Need Help Choosing the Best Blog Design? Things to Consider

Review of: Genesis

Reviewed by:
On October 25, 2013
Last modified:December 23, 2013


Your blog design is the first thing that’s going to welcome your visitors when they land of your blog, it’s something not everybody take time to look into. They skip it and start from crafting quality contents and generating traffic, it’s doesn’t stop there. You might have some quality content on your site but if you don’t have an accessible design, how can visitors read your quality content?

Traffic might also be a good tip but a high bounce rate awaits you if you don’t take time. Though it’s not late but the first thing you need to chalk out after launching your blog is your theme. Go for a theme that’ll make your readers come back to your blog (a theme that’ll also make you good affiliate sales I guess).

Viralwriter runs on genesis framework, in my opinion, it’s the best blog design ever (you can check the full story below my author bio) and I’m proud of my theme. Having the best design makes your brand look simple, professional and at the same time accessible. Choosing a theme is not just about looks but there more features that matters a lot. Check out my guide on getting the best blog design.

best blog design

Get the Best blog Design – Things to consider before choosing a theme?

Responsive Design

Don’t think all your readers are PC users, It Sucks whenever mobile users find it difficult to browse through your blog on their device (I face that a lot) and this is one of the reason why I changed my design. In order to avoid this, you need a theme that fits into any resolution. Thumbs up to genesis framework for that, not just genesis though but all their child themes are responsive, you can check out their 40+ collections of child themes.

Browser Compatibility

Your theme might look great on firefox but you never can tell how it looks like on chrome, internet explorer or safari. It might be messed up you know!  Before making the final decision of purchasing a theme, rest assured that it works perfectly OK on all browsers. We all have our favorite browsers and for a better user experience, you need to get a theme that supports all.

Good Navigation

A good navigation helps to reduce bounce rate and a theme with this feature does the magic for you. Get a theme that’ll aid your visitors in diving through your archive and other pages of your blog. It’s a great strategy of getting those returning visitors and keeping them longer on your blog.

Load time

Your website load time has a role to play in terms of ranking on SERP, of course you’d want to go for a theme that loads in a matter of seconds. Try to get a theme that loads between 1-4 seconds, if on the contrary then you’re  bidding your visitors farewell.

Easy Customization

Many of us don’t have much knowledge about CSS, HTML and PHP. Getting a theme with inbuilt features for easy customization is going to work best for you instead of breaking your theme with codes you’re not sure of.


There might be a hitch along the line while trying to customize your theme, how are you going to get yourself out of it? This is where support comes in handy. Some premium themes (like studiopress and many more) has forums and email, you can drop any query regarding your blog and you’ll be attended to but if you’re running on a theme without this feature then you might need to reconsider unless you’re a pro developer.

If your theme doesn’t have any of the features mentioned above then you’re definitely trying to kill your blog because;

  • Your blog can go blank anytime while coding your theme (especially functions.php) and this will require you to restore your blog through your cpanel. If you’re using genesis then hooks can be your savior.
  • You theme is not SEO friendly and you have a slow blog thus making your blog difficult to crawl by google and you know what the result is? Low ranking on SERP.
  • You’re going to lose your readers especially those that visits your blog on mobile devices.

Giving your blog the best design and a good user experience

best blog design

You might not prefer the default design of Genesis framework, child theme or any theme you’re using, while customizing your theme the things you must consider are;

Fonts – use readable fonts and avoid readers straining their eyes while reading your blog post.

Colors – Avoid using too much colors on your blog, instead focus on a color as a primary color and other minor colors as your secondary color. You wouldn’t want to start a color riot.

Ads – Using ads and banners is the best way to make some affiliate sales and get some clicks but using (too much of) them on the wrong areas of your blogs could cost you your readers. At times you need to do some split testing and find the areas of the blog that works best for you.

Optin forms – Utilize the use of optin forms but don’t let them be a distraction to your design also.

The fact is that your blog design affects your brand, traffic and even how you make money online. You need to look professional and give your blog a white collar. The foundation of all these is your theme, are you using the right theme?

To avoid this and take your blog ranking to its peak then the right theme to go for is Genesis from Studiopress. If you have multiple websites you can also buy their pro plus package and have access to all available child themes and more future themes to come.

If you’re looking for cheaper themes then you can check out these themes below. You should find a theme of your choice in the sea of themes they have.

Elegant themes – Get access to 80+ themes for just $39

Theme Junkie – Fast and responsive

My theme Shop – everybody’s choice

Fame themes – similar to elegant themes


Blogging gets more interesting with these tips mentioned above. I’m yet to come across a successful blog with crappy design but top blogs has awesome designs. Have you tested your blog on mobile devices and different browsers?  How does it look like, is it responsive and compatible? If not go change your theme now and let the blogosphere know you’re having the best blog design.

