People may admire your blog because the theme is stylish. Butmost will leave quickly if the text and links are not easy toread. Your blog may not seem hard to read to you, because you alreadyknow what it says. But it may still make your visitors' eyestired. So they leave and may never return. Looking at blogs these days, I find many are so hard to readthat they make my eyes hurt. So I don't read them---even whenI'm interested in the subject. There are millions of blogs. I just move on to another on thesame topic. Research shows that you have only 5 to 8 seconds to capture apotential reader. So I know other people are leaving withoutreading, too. That's sad, because many of these bloggers are good writers.They have something interesting and valuable to say, but theyare unaware of their blog design problem. They already know whattheir blog says, so they don't realize how hard it is for othersto read it. If you know just a few things about typography, you can makeyour blog or website much easier to read---and moreappealing to your potential audience. So you can keep newreaders and attract even more. Typography is the art and science of designing and usingtypefaces---what most people call fonts. (Actuallya font is one particular size and style of a typeface,such as or 9 pt Arial italics or 10 Times Roman.) What does that have to do with blog design, since most peoplesimply choose a ready made theme? A lot, if you want people tostay and read your blog. It is important to choose a theme that is easy read. That has alot to do with the typefaces that are part of the theme---notonly which typefaces, but what sizes and what colors they are. Doing just these few things can help make your blog easier toread:
1. Choose a theme that has black text on a whitebackground. Not gray, not blue, not yellow orange or greenor lavender---black! It may not seem as cool, but it will beread---and that's what you want. White or light colored text and links on a dark background aremuch harder to read. If you want people to read your blog, avoidthem. If you do use them, the type has to be much bigger andbolder, or people won't read it. The current fad of light text and links on colored backgroundsis simply deadly if you want to keep readers.
2. Choose a theme with a sans serif typeface (such as Arial,Trebuchet, or Helvetica). It will be much easier to read onthe screen. Luckily most themes already use san serif typefaces. If for some reason you must use a serif face (such as Times NewRoman or Palatino), remember that it will have to be larger thana sans serif face to be equally readable (easy to read). Sochoose a theme that has larger type. Do not use a typewriter-style typeface like Courier on a blog orwebsite. Ever. They are just too awfully hard to read on thescreen.
3. Make sure the subheadings and links are in darkcolors. Yes, they need to be in color to show that they arelinks. For that, a medium dark blue is best. Not yellow, notpale blue or yellow green, not orange, and certainly not gray.
4. Chose a soft color or black if you use a coloredbackground outside the text area. Too bright a color alongthe sides of the text area is distracting. Patterns are worse. I've seen some that are so bright and busy that they make myeyes water. That tires the eyes, too. It's annoying. And itmakes readers want to leave. So we do.
5. Choose a theme that has large-enough type in proportion tothe column width. This is something you might never havethought about, but if you read enough blogs in different themes,you will see what I mean. Research shows that if the column of text is too wide comparedto the size of the text, the reader's eyes get lost trying tofind the beginning of the next line. The result, again, is tiredeyes---and an annoyed reader who quits reading sooner.
6. Take time choosing your blog's theme. With hundreds ofthemes available, it sounds simple to find a good one, but itisn't. It takes a bit of care and thought. There are not so many good themes. And when it comes toselecting one for a new blog, most people are more concernedabout the color and overall stylishness than about how easy orhard the text and links are to read. So picture this: Two blogs cover the same topic. One has lightgray text and pale blue links on a pale gray background. Theother has crisp black text on a white background and bright,clear links that are easy to read. If you only have time to read one of them, which will it be?
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