Kick Ass WordPress Developer
Hi, I’m Mike & I build award winning websites for my clients
We're more than just a WordPress design & development company. We help you every step of the way.
WordPress Design & Development
First and foremost, we are a WordPress design & development company. We love WordPress and are able to create a custom WordPress powered website that not only attracts more visitors but also makes you more money through advertising or sales of your own products & services
WordPress Theme Customization
Do you have a free or premium theme already set up on your website and would like us to come in and customize the look and feel of it so your site stands out from the rest of the WordPress websites that use the same free theme? We can definitely do that for you.
Hosting & WordPress Setup
Have a theme already but need your website setup for you? We can do that. With a trusted list of hosting companies for you to choose from, we can set you up with the proper hosting for your WordPress website and also install and setup WordPress on your new hosting account.
From Website To Blog Layout
Have a website that you want a blog built into? We can take your website and turn it into a blog layout so everything looks 100% flush from site to blog. This is a great way for companies who already have a web presence to start their blog without the need of a redesign of your entire website.
Marketing & Traffic Generation
Once you've got a kick ass website, the next step is to get it out there into the public for everyone to look at and talk about, right? Well, we can definitely help you with your marketing and traffic generation efforts. We offer social media marketing and custom content creation.
Sometimes a text post doesn’t cut it, so use all of the built in post types for added style.
Instantly change colors, add a logo and much more with the built in theme customizer.
Built in plugin support*
From Contact Form 7, to each of the WordPress plugins I’ve created (and more), this theme has built in style support.
Clarity works out-of-the-box with various plugins, giving you more options with your site.
Get instant access to the theme support forum where you can ask questions any time.
Hooks & Filters
In the Clarity theme, there are various areas for you to hook into, adding your own custom content, advertisements, etc.
Core Clarity Features
Clarity comes with a lot of built in greatness, from the responsive, search friendly code to the sticky navigation bar, but it also has some other neat features that will help you customize your blog even further.
The Clarity WordPress theme is set to work with WordPress post formats, so you can publish 10 different style posts.
Instantly customize colors
Clarity lets you use the built in Customizer page to change colors of your theme and instantly see the changes on your screen.
The Customizer page also now is used to upload your own Logo image. No logo? The theme displays your blog title and description by default.
When you are using the Clarity WordPress theme, you can rest assured that it will work with whatever language you’d like to publish content with.
Latest from Blog
Business owners now understand the value of having a digital presence to help them overcome the barrier between them and their customers. If you are trying to learn all the principles and fundamentals of digital marketing, there is not really a straight forward way to do it. With everyone having access to the internet, it is much easier than ever to reach the audience and vice-versa. If you are trying to win over customers in regard to your website, we have some five ways you can successfully achieve:
Blogging is one of the best ways to attract the right customers to your website. Blogs can help you attract more clients and help them stay loyal too. There is no roadmap to reach your goal; the only way you can achieve the goal is to have an effective strategy. One of the best ways to attract your audience is to analyze your contents and understand what interests your audience and if it fits your niche and tries to go ahead with it. Even with all these strategies, it is important that you have an effective website to back you up, Mojo Websites can help you create your own affordable website to help you in the direction of attracting more audience.
Content is one of the best forms of marketing and if you are not marketing your content, you are basically throwing away free traffic to your website. Content attracts visitors and turns them into your loyal customers. This one of the best way to harness an organic search ranking. Content marketing is tried and true when it comes to success in your business and also is one of the primary and key drivers, which can help in search engine optimization. Great content not only offers an audience but also engages them, which can lead to shares.
Who does not like an offer? Free offers create an avenue which helps in sales. As it initiates a chain of value jumps, which helps the customers look at the service and products your company has to offer. Building an offer is not as easy as it seems; most people do not understand the right way to help offers work in your favor. Firstly, pay attention to your demographic and ensure that they offer will work in their favor, eventually helping your sales.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing will always be on top spot when it comes to using social media to grow their business. This is one of the fastest ways one can gain a lot of exposure. It is not easy to build a business using social media, but one way you can is to ask influencers to send the word out regarding your product. Social media is a quick sale solution for your products and services on a global platform.
