Most bloggers are more concerned about the content of their website over the layout and design, thinking that it's really the articles and posts that matter to site visitors. However, browsing websites is very much like buying chocolates or books—you scrutinize the packaging first to see if it's worth your time and effort before you delve into the content. A website is not just all about content, because your method of presenting it can affect site traffic considerably.
A Tale of Two ElementsIt's not bad to focus on making your blog articles informative, lively, relevant and entertaining, but you also have to consider the background in which it is presented. Your blog design and layout are important factors in drawing in readers and encouraging them to stay with you longer, to explore the different parts of your website and click link after link.
If the layout is cluttered, passé and difficult to navigate, you can kiss that reader goodbye and stop hoping that he'd come back for a second or third visit in the future. Online readers have limited time in their hands and unlimited content to wade through, so they want to maximize every single minute they spend in a particular page. If they find anything interesting in your web design, they will stay and see what else you have to offer. Anyone with a laptop and stable Internet connection can put up a WordPress site in just a couple of minutes, but it requires foresight, talent and patience to come up with a website that's really striking and memorable. Sometimes all it takes for you to gain more readers who'll become your permanent fans is to spice up your website and make it a lot more interesting to browse through.
Make it workUsing cut-and-dried templates is fine if you don't have prior experience or background in website design, but you can also teach yourself a few tricks to enhance the overall look and feel of your pages. Always look for ways to improve your website's appearance because good content alone won't cut it. You need a great layout and design to really impress your readers.
Here are a couple of ways by which you can revamp your website design to make it more attractive:
Play with colors.
A bland, two-color or monotone website is not something that readers will immediately feel drawn to, unless you have some interesting and funky Flash graphics going on to capture their attention. A website usually has to have a couple of well-blended and balanced colors to attract the eye.
Have fun with typography.
Don't ride the Web 2.0 bandwagon and use flat, non-distinctive fonts throughout your website. You can pick poster or book design fonts so you can really leave a good impression with your readers. If you look just like everyone else, how do you expect them to remember your website and visit it again?
Let your design breathe a little.
Some designers are afraid of space, thinking that they have to use every single inch of the page for something. This leads to pages crammed full of widgets, advertisements, buttons and whatnot. However, leaving healthy spaces in between posts and sections actually allows the eye to rest a bit and give equal attention to everything that's on the page.
Use a popular, breaking and featured widget.
Guide your readers towards different areas of your website by letting them know what else you have written about in this clever but very useful widget. Sometimes readers want to find out more about a related topic or just look at your other posts but they don't know where to begin. Apart from adding tags to your articles, you can include them in the widget so that every page gets more or less equal chances of being clicked and read. Include a search bar.
Another helpful tip for keeping readers abreast of your writing repertoire is by including a search bar at the top of the page. It can be rather frustrating for a reader to come across a really terrific website and want to check out some specific topics, only to find that there's isn't a quick and easy way to do so. Browsing through your archives is both boring and time-consuming, and before you know it the reader has already transferred to a different website.
Pay attention to the header and footer.
Your sharp eye for even the smallest details can spell the difference between a visually appealing website and a bland one. Your header and footer boxes should be well taken care of because people do read them. Touch up your splash header to highlight the most important parts of your website and encourage people to click through, and then give every page a nice ending with a decent footer.
This article was written by John from Life Insurance Finder.