Article Page Templates: Four Big-Picture Design Tips

Bev Feldman / October 9, 2019

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In many ways, the blog article page is the new homepage. Many new users and potential customers are reaching your website on article pages from search, social, and other referrals. As a result, it’s important to ensure that your article page is designed well.

Fortunately, you don’t have to have a degree in web design to set up your own visually appealing article page templates. Follow these big-picture design tips to create your own blog post templates.

Keep the font readable

According to the Pew Research Center, 85 percent of people read the news on their mobile device. While you might do most of your designing on a computer, most visitors are reading your blog posts on tiny phone screens.

Ensure your font size is legible on your article page templates. Make it slightly bigger than seems necessary — at minimum, 14 to 16 pixels.

If your theme allows you to choose your fonts, pair header and body fonts that go well together. To do this, go to your WordPress.com account and click on Design → Customize → Fonts.

Finally, if you have a Premium or Business WordPress.com plan and you want to choose custom colors for your links, choose a custom contrasting color that matches your brand colors but can still be read with ease.

Custom color selector

Break up body text

People come to your website to learn something that will help them, not to read an essay. Do the opposite of what you probably learned in high school and keep the paragraphs short. Just a few sentences are best. White space is your friend.

You can help break up text further by using headlines and images. Top marketer Neil Patel recommends an image about every 150 words. Images, including screenshots, are there to further illustrate your points, provide visual instructions, and to add value to your words.

Finally, use subheads to draw attention to major ideas so that someone skimming your blog post can still draw the main points.

Include a call to action (or two)

In addition to actually reading your article, your template should include some type of call to action (CTA). Those CTAs might be:

  • Subscribing to your newsletter
  • Downloading a free ebook
  • Writing a comment
  • Sharing on social media (using social share buttons)
  • Reading more about the same topic. You can encourage this by embedding links throughout the post then adding a section at the bottom that says, “If you liked this post, you might also like this one,” with links to related articles or by using a related links plugin if you have a Business Plan.

Whatever your CTA is, keep pop-ups to a minimum. Consider having a newsletter sign-up above the fold so that’s the first thing people see, or at the bottom so it’s the last thing people see. The important thing is for your readers not to feel bombarded with so many possible actions to take that they leave your website within seconds.

Be mindful of the sidebar

Remember that most people are looking at your website on their phones. When this happens, your sidebar moves to the bottom of your article.

You can consider nixing it if your theme allows for that. Otherwise, keep it minimal. Consider a widget area with blog categories to help readers easily navigate your website, recent or top posts, or a CTA that encourages people to sign up for your newsletter.

With these design best practices, your blog posts will flow visually, keep readers engaged, and hopefully turn readers into paying customers!

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