Another powerful medium which can help you in you attract an audience is video marketing. You can easily develop a series of tutorials online which can help you bring in an audience. Platforms such as Youtube has influencers they’re referencing to your product enables trust in customers. If you deliver quality material, you will eventually have a following of your own in ultimately leading to sales.
Showcase Your Personality
At the point when people are looking at your site, they need to know what your identity is. Include a touch of your personality on the website, maybe with a decent headshot of yourself, to tell them you’re a genuine individual with your own style and character. Imagination is about inventiveness and now and again individuals are put off by nondescript, corporate sites.
Try not to duplicate another person’s site design since you think it looks great. It’s indispensably critical that your portfolio website flaunts your identity and what you do: by making a unique website you’ll help guarantee that it rings a bell when individuals are searching for your services.
Customize a Theme or Template
Even if you know how to build websites from scratch, sometimes it makes more sense to use a robust platform or content management system (CMS) with complex tools built right in. And in addition to a quick timeline for launching a site, you can include your customized site theme or template in your portfolio. The feeling of knowing you created your own site from scratch is beautiful.
In spite of the fact that a photo can be justified regardless of a thousand words, now’s not an opportunity to stop at a screen capture! Enlightening all the more regarding the work you incorporate into your portfolio can be what has the effect between you finding your fantasy work or not. Initially, tell what everything in your portfolio is. This is particularly vital for potential managers who get connections to handfuls, if not hundreds, of portfolios consistently. In the event that they can quickly observe what a screen capture or realistic is they may be sufficiently fascinated to navigate to peruse more about it. Simply make certain to have more for them to peruse! Tell how you made your function. Portray the specs or objectives for the tasks, how you thought of the arrangement, the instruments or techniques you utilized, the snags you survived, the exercises you took in, the abilities you picked up, the advantages of the final product, and so on. This helps organizations and customers both comprehend what you can offer them and what they can expect working with you – which is priceless when you don’t have much understanding added to your collection yet are passing on to be picked as their next designer or developer.
Create Fresh Content
Google appreciates new content so a good method to enhance the search position of your webpage is to stay up with the latest through a blog. Continuously keep your presents applicable and connected on what it is you do, as that is the reason individuals are taking a gander at your site in the first place. Google additionally adores video, as do guests – a short, captivating video could enable keep to individuals on your site for more.
WordPress is one app you’ll have to be up to date if you want to master it. There’s always something new to add when it comes to the versatile content management system. But just like any other application, there are basics that everyone should be aware of and in this article, we’ll go through some of the things that you need to know about WordPress.
Other than search engine optimization, the plugin also has features such as
You can instruct WordPress as to what the name of your site should be by renaming the Browser Title. This can be done by going to Titles > Meta > Home. Under this subsection, you’ll be able to enter the name or title of the blog using the Title Template field. Simply replace the %%sitename%% with a name of your own.
By going to the Edit Post section, you’re allowed to add not only a comment on Facebook, but also on Google+. To replace the Featured Image, just upload an image of your choice.
More often than not, people set Screen Options and instantly forget about it. Screen Options are not only vital when it comes to Pages and Posts, but it also allows you to manipulate the number of columns under the Edit Page/Post tab. This can be done to rearrange the dashboard. When it comes to pages that contain lists such as Pages, Comments or Posts, Screen Options enable you to assign the length of the list.
It is essential to start with a theme that is easy to use when you try them for the first time. Over time, as you’ll find the need for more features, you can always change to a theme that fits all your requirements. Load up a theme that is free that has plugins or use a theme that is premium with the features built-in. Hence, when choosing a theme, it is vital that you determine the theme’s response, its inclusivity of custom posts, support and the theme options that it offers.
