Having a great design for your blog can do wonders for your business. Not only does it build your brand, but if optimized correctly, it can help you get more regular readers and keep them engaged as well. People just love visiting a site that’s smartly designed and easy to read.
So how do you improve the design of your blog?
Well the first thing is to hire a great designer. Ask around on popular web forums to find recommendations of top designers. The best designers are very pricy, but it’s well worth the investment.
If you don’t have that big a budget, then I would like an a design crowdsourcing site like 99designs or DesignCrowd. Using these types of sites will give you access to a large pool of designers, and allow you to select between multiple designs. Plus, the price for setting up a design contest is quite reasonable. I’ll skip the in-depth reviews here, but check out SmartBusinessTrends for their thoughts on using 99designs. It’s an interesting read.
Once you’ve picked who’s going to redesign your blog, you need to tell them what you want.
Here are some of my best tips for improving your blog design.
Use Snippets on your homepage
By default, most wordpress themes include entire posts on the front of their homepage. This is a big mistakes. Most of your visitors have short attention spans and will never bother reading your post. Instead, include snippets on your homepage instead. This lets your visitors scan through several posts to see what they like, and makes them more likely to find something they want to read.
Make sure your design is responsive
In the old days, we would design our websites for people browsing the web on their big monitor screens. Nowadays, the majority of your visitors are browsing your site from their cell phone or iPad. If your site doesn’t scale down to these smaller screen sizes, then you are giving your visitors a poor user experience.
Limit the Social Sharing Icons
There are so many social networks these days. And they all have their own set of social sharing buttons. Sure, they look cool, but having too many choices is not a good thing and will decrease the overall amount of social shares you earn. Instead, just focus on the biggest 3 social networks, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ and include buttons for them. These are the networks that will send you the most traffic.
The only exception to this is if your blog is full of pictures. Then I would recommend swapping one of the above networks out for Pinterest.
Use a readable font size
According to Quicksprout, 34% of sites use 12px font and 30% use 13px font. Stick with these sizes as your visitors are used to them and they are readable. What are the most popular fonts? 34% use Verdana and 24% use Lucida Grande.
For headlines, go with Arial or Georgia font as they are the most popular.
If you take the time to ask your chosen designer to implement these suggestions, you will definitely see an increase in engagement on your site. These are time tested suggestions that have been implemented by many different sites. Try them out, and see for yourself.