10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Blog Design

Designing a blog can be rough. Especially when you have no formal training in design and no clue what's going on with that HTML business. Daunting as it may be at times, there are simple things you can do that can greatly improve the look and feel of your site. And when your site looks good, it makes the content that much better.

1. Get rid of the navigation bar.
You know, the annoying one at the top of your blog? Yes, that one. Here's how.

2. Get rid of the Google Friend Connect box.
Google recently announced that they are getting rid of this program for blogs that are not Blogger based, and it's likely that it will be completely dissolved soon. What does that mean for your blog? If your's is hosted anywhere other than Blogger, you will soon lose a lot of readers. Why not save yourself some heartache and focus on another, more permanent way of allowing people to keep track of your blog. Twitter, Facebook (how most people in Europe follow blogs) and RSS are great ones. Blog Lovin' is also really popular.

3. Stick to three fonts maximum.
Two minimum. Try using both a serif and a sans serif font. One for titles and one for the body of the posts.

4. Make the name of your blog and the URL the same.
You don't have to go out and buy a domain name, but make sure that your .blogspot.com is the same as the title of your blog. Can't get the domain you want? Then change the name of your blog. Trust me. Your blog will look more credible and cohesive.

6. Make your pictures the width of the post.
That way all of your pictures are the same size and the viewer's are nicely led through the post, without big, chunky breaks to distract them.

6. Figure out a color scheme and stick to it.
Three colors is usually a good number. Keep it clean and unoffensive. Not too bright, not too dark. Your images and content should be the focus, not your big and bold, neon yellow post titles.

7. Dial down the crazy fonts.
Stick with fonts that are legible. And not to big. Remember what the focus of your blog is: content.

8. Have unity but add a little variety.
Try to create a unified format. For your posts, for your sidebar and the widgets. If you have ads, make them all the same size. Do the same with widgets and other elements you add to the sidebar. With your posts, make your pictures the same size, but add in different picture combos, like two vertical pictures side by side instead of always having them stand alone in the post.

9. Do not be content with the defaults. Default colors, widths, gadgets... Make Your blog your own.
Change the colors, adjust the widths, pick new fonts... If you know how, do a little tweaking of the HTML to get rid of elements you don't like and add a few you do. Make your blog your own.

10. Don't be afraid of a simple, dare I say plain white background.
Really, don't be.

Remember, the focus of your blog should be your content, not the design. The design serves as a canvas to help showcase the ideas, creations, moments you share on your blog. Your blog design should enhance your content, not take away from it.

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