Blogs are 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.
No matter what style you are aiming for as you put the site together, even on the most minimally designed blogs, the elements discussed below are the essential ones to include and give a heavy focus to in your design.
Naturally this is an important part of any site, because it lets people know just where they are on the web. The header will usually contain a logo, the name of the site or company behind it, and possibly some design flourish to accompany this text.
The header of the blog is one of the two main elements that should always steal the attention and focus of the user immediately. So it needs to stand out boldly, much like on a newspaper or magazine. And because you generally want this to be the first element of the site that the user looks to, most designers will position the blog header in the upper left corner of the site.
If the header is one of the two main elements that should pull the readers attention its way, then the Post Headlines are the other. Once again to look at a print based template, newspapers and the like always take steps to have the headlines separated from the body text that follows it, using larger, bolder font choices.
These highlights grace the page throughout, guiding the readers eyes as they search for relevant or intriguing entries. The same goes for a blog. This visual playground is littered with material for the reader to sift through as they navigate through the blog, so you want to make sure that they have to exert little effort to locate the post headlines.
Once again, as with any site, intuitive site navigation is an important element for the sake and sanity of the reader.
Navigation, while an important element that needs to be accessible and clearly marked, does not have a lot of restrictions as to how you can achieve this effectively and creatively.
For a blog, the content is the driving force behind it, so you want to make sure that for the life of the site the content is easily accessible to the readers especially once it moves from the first page or two of current posts.
Remember that one of the main purposes of a blog is to engage the readers, and you cannot do that if once the material leaves the front page it becomes lost in the proverbial internet aether. Not everything that is published on a blog will have the timeless appeal and stability to withstand the test of time, but you could at least give the content some assistance through attention to the archives.
Speaking of the content that pushes the blog forward, as the designer you want to be sure that you give the readers a way to subscribe to the site’s RSS feed, even though it means that they may not be exposed to your brilliantly crafted design.
Even though, design wise, this tends to be a rather small element, it still deserves your attention. After all, size doesn’t matter in design. It still needs to match the rest of the design so as to not detract from the flow and feel of the design.
Archives are not the only way to work a focus on the content into your design, and given that blogging seeks to be engaging and does so through its content, let your design highlight this through the inclusion of a site search element as well.
Site searches give some users more comfort and familiarity than trying to use the navigation or archives to find what it is they are looking for on your site. They may also have come to your site via another and may want to just browse for a particular keyword that is not apparent on whatever page of the blog they have landed. A site search can address easily these concerns.
Post & Comment Styling
Blogs, by nature, are both engaging and interactive, and your blog should highlight both of those aspects through one very important element; style.
If comments are included, then you want them to stand out in the design to not only highlight this interactive element of the blog, but to also shine a light on the members of the community who are taking the time to share their thoughts.