Why Tags Are Better Than Categories

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tags Most blogs put their posts into various categories, and then list the categories in the sidebar. It’s the done thing.

But how useful are categories really? Would tags be more helpful for your readers?

Few Categories vs. Many Tags

Categories are most effective when there’s a small number of them. The small list is easily digestible by a reader and organizes your blog into its major sections.

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Bloggers, Get Familiar With Your Database

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database-server All of your posts, settings, and every other piece of data about your blog are stored in a database. Sooner or later, you are going to have to access that database directly, especially when things go wrong.

Thankfully, the level of knowledge a blogger needs to have about their database is very low. It’s easy to get to grips with, and you’ll be glad of it when that fateful day eventually comes.

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Hiring Blog Design Writers, $50 per post!

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writer I want to make Pro Blog Design better. I’m open to any suggestions you have for that, but the first step I want to take is to add more writers to the site.

I will still be writing regularly, but with others on board, it means more points of view, more topic variety, and most importantly, more frequent posting!

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7 Elements to Make Your Blog Look Great

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In What Makes a Design Good?, I talked about the technical aspects of a good design, like site and user goals, branding, and distinction.

I did not however answer the question of what makes a design look good. What makes one blog visually attractive, but makes another one ugly?

There is no mathematical solution, but there is an artsy one. A good looking design is a combination of a number of factors. If your blog succeeds in each of these areas, then the overall effect will be an appealing design.

designtext Image by Nir Tober.

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How Does Your Blog Really Look?

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eye
Image by Gwennie2006
We all think we know how our blogs look. We look at them everyday. We boot up our computers, fire up the browser and…

Wait. What web browser are we using? And is it even a computer?

Firefox or Internet Explorer? PC or Mac? Windows or Linux? Desktop or handheld? iPhone or PS3?

There are a lot of possibilities, but some are more important than others. This is the order that I would recommend testing them in, and how do the test.

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Make The Web a Less Colorful Place

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The web is a colorful place. It’s easy to choose any color you can imagine, and put it into your design. No mixing paints, and no worrying about color-printing costs.

It’s easy to have a colorful web page, and very tempting to do so. But what is the alternative?

Monochromatic Design

Monochromatic design is design with one color. You select a single base color, and then add white and black to it to produce different shades of that color.

Your design consists solely of your monochromatic palette, and various shades of gray.

Example of a monochromatic palette, with the base color at the right and left ends of the top and bottom rows respectively:

monochromatic_palette

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Should You Upgrade WordPress?

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security
Image by Heraklit
WordPress 2.5 came out just under 2 weeks ago, and since then there have been a stream of “Reasons to Upgrade” posts. Well, what about reasons not to upgrade?

The Security Thing

Security is a good reason to upgrade, but it’s not always as good a reason as it might seem. Some blogs over-emphasize the risks of security, to get you to upgrade.

For instance, the normally excellent Weblog Tools Collection wrote about security holes due to free themes, and then said “The moral of this story is that you need to upgrade your WordPress blog now to WordPress 2.5.”

Upgrading to WordPress 2.5 will not solve exploits coming from your theme. You must resort to other measures to do that. As a respected WordPress authority, it wasn’t fair for them to imply otherwise.

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