Blogging itself is a simple enough concept, but the rise of content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and others has brought forward an infinite choice of options and features.
Highly advanced themes, widgets, plugins, you name it.
Now, these elements are perfectly fine, provided they are used appropriately, and actually balance out the experience for your audience and blog readers. You want to skip the excess, though, and keep the focus on the content, while aiming for good usability and navigation.
With that said, here are 3 parts of your blogs that you must always keep simple and clutter free:
Sure, this feature is a bit all encompassing, but a simple design is only going to help your blog grow and become a success. Essentially, you are looking at design elements that complement the type of content you put up, not subtract from it.
A visually refreshing, well designed blog that highlights the content first and foremost means that not only will readers keep their attention on the article they are reading, they will also be inclined to subscribe and follow. Of course, you need to be different too in terms of design, but keep it clean.
With all the emphasis search engines put on social networks these days, it is hard to avoid social media. And this is good, in a myriad of senses. Not only does it bring more direct traffic, new readers and customers, but also helps with SEO and ranking.
The point here is that you have to make it easy and simple for your readers to share your content.
No point in having a mess with countless sharing icons scattered across blog pages. Some people even place them near the comments section. Needless to say, not only does this make for a cluttered experience, it also slows down your blog load times tremendously.
Your best bet here is to use one set of social sharing icons, and use it with taste.
Another equally important element. For some type of blogs, the comments section is the lifeblood of user engagement, and this is another part that needs to be kept simple. Ever see blogs that have the comments area surrounded by all sorts of things, so much that it is hard to find the reply button?
Don’t make commenting more difficult than it has to be. End of.
A native comment box works best as it means readers can easily jump in with their views on a blog post. Then there are some comment systems like Disqus and Livefyre, and these third-party solutions can also work, provided you spend some time and simplify these in terms of options.
More importantly, do not put up ‘sign up hoops’ for making a comment. These may work for some of the larger brands, but few would want to sign up specifically with your website just to leave a comment.