There are tons of blogs online but in my opinion, 80% of those blogs have incredibly hideous looks. Most newbie bloggers have no idea about what template to select for their special blog. They only select the template that they think looks the best for their blog. But it is important to remember that what you like is not necessarily what others like and you ALWAYS have to consider your readers' choices to at least some extent.
You may think that a blog's layout has nothing to do with its success. You may have even noticed some popular blogs with terrible designs. But the truth is that layout is extremely important since it determines whether a visitor will even being to read your post in first place. If you still do not understand then think from a visitor's point of view. Imagine coming to a blog with a very unappealing design. Everything is cluttered and it is difficult to navigate the page. This is your first impression of the blog. Will you continue and read the posts? The answer is NO!
I present you with some major steps to follow before selecting a template for your blog:
- Go with simplicity
- Make sure it suits your blog's content
- Is there enough space?
- Do you like it?
Attractive designs do not have to be highly complicated. They can be very simple and still be visually appealing. Take a look at Google's Official Blog. It is one of the simplest blog ever and yet it is one of the most popular blog. The page is all white space and black text. Nothing is cluttered and everything is neatly organized for easy navigation. I am not saying that all blogs have to be as simple as Google's blog but it is always safe to stick with simplicity.
Matching Blog Content
Recently I have been seeing some blogs with weird templates that do not even suit the blog's content. A lot of bloggers have been using the iPhone Template for their blogs. There is nothing wrong with using this template but at least do not use it if your blog has nothing to with iPhone or technology. Choosing such a template will only misguide your readers.
The Space Issue
No one likes cluttered blogs. Before choosing a template, you always want to be sure that you have enough space available to put all the widgets and ads. Spending some little time thinking whether your widgets will be able to fit or not beforehand can save you a lot of precious time. later on. Will you need a two column template or a three column template? Is there space to put your adsense ads so that they look visually appealing and not out of place? These are some main points to consider regarding how much space a template provides you with.
You Must Like It
I know that before I mentioned that just because you like it does not mean that your readers will like it as well. I am still going to stick with what I said but I also want to mention that there is nothing worse than writing on a blog that you do not find interesting. If you don't like the design, then you won't give your blog your 100% and that will cause your blog to fall. Definitely go with what you like but at the same time do not foget to consider whether your readers will find it interesting or not. At the end, it is YOUR blog that we are talking about.
These were some of my tips for choosing the most suitable template for your blog. There are some other factors as well that you must keep in mind such as the color combination, overall look etc but we will skip those for now and save them for later.
Some useful links:
We Knew The Web Was Big - Google Blog
Knol Is Open to Everyone - Google Blog
Updates and Fixes for July 18th - Blogger Buzz
Easy as 1-2-3 - Adsense Blog
Powerset joins Live Search - Live Search
The Latest Cool SearchMonkey Apps - Yahoo Search Blog