7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog

This isn’t a new topic, but it seems worth a mention every now and then within the WordPress blog community. I love connecting with other bloggers and occasionally a website makes that hard if not impossible to do. Here are a few tips. ๐Ÿ™‚

Definitely take a look at these if:

  • You are leaving likes and comments on other blogs and not getting return visits.
  • Everyone likes your old posts and seems to ignoreย your recent posts.
  • You’ve changed your blog address at any time (WP may still be directing your readers to the old deleted site!)

1. Make sure yourย links to your site are working. Unfortunately, this isn’t handled in just one place:

  • In your blog profile: Go to WP Admin – Users – My Profile. At the bottom of the page, make sure your website address is correct.
  • In your gravatar: Go to WP Admin – Users – My Profile. And at the top of the page, click on the tiny link that says, “edit your profile at gravatar.com.”ย Once in your gravatar profile, click on “Websites.” Be sure that your correct website address is listed.ย 
  • In WP Reader – this is important as it’s what points back to you when you leave likes and comments! Per WP Support,ย click on https://wordpress.com/me/account to get directly to your profile page. To get there the long way, open WP Reader. Click on Followed Sites and then on the little circle in the upper right-hand corner. Then select Account Settings and update your Web Address.ย 

2. Make navigation fool-proof. If readers can’t figure out how to get to new posts or the next/previous post, they aren’t going to stay long. This can happen for a number of reasons including the fact that WordPress sites have a lot of variation.ย Theย easiest way to handle this is to have a list of recent posts on your sidebar. Go to WP Admin – Appearance – Widgets. Then drag the box labeled “Recent Posts” to your sidebar.

3. Add a translate button. Readers probably won’t “like” or comment on a post they can’t read, right? Andย followingย becomes rather pointless. While you’re in Widgets, also slide over the button that says, “Google Translate: Translate to your language.” Sometimes a translate icon will appear in your taskbar, but not always. Adding this widget solves that problem.

4. Add a follow button. Also in Widgets, you’ll see a “Follow Button.” Slide that one over too. Sometimes a “Follow” will appears as a pop-up thingy in the corner of a post or it will appear after commenting, but not always. Make following as easy as clicking on a button.

5. Static Front Page versus Most Recent Post front page. One way to have followers engage easily with your most recent posts is to have those display when a reader visits your site. Go to WP Admin – Settings – Reading Settings. Set your “Front Page Display” to “Your Latest Posts.”

If you elect to have a static front page – which may make perfect sense for your blog – be sure that readers can access your recent posts by clicking on a menu item named “Blog Posts” or something similar. Make it easy. If readers have to hunt through all your menu headings for something new, they may give up after a few tries.

6. Speed up your blog. I follow a couple blogs that are slow, slow, slow to load, and they tend to bog down the whole system. I can barely scroll, and the little wheely-thing spins and spins and spins. I click “like” and close the site as fast as possible. This is because your blog is trying to load every page of every post you’ve ever written, ever, all at once. Go to WP Admin – Settings – Reading Settings. Where it says “Blog pages show at most” enter 10. Your readers will love you and stick around longer.

7. Make commenting easy. If you make your readers jump through three hoops to comment on your blog, they usually won’t. I recently read a post from someone complaining that no one commented. I tried to leave a comment explaining why no one was commenting, but it was so hard, I gave up. Go to WP Admin – Settings – Discussion Settings, and take a look at “Other Comment Settings.” Unless you have a specific reason for doing otherwise, I would not recommend making a readerย fill out name and email, or even worse, register and log in. If you are worried about trolls, look at some of the options further down the Discussion Settings page for moderating comments.

I hope this helps you get lots of visits and follows and blogosphere friends. Happy Blogging!

234 thoughts on “7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog

  1. […] via 7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog โ€” Myths of the Mirror […]

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  2. Rohvannyn says:

    Great tips that I wish everyone would follow! I reblogged this on http://mind-flight.org. I always try to make my blog as user friendly and quick to load as possible, even getting people to test it on mobile, but I’d missed a couple of these. Thank you!