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  1. says

    Sweet stuff. Personally, the best design is the one that fits your readers. For example, most big sites has very simple layout. Don’t stuff all your navigation on the menu bar and don’t even think of having too many things on the sidebar etc.

    Written about this recently and this is probably why companies and serious bloggers spend thousands of dollars on designs. Wrong designs and people say bye bye 🙂

    With 85% of US readers using browser to check on ‘something’, it is a no brainer to have responsive designs. If anyone tells you that you don’t need that, they are definitely lying!

    Reginald recently posted…3 Steps To Design The Best Business Website TemplatesMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks buddy, you’ve said it all and I concur with you, seems like we planned it (similar content) 😉
      Responsive design? One of my readers said he hates responsive designs because the sidebar goes below the content, lol how is it supposed to be (I hope he doesn’t sees this) 🙂 It’s definitely gonna lead to a war 🙂

    • says

      Hi buddy,

      I understand exactly where you’re heading to, nice quote there. Good to see someone on my side, colors matters a lot in a design and too mich of it might kill the blog, I hope they’ll learn from this.
      Talk soon

    • says

      Hi Daniel,

      I’ve heard about thesis, they are great but requires some knowledge in coding though it’s a DIY theme. Those are the two competitive themes, thesis and genesis, as for me, genesis wins 🙂

  2. says

    Hi Gilbert,

    Before understanding the whole meaning of blogging I use to change blog design and themes often because I thought it is what welcome visitors. Though it is important, factors such as navigability, load time and support which you have mention are very important. I notice people get bored with a site which is not easy to navigate even if it carrying tones of valuable information. This is one thing I give first priority in my blog. ~ Anetta
    Anetta Bursh recently posted…Download WhatsApp for PC & AndroidMy Profile

    • says

      Good to see you here Anetta,

      Actually, it’s not bad changing your blog design, I’ve seen many professional bloggers changing their theme until they’re satisfied. As we all know, a blog navigation must be friendly for good user experience, this is one of the common mistakes bloggers make. Thankks for the comment and have a great day.

  3. says

    Hi Gilbert,
    In the present scenario, a responsive theme and the loading time are the two most important things one needs to look for.
    Though I do agree that the other features you are mentioning are also desirable but the two I have mentioned above just cant be done away with.

  4. says

    Hi Gilbert,

    Responsive design is a biggie. Create or buy themes people can view on mobile devices. So many of my readers complained for years about this; I was damn support. 2 weeks ago my buddy came to the rescue.

    Now I am good on mobile, my performance improved a ton after he ditched whack plug ins and I am enjoying the blogging experience. More readers, cooler design and the formatting is like night and day.

    Invest in a great theme guys, or make great friends without someone who can handle all that stuff for you.

    Thanks buddy.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…3 Blogging Communities You Might Be MissingMy Profile

    • says

      That’s true Vijesh,

      A good design does all the trick and welcomes new readers. Of course they’ll won’t be comfortable when reading on a bad looking blog. Thanks for sharing your views, see you around.

  5. says

    Nice article buddy. I am not really a fan of responsive templates. I use one and recommend it to everyone but I have my reservation. Most time responsive themes can be annoying especially when it’s from a poor developer. They also tend to consume more resources on mobile because it’s trying to have a slimmed down version of the standard blog on mobile. Sidebars and widget than forms underlying pattern under blog post of most responsive template are not needed.

    I believe a mobile template should be very fast and they are lot of services that offer such. I use mobilepress because it’s very simple. I am also a huge fan of duda mobile but it’s pretty slow when integrating via WordPress as compared to Blogger.

    So responsive template? yes. Custom mobile design? YES!!!

    hahaha! Have a nice day buddy.. 🙂
    Nosna E Nosa recently posted…Think Beyond Your Fears To Become A Kickass BloggerMy Profile

    • says

      I understand where you’re heading buddy but it’s not annoying in the sense of moving the sidebar below the content, that’s how it’s supposed to be and don’t say they’re not needed. They are very essential.

      I’m also cautious of my blog speed (I’m sure you know that) and I’m always hesitant when it comes to installing a new plugin, instead of installing a plugin for mobile or responsive view, why not let your theme do it for you (and save some space)

      So responsive theme? Yes custom mobile design (plugins) No!!!

      Have a nice too buddy 🙂

  6. says

    theme of your blog is very important and should not be toyed with as it tell your readers and visitors a lot about your blog and also having a beautiful and well designed blog also helps to build a solid blog reputation online about your blog just because of the design.

    Also you should consider the SEO of the theme or template whether it will help your get your post out in search engines easily.
    Oluwadamilare Bakare recently posted…Top 10 Best Sites To Download Free Mobile MoviesMy Profile

  7. says


    My theme is fresh news and it’s very simple. I have about 4 affiliate products on the sidebar. I try to keep it as easy to navigate as possible because one of my pet peeves is to go to a blog that is complicated to navigate.
    I don’t like sites that keep you guessing and you have to click on a million buttons to get where you want to go.

