So, you’ve been blogging for a while now and your website has looked the same since time immemorial. Or maybe, you just started blogging, but saw a website so amazing you would like to create something similar for yourself. Whatever the reason, there comes a time in every blogger’s life when you want to give your blog an upgrade. But how? Check out our six quick tips below.
1. Get a Literal Upgrade
Chances are your website is hosted on or created via another platform, like WordPress. If this is the case, then these websites almost always come with premium plans that offer great perks like a customized domain, more space for media, faster loading speeds, or the ability to add your own online store.
If your blog is social-media based, like on Tumblr or Facebook—and even if it’s not— then maybe it’s time to step up your social media game and upgrade to a third-party manager like HootSuite or Crowdfire.
2. Buy a Custom Domain
When you’re just starting out in the blogosphere, a website which still bears the domain of the host is fine. However, if this is a business, brand, or you want your personal blog to look professional, get a customized domain. It is easier for your fans, readers and customers to remember. It also looks more professional and adds credibility to your website.
Consider the difference between:
3. Switch to a New Theme
Recently, while upgrading my own WordPress website to build my store, I was compelled to change my theme. I had used it across all my websites for the past few years, and though it was great for blogging, it was terrible for commerce. I wasn’t too excited about switching, but was amazed at the major change one good new theme brought to my website. I much prefer the new look to the old one I had hung on to for so long.
4. Go Clean & Contemporary
When selecting a new theme or customizing the old one, go clean and contemporary. A lot of websites are hampered down by bells and whistles and content pouring out of every corner. But, the less distraction you put on a page, the more your readers and customers can focus on what’s important.
Unless your branding strategy calls for something more bold, stick to white backgrounds and black or dark gray font that is easily legible. Think of a chic minimalist high-end apartment with a few of your own unique quirks and translate that onto your website.
5. Optimize for Mobile Users
Aside from aesthetics, one of the most important benefits of a minimalist approach to web-design is how well it loads on mobile devices. If you don’t think this is important, consider the following:
- 80 percent of internet-users own a smart phone
- Nearly 50 percent of website page views take place on mobile devices with Asia and Africa in the lead (yes, we’re serious—check the link; the highest was Kenya).
- When people search from their mobile devices, Google ranks web pages that are mobile-friendly higher than those that are not.
In short, even though you may do most of your blogging from a desktop, where you have greater control and more features to bring your content to life, most people are viewing that same content from their tablets and smart phones.
6. Use Better Audiovisuals
If you want your website to look more professional, then high-quality images and videos are a must. Use these for banners, the featured images of your post, and for illustrations. If you’re not handy with a camera, find a friend who is.
Otherwise, you may use images and videos for free from sites like Pexels. Be careful about using images from random websites and social media pages, unless they give explicit permission for you to do so, or you may find yourself facing a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
Anyone can build a blog, but not everyone can make it a successful one. If you’re looking to upgrade what started as your pet project, then these tips will come in handy. For more hands-on assistance, shoot us an email to get started.
About the Author
Alexis Chateau is the Founder and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.