    Here’s a tip for you in return: If you mention a page on your website in the text of that website, it can be helpful to make the name of that page into a link. For example, if you say “feel free to contact us,” “contact us” could be a link to the contact page, even if you already have that page in your menu. Just another way to make site navigation clearer and more intuitive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tips. Thank You!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much!! This is exactly what I needed!

    After a messy site port to my “own” website, my blog has been struggling. I was thinking about quitting it altogether.

    I had several issues you pointed out where things were still pointed to the old site.

    Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I’m so glad this helped, Elizabeth! Those links are so important, and WP doesn’t make it intuitive to fix (if a blogger even aware of the issue). Hopefully you’ll see more return visits now when you like and comment on other sites. Yay! Happy Blogging. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. John M says:

    Simple but vital steps that all bloggers need to undertake. Bookmarking this for future reference.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Henry says:

    Good tips – thanks so much! I always feel awkward about SEO/marketing stuff because it seems peripheral to the core business of writing, but it’s really good to have this formatting advice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m pretty clueless about SEO/marketing too, Henry. These steps are really just about making your site as easy to use as possible for readers to navigate (links working and posts easy to find). I get visits from new bloggers now and then with no means to visit them back. Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  7. acflory says:

    Reblogged this on Meeka's Mind and commented:
    This should be required reading for every new WordPress blogger! And some old ones as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

  8. acflory says:

    Great post and covers all of my pet peeves except for one: some blogs seem to delight in making the ‘comment’ button really, really hard to find. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    I know the position, size, shape etc of the comment button is determined by the theme one picks but, for possible new bloggers out there, please choose one with a nice VISIBLE! comment button. -cough- right, end peeve -cough-

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Dyane says:

    Reblogged this on Dropped Pebbles and commented:
    Love these tips. Gonna get right on some of these, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. […] always looking for ways to improve the experience. So when D. Wallace Peach made a post entitled 7 Steps to a User-Friendlyย Blog, I had to see if there were any tips I could […]

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Good advice from Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I will double check all my settings Diana.. I am with you about filling in forms to follow or to comment. I dislike giving out my email address firstly.. My inbox is busy enough without the 400+ notifications a day and like you I tend not to comment.. thanks for the tips..we all get into bad habits even if we have been at it for a while. x

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great tips, thanks! I think my comment field is pretty simple, although it does take email addresses from non-Wordpress users. I like to ‘like’ people’s ‘About’ pages, but often the like button hasn’t been set up on that page. (I certainly understand as it took me years before knowing I should have the like option included). On other blogging sites, I’ve sometimes had great difficulty trying to comment. (Anybody else tired of clicking all those endless street signs?!).

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t had troubled visiting your blog, Marcia. I like the “like” button in About too. And why not? The more ways we encourage a connection, the better. Thanks for the visit! Happy Writing.

      Like

  14. Roseylinn says:

    Good tips. I have also found that when changing themes it is important to make sure all the widgets are showing up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Suchh great advice, Diana. I am just going to check now that I have checked the box about loading 10 posts as I don’t want to put readers off! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Never thought about adding a translation button! It took your writing that to smack me upside the head and get me to realize that not everyone speaks English. Thanks : )

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lot’s of us speak English but not everyone, for sure. When I return visits to bloggers around the world and can’t read or find a translate button I feel so bad. And I don’t like or comment on something I can’t read. I’m glad that was a helpful tip!

