One of the most common ways that any blog site tries to create its own identity is by using a new or modified theme or template to give the blog its own distinctive feel. When you are looking at different themes and templates for your blog, it is important to take a number of items into consideration so that your choice does not negatively impact people that are coming to your blog site to read your blog posts.
Every blog owner wants their site to look as good as possible and sometimes this can lead to choices that go too far in trying to be different or visually attractive. A blogs purpose is to be read so the sites number one priority should be making the blog posts as easy to read as possible. This spills over into color selection, text style and background all of which need to be carefully considered. Complicating this even more is the need to take into account varying screen sizes for computers, notebooks, tablets and smart phones.
Categories and Navigation
One area that you may not have considered is how your blog categorizes your posts and how to make navigating your blog posts easier for your readers. A theme or template needs to be easy to navigate so that regular readers can update themselves with your latest blog post as well as easily move between your older posts.
As you build your readership and number of posts, searching becomes a vital component of your blog. It can become burdensome on your hosted sites resources and for this reason some bloggers disable search functions to keep their site functioning better.
This is definitely not the right approach and increasing the resources available to the blog site or moving to a better hosting solution can be one way to tackle the problem. Alternatively implementing an external search option can allow searches without a resource penalty.
A popular style of presenting your latest series of blogs is by using the first sentence or paragraph as a teaser with a link to read the entire blog post. It is common for these implementations to be clickable or to have a permalink that can be clicked on at the end of the teaser. This can be quite confusing to new readers and a great way to minimize this is include something like “Continue…” or “Read more…”
Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
It is important to make your blog as search engine friendly as possible and two ways that you can do this by selecting or modifying your blog theme is with page titles and Meta descriptions. Many themes and templates by default set all the page titles to the name of your blog. A much better alternative is to set each html page title to the blog post title which makes searches that return your blog post much more informative and much more likely to be clicked on.
In the same way making sure that you are able to set Meta descriptions will increase your visibility in search engines. This can be done as part of the template, added manually or as a plug-in or widget.