Once you’ve decided to go online and become a blogger, your website will become more important than you’ve ever thought about. It’s now your face to the WWW!
However, the impact will be lost completely if your site doesn’t include the necessary components to captivate and retain your audience.
But hey, don’t worry! I know now you’ve overwhelming by all the new things you’ve learned so far about this blogging world. So, to make it easier for you to follow, here is a list of 7 ultimate features your newly created website needs to have.
Before I continue, just make sure that you now own a self-hosted website (so called a blog) and have installed WordPress (.org) as its CMS. Of course you can use other resources like Wix, Squarespace, Joomla, etc. The key here is to have a platform you’re familiar with and can work work with seamlessly.
If you haven’t had one, IT’S SUPER EASY & CHEAP TO CREATE A BLOG WITH BLUEHOST!
7 Features Your Website Needs
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1. A cohesive aesthetic
If you’re a sparking new blogger, my honest advice will be go grab a pre-made premium theme. It will save you hours customising and coding by yourself, which can be a nightmare, especially if you don’t have any IT knowledge beforehand.
Some names I can highly recommend are:
- 17th Avenue (I use Amelia and Mia)
- Studio Mommy (Kylee More and Editorial Avenue are great)
- Bluchic (this one is a little it pricey, compared to the others, but their design is so beautiful!)
- Sugar and Code (and remember to use the code WOAH40 for a sweet 40% off)
Otherwise, If you’re into designing your site on your own, here are a few familiar design components to keep in mind:
- Simple and easy to read is always better
- Use the rule of 3: no more than 3 colours, 3 fonts, or 3 sizes of type
- Utilise a consistent palette of colours that don’t clash
- Make sure there is a strong contrast between the text and the background
- Keep it consistent, meaning different pages shouldn’t feel like a… totally different site
- Make your logo link back to the homepage
- Have links change colour when you hover over them
2. Clear purpose
Whether you’re running a FBA site or a chic solo female travel blog, make it clear what your site’s purpose is.
The easiest way to do this is by including an About page on your navigation menu and focus on the most exciting information about you, why you made this blog (e.g. to keep your travel experience online), and what is the purpose of your blog (e.g. to encourage young women to travel the world).
A good rule of thumb is that your readers should be able to identify the purpose of your site within a few seconds of looking at your page!
3. Let your audience know why you’re different
Do you only blog about vintage clothes borrowed from your mother or grannies? Is it only you who blog about that very place on Earth?
The point here is to show your readers what is the benefit from following you/buying from you. Whatever your key difference is, find a way to include it and get people excited about it.
This key will keep them engaged and on your site longer.
4. Connecting (and contacting) should be easy
Building out your social following is essential to growth and consistently communicating with your audience.
They may not be able to visit your site several times a day, but they’re opening the Facebook or Instagram app at least that many times.
Therefore, you should make it easy to find your social channels related to your blog. Keep them front and center at the top of your site (or static on the sidebar) so that if they want to connect, it’s there.
5. Intuitive navigation
One of the best ways to keep readers on your site longer (beside great content, of course) is to make it easy to navigate.
Having your navigation pane (aka the menu) sticky on the top of your site is actually the best practice since readers don’t have to scroll to the bottom of the page to find out where to go next.
PRO TIP: Including a search bar that can be easily accessed at all times can also help when navigation becomes tricky. It will guarantee everybody can find what they want.
6. A clear CTA
Whether it’s a pop-up, a signup form, a “click here” button or whatever, make sure that it’s big and eye-catching enough so that readers are not gonna miss it.
Normally, a personal blog will include a signup form to receive some freebies in exchange for the readers’ email addresses (and real names, if you want). This is the most, if not the only, effective way to build your email list and use them as a productive marketing tool for your site.
7. A responsive mobile version
Again, people may not check your website on their computer/laptop several times per day, but if they need something which is not that important, they’ll go grab their smartphone/tablet and start to surf the net.
That’s why it’s crucial to make sure your theme design is responsive across all mobile devices, including smartphones (of all size, my gosh they really have a lot of different sizes), iPad/tablets, etc.
Whether it’s a tablet or smartphone, your site needs to perform on a wide variety of devices and browsers. If you build your site using WordPress (.org) and a pre-made theme, their platform handles all of the heavy coding.
Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to check your website on multiple devices and browsers as frequently as you can to make sure everything is running smoothly.
It’s best to catch problems and make sure everything works correctly before receiving complaints.