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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Should a Sidebar Go On the Left or Right?

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 leftorrigh2t
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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XKCDesign: WordPress vs MovableType

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I’m trying something new at Pro Blog Design today; a web comic. It will be my attempt at humour, based on design and blogging.

Depending on you, we’ll either keep it up, or get rid of it. Please vote in the poll below, or leave a comment, to let me know your thoughts.

So without further ado, here’s issue 1, WordPress vs Movable Type.

1-wordpress-vs-mt

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