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How to Use Design and Widgets to Improve a Blog

written by: Vilie Farah•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 1/1/2011

Blog design and widgets need to be selected and adjusted carefully to enhance the experience of readers. Each blogger should look for effective and simple solutions that put emphasis on the important pieces of information.

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    How to Design Blogs: Remember the Basics


    A blog focuses mainly on content. The unique and intriguing articles and visuals turn a simple personal web space into a highly popular and useful online resource.

    Web design and functionalities can be used to augment the power of content and to add value to the experiences of readers. A simple and carefully chosen design will make the blog more informative and user friendly. Design mistakes will interfere with the experience, and readers might be turned away.

    Blog design should follow several basics. The same applies to the addition of widgets and functionalities. These have to be selected meticulously to aid readers. A multitude of needless widgets will only divert attention away from content.

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    Colors and Font Selection

    Naturally, the color scheme and the text fonts are of primary importance in terms of design.

    Colors should enhance readability. White letters on a dark background look fancy but are difficult to read.

    Avoid using too-bright and contrasting colors. Saturated pink or electric green will scream rather than convey a subtle message.

    Gray and black are best in terms of font color. When it comes to the background, choose a pastel tone. To make the blog distinguishable, you can add one leading visual in the header or the side column.

    Web fonts should be selected to make it easy for readers to scroll through the text. Excessively ornate fonts, handwritten letters, or gothic types are inappropriate. Refrain from the constant usage of italics and bold letters.

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    Hierarchy of Information

    The design should direct attention to the most important blog information.

    Headlines should be larger than other text. They can also feature a distinguishable color and font. Make it easy for readers to know what the blog posting is all about.

    Menus need to be organized in a hierarchical manner, as well. The important information must appear at the top so that readers are not forced to scroll down.

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    Template Customization

    Most novices in the world of blogging rely on custom-made templates. There is nothing wrong with this choice. The templates are created by professionals and thus correspond to important design rules and standards. The setback is that your blog will look like several others.

    If you want to make your blog unique, you should think of tweaking the template. Choose your own colors and experiment with the order of your information.

    Add visuals and graphics that will make your blog distinguishable. Be bold when experimenting. If you are unhappy with the results, you can simply return to the original blog template.

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    Emphasis on Visuals

    In terms of design, less is always more. Refrain from adding too many elements. White space will make your blog appear more ordered and professional.

    Instead of adding many colors and design elements, focus on images and photos. The visuals that you use to illustrate blog content should be prioritized.

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    Widget Selection

    Each blogger can select among hundreds of widgets. These are designed to add options and to entertain or inform readers. Widgets will show the blog archive, the latest reader comments, and the most popular blog postings.

    Some widgets facilitate the sharing of content in social media. Others add image galleries or links to your favorite blogs and websites.

    Select solely relevant widgets. A number of bloggers clutter their blogs with needless functionalities. They look professional and intriguing but add little to the experience of readers. Widgets should work together with the content instead of dominating over it.

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    Keep It Simple

    Remember to keep your blog design as simple as possible. If your blog misses content, you cannot compensate for this lack through the addition of a multitude of widgets.

    Blog articles and multimedia should be prioritized. This is what the blog is all about – your thoughts, ideas, and observations. Design is merely a tool to get the message across.

    Remember that sometimes you can break the rules, thus achieving amazing results. Experiment. Be bold and unconventional. Learn from your mistakes and fix errors as you become more experienced. Trust your instincts and aesthetic sense to achieve unique, marvelous results.

    Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos, Salvatore Vuone