It probably goes without saying that hiring a web designer to make you a kick-ass blog design will certain save you a lot of time. But if you are on a budget, or just starting out, this is probably just not viable. So if you are going to DIY your blog design you need to think about some the key factors that make an effective and enjoyable blog from an aesthetically point of view.
At the very crux of this post I want you to make sure your blog as a clean design that is easy to navigate. How we achieve that is detailed below.
First of all, let’s think about colours. Ideally you want a white or light background with black or dark writing. This is the easiest combination for your readers. Black backgrounds with white writing are harder to read and particularly difficult for the partially-sighted.
Try to pick a colour scheme that you can carry thoughout your blog design. Choose no more than a palette of three to five colours, note their Hex No. or RGB code and try to avoid colours that will dazzle your readers.
Try to stick to just two or three fonts across the whole of your blog. Too many fonts can be distracting and make for a messy blog design. General design rules suggest picking a serif and a sans serif font. They should be relatively simple and easy to read.
Think about padding and white space around you content areas. This helps your readers concentrate and absorb the various elements of you blog without too much visual overload.
Try to resize your photos to find that entire width of your content column so they are aligned with the text. This makes for an aesthetically pleasing and streamlined design. Ideally you want your images to be big! People are generally visual beings so images help to communicate your content.
Help your readers find their way around your blog by making it as easy as possible to find the key pages. Ideally you should have a top navigation bar including basic pages such as about, contact and FAQ. Then you can include key categories or popular posts either in a secondary navigation bar along the top or in the sidebar.
6. SOCIAL BUTTONS
Don’t forget to include social buttons that link to your various social media channels so new readers can follow you on their chosen network. AddThis has some user-friendly options.
7. SEARCH BAR
Again, make it easy for readers to spend more time on your blog by providing a search by. What if they have come back to check out that amazing craft tutorial you featured last month?
Below I’ve included some useful resources that might help you on your DIY blog design venture. If in doubt do check out Pinterest which is chock full of blog design inspiration.
BLOG DESIGN RESOURCES
Design and Colour
Picasa (on Google+)