I’ve been thinking a lot about blog design because in the last couple of days, I’ve gotten some compliments out of blue on one of my blog’s designs. This was surprising because I don’t think the design is exceptional. The design is based on a popular premium theme, which I modified with my limited coding skills. I changed the colors, resized the columns, and moved and deleted some of the visual elements. Also, I hired a designer to create a custom header. These changes made my design look very different from the original look.
Make It Unique
One key is standing out from the crowd. No one will talk about your blog design or even take note of it if it looks too similar to other blogs.
Many of the blogs in my niche were using popular free WordPress themes, so they looked like other blogs. While there are many great free WordPress themes, if you use them, you’ll often find many blogs that look just like yours. Therefore, you’re not standing out from the crowd and your design doesn’t make a lasting impression.
Takeaway: If you do use a popular WordPress theme (whether free or paid), make sure to modify it enough so it has a fresh look and doesn’t remind your readers of other blogs with the same theme.
Cut Out The Clutter
My design may not win any awards, but one thing I kept hearing in the compliments was the simplicity of the design. A clean, uncluttered design goes a long way to improving the usability of your blog.
Many blogs have too much going on. Whether it’s five different ads above the fold or ten widgets on the sidebar, a cluttered design can frustrate and confuse your readers.
Takeaway: If you give your readers too many things to look at, they may miss out on the most important part of your blog, your posts. Keep your design simple and you’ll highlight your content.
Content Vs. Design
One of the blogs in my niche has uses the WordPress default theme so the blog feels very boring and bland. However, I look forward to visiting the blog because it’s regularly updated and has high quality content. The blog has grown quickly and is starting to become one of the most popular blogs in my niche.
This just goes to prove that content is by far more important than design. Still, that blog could get a big boost from a fresh design. A custom design will cause it to stand out even more from other blogs. It will make the reading experience more enjoyable, generate buzz within the industry, and improve the blog’s brand.
Takeaway: Focus first on the quality and quantity of your content, but once you’ve got that down, a custom design will take your blog to the next level.
Performancing offers custom blog designs with our blog launch service.