Jan 26, 2013

BLOGGING | Make Your Blog Reader-Friendly

Since browsing and reading the blogsophere quite a lot almost everyday, I can tell from my experience how a blog is attractive to me and makes me decide to visit again. Besides good content, there are other "technical" functions playing important roles in readers' browsing experience on a blog. Let's discuss about that today!



1. Make your blog ready to read on mobile devices
Recent studies show that mobile traffic makes up a large portion of online traffic. It ain't much surprise since people nowadays get addicted with their mobile phones/tablets. So it's really important to make your blog mobile-friendly because it generates a great traffic to your blog. If you have a self-hosted Wordpress blog, WPTouch seems to be a popularly used plugin. For those who use Blogger platform like me, it is easy to enable the Mobile Templates. It now becomes a built-in feature so it just requires a few clicks to make things done!

  • At your Blogger account, go to Template. Then you will see the Mobile option, click on the Setting icon
  • A pop-up window appears. Choose "Yes. Show mobile template on mobile devices
  • You can also choose the mobile template and preview it. As seen in the photo, I chose Custom. And, don't forget to save.
  • It's good to grab your phone and check how it actually looks like on a mobile device













2. No word verification, please!
You may be for or against word verification. Personally I'd prefer not to have any obstacles for readers to leave comments. Turn it off encourages readers to communicate with your blogs easily. I actually feel time-consuming when trying to figure out the right letters and number to type into the verification box. It might a stressing process for certain people, including me. You won't know there is word verification until you put submit. So the case is you might end up writing a super long comment but then there is some technical problem with the word verification, you finally cannot submit. And you feel pissed for wasting time for nothing. So please don't make your readers annoyed by that.  If you want to take control over received comments (in case you want to get rid of spams), I would suggest comment moderation in which you can easily delete spams and approve comments you want.
  • At Blogger account, go to Settings and then choose Posts and Comments
  • At Show Word Verification, choose No
  • And if you want to set Comment Moderation, it's right upper the word verification.









3. Trim down the number of posts on each page
It helps your blog to load faster. Plus, it keeps readers from scrolling, scrolling and scrolling. And especially when readers read your blog on mobile devices, their fingers get tired from scrolling.
For Blogger, it is normally set 7 posts at default. To adjust the number of posts, you go exactly to the same section as in word verification, the option is right at the beginning of the page. I set 3 posts per main pages. If you feel like your posts are usually too long, it's OK to set 2 posts.

4. Clean up the clutters
Of course it totally depends on your own taste to bring bling-blingsto your blog. It actually adds personality to your own blog. But too much is too much! Try to organize the site map and make it as de-cluttered as possible. If you selling advertisement spots, limit to a certain number (10 would be perfect in my opinions). It makes your blog look cleaner, and also advertisers wouldn't feel so packed with a long lists of other sponsors.

5. Don't make a color and font party in your blog
Try to avoid extreme color combination. If you want to add some bold color, blend/balance with some other neutral color. Also choose easy-to-read fonts and limit from 2 to 3 fonts for your blog.

6. Open link in a new window
If you link to something from your blog, it's better to let it appear in a new tab/window so readers don't get lost when they want to go back reading your blog. This is just a tiny thing but sometimes you may forget!

Is there any thing that you guys would like to add? What are your experiences as blog readers?

16 comments:

  1. This is great! I agree with everything you put up here especially the clutter, simplicity is what makes a blog beautiful to me!

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    Replies
    1. I normally give up reading if my eyes hurt by trying to get focused on the post among the mess :)

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  2. I totally agree! But the truth is I like scrolling... so I think 7 post per page is a good number so that the reader who first comes by the blog can get an image from the very first page! But I guess that depends on what one prefers! Anyway, Great Great Great post! I love clean blogs.

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    Replies
    1. Jep, I just spoke from my experiences. Sometimes too many posts really slow down the loading time, especially when the blog is image-intense. Anyway, thank you :)

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  3. I love this list... so important for every blogger to know - well, the ones who want visitors to come to their blog, stay awhile, and come back again. My biggest thing is music - no music! Or, if you're a musician and that's your deal, have the pause button front and center as soon as you get to the site.

    xo

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    Replies
    1. Yeah that too! Some sites have it and I feel quite distracting too. And it's extremely annoying if I try to find the pause button but can't find. Anyway, I think those kinds of blogs are just minority :)

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  4. Love this! I really do need to make my blog mobile friendly... I keep forgetting. Thanks for the reminder. Stopping by from SITS, hope you're enjoying your weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Oh Thank you! Actually your blog is quite tidy and really easy to navigate. The header is quite cute :)

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  5. I agree with all your tips! I try to go with simple yet pretty on my site. I recently did an overhaul and reduced clutter even more. I do need to get a new mobile plugin though, as the one I was using didn't work right. I'll probably go back to WPTouch, as that seems like the most stable!

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    Replies
    1. Hei I actually think your site is quite neat. Since you put all the posts of each topic to the footer, it doesn't distract much when readers read the main post yet for those who want to dig into your blog, they can easily choose from the list put right there in the footer.
      I don't use WP now so I'm not sure. But WPTouch is quite well-known

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  6. Thanks a lot for the suggestion to have links opening up in a new window! Will definately use that from now on.

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  7. Great tips! I find the word verification frustrating. Is it just me, or are they really hard to read?! I was advised to keep mine for security, but like you said, the moderation should be enough. Great blog by the way - now following on bloglovin x

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  8. Amazing advices! I shared it with my froend in Google +! :)

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