Design… Design is something everyone has heard about, but not many know exactly what it means. Everything in this world has a design. A mug, a shirt, a room, a site etc.
Without a good design, everything would be just meh. That’s why you should care a lot about how your WordPress blog looks.
Do visuals matter so much on a site?
There’s no doubt about it. Sometimes, it matters even more than the content itself. Of course, the content is always the priority but the information, together with a quality design, makes miracles.
What do I mean by visuals?
Visuals can be anything that is not text. They can be images, graphics, infographics, fonts, videos, animations, colors etc. Design is the way you pick and arrange all these to make them look awesome together on a blog.
If you don’t believe me about the importance of visual content, here is the proof:
- 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
- The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
- Colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
- Articles containing relevant images have 94% more total views than articles without images.
How to improve your blog’s design?
Sometimes you need a designer to make your site look stunning. But it’s not necessarily a must. You can do it all alone too. All you need is a little creative vision and… patience.
Patience to find, install and use the right tools.
What to consider the most when you design your WordPress blog by yourself? Let’s take it one step at a time.
Images and videos
Who said you have to be a professional photographer and use only your own images on your site? There are plenty of sites that offer lots of high-quality images for free use. The same applies for videos.
MyStockPhotos is a collection kept alive by our amateur photographers at ThemeIsle and comes with a handful of free resources for all the bloggers in the world.
Unsplash, Pexels, Gratisography, Life of Pix, StockSnap, Coverr, Mazwai, Distill, Videvo are just a few of the most awesome free image and video resources that let you borrow their works for your WordPress blog. There are also many image designing applications such as Poster Maker App and websites like Canva, Adobe Spark etc to design high quality and elegant images for your blogs.
Images are just indispensable. You just can’t publish a post without using images. It’s a rule! But images are essential for many other reasons such as featured images, banners, ads, backgrounds. No matter what you do or think, images improve the user engagement considerably.
It’s a fact.
But you don’t have to use them exactly the way you find them on the web. You can edit and optimize them using a couple of great tools.
With Canva, you can easily design cool stuff and have fun during this time. It lets you build basically anything. Besides, it comes with its own stock of free and paid images, charts, illustrations, frames, icons etc. Try it and let the magic happen.
A good online photo editor is Pixlr, which you can use to edit the images you want to use on your blog. It comes with quite complex features and settings, so it’s a great fit if you’re looking for advanced editors, but not as advanced as Photoshop though.
Did you know that uploading the original images – at their normal size and quality – will affect your site’s performance? You should always optimize every image before putting it on your blog. ImageOptim is a great and easy to use tool that compresses a picture by making it more lightweight and keeping its quality unaffected at the same time. The image will be the same, but it will save your disk space and bandwidth, hence your site will load faster.
Fonts and icons
Fonts may seem a bit insignificant at first and not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your blog’s design. But they are the key to a friendlier appearance. Especially if you’re a blogger or writer. For a writer, fonts are sacred.
Or maybe it’s just me.
Don’t exaggerate with complicated ones either. But try to be different. Your text’s font makes a lecture more pleasant. I usually linger on a blog or on an article if I like the fonts.
FontReach is an interesting tool which brings you all the fonts in the world. Here you’ll find a list with the most popular ones used on all sites from across the web. But you can also type a font you already know and play with it.
FontAwesome is also a great and popular tool that provides a large package of icons and fonts that will perfectly fit your WordPress site. It offers icons for tons of things and objects. Just search for what you want.
Don’t ever joke about your blog’s fonts and icons. They improve the readability of the articles. And, sometimes, they could be the reason why a visitor stays longer on your blog. But once you chose a font style, stick to it. Don’t use many on the same blog, it won’t bring you any value.
Sidebars make your site look more professional and play the role of a mini-map for your content. It will ease your visitors’ navigation by offering them topics well-structured and organized. Also, to a sidebar you can add great widgets that increase the interactivity of your blog.
In a sidebar, you will often see search bars, social icons and feeds, post categories, call-to-action buttons, comments, author info boxes etc. Sidebars help you and your audience to the same extent.
Sidebars should never miss from a blog, no matter its nature. Keep that in mind.
Color schemes are essential. The same way colors make everything around us incredibly beautiful, the same happens with your site. A color shade never hurt anyone. On the contrary, colors catch one’s attention easier.
But use them with style. Choose combinations that are supposed to put your content in the spotlight. A designer will tell you that it’s rocket science, but I would say it’s more about taste and purpose. Either way, you shouldn’t use more than 2 or 3 colors on your site. Unless your blog is about rainbows.
Also, don’t get scared of white spaces! They are mandatory.It’s not the best idea to use a dark background because it’s tiring for the eye, in which case no one will spend too much time reading your posts.
Keep in mind that light and faded colors are more bearable than the bright ones.
Coolors.co is a free online tool that generates beautiful colour schemes. This way you can test them and see if they match your preferences. Also, it gives you the code for every colour in the scheme.
How much do you care about how your blog looks? Do you think design helps when it comes to increasing the traffic on your site?
Adelina Tuca is a writer and WordPress blogger at ThemeIsle and Of living & pressing. She loves sports, hiking, books, rock music, and she likes to put on paper everything she finds challenging and unique.