This argument is as old as time. Perhaps it has been phrased differently in various contexts, but the comparison of form and function has been around for as long as I can remember. And this is basically what this page is all about. Which is more important, blog design or blog content?
Let’s begin the discussion by clearly identifying what we mean by blog design and blog content. In the simplest possible way, when I say blog design, I am referring to the layout, the template, the colors, and all other visual aspects of the blog. When I say blog content, I am referring to the text and relevant images.
You’ve probably heard of the catch phrase “content is king.” A lot of people believe in this, simply because it makes sense. At the end of the day, what you want is to offer people content that they can make use of. It can be practical information on a topic. It can be insights for daily living. It can even be simple humor that will make the reader smile or chuckle. The bottom line is that when people go to your blog, they will find something in terms of information that will suit their needs and preferences.
On the other hand, design makes a HUGE difference in the experience of a reader. Think about the many times that you’ve visited a blog or any other web site. Think about how your perception was affected by the visual elements. More likely than not, a shabby looking blog turned you off even before you could read the contents in detail. When the layout is not user-friendly, it gets even worse. Even the most dedicated of readers might not stick around for more content if navigation is an arduous task.
At this point, you probably see where I am headed – both content and design have their purpose. One cannot be placed on a pedestal at the expense of the other. Indeed, many have come to the realization that your blog design will catch the attention of readers, while your blog content will keep them coming back for more. I hold the belief that a good blog design will attract people. In addition to that, a good blog design will work together with excellent content to keep readers coming back for more.
So how do you strike a balance between these two elements? Here are a few simple things to consider.
One, make sure that the visual elements come together to create a pleasing whole. Different elements – the header, images, widgets – may look good alone, but you have to see the overall effect and make your decision based on that.
Two, make sure that readers will find it easy to browse through your blog. Archives, tags, categories, and other relevant links – help your reader find these without exerting too much effort.
Three, always provide well-written posts about information relevant to your blog’s theme. Don’t fall for this trap: “poor content is better than no content.” Take the time to think out your posts before publishing them. When you look at your blog, you want to be proud of what you are offering!
Originally posted on November 29, 2009 @ 7:49 pm