Do Images in Posts Encourage Reading?

34

Post Images I begin almost every post here at Pro Blog Design with an image. The images are usually interesting, and do take a while to pick out. Do they encourage people to read more posts?

The answer is that for a certain type of blog, they do. For another type, they don’t.

When Post Images Are Worth Adding

  • In plain templates. Many blogs are designed to be minimalist and plain, allowing the content to be focused upon. A well selected image in the post can work wonders for adding personality to the design, without losing the clean simplicity.

Read More »

Why Your Sidebar Plugins Don’t Work

37

Many WordPress users have been finding that a large number of the plugins they have tried to install in their sidebars lately aren’t working. In most cases, this is purely because your theme is widgetized.

Widgets were originally a plugin that allowed you to easily edit your sidebar content. As of version 2.2 of WordPress, it comes as default. Widgets can be very useful, but they have caused some people some trouble. Thankfully, there is an easy solution.

The Problem With Widgets

The problem is that some people forget about widgets when they add their plugins.

Read More »

Typography Is An Art

28

TypographyTypography is the practice of arranging letters and words to make them more readable, or more visually interesting. On the web, typography has long been hindered by the technology. However, times are changing and the future is looking bright for the art of typography.

The major hindrance of web typography is the very limited font set that is available to all users. When settings font in a CSS file, you can set one font which the site looks best in, but if users don’t have it, you need to fall back to one of the usual suspects. Stuart Brown has a rundown of 5 of the most-common web fonts, letting you know which to use, and which to stay well away from.

With CSS, we do have some level of control over the appearance of our fonts. It isn’t the equivalent of the pixel-perfection in print design, but it is still something, and to this end, Clagnut has 10 helpful guidelines. One of the most basic, but most important choices in web typography is text alignment, which Kyle Meyer has explained extensively.

Read More »

Design Review: Darjan Panic

20

Darjan Panic Darjan Panic is a freelance designer, with a very unique looking blog. There is nothing conventional in this blog’s design. It’s different, and it’s bold. What better candidate for a review?

What Has Been Done Well?

  • Logo. The Darjan Panic logo is perfect. It is easily memorable, clearly shows the site’s initials, and looks great as part of the actual design. It is the very first thing you will notice upon arriving at the site, and for good reason. You’ll even find it being used effectively as a bullet point! In short, it meets all of David Airey’s criteria for a great logo.

Read More »

Format Your Posts For Readability

42

FormattingAs bloggers, we write pages upon pages of content each week. We spend hours promoting the articles, choosing the right words and trying to get our point across as clearly as possible. How can formatting be used to further improve our posts?

There are a few basic tools that you will have heard mention of time and time again, such as bolding words. The first section re-explains their purpose, and the second will explain how to perfect your usage of them to achieve optimal formatting.

The Formatting Toolbox

  • Headings and subheadings. Posts usually cover 2 or 3 sub-topics of the overall post topic. If you don’t use headings to mark out the sub-topics, then the reader has no way of knowing exactly which topics have been covered in the article. What if they’re only interested in the last section? Mark out the last section with a good header, and they’ll know to read it.

Read More »

Dynamic Search Bar Text With Javascript

38

Every blog has a search bar. The search bar is a typically boring affair, with a white background and a button saying “Search,” and worst of all, it takes up a fair bit of room in your sidebar. Why not use a little Javascript to liven things up and save space? This effect can be seen in use on the search bar to your right.

NB – This method is primarily for Wordpress, but could be easily adapted to any other platform.

1 – Find The Default Search bar.

The code for your search bar usually lies in searchform.php, or in functions.php if it has been set up as a widget, and will look as follows:

Read More »

Does Valid Code Help Your Blog?

64

Valid CodeThe W3C is the internet’s daddy. They created HTML, CSS, and dozens of other specifications that govern the use of the technologies that makes the internet thrive today. Valid code is code which meets their guidelines, and can be tested in a validator, such as the HTML and CSS ones.

Does valid code actually help your blog though?

The Mythical Benefits of Valid Code

  • Valid code helps my search engine rankings. Good code helps your search engine rankings, i.e. code that the search engines can read. If you have used tables for presentation, causing your content to be split up in the coding, then Google will have trouble. However, if you just forget the trailing slash on your <img> tags, then they won’t be too harsh on you.

Read More »