    Good post and thanks for the info.
    Geri Richmond recently posted…Make Some Cash With Squidoo #7 PublishingMy Profile

    • says

      Good to see you here Geri,

      I understand what you mean and I’ve seen tons of sites like that, at least they should consider their readers first, I hope they learn from this.

      I’m glad you love the post, have a wonderful week ahead.

  8. says

    Hi Gilbert !
    All these points are very important for developers as well as bloggers . A top quality theme is the one which fulfills all the points that you’ve mentioned.If a blogger is uncomfortable to modify a particular theme to optimize it for search engines , he should go with a premium and SEO friendly paid theme . Thanks for sharing the info .

    Pramod recently posted…APN (Access Point Name) and Procedure to Edit itMy Profile

    • says

      Good to see you here Pramond,

      You’ve said it all, I hope they’ll adhere to what you. They never knew that their theme is really killing their blog. Thanks for sharing your view. Have a great week ahead.

    • says

      Welcome Daniel,

      Sure! You can activate the mobile feature in jetpack plugin or you can download wp touch plugin, both plugins works but that’s how it looks on all theme using it (simple). It’s also an addition theme which means > slower blog. You can get another theme with a resposnive design and design your blog exactly as your previous theme, genesis has exactly that feature and that was how I did mine, you can also stick to those plugins if you wish.

  9. says

    As you already know Gilbert, I’m a Thesis gal myself.

    When I first got it you had to know some coding but as they’ve improved it it’s pretty darn easy to use. It’s just set up so simply and it’s easy me at least.

    I don’t have a skin with my theme, I prefer the simple look and it loads rather well. It might not be mobile ready but I have a plugin for that and it works like a charm.

    What I also love about Thesis is you can easily code things into your theme to bypass more plugins and I’m not a coder by any means but it inspired me to learn more so that’s an area I’m really thankful for having dove into now.

    I think it’s just for each person’s personal preference really. I don’t think you can go wrong with Thesis or Genesis really. Whichever one they prefer the most.

    Adrienne recently posted…22 Ways To Create Compelling ContentMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Adrienne,

      Talking about the two leading frameworks, it’s genesis and thesis but since I’m using one of them, I’ll always support what I’m using 🙂

      As for genesis, there’s no need for a plugin to make it responsive, it’s responsive by default.
      Wow! Thesis vs Genesis. We Genesis users we don’t code much and we don’t use much plugins, everything is customized for us with the aid of some little hooks.
      Anyway, anybody going for genesis or thesis is definitely no making a bad move 🙂

    • says

      Hi Erik,

      Good to see you here,

      I’m glad you’re on my side, almost everybody are genesis fans. I browsed through the communities and it’s great, I’ll update my recent post “blogging communities to promote your post” and include Klinkk to it.

      Happy new month.

    • says

      Thanks for recommending that Arbaz,

      A blog without a good responsive design might lose some mobile readers, other criteria counts too. Thanks for sharing your view, see you around.

  10. says

    I guess the best design is all at the same time: functional, pleasant-loking, friendly convenient and all the rest 🙂
    Still, I got some useful points from your article! Thanks!

  11. says

    Hi Gilbert,

    I agree with the fact that a good design, a visually attractive design will make a good first impression.

    I am also aware of the importance of responsive design. I know there are sites on the internet that check how responsive is the design of your blog. Do you know such a site?

    Good navigation and fast loading time are important, too. One of the main roadblocks for a fast loading site is the number of plugins. The less plugins you have on your blog the fastest it loads. So we need two things:

    a. plugins that integrate other plugins (but without affecting the laoding time). Ex: CommentLuv, WordPress SEO by Yoast.

    b. Code to replace plugins. I am a fan of the following principle: “Whenever you can replace a plugin with some lines of code. If you are organized and keep all the modifications in one place, then it will be easy to apply them again when you upgrade the theme.

    Have a wonderful day
    silviu recently posted…How to Record a Podcast and Pay NothingMy Profile

  12. Sumit says

    Hi Sir, I have selected Sahifa theme for my website. It’s a mobile reviews website. But I am confused in choosing SEO plugin. May you advice me which one should I go for ?

  13. says

    I wish I had read this article before I started my blog. I went through three designs before choosing my current one. It is okay, but not perfect. I just don’t have the time to upgrade. Thanks for the info and when I upgrade I’m definitely using this as a resource.

    • says

      Hi Amy,

      I understand exactly what you mean, actually I started my blog with genesis and I used different child themes. I’m sure you’ll find more time later and good luck with it.

      I’m glad you found this post helpful, see you around.

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