You can run into the most amazing and interesting blog on the web, only to find out it’s a chore to navigate. When it comes to websites, good content alone doesn’t make for success – the entire experience needs to be enjoyable.
Think about your blog as a library. It needs to be inviting, easy to move through, and contain all the resources your readers are looking for. To tick all those boxes, you need a user-friendly WordPress blog.
In this article, we’re going to discuss precisely what ‘user-friendly’ means. Then we’ll go over five tips to help you create a WordPress blog that’s a joy to use. Let’s get to it!
What Makes for a User-Friendly Blog?
‘User-friendly’ is a hard concept to define. It’s a term that we use to describe the experience of using a website or an app. If it’s too hard to interact with or navigate, then we can say the User Experience (UX) is terrible.
A negative user experience can have a significant impact on your blog’s success. If visitors don’t enjoy using your blog, they’re much less likely to come back or even take the time to read your content.
That means all the effort you put into your blog posts can amount to nothing if the website itself isn’t user-friendly. To give you an example, our own website is designed to be as easy to use as possible:
If you can’t find the content you need or you think our blog is too hard to use, let us know! In the meantime, let’s break down how to make your blog more user friendly.
5 Tips to Design a User-Friendly WordPress Blog
Starting a blog using WordPress is easy. Ensuring it’s user friendly isn’t all that complicated either, as long as you keep the following five tips in mind.
1. Choose a Responsive Theme Without Too Much Clutter
Unless you’re publishing multiple articles per day or selling products online, there’s no reason for your blog to feature a cluttered homepage. Ideally, you’ll choose a WordPress theme with a ‘clean’ design that enables visitors to find the content they need.
You don’t even have to pay for a premium theme either. There are a lot of free WordPress themes for blogs that offer fantastic user experiences. My two personal favorites are Neve and Astra:
Changing themes tends to be quite a chore the more your website grows. Ideally, you’ll stick with the same theme for as long as it offers all the features you need, so choose wisely!
2. Simplify Your Navigation Menu and Calls to Action
The two primary ways that readers move throughout your blog are your navigation menu and Calls to Action (CTA). In every situation, your menu needs to be easily accessible, links should be readable, and clicking on them should be simple:
The same applies for CTAs, particularly on mobile devices. On smaller screens, interacting with links and buttons can be more cumbersome. An easy solution to that problem is to increase their size a little and to test pages using your own mobile devices.
3. Use Fonts that Are Easy to Read
There are a lot of ways to use custom fonts with WordPress. However, when it comes to fonts, it’s essential that you stick with options that are easy to understand.
Take these two typefaces, for example, both from Google Fonts:
Although it’s easy to read both, the font to the right will look better in almost every situation, regardless of its size. ‘Handwritten’ designs, on the other hand, are not the best option for blogs since they can annoying pretty fast.
My recommendation is – if you want to experiment with fonts, keep the funky options for logos and other graphic elements. For your blog posts and headings, stick with safe options that are easy to read.
4. Craft Blog Posts For Skimmers
One sad fact of the modern internet is that in most cases, people don’t read articles or any type of page in full. Instead, they ‘skim’ or jump straight to the sections or content they want to see, ignoring everything else.
That is one of the reasons most blogs make it a point to structure their content using plenty of subheadings, images, lists, tables, and images. All those elements make for a more engaging reading experience, but they also make blog posts more skimmable.
On top of that, proper formatting also has an impact on your blog’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By following best practices, you both make your content easier to read and to find through search engines.
5. Optimize Your Blog’s Loading Times
No one likes a slow website and most people are a lot less patient than you might imagine. Studies show that if your blog takes over two seconds to load, you begin losing a lot of potential visitors who decide to look elsewhere for what they want.
If you’ve never tested your blog’s loading times, there are plenty of ways to do it. For example, you can use GTmetrix. All you have to do is enter the URL and the service will tell you how long it takes to load that page:
For your blog, we recommend testing the homepage. That should be a good indicator of how optimized your website is in general. If your results are below two seconds, you’re well ahead of the pack.
On the other hand, if your numbers aren’t that good, there are plenty of things you can do to optimize your blog’s performance. Those include:
- Compressing images before or as you upload them to WordPress.
- Using a better web hosting service (we recommend Bluehost).
- Choosing a well-optimized WordPress theme (both Neve and Astra are excellent in this regard).
Those are just some starting tips, but there’s plenty more to unpack when it comes to website optimization. If you want to make your blog as user friendly as possible, I recommend you keep a close eye on its loading times.
The concept of a ‘user-friendly’ website is hard to pin down. There are a million little things you can do to make sure your blog is more fun to use. Little by little, those changes make for a better user experience. When you combine that with amazing blog posts, you have a winning hand.
If you’re not sure how to design a user-friendly WordPress blog, here’s where to start:
- Choose a responsive theme without too much clutter.
- Make sure your navigation menu and CTAs are easy to interact with.
- Use fonts that are easy to read.
- Craft blog posts for skimmers.
- Optimize your blog’s loading times.
Do you have any questions about how to improve the user experience on your WordPress blog? Let’s go over them in the comments section below!
Joe Garecht says
Great tips, Alexander. Under the heading of “Use Fonts That Are Easy to Read,” I’ve found that so many sites started by first time entrepreneurs use tiny font sizes. In my experience, this happens because people think they should pack as much in to every webpage as possible, while still keeping their webpages relatively short.
The truth is, every time I have increased the size of the font on my websites, it has resulted in more pageviews and a lower bounce rate. Thanks again for these tips!