Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jun 11, 2008
As I mentioned in a previous post about my relaunch of the Website Waves blog, the next step was to create a new blog header graphic. This week, the time finally came to git-r-dun. A blog header is that 2-3 inch high section that runs across the top of every post on your blog. The primary job of a blog header is to give a good first impression to your first-time visitor. Secondarily, a blog header tells the readers they are still on your blog and have not been directed to someone else’s website as they move throughout the pages.
There are five essential components to a good “business-related” header that your blog should have. If I was to launch a blog that was purely for entertainment, or a kid’s blog that was purely for fun, these five components might vary. But here they are:
1. Photo – If you are a professional services provider of any kind, you need to have your photo somewhere easy and pronounced for people to see. Technically, this doesn’t mean you must have a photo of yourself in the header, but it’s a pretty safe place to put one. If you do choose to have a photo of yourself, put it on the right side. The exception that rule is if you want yourself to be part of your logo. Then, I’d suggest having your photo be to the left of the name of your blog. Don’t forget to add your name to your photo so that people know who you are. The reason I bring that up is because I forgot to tell my designer that when he was working on the first comp.
2. Logo – Blogs should have logos, especially if your blog is part of a company. A logo is just expected today and websites that don’t have logos just plain look funny without them. The image we chose for Website Waves is an image of a wave. We’ve even used the same graphic for a Favicon. Logos should be on the left…again because that’s what people are used to seeing.
3. Tagline – Our tagline for the Website Waves blog is Get Your Website on Higher Ground. You need to come up with some kind of short, 7 words or less, description of your blog. It should be catchy, original and related to the value of your blog. Taglines can appear under your logo or to the side of it. Experiment with different locations of where to put that tagline within the header.
4. Current Design – Blog header design is becoming much more important these days. You want to have a modern look and feel, especially if you service an industry that expects you are on the cutting edge of your field. A popular look has mistakenly become known as “the Web 2.0 look.” There is really no such thing as a “web 2.0 look” as the term web 2.0 refers to social networking as a movement rather than a graphic. But, that’s another issue. What they are referring to is a mirrored look where you have main text on the top and a mirror image of those letters below. Technically, it’s called an “inverse reflection.” Watch practically every television commercial and you will see this effect used. And, on many websites today too. It works and gives a professional image.
5. Speed – Ten years ago, I would’ve brought up the issue with speed as in speed of viewing, speed of appearing on the screen. Both are true. Your graphic header can’t be so overloaded that it slows down the time it takes for the page to load. But, that should all be a given with your designer now. I’m talking about speed of getting the visitor into the content. Keep your blog header section to less than 3″ high. I’ve seen blogs that you have to scroll just to see the first post. This is wrong wrong wrong! Inspire the visitor to scroll to see additional posts but provide a header that is thin enough to see enough content that they are interested in reading more.
So, there you have it. The next step on my blog journey is complete…well, until I have the graphics changed! Ha.
By the way, if you are new to blogging or have a blog that hasn’t been earning its keep, you might want to talk with me. We’re putting together a blog setup and blog promotion package deal to include installation, setup, hosting, design, and promotion that I personally have never seen anyone offer. And, I’m offering incentive pricing for the first 5 new clients we take on to prove it works. Give me a call at 303-743-0832 sometime if you’re curious or use the contact form to ask me a question about it.
Click a Star to Rate This Post:
Tell Others About This Post:
Email This Post to a Friend