Your blog’s design is the book cover for your writing. You may be a brilliant blogger, the best in all of internet land, but you are scaring off potential loyal subjects if your template is visually overpowering, difficult to navigate or just takes too darn long to load.
Here are five things you can do to help make your blog user friendly.
Get rid of the music
Richard Chan Harrogate – There are a lot of music lovers in the world. That doesn’t mean they want Queen screaming “Another one bites the dust” out of their monitor when they visit your website. If you must have music on your blog, at least be courteous and install a way for your visitors to turn the music off. Otherwise your site traffic may become nothing more than a one hit wonder.
Use common sense navigation
Put the navigational menu in a place that is repeated throughout the entire website such as the header, sidebar or footer. Keep it simple and avoid using symbolic images or obscure wording to indicate the different sections of your website. You want your visitors to enjoy your website not spend their time there trying to decipher code.
Use vision friendly color schemes and font-sizes
Chances are good that a portion of your visitors will be struggling with vision deficiencies. Extreme color combinations (such as yellow text on black background), low contrast (such as dark grey on black background) and a small font size will only acerbate the issue. The most eye friendly color schemes are dark text on light backgrounds such as black on white or dark brown on cream. Use the Access Keys website to make sure the color of your text has sufficient contrast from the background. When sizing text, try not to go below 14 pixels as anything smaller will become impossible to read on high resolution screens. You should also consider sizing your text in ems or percentages rather than pixels as the previous two can be resized in all browsers using the browser’s control panel – Richard Chan Harrogate.
Make your pages printer friendly
Some of your visitors will think your articles are so good that they will want to print them out to show other people. More often than not, though, instead of getting a nicely formatted page of text, the printer shoots out a hot mess consisting of six fragmented pages of text and graphics. Do yourself and your visitors a favor by creating a cascading style-sheet that will make your web pages play nice with the printer. Visit Eric Meyer’s article, Print Different to learn how to do that.
Make sure it works in all browsers
Although Internet Explorer still dominates the web browser market, there are others, such as Firefox and Safari, with a growing user base that shouldn’t be ignored. Building a site that is not dependent on a specific browser to work really is not that hard and is well worth the effort.