Every once in a while I take some time and browse other bloggers sites and here are a few things that annoy me and other bloggers about your designs. Those that wanted to be identified will be listed next to their items. This isn’t meant to make you look bad, it’s just a way for you to check out your design and make sure things are in order and look OK.

Bloggers: Check your design & posts before going live. Make sure the posts are formatted properly, the layout works, and everything looks good.


Bloggers: Check your design & posts before going live

I was going to post screenshot images for some of these items but I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings if I used their site as an example, especially without telling them I was doing it.

  1. Images too big for the blog post area – You have to make sure when you post images in your blog posts that they fit in the post area. If they run over into the sidebar then you need to adjust the size of the image.  This looks unprofessional!
  2. Fix your background – make it so it does not scroll when you are scrolling up and down your site, it get’s distracting and doesn’t look good if you can see the breaks to where the image ends.
  3. The sidebar isn’t big enough for banner ads – Probably 99% of bloggers use a pre-made theme and then they make the theme their own by changing the colors, images, text, etc. You have to pay attention to the size of your sidebar before posting banner ads. If your sidebar is set to 300 pixels then there will NOT be enough room in the sidebar for a 300 x 250 ad, you will need to adjust the size of the sidebar to around 320 pixels in order to compensate for the padding and whatnot.
  4. Sidebar goes on and on – When your sidebar is so full of stuff that it extends past where your posts end.  Remove some of the stuff from the sidebar and put the stuff on pages (blogroll for tons of buttons or tons of associations).
  5. Mr. Linky and other link-up codes don’t fit into blog post area – If you are using a link-up code for other bloggers to link up their posts on your site, whether it be for Giveaways or Wordless Wednesday posts, make sure that it fits within your design. Within the Stylesheet you may find coding for tables, if they are not set up properly then the table may run into your sidebar.  This looks even more unprofessional than having an image run over into the sidebar.
  6. The background is too dark – It’s fine to have a dark background, but don’t have a dark background with light or bright text. If the text is hard to read on a dark background you will drive people from your site. (Another blogger)
  7. Too many ads – Don’t load your site with ads. Too many ads will draw your visitors and other companies away from your site. (Another blogger)
  8. Slow loading pages – Check your loading time. If your page takes forever to load than visitors aren’t going to want to stick around and wait to see your posts. (Many bloggers)
  9. Too many scripts running – You don’t need to have scripts running on your site, it slows the load time down. If you can’t post something without using a script then fine, but limit the number of scripts per page.  Don’t have 10 scripts running in your sidebar that have to load every time you load a page on your site. (Another blogger)
  10. Moving buttons – This is old, it’s outdated and annoying as hell.  If you are placing my button on your site for a giveaway entry and you place it in a spot where I have to wait for 500 buttons to scroll through I will NOT give you credit for that entry. I must be able to easily find my button and I’m sure every other blogger out there wants to see their button easily too. (Many bloggers)
  11. Animated mouse – Yeah having your site change the visitor’s mouse to some flower or something cute isn’t cute, it’s very annoying and it’s a script that makes your page load slower. (Many bloggers)
  12. Slim post area – Post area is the most important and should be wider than the sidebar(s). You want to draw attention to your post area and if it’s smaller than your sidebar(s) then you are drawing all your attention to your sidebar(s). (Many bloggers)
  13. Header falls off background – Most, if not all, themes have a setting that say what your header size is.  This can be changed, but be sure that it’s not wider than your actual site. If the main width of your site is 960 pixels then your header should not be larger than 960 pixels. (Many bloggers)
  14. Areas are slower to load – This is the same as your entire site loading slowly. Make sure your site loads in a reasonable time. If something is making an area load slower figure out what it is and remove it. (Many bloggers)
  15. Using any linky code that isn’t Mr. Linky.  I refuse to give my email just to post a link and I hate going to another page to post a link. It’s a privacy thing; I don’t think anyone should be required to use their email to include a link on Wordless Wednesday or Giveaway link-up posts.  Why is it needed? You will eventually get spammed by the person who created that linky (not the blogger but the actual creator) or they are selling your emails otherwise they wouldn’t require them!
  16. Bad Links or missing links – This would especially apply to a giveaway blog. Don’t make visiting a website a requirement for entry and then not have a link posted. I know we all make mistakes and it happens. But it’s a PITB as a reader. (Another blogger)
  17. Can a new reader REALLY climb through the mumbo jumbo to read your content? Keep it simple. (Rose)
  18. Some people don’t have super cool connections (high-speed internet) that will load 300 animated images. (Rose)
  19. Sit back and ask yourself if you should add a pop-up that includes a warning that your sites flashing and/or color combinations might cause a seizure. (Rose)
  20. Don’t disable right clicks. If it’s that big of a deal that no one takes the images you use, then, by all means, watermark them with your name/link. Disabling right clicks drives everyone nuts! Especially if you’re hosting a giveaway and you offer the readers to copy and paste this tweet: Duh, they cannot copy and paste if right-click is disabled. (Rose) I’m going to add that regardless of you disabling right-click, if the page loads and you have images on it, then the image is downloaded and on the person site.  You do NOT have to right-click the image to download it. If you don’t want someone to download your image then don’t post the image.
  21. Use spell check, it won’t bite you. (Rose and many bloggers)
  22. When blogger posts personal photos that are questionable in nature, mostly lingerie and boob shot photos…gross!  Posting suggestive photos on a mommy review blog is just wrong. (Another blogger)
  23. Free themes that seem to be on every single newbie blog. (Nina linking to her own post)
  24. Cluttered sidebars. (Nina)
  25. Different header issues. (Nina – more in her post)
  26. Busy/bright/animated backgrounds. (Nina)
  27. No contact info (Nina) I will add that I don’t like having my email visible for spammers to grab, so you can always put it non-linkable or type it out like shawn {at} shawnann {dot} com.  Most people understand that and if they don’t then they should get with the times!
  28. Using 20 different font colors for giveaways. (Nina)
  29. Blogs that play music. (Nina) Oh yeah, that is annoying especially if it’s a type of music the reader doesn’t like!
  30. No personalization/pictures. (Nina) I agree with this only if your blog is a personal blog over anything else. If you are more of a review blogger than I can understand not having pictures of you and your family.
  31. ABSOLUTELY NO ads popping up or scooting across the screen, this includes the ones that you scroll over and it takes up the whole page because you accidentally scrolled over it then you have to go and click close or the x all the while trying to get this big ad off of your screen!!! (Another blogger)
  32. Please put your GFC, subscribe, etc. somewhere it can be found-I hate searching everywhere for following you and ending up leaving because I can’t find it!!! (Another blogger)
  33. I hate all of the buttons on the side, they not only look crappy but they make your page load so slow! Put them on another page with a link! (Another blogger) I agree if you have a bunch of other bloggers buttons on your site, put them all on a page of their own so they aren’t constantly loading.
  34. Small writing that nobody even with a magnifying glass could read! (Another blogger)
  35. Put a search tool on your site! I will NOT go through your archives to look for something in particular, I want to search for it in a search bar (like Google!!) (Another blogger) I agree!
  36. Double-check your links! (Another blogger) I agree make sure your links work and go where they are supposed to go.
  37. Make sure you use the correct Their, There, and They’re, Than & Then, etc.  Check your Grammar! (Many bloggers)

If you’d like me to take a look at your site and give you some critique on your design, let me know, I’d be sure to help you out.