Coming up with a blog design can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the game. Blog designs are very different than any other websites, like social media or ecommerce, since they serve a different functionality and service. How it’s designed serves as a great marketing strategy, since first impression makes a big difference when it comes to products or services.
So let’s start. The first thing to consider when you design a website is blogging platforms. Popular ones are WordPress and blogger, but there are also new game challengers, such as Tumblr, square space, and ghost. If you are decent at programming, you can design your own blog from scratch, this might be good since it’ll probably be faster compared to other platforms and you’ll have more control (I programmed my other blog using Dreamweaver, and I can tell you it’s better, but it’ll require more work and time). If you want to save time and money, I suggest that you go with WordPress as your platform, since it’s really easy to use and easy to change the layout by going into editor and putting your own CSS codes here and there (not to mention it’s free unless you get premium WordPress themes and if you know how it works, it can actually be better than designing your own blog). Also remember that when you design your own blog, you have to make a mobile version (there are now more mobile readers, so it’s important to include codes to recognize that visitors are using mobile and taking them to the mobile page instead of the regular format). WordPress plugins are made to work for both mobile and regular, but it may not be the case if you design your own blog.
After choosing your platform, you need to consider what contents will be on the blog. The design for a sports blog will be considerably different from a tech blog, but it ultimately depends on how you want it. You can be bold with new fancy designs if you are making a fashion blog, but it may not be the case if you have a blog about politics. What I suggest is taking a look at other blogs within your niche to ensure that your readers will be comfortable with your blog design by making a similar design within your niche. Why I say this is because their marketing tactics by offering familiar design worked, so you should offer something similar as well. Of course this will only be in the beginning until you attract enough dedicated visitors, then you can re design however you wish. Sometimes it’s a good idea to grab a pad and pen before you start and jot down the type of blog posts you’ll be writing and how you want the design to look.
Remember to keep things simple for a blog site. One can be tempted to fill the blog with too much design, because marketing-pushed people want the blog to stand out and have people remember the blog by its design. However, you have to remember that dedicated visitors come back for the postings and not the design. The design should be made to make readers feel comfortable while reading your postings instead of getting distracted by it! Watch for adding too much colors and different fonts. Don’t go crazy with color scheme. Remember to use colors that contrasts other colors, I guess I can use the reference “50 shades of grey” here?
Embrace white space when designing a blog. Marketing people love to fill all the blank white spaces with something they don’t need like sign up or subscribe buttons, register buttons, ads, category sections, and other items that may distract the readers. I think that having couple of empty white space is good, because it’ll keep the readers focused on what’s actually important on a blog, the articles! They’ll find a way to favorite or register, even without the button being there if they like your blog!
Now let’s talk about the layout! Blog is all about navigations, and having a layout made for easy navigations are important. Remember that the navigations for the website should be different for mobile format and the regular format (this is really important! Make sure you make the mobile format suitable for phones and vice versa). You’ll want a good navigation layouts so that the readers will spend time looking at your other articles in the category they like instead of wasting time trying to find out where your category buttons are (readers might think you don’t have any menus and may leave or get confused on how to navigate your website and waste their precious time, which they hate). It’s important to think about where the sidebars, headers, subscription options, menus, search bars, and other items will be placed as well as the designs. Great tip would be, at the bottom of the post, it’s best to include related articles instead of an ad, so it’ll be easier for users/readers to navigate.
Next is the responsiveness of the website. If you include too much pictures or plugins on the front home page, it’ll create slow load speed. You may not have a lot of visitors right now, but when you get a sudden increase in traffic, your blog speed will be important. Make sure you don’t put too much large image files or include extra codes that require extra load time that you don’t really need. It’s may seem nice to have HQ images on the front page, but in the long run, it’s better to have smaller sized images with better articles instead for a blog. Ensure that speed are distributed accordingly and also make sure speed is appropriate for both phones and computers. Great tip would be to show only 5 of your latest updates/posts with small images on the front page instead of 10 with large images and include pagination at the bottom.
Last thing to consider is the logo, didn’t expect that did you? Now that you know how your website will be like and how it’s designed, you can come up with a design to fit the whole picture or pay someone to come up with a logo that fits your website design. You can design a logo that fits the whole picture instead of making the whole picture fit your logo. You will want to make the logo POP on your website instead of letting it blend in it like a chameleon.