WordPress was essentially built as a blogging framework. It has features which make it an ideal blogging tool. A great blog theme design must have some additional features to determine its success which other themes may or may not have. A blog should be so well designed that it should attract users to read content and explore it for more posts. It should not make them revert from your blog.
Enhanced Readability: Blogging mainly emphasizes writing, so your content should have great readability. It is of no use to write a blog if users are finding it hard to read. You may take some measures to enhance the readability of posts like:
Line Spacing: Keep proper spacing between lines. Lines should not mix with one another to give messy look. Neither should they have too much space looking uneven.
Proper margin: Proper spacing between the content and the margin should be present to let users focus on the post.
Paragraph length: Use short length paragraphs as much as possible because lengthy and time consuming content repels audience from reading. If possible, organize the content into points and sub-headings. This makes it look shorter and easy to read. Merely reading the sub-headings make them conclude whether your content has useful information inside it or you are just alluring them with attractive heading.
Make it Bold: Highlight the lines which you think is important. Many people don’t read line-by-line so it is important to give the gist of the article to them.
Eye-catching Headers: The header of your blog should instantly give visitors the idea of what your blog is all about. It should direct them where you want them to go. It may contain an image, collage of images, a video, background image with text written on it or a plain colour. Be very thoughtful while designing this area because this is the part which can attract or repel a user from further spending time on your site. You may include here the topics of other posts present on your website.
Hassle Free Navigation: Ensure hassle-free navigation through the site. The user should be able to jump from one post to another with ease. They should instantly get what they want without wandering here and there otherwise they may get frustrated and leave the site at once. A user-friendly navigation will invite them to explore your site for more content. Put a “previous post” and “next post” button to direct them to other articles. Add menus and sub-menus in the header to organize the site. Don’t waste their time on topics not relevant to them. You may give suggestions on familiar articles present on your site and show them recently added articles.
Utilize Sidebars: Sidebars can be used in a variety of ways. They can be styled to make your blog page more creative. Add sidebars on both sides or on any one side as you wish. But it is not necessary to add sidebars on only left and right side, you can add horizontal sidebars below or above the content of the post. You can post links to recently launched articles and popular articles here; display adds to get some extra income; show recent comments etc.
Attractive Widget: In WordPress, widget is a small block which performs a specific function. They allow you to add functionalities and features into a specific area. If your sidebar is jammed with links and ads, then use widget to organize this content into a block. It will make your site look clean and encourage users to read the content easily. Widgets can be added anywhere in the page like header, footer, sidebars etc.
Comment and Subscription Area: Make a separate space for the comments section. Include this comment section in each post so that you get to know user reviews about your posts. Nowadays, comments are enabled to add images, audio and video clip and other file types. You can make an author’s comment stand out by styling it. Use speech bubble or alternative comment with different style to make this section look attractive.
Make provision for users to subscribe to your site for more interesting and useful posts. Once a user subscribes, you can send updates about new articles and any other change in your website.
Media and Image Inclusion: Though you are essentially writing a blog, but including media like images, audios and videos make it more interesting to read. At times they may act as a testimony to the truthfulness of your content. Always accompany posts with a relevant and tempting image which will attract user into reading that post. Style the image with a border and eye-catching caption. Image can give the gist of the content of the post.
Effective Colour Scheme: Colour plays a vital role in any designing process. Use colours according to the purpose of your blog. Usually themes come with various colours schemes to choose from. Since there is no rule to help you decide the right colour for your blog so you have to choose the colour scheme wisely which should neither be too gaudy nor too dull.
Social Media Icons Integration: When designing a blog, never forget to tie your site with social media icons. With the integration of social media sites, user can share your content on these social networking sites giving it more public exposure. This will ultimately increase the influx of users to your site. You can ask users to visit your social media accounts. Give them the facility of reading your blogs from there.
Easy Access to Posts: Make your posts easily accessible to users. Highlight popular posts. Don’t make old posts get buried under new posts. You can do this by posting links to older articles in new articles and updating old posts with new links. Make a “recommended for you” box where you can suggest posts familiar to user’s choice or use sidebars or the bottom of the posts to include links to similar posts and new articles.
It is not necessary to include all of these features in your blog theme. You may have different priorities of features according to the need of your blog. Make sure with the addition of each of these features user experience is improved.