Layout, in general, is indeed a very touchy subject. Some of us prefer vivid colours and lots of photographs or diagrams. Others love a plain website. The main reason for this huge gap is that taste is individual. However, there are some few aspects which needed to be considered when setting up your blog, because reading things on-screen makes us often skim read. Reading a book or a newspaper is much easier and not so tiring for your eyes than reading something from your laptop screen or on your mobile.
Blogging is not only just about writing – it is much more. You need to have an eye for aesthetics, colours and designs. So let me show you some of the most important blog layout rules:
1. Background Colour
It is highly recommended that you use light colours in order to make the reading on-screen as pleasant and easy as possible. White is often the default colour and probably the most used one. However, if you want to have some colours for the background then go for a light grey, pale pink, light mint green or a fair yellow. Another way to bring some colours into your blog and standing out from the crowd is by choosing a soft background pattern.
Those are just some examples of alternatives if you don’t want the default colour white.
2. Column Width
This tip is often underestimated and a lot of bloggers are not aware of the effect it has on their readers. If you have a look at a blog on your computer and the width of the post is far too long it really gets exhausting. There’s a common rule of thumb which can help you a lot with determining the right width: Try to keep the blog post column width about 80 characters or less (including the spaces).
3. Titles Like Newspapers
You may think why I listed this point for the rules of blog layout as it has nothing to do with design primarily. What I mean by choosing your titles like the headline in newspapers is that you should stick to a rather shorter title than very long ones.
4. Font Type
This differs a lot from the newspapers. It is important to use a font type without serif. Serif is a tiny line attached to the end of a stroke in letters. So a typeface without serif is called sans serif. It’s considered that sans serif is more legible on a computer screen.
5. Font Size
Let’s stay with the font. It is not only crucial to choose a legible font but also a reasonable font size. Just don’t ask me which size I use for my blog because I have no clue. I just use the default one 🙂 However, if you can choose, go for a rather large one than a tiny one.
6. Headers And Subheaders
This is not only helpful for the reader to navigate and getting an overview about your post but it’s also very crucial for SEO. Moreover, people tend to skim read whenever they read on-screen, therefore, headers and subheaders are very crucial for them to stay focused.
7. Multiple Size Of Subheaders
You can also structure your post by using several sizes for your headers. Don’t be shy by starting your header in H1 and then going on with a subheader in H2 and even a sub-subheader in H3.
8. Listing Things
This can help with giving your post a good structure. It actually doesn’t really matter if you use bullet points or numbers.
9. Short Paragraphs
This point is not carved in stone at all. It is known that structuring your post in short paragraphs can make the reading process much easier. However, I’m of the opinion that if you set the right highlights and use appropriate headings and subheadings it is not necessary to stick to short paragraphs.
10. Go Bold
Don’t be shy to emphasis your text or some passages with making them bold. If you have an important message somewhere in your paragraph and without highlighting it, it would get lost and would lose its importance, just make this passage bold. When a reader sees your post and maybe only skim reads through it, he will immediately see your most vital conclusion or statements.
This way of highlighting is an alternative to marking your text passages bold. However, don’t overdo it with the italics because they are harder to read. I like to use them when I have quotes, sayings or a description of something.
12. Call-Out Boxes
Don’t be afraid of using so-called call-out boxes or how WordPress names it: blockquote or preformatted. This is an elegant way to highlight a passage or a sentence. I really enjoy that the background colour of those call-out boxes stand out. However, too many of those blockquotes can irritate the reader quickly. So use them sparingly.
Hello, I am a call-out box. I am here only for demonstration purpose.
Hello, I am a preformatted. I am here only for demonstration purpose.
13. Space Between The Lines
This is also a little but very effective change to your blog layout which helps your readers. Having enough space between the lines makes the site more appealing and the reading more enjoyable. It can be very straining for your reader’s eye if your lines are too close together.
14. Use image
This is always a good way to add a splash of colour to your blog. Images not only are interesting for your viewers because they get a new input but they also can be helpful for structuring your text. Nevertheless, don’t forget that less is often more. Do place your photographs wisely. You can use them either at the end of a paragraph or in the middle of it as a change.
It’s great if you are adventurous and want to change your layout like every day. Still, try to stick to one layout for all of your posts. Try to find your layout which you are most comfortable with.Same Colours For Links
16. Same Colours For Links
Try to stick to the exact same colours for links. I use for my blog the same green colour for all links. This helps the reader to recognise them very quickly.
17. Justify your text
This is a very disputable point because some bloggers prefer to align their text left and others, like me, prefer to justify the text. The problem which can occur with a justified text is that your lines get thorn apart and stretch awkwardly wide all over your blog. You can prevent this with a few syllabications – separating your words correctly.
The menu is the navigation on the top of your blog. Try to keep it as simple as possible. Just link your most important pages like for example your Home, About Page and maybe Contact Page or the page to your Blog Series. If you wish to add some more, better fill your sidebar or footer with them up.
It’s useful if your reader can directly follow your blog, contact you, see your links to other social platforms or look at your recent posts. The sidebar is a perfect space for those things. If you have quite a cramped sidebar, relocate some of the information to your footer.
20. Keep it simple
This is my last and most important tip. Do not overdue it with colours, information and so on. Keeping it simple makes reading much easier and pleasant. No matter how great, well written your posts are, if it’s not an enjoyable reading, your readers won’t come back for more. So make your blog layout about your readers and ask yourself what makes you want to read a blog.