I recently switched over to wordpress, as much as I loved pybloxsom I wanted blog comments and web access to writing new entries. I could have done that all with pybloxsom, but I was moving hosting providers and I’m lazy and knew that wordpress has those things in by default. Sorry Will!
So I’ve been in the process of getting my blog into shape for this brave new world of blogging. Going over each of the Twenty Usability Tips for Your Blog and trying to make sure that I have them covered in mine. I covered the sections that apply to my blog interface and not really my blogging style.
Interaction Design, though I don’t actually do much blogging about the topic in the general sense as much as I blog about the experiences and designs I’m working on. Perhaps my topic should be My Interaction Design…
2. Encourage Comments
I spent a good part of last night getting my comments system up to spec. I have the math plugin and the subscribe to comments plugin enabled. Most of the time spent adding these things is actually spent mucking with your theme afterward. Why aren’t these themes incorporating these kinds of plugins?
All that time spent and it still doesn’t look good.
3. Easy to Subscribe
I personally doubt that adding the RSS button to my page will make it easier for anyone to subscribe to my blog. I think anyone who wants to subscribe to blogs needs to use an application that knows how to find the RSS links in the blog page.
4. Include an About Page
I don’t have an about page yet, but I’m working on that. I’m probably just going to finish up my portfolio and use that as an about page since I don’t think I could find enough interesting stuff to say about myself that would fill a whole page.
10. Archive By Topic
I’ve got Categories and a Date Archive, a bit of a cop out but I think they both have their uses. I made sure my categories are listed above the date archive.
11. Include a List of Related Posts
The related posts plugin is a little too manual for me, but at least it does a nice job of adding in related blog entries near the bottom of each entry. I’m not looking forward to going back and adding keywords to all of my posts though, perhaps this will be a thing I do from here on out.
12. Allow People to Contact you Offline
Adding an “Email Me” blurb to the sidebar is a really simple way to solve this, though I think my future About Me / Portfolio page should have the contact information instead of cluttering up the sidebar with it.
15. Include a Top Posts Section
I like the WP-PostViews plugin for listing my most popular articles. Though since I haven’t been running it for very long it doesn’t really reflect the actual popularity of the articles.
16. Provide an Index
I’m not sold on the Index page, a classic feature where I don’t have a strong objection. But just because I don’t feel like it will hurt doesn’t mean it won’t have a positive effect; my gut says the likely effect would be clutter.
18. Recent Posts Section in Your Sidebar
I don’t really understand the point of adding a list of recent posts to my main blog page. It seems that if my main blog page is showing all my most recent posts that displaying just their titles in the sidebar would be superfluous. I did want to add this element to the single post view sidebar. My thinking is that if you’ve arrived at an individual entry in my blog you might be interested in the latest entry as well. I found a recent posts plugin from the wordpress plugin repository.
Now that I think I’ve improved the blog reader experience for my site it’s probably time to do some testing of all my assumptions. In the mean time I’m looking at Luis’ post on codes of conduct and trying to keep up with that.