It is always a good idea to look at what other people did when you want to create something that is new. This includes services, websites or products. In order to help you to better design your new blog, let us think about the design elements that you should really have. Keep in mind that you can dismiss some of the tips offered in the event that you have a really good reason for it. After all, rules are meant to be broken.
The main design elements that should be seriously considered on every single blog include:
Header Design Elements
Headers are necessary because of many different reasons. In most situations you want to have a header that has a height smaller than 100 pixels. This region should include a search bar and the site’s logo.
We can say that the logo is the one design element that you need to have before you even learn how to set up a blog since you want to offer a unique visual representation that is instantly visible for the visitor. Also, make sure that you hyperlink the logo to the main page.
The search box is definitely important because visitors may end up on a site and want to see other content. In most situations you will see the box on the right part of a header but it can also be placed right on top of the blog’s sidebar. Most of the modern, responsive blog themes include some sort of search box that is implemented in one of the regions that were mentioned so it should be no problem.
Content Area Design Elements
Obviously, this is the most important part of the design of a blog. Around 80% of the successful blogs today have a right sidebar and a left content region.
It is always a really good idea to add social buttons. The slider is a great idea in some cases but not all sites will have something like this. Out of the different social buttons that can be added, those for Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are must-haves.
Others like Reddit, Digg or StumbleUpon are not as important. With Pinterest, you want to add the button when your blog posts heavily rely on pictures or videos. Social button implementation is not at all difficult. There are various plugins that can be used and you also have access to scripts that can be directly obtained from the social networks.
Around 70% of the great blogs include a related posts region in the content area. This is important for SEO reasons but it also offers a lot more incentive for people to stay on the site. As readers spend more time on the website, more engagement appears, thus helping the business to improve its authority, among others. Similar posts plugins are quite common at the moment. Make sure that you choose one that is suitable for the overall design of your blog.
The last content region design element that we want to highlight is a call to action at the end of the blog posts. In the event that a visitor reached that part of the post, it means that he is interested. This increases the possibility that a conversion will be made, making the region highly effective for CTAs. If you do not implement such an element, at least add some sort of encouragement for the visitor to share the content on social media if he/she finds it valuable.
Sidebar Design Elements
In most cases your sidebar should be around 50% of the width of the content region. Most of the sidebars are on the right and they feature some sort of opt-in form. Such forms are normally put in the higher part of the sidebar and we can often notice words like Subscribe or Free Updates around them. You would want to use some sort of automatic system to add the forms but it can also be done manually.
In the sidebar you should seriously consider the addition of a popular posts region. This would introduce any new visitor to the content that is considered as being the best by the visitors. Around 70% of the large blogs will promote 5 to 10 of the most popular blog posts in this part of the site.
When referring to social media links, statistics show that 90% of blogs showcase links to Facebook and Twitter profiles. However, Flickr, LinkedIn, YouTube and Tumblr are also quite popular. Getting widgets to add such parts to the sidebar is not at all difficult to do.
The last sidebar element that you have to consider is the ad. You can add product promotion and advertising without making the area too crowded. Choose the best design and you will notice an increase in revenue, which every single business blog or even personal blog owner wants.
Footer Design Elements
The footer area of a site is normally dismissed, as we already mentioned, but you do need to seriously consider adding some design elements since they can be really effective. For starters, you want to add other links and category links here. Extra navigation menu links are perfect to be added here. This includes company information and cookie compliance details, among many other possibilities. Implementing the footer links depends from one theme to the next. However, adding the links through HTML is definitely a possibility.
While we can say that the above mentioned design elements are really important for a blog, you can easily be creative. You need to think about what works best in your particular scenario. At the same time, do remember the fact that the more complex the design is, the better your WordPress hosting has to be. This is something that is usually overlooked.
If you have problems in implementing some of the design elements because of technical issues, you can skip them. After all, the main design structure of a blog is offered by the theme that is used. However, if you notice that you cannot add most of the elements we talked about, you have to seriously consider changing your theme.