It’s spring cleaning time for your blog! The Internet is a visual place, so when it comes to a blog looks matter.
Here are some of the ways you can improve your blog’s appearance, making it a more pleasant place to visit:
Sidebar: Consider pairing graphics up side-by-side instead of one on top of the other. This will balance the graphics out while condensing everything into a smaller space. Sidebar content should enhance, not distract; so stick to graphics that fit into your niche or theme. Use this simple rule: if it doesn’t help you or your readers and it doesn’t look good … remove it. Make sure there’s a “search” feature somewhere on your sidebar to help readers find what they need. Make it easy for people to subscribe by email so they don’t miss out on any of your posts. Also, consider adding a list with links to your top blog posts to give readers an idea of what you write about while saving them the trouble of trying to dig up your best work.
Out With the Old: Remove obsolete elements like Google Friend Connect widgets, affiliate links that aren’t making money, and outdated elements on your About Me and Media/PR pages.
Colors: If your blog is monochromatic, consider adding a bit of color somewhere. If colors are exploding all over the page, consider toning things down and sticking to a scheme with only 2 or 3 colors in it which you can easily repeat over again. Stay away from garish neon colors, flashing/animated graphics and black backgrounds with colored text. Remember that “white space” is important on a blog; leaving some areas untouched will draw the reader’s eye to your words and your images.
Annoying Ads: Look at your site as an impartial visitor. Are there ads popping up all over the place? Are they obscuring blog posts? Do the banners display offensive or off-color content? Does it seem like there are more ads than content? Are there video ads which visitors can hear in the background?
Menus: Site navigation can make or break your blog. You want readers to find things easily, so have an attractive menu bar front and center with links to the most important areas of your site. You can put other things, like a search bar, email subscription or blog archives, in your sidebar.
Social Buttons: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Get them all grouped in one place if at all possible. The top right of your blog is a good spot. Incorporate them into the header image of your blog if you can. They don’t need to be big; people are used to seeing the tiny little clusters of social media icons tucked into a corner.
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Picture Uniformity: Try to stick with a standard size for images and photos on your blog posts. Most templates max out at 600 to 800 pixels. Having images all the same size gives your blog a clean and professional look. If you need a project for a rainy spring day, start going through old posts and update them with pin-worthy images.
Mobility: View your blog on a mobile phone to make sure it’s responsive and accessible. If you have the Jetpack plugin on your WordPress blog, it now contains a mobile module which will automatically make your site more mobile-friendly. You can test your website’s responsiveness using this Google Tool.
Do you have tips to share for cleaning up a blog and making it more attractive and accessible?