Do you hate that cluttered feeling? Me too. I’m the sort of person that can’t stand a stack of papers, inbox full of emails and the like – and every so often I really have to purge it. Otherwise, my creativity feels stifled.
So, I went on a little purge of blog clutter. Skellie had a wonderful visual for the usability impaired representing the real value of simplicity on your blog:
That being said, here are some ideas on how to clean up your blog:
1 – Kill the badge clutter. Only put out the badges that are really relevant that you’d like the user to invoke some action on. For example, I killed the Blogrush widget (which they suspended my account for), since it was not driving any real traffic to speak of, and it did not enhance user experience. On the other hand, My StumbleUpon badge is useful for people to see the different site that I recommend. An added bonus of removing some of this junk is that your page will load faster.
2 – Remove footer junk. On the same thread, do you really need to have another bunch of RSS icons and links to WordPress? Don’t be a packrat, throw it away.
3 – Reduce and organize your categories. As you post over time, you’ll be amazed at the number of categories you’ll make up along the way. I just reduced my list by half, and I’ve set it up hierarchically for faster navigation. How do you do this? Simple.
(Note: WordPress only)
- Log in to your admin section and click Manage -> Categories
- If you think you can consolidate into a hierarchy, click Edit
- Find the category parent from the drop down and save
- To change categories on an existing post, just edit the post and change the category
4 – Shorten the number of blog posts. I recommend no more than 5 posts on a blog homepage.
5 – Remove under performing ads. If you have Google Adsense plastered everywhere and wonder why you get buried on Digg, get rid of it. Especially not in the middle of the content area.
6 – Use of the More tag. When you write significantly long posts, try to put in a more tag to allow equal room for several blog posts on your homepage.
7 – Update your blogroll. People like to see who you’re reading up on. Be conscious of this.
Simplicity doesn’t just mean taking away, so what’s new?
- Updated about page with a little bit more about me
- Added a contact page
Was also considering a redesign of the site. Do you think the site needs a redesign, or should it stay as-is?