Permalinks that trail the website’s URL are called slugs. The default slug will have the entire title of your website, and this is undesirable. Hence, to better optimize the website, make sure only to include keywords and omit stop words so that the SEO can rank it better. It’ll also make the URL look prettier than before. But it is important to finalize on a permalink as you’ll get a 404 error if you try and change it after the website has been published.
When blogging started, it was more of a way for people to journal their thoughts, but nowadays, everybody wants to make money blogging and strike it rich like Darren from ProBloggeror Leo from ZenHabits.
So if you’re interested in making money blogging, this article is going to be of great interest to you because I am going to lay out fifty ways you can make money online with your blog.
In this article, I have outlined various methods of making money online, from PPC to Affiliate Marketing, Product Creation & more.
As a side note, a lot of these items listed (over 70% of them) I’ve personally used in my own blogs in order to make money blogging and I can guarantee that each of these methods of online money making can work for your blog too, when implemented correctly.
Pay Per Click advertisements are one of the biggest forms of advertising on blogs because of their ease of use. Below you’ll see a few companies who offer PPC options. The general idea, for those who don’t know, when it comes to pay per click advertisements is that you’ll place ads on your website and each time someone clicks the specific ad, you’ll get paid X amount of cents/dollars.
- Google Adsense – Perhaps the most popular ways for bloggers to start making money with their blog is Google Adsense. With it’s ease of use and the countless WordPress plugins for you to drop ads right into your website, it’s a top choice amongst beginner bloggers and veterans alike.
- Chitika – Another great network and one that’s used by some of the bigger bloggers out there, Chitika is definitely a powerhouse in the CPC ad business.
- Clicksor – One of the great things about Clicksor is that they make payouts every 15 days instead of 30+ like Adsense and others in the industry. That, mixed with it’s up to 85% commission for clicks, you’re bound to make money with them.
- Bidvertiser – As one of the lesser known PPC networks, Bidvertiser has been around a long time and has always been a pretty good earner for me.
CRM Advertising Networks
If you have a blog that receives a good amount of traffic but you’re noticing that a lot of that traffic isn’t clicking the ads, this might be the route to go. CRM advertising pays you per 1,000 impressions. So, if you get paid $1.00 per 1,000 impressions and you have 100,000 page views monthly, you’ll make $100 from the one advertisement.
- Index Exchange – One of the bigger players in the CRM Advertising industry, Index Exchange allows you to easily set up ads and get paid as much as possible for your page views.
- Tribal Fusion – The next largest (if not the largest) CRM company, Tribal Fusion does an awesome job with it’s advertisers and publishers alike. It’s also one of the most widely used CRM networks in the blogging and magazine niches.
- Adpepper – A great company that does more than just CRM advertising, Adpepper also offers CPC and CPA campaigns, which allow you to make the max amount of money possible from your blog.
- Gorilla Nation – Once your blog reaches a certain level of traffic, Gorilla Nation might be the best step in your CRM advertising opportunities. They require you to have at least 100,000 unique visitors per month and have a huge network that allows you to get paid the most possible per 1,000 visitors.
- Conversant Media – With top advertisers and a team behind you to make sure you’re making the most money possible from your blog traffic, Conversant Media has positioned itself as a truly large CRM Advertising Network that’s worth checking out and testing with.
CPA Advertising Networks
The CPA advertising method works when you have someone click an ad on your blog and they either buy something from the website or complete some type of action (ie: CPA = Cost Per Action). This could be signing up for an email form, completing a survey, etc.
- Clickbooth – Positioning itself as the exclusive CPA network, Clickbooth is a definite leader in CPA advertising. I’ve used Clickbooth in the past and have had nothing but positive results.
- MaxBounty – Right when you open their site, MaxBounty wants to make sure you know that they have the highest paying CPA campaigns around, and rightfully so. They’re definitely one of the top players in the CPA advertising industry.
