Whether you’re looking to support your business or just want to share you thoughts, blogging is a power tool. A blog can serve as an effective framework for sharing information, and they scale well from personal efforts to platforms for some of the world’s largest businesses. However, getting off to a strong start is important, and ensuring your blog is both friendly to visitors and provides a seamless experience can go a long way toward building a thriving base of readers. Here are five steps to making a user-friendly and seamless blog.
While experts don’t emphasize performance as much in the past, having a blog that loads quickly is still important for building a base of visitors. Web hosting plays a central role; a hosting provider that ensures your text and images load promptly can help tremendously, especially in the early days of running your blog. Reliability also matters, as visitors who find your blog doesn’t always load might choose to look elsewhere.
These factors also matter for succeeding in search engines as page loading speed and reliability can affect a site’s ranking. Because search engines are so important, failing to choose a host that offers excellent performance can make it difficult to reach out to new readers.
2) Accessing Your Content
One of the first questions to answer is whether you want to purchase a domain name or use one redirected from a blogging platform. It can be tempting to start with a free subdomain in order to save on the cost of purchasing and managing your domain. However, most successful blogs eventually move to a standalone platform once they reach a certain size, and managing both a domain and a subdomain can be difficult. Furthermore, visitors who bookmark pages on your site will have to find them on the new platform, and, if you eventually give up your subdomain, users might not be able to find your content at all.
Purchasing a domain from the beginning lets you create a seamless experience from the start, and search engines are more likely to rank pages hosted on standalone domains. Having a domain shows commitment and sends the message that you’re planning on supporting your blog. Domains are also cheaper than many people image, and those who register through a web hosting provider might find significant discounts for the registration process.
3) Supported Platforms
There are countless blogging platforms to choose from, but many that seem like wise choices can be poor options for making a user-friendly and seamless blog. Almost all programs have bugs, and blogging software that doesn’t receive updates can lead to a buggy experience for users. Furthermore, browsers change over time, and updated blogging software ensures that blogs continue to work well on popular browsers. There’s no need for most blogs to support cutting-edge features, but ensuring support for years to come is critical.
More popular blogging platforms also tend to have more plugins available, and these plugins can be essential for creating a seamless and user-friendly platform. Spam-filtering tools, for example, are critical for providing a strong site, and some smaller blogging platforms lack these tools entirely. Plugins need updates as well, and popular platforms typically have plugins that are updated more frequently. It’s important to ensure that your chosen blogging platforms offers the support needed to provide a user-friendly and seamless experience for visitors.
4) User Interaction
While some bloggers prefer to turn off comments and use their platforms for delivering information, most blogs enable comments, and managing these comment sections is critical for ensuring a smooth experience for users. Laying down the rules for commenting early on is important; conduct rules, for example, can help guide how users interact with your blog. It’s also important to determine a moderation policy, as even small blogs typically need some moderation on occasion. Establishing strong ground rules helps show visitors what they can expect when visiting your blog.
Default comment sections are sometimes appropriate, but it’s worth looking at alternatives to determine if one works better for you blog. Nested comment sections are great for encouraging conversation, and they’re especially useful for busy blogs. Even if it takes some time to build your reader base, adopting a strong and versatile comment platform from the beginning can help get your blog off to a great start.
Blogs can become ungainly over time, and many older blogs become difficult to manage. Determine what categories your blog will cover from the beginning, and strive for being specific without creating too many topics. Make sure your categories are easy to find either by placing them prominently on the sidebar or on the front page. Visitors often like reading through older posts, and categories and tags can help.
Even though most blogs start with a vision, they almost always change a bit over time. Reorganizing your categories can help you hone your blog to its content in the future, and using tags makes the reorganization process a bit simpler.
Blogging serves as a great way to reach out for personal, educational or commercial reasons, but simply having strong content isn’t always enough to attract a strong visitor base. Make sure that your blog is as seamless as possible from the beginning, and focus on creating a user-friendly experience to bring in people regardless of their computer experience.