6 Tips to Make Your Blog Easier to Read And Why You Should
People may admire your blog because the theme is stylish. But most will leave quickly if the text and links are not easy to read.
Your blog may not seem hard to read to you, because you already know what it says. But it may still make your visitors' eyes tired. So they leave and may never return.
Looking at blogs these days, I find many are so hard to read that they make my eyes hurt. So I do not read them, even when I'm interested in the subject.
There are millions of blogs. I just move on to another on the same topic.
Research shows that you have only 5 to 8 seconds to capture a potential reader. So I know other people are leaving without reading, too.
That's sad, because many of these bloggers are good writers. They have something interesting and valuable to say, and they are unaware of their blog design problem. They already know what their blog says, so they do not realize how hard it is for others to read it.
If you know just a few things about typography, you can make your blog or website much easier to read — and more appealing to your potential audience. So you can keep new readers and attract even more.
Typography is the art and science of designing and using typefaces (what most people call fonts ). (Actually a font is one particular size and style of a typeface, such as or 9 pt Arial italics or 10 Times Roman. )
What does that have to do with blog design, since most people simply choose a ready made theme? A lot, if you want people to stay and read your blog.
It is important to choose a theme that is easy read. That has a lot to do with the typefaces that are part of the theme — not only which typefaces, but what sizes and what colors they are.
Do just these few things can help make your blog easier to read:
1. Choose a theme that has black text on a white background. Not gray, not blue, not yellow orange or green or lavender — black! It may not seem as cool, but it will be read — and that's what you want.
White or light colored text and links on a dark background are much harder to read. If you want people to read your blog, avoid them. If you do use them, the type has to be much bigger and bolder, or people will not read it.
The current fad of light text and links on colored backgrounds is simply deadly if you want to keep readers.
2. Choose a theme with a sans serif typeface (such as Arial, Trebuchet, or Helvetica). It will be much easier to read on the screen. Luckily most themes already use san serif typefaces.
If for some reason you must use a serif typeface (such as Times New Roman or Palatino), remember that it will have to be larger than a sans serif face to be equally readable (easy to read). So choose a theme that has larger type.
Do not use a typewriter-style typeface like Courier on a blog or website. Ever. They are just too awfully hard to read on the screen.
3. Make sure the subheadings and links are in dark colors. Yes, they need to be in color to show that they are links. For that, a medium dark blue is best. Not yellow, not pale blue or yellow green, not orange, and certainly not gray.
4. Chose a soft color or black if you use a colored background outside the text area. Too bright a color along the sides of the text area is distracting. Patterns are worse.
I've seen some that are so bright and busy that they make my eyes water. That tires the eyes, too. It's annoying. And it makes readers want to leave. So we do.
5. Choose a theme that has large-enough type in proportion to the column width. This is something you might never have thought about, but if you read enough blogs in different themes, you will see what I mean.
Research shows that if the column of text is too wide compared to the size of the text, the reader's eyes get lost trying to find the beginning of the next line. The result, again, is tired eyes — and an annoyed reader who quits reading sooner.
6. Take time choosing your blog's theme. With hundreds of themes available, it sounds simple to find a good one, but it is not. It takes a bit of care and thought.
There are not so many good themes. And when it comes to selecting one for a new blog, most people are more concerned about the color and overall stylishness than about how easy or hard the text and links are to read.
So picture this: Two blogs cover the same topic. One has light gray text and pale blue links on a pale gray background. The other has crisp black text on a white background and bright, clear links that are easy to read.
If you only have time to read one of them, which will it be?