They say you only get one chance to make a first impression, or something along those lines. Do you feel like your blog design or website layout is making a great first impression?
I’ve always felt a beautiful and well-designed site speaks to the credibility of a company or individual. Having great content on your site is critical, but how you package it up and deliver it is also tremendously important.
It’s easy to make a few adjustments to your site in order to make a big impact.
Here are 5 easy ways you can make your website or blog design look great!
1. Add a splash of color
I'm so completely drawn to color. I could look at beautiful color palettes all day. I don't know about you, but the problem often comes with deciding on what colors to use. Oh the decisions!
Content is definitely key when creating a site, but color can really help your site stand out. Color can be influential or bring out emotion. Adding pops of color around your site helps to draw the reader's eye to specific locations.
You can quickly pop in a little color to your site by adding things like:
- Customized social media icons
- Colorful sidebar headings
- Colorful butons
- Content dividers
- Tags and ribbons
Don’t be afraid to play around with various color combinations. Take a look at your favorite sites and make note of how they incorporate color into their design.
Pinterest is an amazing resource for color palette inspiration. Search for branding board inspiration or web design inspiration to see how different color schemes look together.
Try and choose colors that are fresh and modern and make sure to steer clear of colors which can make your site look drab and dated.
Here are a few color palette ideas that might spark a bit of color inspiration for you.
2. Make sure fonts are easy to read
Are your font choices easy on the eyes? Do your paragraphs look as good on a mobile device as they do on a desktop computer?
Many of your readers will be reading your content on various size devices, so this makes selecting a good font and setting it to the right size extremely important.
Test your site out on various screen sizes such as a widescreen monitor, laptop, tablet and mobile phone to see how your font selection will look on each of them. You might be surprised that a font that looks great on your desktop monitor may be too small to read on a mobile device.
Also, think about color. If you are using a thin font and have it set to a soft color, it may become hard to read on a smaller mobile device. If you want to use a lighter color for your font, make sure you are using a bolder version and setting it to a larger size. This helps to ensure readability across all screens.
Do you think about spacing? You should!
You can adjust spacing for paragraph text on your site and make a huge difference to your reader. We look at screens all day, and our eyes can become strained. You can add letter-spacing and line-height properties to your stylesheet to achieve a properly spaced paragraph.
Letter-spacing increases or decreases the space between characters in a text. The line-height property specifies the space between lines of text.
Here is an example of a paragraph with no spacing added and a paragraph with letter-spacing and line-height added. Which one do you think is easier to read?
3. Add some fun social media icons
Sometimes it’s the little touches that have the most impact. Your social media pages are important to you, and you want to grow your traffic, so why not make your social media icons stand out.
You can find social media icons everywhere. They are relatively easy to create, and there are thousands of resources for free icons to download. Just do a google search for social media icons, and you will have tons to choose from.
But what if you want to create your own customized icons? Maybe you can’t find any that match your site. It’s really simple to create your own icons and match them to your site's color scheme.
I use Adobe Photoshop to create my icons, but most any editor should work.
Here’s how to create your very own customized icons
- Go to http://www.fontawesome.com and download the Font Awesome font.
- Install the font into your fonts folder.
- Use this cheatsheet to find the icons you want to use. There are hundreds to choose from.
- Highlight the icon you want to use and copy it.
- Open your graphics editor and a new document and using the text tool, paste the copied icon.
- Once you paste the icon, you will need to select Font Awesome as the font, otherwise the icon will look like a box.
- Now you can change the color and add a background image underneath if you so choose. The possibilities are endless!
I quickly created these icons using the Font Awesome font. I simply added a circle background in Photoshop and changed the color of the circle for each icon. You could could make each icon the same color or use a variety of colors to mix it up.
4. Create eye-catching email opt-in boxes
Your email list is your gold mine. That’s because you have a direct connection with the visitors who are most interested in what you have to share.
Unfortunately, you get inundated with email pop-ups at almost every site you go to these days. So how do you stand out from the rest? Design a beautiful, eye-catching opt-in box to present to your visitors.
Design a beautiful, eye-catching opt-in box to present to your visitors.
Here is an example of a background you could add to your email opt-in form. The colors are bold and vibrant and would definitely make me look twice and what was being offered.
5. Add in a little whitespace to your blog design
Does your site appear to be a little overcrowded? Are you trying to shove a lot of content into one small area? Sometimes less is more.
Whitespace (negative space), refers to the empty area surrounding any text or graphics on your site. And get this, your whitespace may not even be white.
Today’s modern website layouts make great use of whitespace. This gives the eye the ability to focus in on the best aspects and most important content on your page.
You don't want to confuse your visitor with a busy layout. You want your reader to be able to quickly and easily find what they are looking for. It may be time to re-evaluate your layout and add a little spacing to your page.
You put a ton of time and energy into creating great content and providing the best information to your visitors. Why not invest a little time in making sure your site looks great as well. Sometimes a few little changes can make a major impact.
What are some design changes you would like to make to your site?