Well, I’ve gone and done it again! I’ve redesigned my blog for the fourth time in just over a year.
I’ve been getting itchy blog design feet again for a while now, but when I saw this post showing all the beautiful things that can be done with the Tweak Me theme I decided to take the plunge.
So far I like what I’ve done with it (particularly the new header – which is just an adaptation of the old header really!), although there are still some tweaks I need to make eg. fix the sizing of all the pictures so they don’t look weird as thumbnails and decide whether or not I actually like that dotted pink line around the widgets (opinions please? Yes or no to that dotted line?).
Anyway, all this redesigning got me thinking, what is it that makes a good blog design? I know when I click on a blog I know immediately whether or not I like the design, but I don’t often think about why. So here’s what I came up with when I did think about it, and I’d love to know your thoughts!
A good blog design…
- …is readable
I love snazzy fonts and pretty coloured text as much as the next person, just as long as it’s readable. Yellow writing for example on a white background is practically impossible to read (and I think some of my links are kind of like this…I just can’t work out how to change them!), and it’s the same for swirly fonts if they are too small. Therefore I really wouldn’t recommend using them for the main body of a blog post.
- …is simple
This one is definitely personal preference, but I much prefer clean and simple blog designs. If things are too crazy or cluttered it hurts my eyes, and I just don’t know where to look. I also find it distracts from the content, and whilst I love a good blog design, the content is what I’m really there for.
- …isn’t cluttered
This is kind of the same as the last one, but here I’m mostly referring to sidebars. Cluttered sidebars with millions of badges and flashing buttons is kind of a pet hate of mine! I try and keep my own to only the bare essentials, but really I could probably cut it down even more. The Instagram widget for example is kind of unnecessary, but I just like to show off my latest bookish snaps!
- …is colourful
I know, I know, I said I like simple! But that doesn’t mean it has to be dull! I love bright colours and intricate headers, but I think it’s important to just pick two or three complimentary colours and stick with those so it doesn’t look too over the top.
- …has great pictures and graphics
This is something I personally need to work on! I have seen blogs though with absolutely beautiful photography and amazing graphics, and it definitely makes me want to keep clicking, even if it is just to gawp enviously at all the incredible imagery. I like it as well when graphics are in keeping with the overall blog theme. I’m currently in the process of redoing all my blog graphics so that they are in keeping with my new design, but it’s proving time consuming. I’m loving the cute typewriter clipart I’m using for it though (also seen in my new header!), which I got off Etsy!
- …is cohesive
I think this is so essential for a great blog design, but also so hard to do! I know I’ve tweaked a few things on my blog design before thinking it will look amazing, and then when I actually look at it, it just doesn’t seem to work somehow (that’s kind of how I’m feeling about that dotted line…seriously! Yes or no?). The best blog designs I’ve seen have seemed to flow beautifully, with even the smallest details contributing to the whole, and I think the secret is cohesion…it all just needs to work together (which is super vague, but I really don’t know how to explain what I’m talking about…or how to achieve it!).
So what do you think makes a good blog design?