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Serious Blog Design Mistake Upcoming Bloggers Make
Designing a blog is fun and interesting if you know how to use HTML, CSS and Javascript but sometimes you may get carried away by the different sets of codes you could play with and end up messing your blog. Here's a list of common design mistakes bloggers often make.

1. Constantly Changing Templates / Themes
This is the most common mistake bloggers make. Today your blog looks like CNN the next day it looks like Yahoo. I've been guilty of this previously but I stopped. If you're doing this I won't judge you. Sometimes you come across a template you'd think would look great on your blog but you don't know the reason why the person is using it. Have the mind that your design is always better. The main reason you should stop changing templates constantly is for the sake of your readers and followers. When a user is accustomed to a particular format of your site, they'll find it difficult to navigate through the new one. I once used a template for almost a month, then I was getting like 2000+ views daily. The exact moment I changed the template my page views dropped to less than 1,500. I decided to revert to the previous one and my views got back to normal.

2. Adding Too Many Plug-ins or Widgets
As much as it's fun to add various functionalities to your blog, most times the plug ins we have ruin user experience making you lose a lot of readers. Sometimes I come across a new blogger's blog and see widgets like : Blogroll, Flickr Images, Weather Widget and a lot of very irrelevant widgets. These things make the blog look like an online definition of an unorganized zoo / cattle ranch. For heaven's sake, if that plug in is not needed. Take it off your blog.

3.Not Submitting A Sitemap
This is common among most newbie bloggers who have little knowledge of how a website works. All they do is keep posting hoping that some magic happens and they get indexed by Google. Sure, it's quite possible only your home page may get indexed but what about other pages on your blog?.
Sitemaps help search engines know when to add your latest posts to their index. It also organizes your website search results in a proper manner.

4. Using Another Blog's Template / Theme
Some bloggers have have the habit of using another blog's design. There are more than a hundred blogs using NaijaLoaded's template, some others are using the template with ogbongeblog. You may never actually be the first to use a template but you can add some modifications that make it unique to you so your readers can know the difference when they're on your site.

5. Using A Slow Loading Template / Theme
People these days tend to have the patience of a fruit fly. They just get in and get out almost immediately. 98% of most visitors (especially new ones) wouldn't wait for a site that takes more than 10 seconds to load. Although most times, the sites load time may depend on the location of your server, but most websites using a US server should load fast on any connection if the template is good.
Try to minimize the Javascript on your blog.

6. Using A Color That Hurts The Eyes Of Readers
Most people don't like bright colors when it comes to websites because it really affects the eyes. Nobody will like to strain his/her eyes reading your content If it's the color scheme you choose is too bright. Dark shades of red , blue or green should be okay.

7. Using A Complex Template
It's quite common for bloggers to use a complex template and think it's easy to navigate without realizing that the fact you created something makes it easier for you to navigate. If visitors of your blog find it difficult to navigate through pages on your blog, then you're certainly on the path to failure.

8. Too Many Pop Ups And Redirects
Some ad networks give bloggers the extra functionality of adding pop up ads on their blog . Generally, these ads tend to have a better conversion rate and may give high earnings but most bloggers don't know the huge damage these ad networks are doing to the reputation of their blog.
These ad networks just give bloggers the opportunity to gamble with their traffic, loosing their audience so that they'll gain more cash from the ad network.
No user likes a blog with too many pop ups and redirects. It can get really annoying.

9. Having content that is difficult to scan.
Having a big block of uninterrupted text will scare off most of your readers. Most people don't read unless absolutely necessary (they scan) . We're less patient these days so we all want information quick and to the point so if you make it hard for them to read your content, expect them never to return again.
Use headings or subtitles, and use short paragraphs to make your content easy on the eyes .

10. Using CAPTCHA or word verifications
Captcha a.k.a those jumbled words you have to type in correctly before your comment gets through. This is one of the most annoying features that most bloggers forget to remove. It’s time consuming and quite frustrating.
Imagine when a visitor spends his/her precious time typing a comment and then a stupid hard-to-read CAPTCHA comes up.
I understand that it helps fight spamming but it's not worth ruining your blogs user experience.

It’s not bad to be creative, but don’t overdo it. Keep you layout structure and design simple and organized.
Forget about all the fancy technologies you may come across because they do more harm than good. Always consider what’s best for your readers - it’s the best way to make them stay longer on your blog.
It takes so long to learn simplicity.

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