Remember the old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression? You personally may get a second chance to sway that first impress, but your blog doesn’t. If you don’t grab them within the first micro-seconds of a visit, they won’t subscribe and they won’t be back.
Digging through a lot of blogs recently to research an upcoming article, I found myself thinking “WTF” as I looked at the designs. I was constantly distracted from the content I was eager to read through and quote towards things that blinked, flashed, or listed irrelevant stuff. My eyes had to work overtime to stay focused on the information I was there to glean.
I often wonder what WordPress Theme and web designers think when they see how a blogger has treated their design in use. How quickly a nice clean Theme become a garbage dump for gadgets and gizmos. The sidebar is notorious as a great dumping ground for every widget, Plugin, and gadget around.
More importantly, I wonder how all this clutter impacts the visitor’s experience? Do visitors think WTF as I did when they see cluttered and clogged web designs?
A visitor stumbling upon your blog is honestly looking for only two things: an answer to their search and any excuse to dismiss your site for not having the answer to their search. If the blog’s design, structure, layout, and content doesn’t give them the correct answer, you’ve given them just cause to bounce away fast.
Could part of the confusion be that WTF experience of your blog’s clutter?
I mentioned Blog Archives as clutter recently, and I’d like to start a series that explores all the different types of clutter we have on our blogs and their WTF factor.
What do you think qualifies for WTF on blogs? What do you think is overkill and doesn’t belong? What do you think does belong in a blog’s design?
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.