5 Blog design ideas to keep in mind when building your blog

Together we create written with spray paint on a brick wall - wornbee.com
"A serious blog takes a lot of tweaking, trial and error .... And discipline."  

Have you ever just researched and read? Over and over again about blogging?

Looking for blog design ideas that may just teeter your blog over the edge of making some real traffic gains?

Man sitting on a patio reading on a laptop - wornbee.com
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash

I'm a big advocate for creating content before getting too caught up in design.

With that said however, we need to spend some time making things right in the beginning.

Here's 5 Blog design ideas we will cover in this post. 

Keep these in mind when building your brand.

  • Static vs blog roll home page
  • The power of simplicity
  • Colors that build your brand
  • Sidebar or no sidebar? The battle continues
  • How load speed can make or break your site

Static or blog roll ?

What is a static home page? All this means is that your home page does not show all of your blog posts in sequential order.

The standard blog roll is all of your posts in order newest to oldest on the home screen.

Take wornbee.com, at this point I am using the traditional blog roll home page and until I write a newer post than this, this article will be the first one on my home page.

Which should you use?

In the start of your blog I prefer to use the traditional blog roll home page, this allows you to focus on content and building an audience first.

Once you start to roll along with some consistent readers it may be time to switch over to a static page.

The beauty of the static page is that you can direct your audience in the exact direction you want, you can really give your target audience choices from there.

I do recommend switching to a static page that serves as your "home base" eventually.

Starting out however I would stick to the blog roll until you have at least 50 articles written.

Take this site for instance, at the time of this writing wornbee.com is pretty young, my focus is on good content and building a quality audience, that's it.

This should always be your focus, especially when starting out.

The power of simple

mini ma list graphics written on a folded piece of paper - wornbee.com
Photo by Isabella and Zsa Fischer / Unsplash

DO NOT ... I repeat .... DO NOT waste a ton of time on making your website flashy and complicated.

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people making, I have done it many times myself and quite frankly I still need to stop myself sometimes.

You don't need glits and glamour, to build a quality audience, you need great content that answers the call of your target audience.

Too much on the screen can keep people from reading and absorbing your content.

"It has been proven that when people are faced with too much on a computer screen they just don't make any move what-so-ever, including actually reading your work.

Things to avoid ...

  • Tons of sidebar banners
  • Ads everywhere on the site
  • Pop ups that are flshing red and bouncing around
  • Crazy logos and sloppy menus

If you are serious about blogging focus on being clean trustworthy and classic.

This is what people like.

It's tempting to put every widget Wordpress will give you all over your homepage but trust me .... Too much will hurt user experience, site speed, and rankings.

Let's talk color!

While building up a brand you want to stay consistent as much as possible.

Color choice is very important when starting because those colors become attached to your brand.

Don't believe me?

Imagine McDonald's changed there entire color scheme to green and black instead of the very well known colors they use today.

It just wouldn't feel like mickey D's anymore, would it?  

That's how important choosing a color scheme and sticking with it is in my opinion. It's OK to experiment and toy around with colors in the beginning of your blog.

Once you start to get more established however, it's important to stay consistent to the brand you have built.

The sidebar, loved by many and hated by others.

Here is my take on sidebars ...

I think they are great for author bios and recent articles, basically quality things that guide people through your website smoothly.

Having a sidebar that is packed with banner ads and every widget possible is off putting to me.

I think it's safe to assume that you agree.

How many times have you clicked off of a site because of too much flashing ads in your face?

The mobile phone issue ...

Mobile phones have just about overtaken the computer screen, people use their phones more than ever to search the net.

Sidebars on mobile end up way at the bottom of the user scroll, this can be a good thing if there are things that link to other aspects of your blog but for the most part sidebar clutter is worthless.

Quality content, quality content, quality content... ditch the useless sidebar ads no one clicks anymore.

How important is website load speed?

Well in 2 words .... VERY IMPORTANT!

Google and the other search engines want to provide their users with the best online experience possible.

Load speed is grossly important because if your site takes too long to load people will click away before they get to see your awesome content.

Google sees!

Guess what happens if Google sees your average TOP (time on page) in the seconds range?

That's right, your site will be put into the "low content quality" vault.

All Google knows is people are consistently clicking off your site in seconds ... In their eyes something is driving people away from your site, thus your rankings suffer.

Three ways to improve load speed

  • Keep plugins down to a minimum
  • Use a clean and lightweight theme
  • Use a good quality web host

Plugins are awesome but remember that every time you install a new plug in it will add weight to your website.

Using a ton of plugins may seem like a great idea, however one must understand that each one is it's own piece of code that hangs out inside of your website's files.

"Don't be afraid of using plugins but use them with judgement."

One great way to see how much weight a plugin adds to your load time is by using Google page speed insights before and after install, this will give you a great look at what is or isn't slowing down your load time.

Second on the list is your theme, use a clean and lightweight theme that has what you need and nothing more.

Take your time when choosing a theme but once you find your favorite try to stick with it and not change it everyday.

Consistency builds a brand!

Last tip ... Your web host.

Use a quality web host! There is no need to go cheapo here, you will be putting a TON of time and effort into this thing.

The last thing you want is a host that kills your rankings because your site is turtle slow.

Even worse, finding out your site has been deleted because the two hundred dollar server your host puts your files on lights up one day.  

Wrapping up

I hope these tips send you in the right direction with your blog. Keep them in mind creating your awesome blog!

The main points of this article are as follows ...

  • Start with the classic blog roll home page until you start to build an audience
  • Keep it simple and focus on creating great content above all else
  • Consistancy is key, building a brand takes consistant style
  • Stay away from all kinds of sidebar banners and ads
  • Make it fast and check your speeds with Google

Thanks for reading !

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No spam, no ridiculous claims, just good blogging advice.

Jerry P

Jerry P

United States