- XY7 – By turning clicks into cash, XY7 has positioned itself as a large network that you should definitely be testing with on your blog.
- Neverblue Ads – eHarmoney, Vistaprint, Groupon, MindSpark & Bidz. These are just some of the various partners that Neverblue Ads has that you’ll be able to promote on your blog.
- ShareASale – In 2005, 06, 07 & 08, ShareASale was given the best affiliate network award at ABestWeb, which should instantly tell you that when you’re promoting CPA offers from ShareASale, you’re getting top notch quality ads as well as industry leading help in growing your blogging revenue.
- CPABounty – With net15/weekly payments, CPABounty is a great way for you to make money with your blog if you’re looking to keep checks coming in on a regular basis.
Direct Advertisements for Blogs
If you’re looking to allow advertising on your blogs and don’t want to run the hassle of looking through networks for companies to choose from and place the ads on your blog yourself, then direct ad sales will probably be your best solution. Below are various ways to do that – some manual, some automated, some where 100% of the sales go to you and some where less than 100% goes to you.
- Buy Sell Ads – One of the biggest direct ad marketplaces is BuySellAds. They’ve got over 2,000 advertisers ready to place ads on your website and are a staple in the blogging/design industries. I’ve used them previously on Guerrilla Freelancing and loved every minute of it.
- OIO Publisher – I remember when OIO Publisher stormed on the blogging scene and started making its rounds with people like John Chow, Ian Fernando, Jon Waraas and others. It’s a great ad platform for your blog, allows you to keep 100% of the profits and is even available as a WordPress plugin.
- AdRotate WordPress plugin – With the ability to set up different ad groups, track clicks, set expiration dates and keeping 100% of the profits, AdRotate might be a great choice for those wanting to set up ads without paying anything in the plugin purchase (like OIO Publisher) or giving up a percentage (like BuySellAds).
- WP125 – Another WordPress plugin, WP125 is a great way to sell ad space on your site in those nifty little 125×125 ad blocks that people like John Chow and Shoemoney made so popular a few years ago (now we see them everywhere).
- Direct Sales – This is a way you can sell ads, but is 100% dependent on you accepting payments, adding advertisements & removing them when they need to be removed. You get 100% of the profits but it is a bit more work. Set up an “advertise here” page with your information and the sizes you offer, and start selling ad space now.
Text Link Ads
Although Google has bitch slapped people for selling text link ads without being nofollow, the sale of text links (in my opinion) will never die because of it’s sheer simplicity. You can sell direct links to someones website with their anchor text or you can even sell text links for specific words throughout your blog.
- Text Link Brokers – Another marketplace for selling text links on your blog is the Text Link Brokers website. They offer SEO services to their clients and in exchange, you get paid to have links to their clients websites on your blog.
- LinkWorth – Serving up over 190,000+ text link ads across it’s network currently, if you’re not able to make money blogging with the text link sales from LinkWorth, you might just be in the wrong business.
Here’s something I personally want to try more of. Below are affiliate companies and bloggers/companies who offer an affiliate program. Affiliate Programs will pay you a certain percentage of a sale that is made when someone clicks an ad/link on your website and buys something from the landing page of the other website.
- ClickBank – I like to call ClickBank the CraigsList of Affiliate Marketing, because it doesn’t get any bigger than this. With products in a huge variety of niches, you’re going to find something to sell that will make you money on your blog.
- Commission Junction – Commission Junction is a website that has a ton of products you’re able to promote and you’ll definitely be able to make money blogging. With clients like Sony, Home Depot, Woot!, Trip Advisor and many more, there’s definitely names that will virtually sell themselves on your blog.
- Empyre Media – An emerging player in the Affiliate Marketing industry, Empyre Media has set itself up with some great advertisers and if you’re looking for extremely high payouts ($35 per sale, for example), then you’ve got to give them a try.
