My blog has really evolved a lot over the nearly two years I’ve been writing it. I started on Tumblr and currently run the Thesis theme on WordPress (for more on my move click here). One of my favorite things about blogging are all of the possibilities in blog design. Your blog is yours; it can be anything you want it to be and I love that! Take a walk back through some of my designs with me and I’ll share some of my insights and reasons behind some of the stylistic choices I’ve made.

Here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve picked up along the way…

  • Keep design colors neutral so they don’t compete with your post photos.
  • Busy prints are visual clutter and can detract from the quality of your posts. Simple is always elegant to the eye.
  • Limit the length of your header  – readers shouldn’t have to search out your latest post.
  • Keep your header image and/or background image at fairly moderate quality levels. The greater the quality of the image the longer it will take to load and since they’re on every page they should load quickly.
  • Limit yourself to two fonts and three colors. Again with the simplicity mantra… It’s just easier on the eyes.
  • Blank space is ok – it’s like a little brain break in this crowded and busy internet world.
  • Use a social media button plugin or design your own so that readers can find you all one the web.
  • A contact form is a must! I’ve gotten to know so many readers through emails from my contact form. Rather than simply listing your email address this is a sleek extra step that will encourage readers to keep in touch.
  • Try to limit the pages and categories listed in your navigation menu. This has been a tough one for me, but ultimately I wanted a less cluttered look and through analytics I found that readers don’t click them that frequently anyway.
  • A lead photo of you in the sidebar is really personal preference. Some blogs do and some don’t. I always like to feel like I’m getting to know the blogger right away when visiting a new site, so I’ve adapted a sidebar photo into every blog layout I’ve created.

I’d love to know your best blog design tips and tricks, too! Please share them in the comments.