You don’t have to be a professional designer to have a slick-looking site. With a little strategy, even amateurs can turn their websites into clear, organized, attractive spaces.
So with that in mind, here are some basic tips to consider. Follow these to turn your site into the kind of online space that can keep up with the best of them!
1. Make Choices Based on Goals
The best design choices you can make are the ones backed by goals. So before you do anything with your site, design-wise, stop and evaluate what you want from your blog. Who do you want to be? What is the main message of your brand, and how can you communicate that with your design? If you back everything you do with overarching goals, you set yourself up to have a site that works.
2. Only Use 2 to 3 Fonts and 2 to 3 Colors
Too many fonts and too many colors make a website feel like it’s got too much going on. When in doubt about design choices, simplify. As a best practice for blog design, use only a couple different fonts and a couple different colors repeatedly throughout your layout.
3. Embrace White Space
The best websites make the most of white space in order to create a sense of harmony and balance throughout the design. When used appropriately, white space sets apart different components of your website and helps frame your content. So make sure your site has enough empty space to make the content clear and understandable.
4. Be Strategic about Advertising
The last thing your site needs is too many advertisements. While choosing to use ads is okay, overdoing it will harm your site in the long run. Readers will come to see your site as inauthentic and gimmicky, and they won’t want to stick around.
5. Prioritize Information
Some parts of content are more important than others—so make sure those aspects are the ones to get the most attention in your design. The moment someone comes to your site, he or she should know your blog’s name, what it’s about, and what you want him or her to do with that information. Likewise, if gaining subscribers is your chief goal, add a signup button somewhere prominent. If getting blog comments is your chief goal, highlight the “add a comment” button at the end of each post. Make the hierarchy of information line up with your objectives.
6. Create a Good Mobile Experience
A large percentage of Web users today are accessing content on mobile devices—so be ready for them by giving your site a mobile-friendly design. Test your site on a smartphone or other mobile device, and pay attention to how the content appears. Is anything stretching? Are the words hard to read? What happens to the images? Whether you design a full mobile site or just set up your main design to perform well via mobile browsers, give it the best chance to reach readers by creating a good mobile experience.
7. Shoot for Fast Page Loads
Slow websites lose readers, plain and simple: a visitor comes to your page and gets stuck waiting for the information to appear, so he or she leaves. This should not be the case! Go to Google PageSpeed Insights, enter your site’s URL, and see what speed score it receives, as well as tips for improving that score. Use this information to take steps that improve your site’s overall design.
What are your thoughts on the above site strategies? Do you think using them could improve your blog? What other design tips have you found to be important?