- HostGator – As a leader in the hosting industry, you’re going to have a hard time not selling your visitors on their services when you mention that for their $9.95 per month plan, they can get it for 1 penny for the first month if they use the coupon code “madebyguerrilla”.
- MailChimp – A lot of people will recommend Aweber for newsletter management, but I personally like to refer MailChimp, not only because I use it at Guerrilla Freelancing, but because it allows people to have a free account for up to 2,000 subscribers .. ie: it basically sells itself.
- Namecheap – If you’re marketing yourself and your blog to other bloggers who might want to venture into building their own websites, the first thing they’re going to need (after hosting) is a domain name and I believe Namecheap is the best and does a great job of retaining customers (I’ve been a customer for 6+ years)
- Amazon – A complete giant in online sales, Amazon is a perfect way to set up some ads on your website and earn money from people who are buying products that they’d normally buy anyways. It’s a definite winner for making money online.
If you’ve got a blog where you talk a lot about different products (ie: a gaming blog, fashion blog, etc) then this might be a great way for you to not only talk about specific items of interest to your readers, but also make some money while doing it.
- Sponsored Reviews – Their main focus is to let bloggers earn cash and allow advertisers to gain the buzz they’re after. A win/win situation and one you should definitely consider, especially if the websites you’re reviewing fit well with your niche.
- PayPerPost – It does exactly what the name says it does; you get paid per post. You are able to review products that you decide on and are in complete control of the tone and style of your writing.
- Blogsvertise – With the word blog right in the title, you can pretty much guess that this is a company geared towards getting you products/services to review and making you money with your blog. A great network with a lot of websites to promote, you’re going to make money with them for sure.
I’ve seen an influx of blogs lately make more money online by setting up private forums as an extension of their blog. It’s a pretty simple process actually, especially when you’ve got a large enough user base to do it.
- vBulletin – As an industry leader, vBulletin is an awesome way to build a private forum on top of your blog that allows your regular blog readers pay a monthly fee and interact with each other, ask you questions, etc. vBulletin is a paid script, so you might be interested in some of the others below if you aren’t able to put up the cash up front for it.
- bbPress – Forum software that interlaces itself perfectly with WordPress? This might just be the perfect solution for bloggers out there who use WordPress.
- Vanilla – An open source forum software that has made its way around the design community and is a breeze to setup & use. What more could you ask for?
- phpbb – Another open source forum software that has been around just about as long, if not longer, than vBulletin and is used by thousands upon thousands of websites.
- YABB – Yet Another Bulletin Board, the YABB software is 100% free and open source and could be a great addition to your website in order to set up private forums and earn some extra money while blogging.
Sell Your Own Products
Selling your own products on your blog is a great way to make money online and an awesome way to utilize your blog traffic for your own monetary rewards instead of allowing others to advertise. I’d recommend using eJunkie as a way to automate the download process of any digital goods. It costs $5 per month and will streamline your process so you don’t even have to be around (or awake) when people buy your stuff.
- eBooks/Guides – Over at Guerrilla Freelancing I sell ebooks and do fairly well with it. Enough so, I was able to remove all advertising from the site and am strictly making money from the site now by selling my own guides. If you’re a writer, this could be a perfect solution for you.
- WordPress Themes – If you’re a WordPress coder, why not build up some premium themes and try your hand at selling them to your blog readers instead of funneling your traffic to a place like WooThemes or StudioPress. This way, you keep all revenue to yourself and keep your visitors on your site.
- Design Resources – A great way for bloggers who run design related blogs to make some extra cash is to sell premium design resources like Photoshop brush sets, icons, website layouts, fonts, etc.
- Phone & Web Apps – For those of you out there who are good programmers (I see you reading this), you could take some time and develop apps for the phone like Pat over at Smart Passive Income does or you could also build web apps for invoicing, project management, etc.
- Premium Tutorials – No matter what niche you’re in (design, development, music, etc) there’s always room to build out nice, in depth tutorials on how to do certain things that your readers will find interesting and sell them at a premium price.
