Imagine this: You’ve crafted an amazing blog post and you can’t wait to share it with the world. If you have a website, it’s probably not hard to picture at all. You’ve likely been there. But creating great content only gets you so far if it looks terrible once you’ve published it. Here are 5 considerations to making sure your content looks good too.
1. Think about how your post looks on devices of all sizes
When we design websites, one of the first things we tell every client is to consider how it looks on computers, tablets, and phones. It’s easy to look at it your content on the device you use to create it — probably your computer — and not think any further. But because just over half of website traffic comes from mobile devices, you have to think about how your content looks on a phone too. Does that image that tucks nicely into the left third of the screen on a computer take up the entire screen on a phone? Do you have an image displayed to the left of content that explains it, meaning mobile viewers will see it before they understand its context? Of course, if you post from a computer, it’s just as important to consider how those posts look on a computer too. And even though a relatively small percentage of website traffic comes from tablet devices, it’s always good to take a look there as well. Make sure your site looks good on high-resolution devices as well.
For further reading: What devices are your visitors using to view your content?
2. Think about sidebars
WordPress was originally created in an era when sidebars were extremely common on websites. Now, however, sidebars are becoming more and more infrequent. If your website utilizes a sidebar, you might want to consider which types of content display it. Does your sidebar enhance the experience for your site’s visitors or does it distract and detract from the experience? Those questions can help you decide whether to use a sidebar on your blog posts.
3. Use a featured image
A featured image is important for a few reasons, even if your website’s theme doesn’t display featured images in the post itself. Most importantly, social media sites use the featured image by default. Your theme may also display featured images on blog and category pages as well. At the very least, take a look at how your site displays blog and category pages, and make sure you’re satisfied with the way they look. It’s important to think about the way your posts look everywhere they appear, not just within the post itself. We’ll cover more on the social media part in a minute.
4. Use an excerpt
Similar to the featured image, an excerpt is an important extra element to help search engines, blog pages, and category pages. Your theme may not use post excerpts in blog and category pages, but you’ll want to make sure you know how post information is displayed on these pages. You can also use an SEO plugin to change the excerpt that is displayed on search engines, but the built-in post excerpt is a good start.
For further reading: Why you should use post excerpts
5. Make sure your post looks great on social and search
As alluded to above, it’s extremely important to pay close attention to how your blog post displays when it is shared on social media and search engines. For most people, social and search drive the majority of their website traffic, making them essential to your site gaining traffic. Make sure you’ve chosen an image that will display well on social media sites, and set a different image per site if necessary. Also pay close attention to what text will display. You can change every element — your site’s title, description, and image — for social media sites. You can also change the way the title and description display on search engines.