Give me 31 Days and I’ll Give You a Better Blog… Guaranteed

Check out 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Give me 31 Days and I’ll Give You a Better Blog

Check it out

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…

FREE Problogging tips delivered to your inbox  

Open Mike on Blog Design

Posted By Darren Rowse 3rd of February 2005 Blog Design 0 Comments

I’m going to open up the comments on this post for anyone to say anything they like on the topic of blog design.

I spent half an hour or so today looking through the blogs nominated for this year’s Bloggies awards. I was particularly looking through them with an eye for the way that these blogs were designed. By no means am I a blog designer (as you can no doubt tell from this blog – which is about to receive a facelift) but I do appreciate good design. There were some beautifully designed blogs in the collection – especially some of the photoblogs which I love surf through.

I was particularly surprised when going through the nominated blogs by the number of them that used very basic template designed blogs – particularly of the blogger variety. They were by no means the majority of blogs – (there was around 10) but for some reason it left me a little surprised. Whilst I have nothing against templated blogs I am someone who is drawn to sites which people have made look a little different.

I was left wondering if perhaps I’m a snob – whilst I always talk about how content is the number one thing a person should work on my reaction to templated blogs perhaps exposes a bias. Of course the bias doesn’t stop me reading templated blogs – there are quite a few on my daily RSS feed list (althouth RSS does tend to cut out the design issues).

I was wondering if I’m alone in my blog snobbery? How important is blog design to you in finding quality blogs? Are aesthetics and design something you look at when you go to a new blog or are you someone who is drawn in by content…or something else? Am I a snob? What is good blog design? What is your favorite blog in terms of design? The floor is yours.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Depends on the context how I view it. I certainly don’t find the basic blogger templates (or basic templates period) very appealing in most cases. For a personal blog, I like to see a design that matches the person’s personality, even if it’s just a matter of tweaking the colors and adding ‘flair’. For a business blog, I want ot see a clean design that makes it easy to find the information I want. (This one is right on.)

    Big design flaws that I hate – colors with so little contrast that the text is hard to read and text so small I have to zoom in more than once to be able to read it.

  • I don’t consider myself a snob but I do tend to ignore blogs that use default templates. This isn’t because there is anything wrong with the templates but it tells me the blog owner doesn’t put my effort or imagination into the site. Boring beige is boring beige y’know? However if they’re design skills are weak but they tried as much as they could to change it, then it’s effort that counts :)

    My favourite blog is She’s a great writer and amazing web designer.

  • I used a template because it is readable. So very many of the “imaginative” blogs are virtually unreadable in one browser or another. I’ve given up even trying. If one puts design above readability it implies the content is less important than the wrapping.

  • I just started my blog, Ken vs. The City about a month ago, and I was surprised how good looking Blogger’s default templates are. I chose a bland one because none of them really reflected me or the city I blog about, but I’m slowly modifying it to my tastes.

    The biggest problem I have in making my own template is I don’t yet have anywhere to host any images I might need.

    I think a blog should both look cool and make things easy to find. I also think that a majority of blog readers are more interested in what you write than your mad design skillz. But I do agree: more cool design = more readers = more hits. Just don’t over do it.

  • A blog that sticks with the basic template seems unprofessional. It doesn’t mean I won’t read it, but I don’t give it as much credibility. It’s usually the sign of a personal blog, something that’s not entirely serious or committed. If they’re really trying to do something with the blog, they’ll put at least a little thought into the design. You’re not going to stand out if you’ve got the same Blogger template as 100,000 other people.