10 Design Elements All Big Blogs Have In Common

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Anytime you create something new, whether it’s a product, a service, or a website, start by taking a look at what others have created before you.

To help you set the foundation for your blog design, I’ve listed 10 design elements that almost all big blogs have in common and how you can implement them on your WordPress blog.

The 10 Big Blogs

To give you some hard data, I chose to use Mashable, TechCrunch, The Next Web, GigaOM, Seth’s Blog, Copyblogger, Problogger, KISSmetrics Blog, Freelance Switch, and The Oatmeal as examples for this post.

Header

The headers on nine out of ten of these sites were 100 pixels high or less. Most of them included the logo and a search bar.

Logo (10/10)

All ten of these blogs had their logo in the upper-left corner and hyperlinked it to the home page.

Gigaom Logo Header 10 Design Elements All Big Blogs Have In CommonThe GigaOM.com logo is in the upper left and it links to the homepage.

How to implement the hyperlinked logo: Most WordPress themes (i.e. WooThemes, Thesis, Genesis, etc.) let you upload a logo through the theme’s design settings and it automatically links home.

Search Box (6/10)

Six of the ten big blogs had a search box on the right side of the header. Seth’s Blog and Copyblogger put their search bar towards the top of the sidebar. The KISSmetrics blog and The Oatmeal don’t have a search mechanism.

TheNextWeb Search Box 10 Design Elements All Big Blogs Have In CommonTheNextWeb.com’s search box is on the right side of the header.

How to implement the search box: You can place your search bar as a widget in the Appearance > Widgets area of your theme. If you don’t have a widgetized header, this is the php for the search box:

<?php get_search_form(); ?>

Place it within your header.php or your theme’s custom php file. If you’re not familiar with php, put it near the top of your sidebar within the widgets area.

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