Wrong Way. A few weeks ago I ran an offer where I would give 5 free tips on anyone’s blog’s design. The offer went down very well, and I’d like to share some of what I have learnt so far.

Every design is unique of course, however, there are some small flaws that I found to be common across quite a number of blogs.

The 5 Pointers

  1. Take care with your logo. A fast-loading blog is important, but not everything is worth forsaking for its sake. In particular, a lot of bloggers have compressed their banner images to a point where pixelation around the letters is noticeable. Your logo is too important for this.
  2. Remove the "Delivered by FeedBurner" text. FeedBurner offer a great RSS to Email service, but the text link that they add into the copy & paste code should be deleted. It’s completely legal, and they get enough advertising in your chicklet, URL and email pop-up window.
  3. Experiment with different colors. I’m a little sick of seeing black&white, blue&white and recognizably theme-default colors. Experiment more! There are a lot of color tools online that can help you out here.
  4. Customize your comments. Comments seem to be fairly unappreciated. They certainly aren’t a crucial element of your design, and something simple will do. However, far too many blogs have comment forms that were clearly taken from the WordPress default theme. That little lapse of effort is a real shame.
  5. Don’t have a boring sidebar. You wouldn’t have a wall of text for a post, so why allow it in your sidebar? Be sure to break up your sidebar with images and ample padding. The sheer number of text links on some blogs is incredible.

Those are some of the most common pointers that I’ve given out. What other little annoyances do you find to be common amongst blogs?

PS – For all those who sent in request for tips at the time, I will get to you! I just didn’t realize how long it would take to write these all…

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