One statement many will see a lot on the Internet is that, “Content is King.” This is because writing quality material will vastly improve success. However, content isn’t the only aspect of a blog that will play a role in building a popular site. Overall design will also be important.

The appearance of a website is one of the things that people will remember after their first visit. It makes an impression and has potential to lead to those individuals placing a blog in their bookmarked sites. Just like anything in life, a first impression can play a monumental role in return visits and reputation.

The following are four tips that are important when considering design for any blog.

1. Find a Theme That Fits

One way to further engage an audience is to provide a theme or color scheme that fits the topic. For instance, it wouldn’t make much sense to use a grass and mountain scenery in the background for those who provide a blog centered around boats and marinas.

Choosing colors that fit the topic resonates within visitors and has potential to strengthen memories regarding the experience.

As there is a great deal of competition on the Internet for attracting visitors, website developers need to develop more than just content. The site needs to be more than a mere collection of keywords and phrases. It’s the experience people have when visiting a website that may cause them to return at a later date.

That’s what any website should deliver: a unique and pleasurable experience.

Colors and imagery play a big role in how people connect to a business. This is why most companies will use their own color pallet when developing a website. It’s the familiarity with the brand that strengthens the online reputation. As most blogging platforms can be customized, such as web hosting with WordPress, it’s easy to change settings and make the site appear in any way imaginable.

The more people are intrigued and engaged by a website, the more likely it will be shared with others as well.

2. Incorporate Social Media Connections

Approximately 78 percent of the population in the United States has at least one social profile. Because these platforms play such an important role in the lives of many, website owners and businesses try to incorporate as much as they can into sites like Facebook and Twitter. However, not all campaigns have proven to be successful for everyone. From a design perspective, there is such a thing as too much social engagement.

The first thing many bloggers implement is the sharing icons to accompany posts. These allow visitors to share material on their favorite social outlets. In essence, the visitor turns into a blogger’s marketing associate. Every piece that is shared has potential to attract more readers and followers.

The next step is often to incorporate social profiles themselves directly into the website. However, this can be a double-edged sword. While it makes it easier for visitors to like and follow a social profile, it can also hinder site performance.

With every outbound call the site has to make to retrieve data, such as pulling a Facebook feed or profile into the website, it decreases speed.

Luckily some this can be avoided by using a web hosting platform that implements a Content Delivery Network. Setting the blog to use caching will also improve performance.

3. Optimize the Images

One problem that a lot of bloggers have is not optimizing the images. This will greatly impact the success of the website. Search engines such as Google put great emphasis on speed and performance when delivering content in the results page.

This says nothing for the fact that most people will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

For example, many cameras will produce stunning pictures in high resolution. However, these files are ultra-large and shouldn’t be directly uploaded to the website. Even smartphones have the capacity to produce images that are in excess of ten megabytes, which is incredibly large for a graphic.

Edit images before uploading them to the blog. If a 150 by 150 pixel small graphic is needed, then that is what should be uploaded. Even though large images can be reduced in size through coding, browsers will still render the entire picture in its original size.

This means that the 1028 by 760 background being shrunk in code to 250 by 185 will still download to a visitor at 1028 by 760.

4. Don’t Overload the Plugins

Images are not the only thing that can hinder the performance of a website. Adding plugins and features to the blog can take away from the experience as well. Visitors should be drawn to content, not the small additions that are flooding the sidebar, header or footer of the page.

Plugins and widgets often use calls to databases or retrieve information from a third-party website. From calendars to stock tickers, it all causes the website to use resources to fill in the blanks. Too many of these can decrease speed and performance of the website. While a few of them may not drastically harm the blog, filling the site will put it at risk.

Putting too much into a website also has potential to draw attention away from the content. A blog should not look like it’s racing in Nascar. While a few useful widgets and ads may be OK, overloading the senses of a visitor can be quite distracting. After all, it’s the content that will keep visitors coming back for more.

There doesn’t need to be a widget or graphic in every square inch of a blog. In fact, a lot of experts rather keep it simple and use a basic design.

Make Visiting the Site More of an Engaging Experience

When it comes to functionality of a site, web hosting will be important. To keep it successful, it’s all about design and content. Deliver the most unique experience possible and visitors will come in droves. Of course, this is also dependent on what topic the material covers.

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