Sell Your Own Services
Just like selling your own products, when you use your blog to make money by selling your services, you’re going to be able to keep 100% of the money and also benefit your business at the same time. It’s definitely something I utilize a lot (as seen below in the notes) and I recommend you at least try it out.
- Web Design – If you’d like an example of someone who blogs but also creates custom blog designs, you’ve got to look no further than this exact article. I am a full time freelance WordPress designer and I am building this blog in order to gain attention and sales for my blog design services. You could also do this with a completely separate blog from your main portfolio site, either way works.
- Blog Writing – Using myself as an example again, I write blog content for my own blogs, yet utilize my ability to write compelling, share-worthy content to sell my own services of blog writing for other blogs.
- Consulting – How many times do you think I can use myself as an example in this section on how to make money blogging? I also offer consulting services on the Guerrilla Freelancingblog for freelancers who are looking to build their business and profits.
- Marketing – This could be in the form of offline guerrilla marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing or content marketing. No matter what way you choose, if you’re good at it, you can use your blog to showcase your knowledge of the subject and make money from your blog by marketing for other people.
- Mentoring – Brian Clark from Copyblogger is a great example of how you can turn your blogging into a mentoring program. With his Teaching Sells mentoring program, he’s able to make $97 per month and he currently has over 1,000 members (you do the math)
In case you were wondering
This post is 2,815 words that teach you how to make money blogging and each individual topic could be covered in much more depth than it has here.
If you’d like to see me cover specific ways to make money online in a bit more depth than this, just drop a comment or get in touch and let me know.
I am willing to bet you $5.00 right now that you cannot go through this entire list and not pick out at least one item that you’ve personally fell victim to. Go ahead, look over the list and try to prove me wrong. I can guarantee it that we’ve all, at some point, made some of these mistakes in our own blog designs.
However, once you’re able to look these mistakes over and study why they aren’t right for your blog design, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of how to create yourself (or your clients) a better blog.
Below I’ve listed 25 mistakes you must avoid when creating a blog design (or having one created for you), with details on why they’re bad practices and what you can do to avoid falling victim to them.
This post is over 2,400 words long so if you need to bookmark it and come back to it again and again, sort of like a check list, feel free.
#1. Never clutter your sidebar
The sidebar of a blog, more often than not, ends up being the bastard child to the content area and gets everything thrown into it without a thought. Social linking, categories, links and various other widgets & ads clutter up the sidebar very quick and it causes you to look unprofessional.
Yes, there may be a reason to have ads, links & widgets on the page, but structuring and styling them will help you maintain your professional look when people view your blog.
#2. Don’t use too many advertisements
If your ads outweigh your content, you’re doing something wrong. When you look at the big blogs who get millions of viewers a month, they have a bunch of ads on them but they also showcase a ton (and I mean, a ton) of content.
There’s a reason they don’t have more ads than content – it doesn’t work and it doesn’t put a professional appearance out to your visitors.
#3. Your content is not easy to scan
This post, for example, is a great way of showcasing content that is easy to scan. Each tip is sectioned off with it’s own header and is easy for you to scroll through the page, catch the tips and completely overlook the content I write if you wanted to (I hope you don’t).
The fact is, most people scan pages more than actually sit and read. The web is fast paced and if people can’t scan your content, you’ll be losing visitors by the bundle.
#4. There’s just too many social buttons
Yes, we get it – you want people to share your content. However, having 3 large share buttons on the left side of the page, along with the mini-share buttons under your post title and then even more share options at the end of your content is a bit too much.
It runs along the same lines as having too many ads on the page – too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing.
#5. Do not use an image-heavy website design
You want your page to load fast because people are busy and don’t want to wait 5-10 seconds for a website to load, which is why you need to make sure that your website design utilizes the cleanest code possible so it loads as fast as possible.
