7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog

While I’m away, here’s an older but always a goodie, especially for new bloggers. Good luck!

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. 🙂

Definitely take a look at these if:

  • You are leaving likes, comments, or follows on other blogs and not getting return visits.
  • Everyone likes your old posts and seems to ignore 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 your 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.” Once in your gravatar profile, click on “Websites.” Be sure that your correct website address is listed. 
  • In WP Reader – this is important as it’s what points back to you when you leave likes and comments! Per WP Support, 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. 

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. The 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? And following 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 reader 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!

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

  1. P.S. FIFTY blogs a day?! Well, I work 14 hr days most of the week now… The rest of the time I’m reading to try to get reviews for content… It’s really hard to comment on so many blogs a day if you want to leave meaningful comments, which I do! I’m trying to get back into commenting again, but it’s hard for me to even spare an hr a day to comment. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been blogging for over a year and I JUST figured out how to use gravitar… Sort of… Lol! It’s ALL SO COMPLICATED!! Technology and I don’t really get along. So, deciding to become a blogger was a funny step for me! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  3. J.D. Riso says:

    Great advice, Diana. Starting a blog can be so intimidating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking a peek at this one. I love WP but it’s not quite intuitive when setting up or changing a blog. I feel so sorry for new bloggers whose links don’t work and they don’t know why they aren’t getting visits. 😦 Hopefully this will help a few. 🙂

      Like

  4. These are good reminders even for us “old timers.” And I must admit, I get hindered (and don’t leave a comment sometimes) if I have to go through those “hoops” mentioned here, having to again record my name, address, web site etc to make a comment, and having it come back to me because I didn’t press a certain button, etc. Make it easy for your blogging reader to… read and comment.
    Hope the move is going well, that you and your family are not stressed, and watch your back! (re don’t get a sore back). Stretch! Meditate here and there. (Sorry, I can’t help being a ‘mother’ sometimes. :-)xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent advice. So many times I’m unable to reach a site. I often rely on the graveyard but find many have not left their blog address there. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kevin cooper says:

    Have you turned off your comments, Diana? Been wondering how the move was going. And, I posted your Bone Wall review here: https://authorkevincooper.com/2019/04/09/the-bone-wall/
    Anyway, hope all is well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Kevin. The move is going well and we’re in the midst of unpacking now. My parents are napping, so some quiet time to blog a little. Thanks so much for sharing your review of the Bone Wall! You’re very kind to me. 🙂 I’ll reblog in a couple days. Have a great week, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. smilecalm says:

    wonderful lesson
    for me!
    wonder if i forward
    if someone will
    take offense? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad it came in handy. I hope someone wouldn’t take offense if you shared. I share the link all the time and usually other bloggers are appreciative. I’m glad you found it helpful!

      Like

      • smilecalm says:

        you offering wonderful help!
        i’ve encountered many who are
        not ready, willing or able to
        accept suggestions, even good intentioned ones. do you remember that old mouthwash commercial where bottles of scope, i think, were left in people’s mailboxes? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. inesephoto says:

    Thank you, Diana! I will do a checkup again, in case WordPress have changed something for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mylilplace says:

    Great tips, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jina Bazzar says:

    Lot’s of great tips here, Diana, and I might say i’m glad i’ve checked most of what you mentioned there, though not always in that order.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bryan Fagan says:

    These are all excellent points and one that needs to care too constantly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit, Bryan. I notice that new bloggers particularly benefit from a quick check up. Once everything is working, WP shouldn’t need a lot of technical updates. I’m glad you found it helpful. Happy Blogging!

      Like

  12. Sarah says:

    Great tips and advice, Diana!! 😄❤

    Liked by 2 people

  13. This is very helpful post Diana, thanks for sharing 💝

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad it came in handy. 🙂 WordPress isn’t particularly intuitive about these things, and it took me a long time to learn this stuff. Thanks for stopping by to comment! Have a great day.

      Like

  14. Almost Iowa says:

    Yikees!

    I never thought of adding a Translate button.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Diana! I set out this morning with the specific purpose of looking you up, to see how you were.
    I got so overwhelmed with trying to overcome my absurd issues to get myself relocated, making the actual cross country trip, recovering from sleep deprivation, adjusting to the altitude, (pause for breath) and now painting and cleaning everything, that I just haven’t kept up with anyone (including me!).
    I hope your break is for a happy reason. I’ll dig deeper to make sure. Hugs on the wing, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Teagan. I’m moving my elderly parents from Colorado to Washington. We made it with 2 wheelchairs and 3 cats! Now we’re unpacking, running errands, and learning the area and new routines. As you know, there is a lot to it! Here’s to new beginnings! I’ll be home in a week and back to the blog “full time.” Happy painting and settling in. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Amanda Cade says:

    Thank you! I just set up my sidebar… I actually didn’t know what a widget was. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. clarejk2014 says:

    Thank you. These are very helpful tips. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Great tips :@) and a lovely Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the kind comment. And I’m glad you liked the tips. Some of these problems prevent me from returning visits and I always feel bad about that. Thanks for the follow and have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

  20. Reblogged this on Julia's Journal and commented:
    Thank you, Diana, I’ve reset my settings and hopefully I’ll get some comments now! I did wonder why I wasn’t receiving any! Your tips are invaluable for negotiating the maze of blogland

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Diana: Thank you for posting this! This should be a must-read primer for all WordPress users (myself foremost)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sean. Your site functions well, though. Links are the hardest part for people to fix because they often don’t know that they’re broken! I feel so bad when I have no way to reciprocate a visit. 🙂 Thanks for the cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I like this site because so much useful stuff on here : D.

    Like

  23. Duke says:

    Thanks so much for doing this. When I decided to go back to blogging after a long break. The question became what do I want this to look like? Having been doing research for well over 30 years I have seen all kinds of sites. I think the biggest mistake companies and people make is they have so much stuff that sensory overload happens. When I am really doing research I make the decision in about 30 to 45 seconds if I am going to stay.

    Like

  24. Hi – I’m new to blogging so I have taken your tips on board

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thanks for the tips! I’m new and looking to improve. I’ll be trying some of your suggestions.

    Suz

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate this as a very new blogger. Thanks again. I would also really love it if you guide/coach me please 😖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the visit and I’m glad this was helpful. My advice for a successful blog is easy – enjoy yourself and make friends. Visit and reciprocate and comment when you enjoy something you read. That’s all there is to it. Have fun, Chibueze. Happy Blogging.

      Like

      • Thanks a lot, but when I try and look for bloggers I would have to search, personally I love sports and games but for my blog I want to cover an all round aspect, I need advice on how I can find the right bloggers to support me and really enjoy my post cause I’m not getting any views😖

        Like

  27. marianbeaman says:

    Great list – good reminder to add a “translate” button.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thanks so much for this Diana, I realised after checking through your steps, that my self-hosted website that I have had for over a year wasn’t my default one, it was directing everything to the WordPress site!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This stuff isn’t as intuitive as it seems, Judy, and if something isn’t working right, it’s not always evident to the site’s owner. I had to call WP to get the answers to some of these questions. I’m so glad it was helpful! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really was, Diana! I have been blogging a while now and still didn’t realise what was happening! I did find it a bit odd though then when I reblogged something on my site I could never ind it in the admin page!! Thanks for putting me right! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Thanks so much for the helpful review! @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

    Liked by 1 person

  30. […] Read – From Myths of the Mirror comes… 7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog […]

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Megala says:

    Great post ! Thanks for sharing !!

    Liked by 1 person

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