design is not proper you can find maximum bounce rate. Thanks for the informative post.
Thank you for a helpful and interesting post! It is a very common problem, though it is not considered as a problem per se, it is just a disadvantage of a design. My problem is as you termed it – difficult navigation. Of course, for me my navigation is the simplest, but my friends say that I should reconsider the structure of my service as it is rather confusing, especially its part about articles in blog – they are not structures, they are piled there))
Talent Hounds says
Great points. Thanks.
It may be my theme or lack of skill, but I have found that WordPress can be unruly/ugly with images and headers and centre aligning helps display them sometimes. XS
Kimberly Gauthier says
Great post. I made the cluttered sidebar mistake on my first blogs. I still see it today; people are afraid of missing out on an opportunity to make money, but how many people click on sidebar ads? Not enough on my blog so I changed it to opportunities to introduce new content to my readers.
One mistake I’ve noticed on a few blogs is the pale text; so I have sit close to my screen or squint to see the writing.
Ryan Biddulph says
Fran, loving these tips, and I am doing OK on all levels 😉 Simple works so darn well. I have a clean, clear design focused on a few calls to action. Keep it simple, use plenty of white space and grow your business from a direct, powerful space. Less is more for most bloggers these days.
Thanks for sharing!
sherry perez says
Great information! Came at a great time too. Still setting my blog up so I can fix the design errors before I make them, lol. Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you so much for having me, Kristie!