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3 Elements of Your Blog Design That Need Simplifying

WordPress is one of the most versatile blogging platforms out there with tons of options to not only customize the look and feel of the experience but also the interactions that your users have with your content.

That’s why it’s one of the most widely used platforms as well! But a constant challenge that you have is “bloating” your WordPress blog with too many features because the options are near infinite. Sometimes the best thing that you can do is simply add the elements that are the most important to your core experience for your end-user and reader and skip all the excess.

For example, some of the top blogs out there present their content first and foremost both from a stylistic perspective as well as a user-interface one. Take for example that really takes it to the extreme in terms of design.

But make no mistake about it – ZenHabits is one of the largest blogs out there and is growing and highly profitable!

So what can someone learn from ZenHabits as an archetype for good usability and a focus on the simple elements that matter? Here are 5 things that you can do to make sure you capitalize on your user’s experience and make an impact:

1.Overall Blog Design

The most obvious is the simplicity of the design. If you’re content is going to make your blog grow and attract an audience then you have to make sure that the design complements your content every single time.

Even the blog here at sports a simple design and structure that no one would scoff at. In fact, many people have remarked how visually refreshing it is to simply have the content first and all the other stuff second.

Make sure you use a WordPress Blog theme (I use Standard Theme) that highlights your content first so that you users can get what they came for! I feel (like you do) that your blog commenters and readers are worth it!


Your comment area, for many, is the lifeblood of interaction and engagement and yet it’s confusing why so many people have so many different plugins and features that crowd the comment space.

For example (and you’ve probably seen it yourself) some comment fields are so messy that you don’t know exactly where to begin! You see “calls to action” all over the place and advertisements surrounding the comment area and you’re simply not sure where the “reply” button is!

DailyBloggingTips has one of the easiest and out-of-the-box comment areas out there and this blog is doing just fine for engagement, right?

Why make it more difficult than it needs to be? The native comment box is beautiful just the way it is (and that’s why I decide to use it) but if you do choose to use another 3rd party platform it might be worth spending some time cleaning it up and simplifying those services too.

3. Social Sharing

Social networking and social media is everywhere – you simply can’t avoid it. And to a certain degree this is a great thing! You want people to engage with your content but you want even more for them to share it with their networks and with other interested parties!

But you have to make it easy to use and simply to share! Again, as I scan the many blogs that I walk through daily I see a complete mess of social sharing etiquette as there’s 20 social sharing icons (and repeats) both in the front of the blog, on the single post layer, and even near the comments!

The best option to simplify and to prettify your blog is to keep one set of social sharing icons on your single post layer (this also speeds up the front page of your blog tremendously) and do it with taste. For example, I use a persistent sharing tool that scrolls with the user unobtrusively to the side of the content so that it’s always there (but never in their way of reading the content).

Choose wisely and you will be rewarded! There are other great plugins that do this as well and another one to check out is part of the JetPack system that WordPress themselves has released.

When you spend the time necessary on making these small but effective changes you will see more people engaging with your content and even find profitable results in more traffic and perhaps even more advertising revenue as you open up space for more opportunities (and more high converting space).

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