      Like

  17. Thanks…just took care of No.’s 6 &7.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Thanks, Diana. Great to see you sharing some blogging tips. They all help, especially to those new to blogging. I hope we see more from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I probably learned a couple of these from you, Hugh. ๐Ÿ˜€ Lately I’m been followed by a lot of bloggers with broken links, and I figured I would pass on some WP fixes and tips. Have a great weekend, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a great reason to pass on information, Diana. Let’s hope those with broken links now take up your tips and fix them. I checked mine after reading your posts. A clean bill of health, but sometimes they can break for no apparent reason. One of the many mysteries of the blogging world.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. […] Continue reading: 7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog | Myths of the Mirror […]

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I just printed out your info, Diana. I think I’m in pretty good shape, but it never hurts to check things out, particularly when WP changes things up every once in a while. I agree with all here, and highlight the difficulty to comment on some posts. I try to be patient, but filling in all that minutia can be such a pain, and I think unnecessary. Big hug to you for this advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. […] quick note today. Why? The race (tdf) is still underway, sleep is short, and I’ve been helped out with my misbehaving address page (I should send that person a lollipop, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  22. […] 7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog (excellent and useful tips!) […]

    Liked by 1 person

  23. macjam47 says:

    Thanks, Diana. I’m bookmarking this just in case….

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Great suggestions, Diana. I need the reminders!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, your site is a breeze to navigate, Jacqui. No worries. I feel bad when links don’t work and I can’t reciprocate visits, which is happening a lot lately, so time for a post ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Blogging.

      Like

  25. Sandi says:

    Thank you for the tip! #6 – I decided to decrease it from 10 to 6 (was already on summary and not full text) – I didn’t think about the loading for reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Some other bloggers mentioned image size as a challenge when loading. I’ve had that problem in the past with my own blog, but didn’t think to add it. (A future post!).

      Like

      • Sandi says:

        Yes, I’ve actually tried to reduce images myself, just because I hate having to scroll down, and scroll to get to reading material on other’s blogs. So, Lately, I’ve been clicking the edge of the photo and dragging to resize.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Great tips, D! I had to pop over to my WP account and check my settings–thanks for the nudge. *zips over to WP* It looks like I’ve got my settings as you suggest ๐Ÿ˜€ Someday I’ll have to play with some of the settings just to see what they do *insert evil laugh here* Now to come up with my next blog post… Have a great rest of your week!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your blog seems to work fine, Julie. I get a bunch of new followers everyday and about half of them don’t have working links. It was time for a post! Good luck coming up with a post (I struggle with that too)- there’s always those photo-prompts… hint hint.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you, thank you for posting all of this very useful information. I have already changed a few things on my blog because I had absolutely no idea they were available!! The translation option is so great, and again, I had NO IDEA!! You are the best. When successful bloggers like yourself share tips it is so appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I still consider myself pretty clueless about blogging, but after 5 years I did manage to pick up a few tricks. ๐Ÿ˜€ WP isn’t all that intuitive and I had to contact them for some of the link solutions. But I’m happy to pass it along ๐Ÿ˜€

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  28. Thanks a million for the tips. I’m not experiencing any of the problems you listed but I’m headed off to do some fool proofing.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. C.E.Robinson says:

    Great tips, Diana. Haven’t checked the blog settings in a while. Going to do that now. I’m not a very busy blogger, and still get recent followers, so things must be okay. Happy Wednesday! ๐Ÿค— Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    from Myths of the Mirror

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  31. Thank you. I can see lots of areas I can improve the readers experience. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for the reblog, Robert. I’m glad there were a few tips in here that looked useful. The main thing I wanted to do was help folks fix links to their sites, and then decided to add a few other ideas. Happy Blogging, my friend. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Terrific list, Diana. There were a couple on there that I did not know about. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Jay says:

    These are great. I especially applaud the note to make sure the Gravatar includes a link to your site. That’s a biggie!!!
    I also agree about putting recent posts visibly at the top. I have visited sites and been fooled into thinking there are no updates becasue I see the same old thing, only to find out it’s a stickie post and the recent ones are elsewhere.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve done that too Jay – assumed there’s nothing new and clicked out. I know which of my followers sites have pinned posts now, but it took a while. We fixed a few links over the past couple days too. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

  34. An important reminder! Thanks for giving us ways to check that our blog is up and running well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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