A talented designer should know how to utilize css3/html5/jquery in order to make your design pop without causing it to take 20 seconds to load.
#6. Make sure your blog is cross-browser compatible
IE6 may be dead, but that doesn’t mean your blog only needs to show up well on Firefox and have errors on Safari, Opera, Chrome and IE8-9.
Not all visitors use the same browser but all visitors should be able to see the same website, so make it a point to go through and check your blog out in various browsers to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
#7. How many popups do you use again?
I’ve seen a big craze in pop ups on blogs lately asking people to sign up for newsletters. While this is fine (and they’re nicely designed), there are also the people who run blogs and have 2-3 popups open up on the initial page load as well as a “wait – don’t leave yet” pop up when you go to close out the window.
News flash, people don’t like this and will never return if they have to deal with that stuff.
#8. Can visitors contact you easily?
One of my personal pet peeves is when I land on a website and want to contact the author but I cannot find a contact page. If I cannot see a contact button in the navigation, I look in the sidebars and on an about page, however finding information like this should not be that complicated.
There are tons of plugins now that allow you to add a contact form easily to your blog without needing any coding knowledge, so take a few minutes and set up a contact page.
#9. Your blogs colors give me a headache
With all of the color tools out there like Colour Lovers and various others, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to have a great color scheme on your blog.
Choosing the proper colors for your blog is important because the colors will invoke certain emotions in your visitors so you want to make sure you’re giving off the right vibes and not hurting their head with an awful color combination.
#10. Light text on a black background
While I love dark website designs, the problem with them is the fact that the light color text on the dark background is hard to read. It causes peoples eyes to strain and it doesn’t allow the visitor to read everything in peace, so you’re going to lose out on a potential reader because your content isn’t easy to read.
A good way to combat this is to make the website design itself dark but keep the content area of the site white, which allows the content to be easily readable while still keeping the style dark like you want.
#11. Using 100+ plugins and slowing your blog down
A lot of blog plugins add in extra stylesheets and jquery calls to your header/footer, which cause your website to load slower. Having too many plugins that aren’t really 100% necessary will cause your page to load too slow and have visitors leave before they get to soak up everything you have to offer.
If you must have a lot of plugins in use, make sure you’re using a plugin like the W3 Total Cache that creates a html version of your page so that it loads quicker and doesn’t have so many database calls.
#12. Flash… really?
The year is 2011, not 1990 so please, I beg of you, stop using flash when it’s not needed. A lot of the elements people use flash for (banners, headers, etc) can be easily achievable with jQuery. By removing flash from your website, you’ll have a faster, more up-to-date design that allows more people to view it and enjoy the content you’ve got.
#13. Completely ignoring the comment styles
One of the big components in a blog is the comments (unless you’re Seth Godin) and not taking the time to properly design the comments section will cause your blog design to look either outdated or low quality.
Most blogs now have a threaded comment feature and your blog should allow people to easily see original comments as well as comments that reply to the original one, styled a bit differently to easily differentiate the two.
#14. Is your blog mobile ready?
The web is going mobile and your website should as well. Can your readers easily see, read and use your blog on their mobile phones or pads? If you want your blog to grow properly over the next few years, you MUST have a mobile version of your design created.
Yes, these will cost a bit more because your designer will need to create different stylesheets and update codes for you, but in the long run it’s going to be work it because you will never lose another mobile viewer again due to a horrible layout on their phone.
#15. Can the visitor tell what your site is about in 5 seconds or less?
There’s no point in having an awesome design if the visitor leaves before they can even see what your site is about. Your blog design should not only look great but it should immediately show the viewer what your blog is about.
#16. There are no clear forms of navigation on your blog
When someone lands on your blog and wants to look through different pages, how easy is it for them to click around? Is there a navigation bar at the top or at the very least, on the top of the sidebar? If not, you may be driving your visitors away because they’ll put your blog in the same category as the splogs out there that don’t really care about it’s readers.
