BLOGIFUL DAY 4: Your Blog Menu
Your Blog Menu | The Importance of Navigation
Your blog menu may be something you don’t think about much when designing or re-designing your blog, but it’s actually pretty important! Your blog menu is the core of how others can navigate your site and if they can’t navigate very well, your blog doesn’t have as great of a user experience as it could achieve. Good navigation makes it so much easier for readers to find your posts and scan through your content that it’s actually quite essential. So today, I’m bringing you some quick tips to get your navigation in tip top shape for your blog!
Keep It Simple
Having a short and simple blog menu is the best way to go. Shorter menus make it twice as fast for people to read through them, decide quickly on where to navigate to and helps the overall simplicity of the blog design. Nobody likes a super cluttered navigation bar on a blog, whether it’s horizontal or vertical.
Having a short menu can also be great for your blog SEO. SEO for short is Search Engine Optimisation and can be simply explained as; how others can find you through a Google search. The easier it is for Google to scan your menu, the easier it can be for your blog to be more optimised and found.
I know how easy it can be to get carried away with having so many different kinds of blog posts but categorising posts is super important. It’s as simple as having the most popular categories like Reviews for your book reviews, and a Discussion category for your discussion posts. Note that they don’t have to be written or described that way either; my discussion category is called Discussion Galore cause I thought ‘why not? let’s add some pizazz’. You can have as much fun with how you name and present your categories as long as they’re logical, systematic and consistent. It would make little sense to have a Reviews category in your menu but then also have Fantasy Reviews be on the menu too. When categorising, a best practice is to have menu items go from broad > specific.
Plan It Out
First things first, plan it out. You can use an excel sheet, word doc, Google doc, post-it notes or just drawing a diagram of how you want your blog menu to look like what’s the most important and broad categories you need there. Use the diagram as a guide for how you can visually prioritise them too. People tend to read from left to right/going down, so what’s the most important category you’d want them to see or lean towards – where would it sit within that blog menu.
Limit Group & Use Tools Available
Remember to limit the number of categories and groups as much as you can so that your menu is as simple and prioritised as it can be for faster and better user experience for readers. They should be as broad as can be and especially in WordPress themes, you can take advantage of Theme tools that most of them have, especially the ability to have a dropdown menu (like my blog theme does) which means you can have your sub-categories visible when someone points their cursor on the menu item.
Tags Are Always Here Too
If you’re still finding it hard to categorise broadly or maybe you might have too many sub-categories in that dropdown menu (I recommend a max of 4 per menu item), don’t forget that you can use hashtags/tags! Tags are great for tagging and groups certain posts and if you include a tag cloud or some way for readers to sift through what tags you use, they can also navigate to more specific groups a lot easier too. There are many many tools out there to help your information be organised on your blog to help navigation.
Never Forget Mobile
Always make sure, whatever you do, that your menu is also responsive – so that it’s mobile friendly and readers can navigate through your site as easily as if it were on a desktop. There’s nothing worse than a super wide horizontal menu on a small phone – it makes so hard for readers to navigate when you have to constantly swipe sideways to find your way and sometimes they’re just hard to click on as well. Mobile responsiveness has seriously become such a basic standard nowadays in web design like you would not believe.
So what are your thoughts on blog navigation? How would you rate your current blog menu & what are you favourite categories or tags you use or would like to use? Tell me everything in the comments, and I hope you’re enjoying this blog event so far!
Don’t forget to check out my lovely co-host’s BLOGIFUL posts right >>HERE<< for more design tippy goodness this week!
Until next time,
Don’t Forget Our Giveaway!
To celebrate this blog design event, we’ve got an awesome giveaway lined up for you!
Want to try your luck at winning a complete blog design makeover from either me or Kat? There will be two lucky winners – one will receive a blog makeover from me, and the other will receive a blog makeover from Kat. That’s two prizes, two winners, and double the chance to win! More rules in the Rafflecopter.