Creating a blog is an exciting way to share your content and ideas with the world. You can use your blog to connect with others with shared interests, educate the public on specific topics, or even make money online. The first thing you’ll want to focus on when starting a blog is the design of your blog’s front end. A great design will capture the attention of first-time visitors and help keep your returning visitors engaged.

When creating your new blog make sure to avoid these 5 common design pitfalls to ensure your content has a well-crafted presence on the web.

1. Clutter

When you decide to start a blog you’re likely to have more ideas for content than what is needed on a front page. There is a common temptation to overload the homepage of any new blog with dozens of links and image-dense content sections. Try to think of your blog as a blank canvas, to be artfully decorated with content in a manner pleasing to the eye.

Stuffing tons of articles and pictures on the homepage of your blog can make the visitor feel overwhelmed and confused. Utilize white space to give the readers a visual break between important sections of content. Medium amounts of white space between images and blog posts can help bring distinction to your content and reduce clutter.

2. Blank or Useless Pages

Many blog themes and template designs come with a set amount of menu links or sample data that show up after installation. Delete any of these pre-installed blank pages that you don’t intend to modify or utilize before launching your blog. Check to make sure all of the links on your blog work by clicking them individually. Also check for redundant and useless pages that don’t provide value to your reader, as it’s better to remove such pages than allow them to leave a poor impression on your readers.

Try creating a custom 404 page for when your blog is under maintenance or a URL is typed incorrectly. This will enhance your blog’s theme and help to unify the design and user experience. Custom pages and notifications should be created for any instance, along with a nice custom favicon to show in the browser tabs.

3. Clashing Color Schemes and Iconography

It’s best to stick with a simple 2 or 3 color scheme to use throughout your entire blog. This will help ensure no clashing colors or changes in design are displayed as users browse through pages on your blog. If you need help deciding which colors go best together, try using an online color scheme selector tool like Coolors or Paletton.

When selecting icons for your initial blog design, it’s generally smart to choose an icon pack with at least two dozen icons. This is because bloggers often run into the need for additional icons down the line, and you’ll want all of the icons to match each other and look as if they were drawn by the same artist. Avoid having randomly selected icons appear next to each other on your blog, especially if the icons are of differing sizes.

4. Over-styling your Text

Another thing to avoid when creating the design of your blog is the use of frivolously embellished typography. It’s great to have a premium, fancier typography in your blog’s title, header areas, and buttons, but use these upgraded fonts sparingly. The main text blocks on your blog should default to the browser’s selected default or an agreeable web font.

Using more than a couple fonts on your blog, particularly on the home page, can break the design’s uniformity and make your content look imported from various sources. Branding your blog with the use of a style guide that defines the typography, colors, and icon sets for use can help you maintain a cohesive front end.

5. Readability Issues

Overuse of special typography isn’t the only thing that can make your blog frustrating to read. When you design your blog’s post and comment sections make sure to use a background color that won’t make your text hard to read. White is generally the best choice, but lighter tones of colors and faint background patterns can occasionally work.

Another way to avoid readability issues with your new blog is to check for its responsiveness. Static blog designs may leave text and images cut-off on various devices. Plan for a fully responsive blog to ensure your content is readable on mobile and desktop devices.

Make sure to avoid these 5 common pitfalls while designing your new blog and you’ll have an eye-pleasing, readable platform to share your ideas and even sell your products on the web. It’s also a good idea to check your content on multiple devices before launching your blog or sharing the address. Make sure images are high resolution enough to show up sharply, but compressed enough to load quickly once your blog is visited. Compare the colors, icons, and typography across your blog to make sure nothing stands out or breaks your design style guide.