Make sure that when visitors land on your website, they’re able to check out the main links and categories of your site as well as related posts of the article they’re on – it’ll help keep them on the site longer and turn them into a regular reader.
#17. The fonts you want are unreadable at that size
I’ve had clients on various occasions request fonts to be used and they just weren’t readable at the size they wanted them in (league gothic at 13px?!?!). If you’re designing your blog (or having it designed) and would like people to actually stick around and read your content, make sure you’re using proper typography.
#18. Using target=”_blank” for your own webpage links
If someone is reading your blog and decides to click a link that goes to another area of your own website, you shouldn’t have the link automatically open up a new browser window for them. Instead, let the user decide how they’re going to view the link (I personally have come accustomed to right clicking all links and opening in a new tab).
Remember, people know how to use a back button.
Now, if you’re linking out to various resources (like this article does), then using the target=”_blank” is a good idea, because it’ll open up the other peoples websites in new tabs, leaving this page open even after you close those out, keeping you on my page longer.
#19. You’re not showing author information
Another good way to allow your visitors to feel connected to your website is by showing the proper author information with each post. This works well if you’re running a multi-author blog so people can see who’s writing the articles they like most and it allows the visitor to follow their content on your blog.
Even if you’re a one person show, having the author information (at the very least, your name) with each post will burn it into your viewers minds and allow them to remember your blog as not only “that cool place with the awesome content” but “that cool place that _____ runs“.
#20. Designing with trends that aren’t useful in your niche
If you’ve been following the Dribbble trends in the last few months, the main trends that come to mind are the worn, retro styled logos and blog designs. However, if you’re running a blog in a niche that doesn’t really fit with that trend, it’ll take down your authority power in peoples eyes when they view your site.
Instead, make sure that your blog is designed to fit well within your niche, but still have that bit of an edge to stand out from your competition. Subtle changes and adjustments to a normal design in your niche can go a long way, especially with a blog designer who knows what they’re doing.
#21. Making 1-2 changes to a free theme isn’t a “custom design”
I know that everybody wants to be a “blog designer” but guess what? Just because you open up a WordPress theme, change a couple colors and pop a logo in, you’re not creating a custom blog design.
Sure, you may be able to update a commercial theme from Elegant Themes or Woo Themes, but at the end of the day, it’s a theme customization and not a 100% custom design built from the ground up specifically for you.
#22. Your design is plain and unmemorable
Thesis is an awesome framework of a theme, but by itself it’s pretty damn plain. If you’re going to use a theme framework for your blog or try to go the minimalist route, make sure you’ve got something custom that helps you stand out and is memorable to your visitors.
This kind of goes along with the last point, if you’re using a theme that everyone else has and it’s extremely plain and boring, how many people do you really think are going to want to keep coming back?
#23. Not keeping your information updated
A sure sign that a blog isn’t up to date and isn’t worth sticking around at is when you see that the last blog post was written months ago, their about page lists items of importance that happened 5+ years ago or their copyright information is outdated (2007?).
Make sure that if you’re going to keep up with your blog, you keep up with all of the content on the blog – the about page, contact information, social profiles, etc.
#24. You totally forgot the search form
People should be able to easily search your blog for information they’d like to read more about. If they can’t, they won’t stick around long. A search box can be small and take up a very little amount of space, so there’s no reason why it should be left out on your blog.
You can place it in the top right area of the header, the top of the sidebar or you can even stick the search box right in the navigation bar so it blends in with the site but is still in a visible place.
#25. If you’re writing lots of content, where is your print stylesheet?
You’ve got a retweet button, a Facebook share icon and some other random social media share badges and buttons on your blog right? You’ve got the sharing part of your content down, but what about the people who still like to print out information and save it? Have you forgot about them?
A quick Google search shows up a bunch of WordPress print plugins, so there’s really no more excuses as to why all of that amazing content you’ve got cannot be printed out properly.