Think about your favorite blogs, better yet, go look at them. What makes them your favorites? Great content? Great photos? Anything else? I'd be willing to bet it's good design. Design makes a huge difference – even if you aren't consciously aware of it.
The smallest details of your blog's design speak volumes to your readers.
I know what you're thinking, you aren't a graphic designer! How are you suposed to avoid having your blog riddled with bad design? Well, I've made a quick of what I think are the most glaring design disasters facing blogs today and the simple steps you can take to solve them.
5 Design Disasters (& how to fix them)
The Disaster: Different Sized Images -This is one of the most common and one of the easiest to fix!
Why it's a problem: From a design standpoint it just looks sloppy and unprofessional. From a blogger’s standpoint it looks like you don’t care enough to take the time to resize your images.
The Fix: Pick an image width that works for your layout, and resize all of your images to fit. Easy!
The Disaster: Inconsistent Fonts – serif, sans serif, hand written, script! From your header to your sidebar to the images you use, are your fonts all over the map?
Why it's a problem: From a branding perspective inconsistency looks messy, and that’s not the impression you want to give, is it? Plus –the wrong fonts can be super to read.
The Fix: Pick 2 or 3 fonts and stick with them – for everything! A good rule of thumb – one serif (serifs are the little “tails” on the letters) one sans serif and one decorative font (handwritten, script, etc. – here’s a great article on font pairing to check out!)
The Disaster: Light Colored Text – keeping on the typography train, let’s talk about color…
Why it's a problem: I can’t read your post. Simple as that.
The Fix: Use a dark colored font (unless your background it dark, then apply the opposite school of thought.)
The Disaster: Your Header is your only content above the fold.
Why it's a problem: Unless your header can tell me everything I need to know about you and your blog in one glance, I want to see some more content when first pull up your page. It’s the old “Can’t judge a book by it’s cover” idiom for the blog world. Gimme a little meat please.
The Fix: Another easy one – make that header image shorter, when a reader fist come to your page make sure they can see your first post title – and at least the start of an image.
The Disaster: Contact forms with no email address listed.
Why it's a problem: I like to use my own email address to send outgoing emails, #1 – that way my signature with all my info shows up and #2 – I can keep track of what I've sent by checking me sent folder. Also, sometimes I just want your email address… what if I have an invite to send you? Why do you make it so difficult to get in touch?
The Fix: If you MUST use a contact form, just list your email address as well. That gives us the option to do either.
Can you think of any other design disasters you need help solving, or have a good fix for? Let us know in the comments!