You need to make your blog stands out from the numerous blogs on the internet. To achieve this goal, you should add some features to your blog. In this post, we are going to review some of the design features that could be added to your blog to boost its attractiveness and improves its general user experience. Before we proceed, I believe you can install nice self-hosted WordPress blog and WordPress themes.
If you’re interested in making your blogs to look more attractive, you are on the right page and reading the right post. I have taken a great deal of time to include a screenshot of each reviewed design feature as it looks on another blog.
Don’t forget that we are going to review 20 different design features that will make your blog stand out. This doesn’t mean you should apply all these features. Please, DON’T apply ALL these features. Personally, I like to customize and personalize my blog to make it look unique and stand out from numerous blogs that use the same theme. However, I hate overdoing it. I want you to answer these questions:
- Does this particular design feature improve user experience on my blog?
- Can I make money with the help of this design feature and plugin?
If the answer to the questions above is NO, then you don’t need to read this post any further.
Remember to test every new feature immediately you add it to your blog. You should check if it improved conversion rates like sales, sign-ups or affiliate commissions.
Now, let us review the 20 ways to make your blog stand out.
1. Splash Header
You could add a splash header on your blog to direct visitors or users to important pages of your blog. A Splash Header ensures that people go in the direction you specified. On a splash header, brief intros to your blog’s most important content are displayed.
The Splash Header of Freelance Switch
2. Great Footer
You might be thinking that people don’t look at the footer of a blog, but don’t be surprised that they do. Owing to that, you should have a great footer on your blog.
The Splash Header of PSD Tuts
3. Have an Attractive Website Navigation
Your blog users would be happy to explore your blog more if your website navigation looks attractive.
The Website Navigation of David Hell Mann’s Website
4. Use Typography to Create a Custom Heading
You can make your website stand out by making headings with custom font and colors.
This is the Custom Typography Used in the Posts of UxBooth
5. Include Post Images
You should always include eye-catchy and nice-looking images with your blog posts. When the image attached to a post stands out, readers will want to click such post. You can add border and padding to your post image in order to blend it with your blog design.
Styled Post Images on IncomeDiary’s Website
6. Author Bio
It’s nice to have an Author Bio under each post or article. This is better than just displaying “Posted by …….” It will be cool if you can add a small avatar to the author bio.
This is the Author Box Displayed on Tutorial 9
7. Previous & Next Post Feature
Ever read a blog post and wondered where to go next after reading? Usually, readers will want to read more posts if they find the previous one interesting. When a Previous & Next Post Feature is available on a site, its users will be able to read more posts. You should consider putting this feature on your blog to increase your page views.
The Previous & Next Post Feature Used on Web Designer Wall
8. Have A Featured Post Slider
A nice way to welcome visitors landing on your blog’s homepage is by adding a featured post slider with attractive splash images. With this kind of slider, visitors can view your best posts and update themselves with other posts.
This is a Featured Slider on Tutorial 9
9. Featured, Popular and Breaking Widget
Many blogs fill up their sidebars with useless text and widgets. The right thing to do is merging some of these into a widget. A Featured, Popular and Breaking Post widget on your blog’s sidebar would keep the sidebar simple and increase user interaction.
The Popular, Breaking & Featured Widget on Autoblog
10. Breaking News Feature
This feature displays urgent content of high importance. This feature is highly recommended for news blogs.
This is the Breaking News Bar on Autoblog
11. Popular Posts Feature in Post
You should have something that breaks your long or list post intermittently. Adding a Popular Posts feature helps in achieving this. Of course, user engagement and traffic will increase.
This is a Popular Posts bar embedded on the Web Designer Depot
12. Customized Author Comments
Having customized author comments would make your blog outshines others. So ensure you have such on your blog.
This is a Customized Author Comment on UxBooth
13. Use a Collage Style Background
Your website or blog can stand out when you use collage as your background. Though a few sites use it, most don’t do it properly. The collage shouldn’t distract readers or users from the main content.
This is a Collage Background used on Mash Kulture
14. Adverts within Content
To attract and keep all your advertisers, you need to make their adverts stand out.
This is an In-Content Ad That Blends with the Design Web Designer Wall
15. Twitter and RSS Count
This is another design feature that you could have on your blog. Twitter and RSS count can be displayed at any strategic locations on your blog. Ensure that is nice and big enough to display your counts.
Simple Twitter and RSS Count on Smashing Magazine
16. Comment Style
You should make an extra move to customize the style of your blog comment. Your blog comment style should look good and attractive, and blend with your blog design or theme. When these are in place, your blog is bound to stand out.
This is the Comment Style of Productive Dreams
17. Sidebar Adverts
If you’re interested in monetizing your blog with ads, place them in the sidebar. This will increase your revenue. However, ensure that the ads fit with your blog’s design for better user experience.
In-Design Ads Used on Open Source Template
18. Include Quotes in Posts
Endeavor to include quotes within your blog quotes. Quotes should have a different style from the main content. This gives interviews much better look.
Quotes Appearing Differently from Normal Text on UxBooth’s Website
It’s important to use a distinctive favicon for your blog. The size of a favicon is 16px X 16px. Anything higher or lower than this is not recommended. So consider adding a unique favicon to your blog.
The Favicon of Web Design Wall
20. Top Search Bar
If you don’t have a search bar on your website or blog, the user experience will be negatively impacted. You should also place a search bar that will be easy to find and blend with the main design of your blog. If a search bar meets these two attributes, you’re good to go.
A Fantastic Search Bar on Engadget’s Website