Get More From Your Site’s Visual Acreage


Real Estate

One of the most important, and sometimes most difficult, parts of web design is deciding what to do with the space that is given you.

Usually, you have around 960 pixels in width and an indefinite height to work with, and it often feels like too much or too little. It’s very valuable when used correctly, but when used incorrectly it can destroy a website’s potential.

There are similarities in real estate. Each piece of property has a different value, some high and some low. Using a beautiful piece of property in the wrong way can diminish its value. By comparing page area in a website to real estate, we can learn a few principles that help us utilize the “property” of a web page to the maximum advantage.

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7 Essential Elements of Blog Design


The blogosphere continues to expand almost on a daily basis, and as a web designer we often inform clients of the numerous benefits of attaching a blog to their site. It is always a great way to continuously update your readers as to what new developments are being made in your business and what to look for as they stick with you on this journey.

This in turn, keeps your site well trafficked by the online masses as new content is added on a regular basis. And while there are a plethora of points and elements that are vital when designing a blog, some take precedence over the others.

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Should a Sidebar Go On the Left or Right?


Image by Apesara
Whether you use a 3 column layout or a 2 column layout, you have to choose which side you want your content on, and which side you want your sidebar on. Left or right? Which is best?

As always, the answer is; it depends on your blog.

Why Have It On the Right?

  • Western readers read left to right. When scanning a page, we will scan left to right (And top to bottom). Put your sidebar on the right, and the first thing a reader will scan over will be your content.
  • Many people still use 800×600 resolution. When designing your theme, it’s tempting to work with a 1024px wide layout. The extra space is great for the majority of your users.

    However, a good few are still on 800×600 monitors, and will have an annoying horizontal scrollbar to work with. If your content is on the left, they will not have to scroll to read it. The scrollbar will only be needed to see the sidebar.

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5 Ways to Get More Space On the Page


Space illusion As bloggers, we all want to put as much content as we can on the page, but make it look like as little as we can.

It’s an interesting paradox, which doesn’t always have an answer.

In certain circumstances however, there are indeed ways of cheating the rule, and serving your readers better by doing so.

In this article, I will talk about the 5 main options available to you, and by knowing them, you might find ways to apply them to your own blog.

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Sidebar Redesign: My Thought Process


In the past few days, I redesigned my sidebar. It doesn’t sound like much, does it? But looking back, that one change has had quite an impact on the overall look.

In blogs in particular, the sidebar is a big part of your design. But also in blogs, they tend to be quite poorly done. The reason is that very few of us design our sidebars with content in mind.

I’m guilty as well. When I first designed the sidebar for this blog, I was thinking about leaderboard ads and various widgets. Since then, I’ve dropped the ads, changed the widgets and added a sideblog.

Odds are, your sidebar content has changed in the course of your blogging as well. It is important to reassess your entire blog every now and again, but the sidebar is one area that you should pay particular attention to because of its changing nature.

In this post, I want to go through how I reassessed mine, and worked to improve it. You can then apply the same process to your own blog.

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Prioritize Your Blog Into 5 Distinct Groups


In the first post, What Is Design Clutter?, we talked about how clutter is caused by too many objects competing for attention.

The problem for any blogger is choosing which objects should get attention and which shouldn’t. It’s hard to accept that something you went to the trouble of putting on your page isn’t worth actively promoting (Because it will steal attention from the things that really do matter).

Separating The Wheat from The Chaff

The best way to avoid clutter and make sure that the valuable parts of your blog are properly promoted is to make a clear list of your priorities. Once it’s written down, it will make design decisions much easier.

Write out a list of every element on your blog (From the blog title right down to the post date!), and then run each aspect through this flowchart:

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Why I’m Using a 3 Column Layout


columns4.jpgThere are a few seemingly perpetual debates in web design. 800×600 vs 1024×768. Fixed vs fluid. Content on the right or left. The choice of using a 2 column layout or a 3 column one is another of these.

Advantages of a Two Column Layout

  • Forces minimalism. There tends to be less sidebar room in a 2 column layout. You simply don’t have the space for 100 different widgets without overstretching the page. This limit forces you to be a little more careful about choosing which widgets are installed.

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