How to start a blog – 50 Guaranteed Tips for Minimalist Blog Design

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If you are looking to create a minimalist blog design that is beautiful to the eyes, look no further! Use these ideas to improve your user experience, focus on your content, and give yourself the credibility you deserve!


Looking to create a minimalist blog design? TIRED of websites drowning in colors, fonts, and just too much clutter? Look no further!

Creating a minimalist blog design doesn’t just happen overnight – but these 50 EASY ways will immediately help transform your blogging credibility!

I really love blogging – but more than blogging, I love pretty blogs! I don’t care what people tell you, looks do matter. I am ALWAYS looking for ways to improve blog design – and use this list OVER and OVER again to constantly be improving.

I know it sounds snobby and superficial, but if your blog is hard to navigate, full of ads, and not very organized, I leave. Your blog design is your first impression to the world – so I believe that it really matters what your design looks like.  On the flip side, if you have a pretty blog with a beautiful theme, I will probably return to it several times a day just to look at how pretty it is.  No joke.

I think we should all challenge ourselves just to look at our blog designs. I mean, actually look at them.  Pretend like you are a newbie who just stumbled across the page for the first time.  What do you see?  A clear message?  A simple “hello”?  Or a thousand colors that make your eyes spin?

So, here are my 50 (new and unique) ways to improve your blog’s simplicity right now.  Believe me, these are way too fun.  Have fun!

You might also like: How do I start a blog with no money? (REAL tips that work)

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If you are looking to create a minimalist blog design that is beautiful to the eyes, look no further! Use these ideas to improve your user experience, focus on your content, and give yourself the credibility you deserve!

How to Create a Minimalist Blog Design and Improve Design – My Story

In 2013 (yes, TEN YEARS ago), I was working as an office manager for an engineering firm, and the office we worked in had a fire and our office burned. We ended up moving out of our office building for a year. During that time, I worked from a temporary table in the middle of my living room….my first work at home job.

If you can imagine, it’s really hard being an office manager without an office manage. So, during my slow long days in my living room, I started my own blog on the side.

Everyone was doing it, so why not me?

I loved this place to show up every day, and made lots of blogging friends – some that I even have today!

The blogging world was much kinder back them. We could chat and share. There wasn’t a lot of competition. There wasn’t a need to make a ton of money. And there wasn’t even really social media.

Around 2019, I decided that I needed to pivot. And that’s when I rebranded from A Modern Commonplace Book to Modern Work at Home Mom. I realized that I needed to either really try to earn money with my site, or let it die. So, I pivoted to this new site…and this is where I am today.

During this same time, I started an LLC to design websites for bloggers. I became fluent in HTML, CSS, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Blogger, and every other blog platform out there.

I did this for a few years, and designed custom blog templates and themes for my WordPress site and Blogger, and offered hosting support services for any site on any host.

You can trust me because I have worked personally with dozens of hosts, and have seen firsthand what makes a good site host. Not only have I used to multiple hosts for my site – but I have been on the phone at midnight with tons of other hosts.

This is why you can trust me.


Minimize Plugins/Widgets/Gadgets

The easiest fixes can be made with plugins/gadgets and widgets.  And, because most of them affect your sidebar, now is the perfect time to update and change your sidebar.  Here are some easy fixes that you can make to your website design today:

  1. If you use WordPress, update all your plugins every day.  Like now.
  2. Remove the Meta Tag widget/gadget and the Blogger Navbar.  They do nothing.
  3. Remove generic Blogger “About Me” gadget.
  4. Make your Categories or Archives on the sidebar SIMPLE (make them a dropdown or a simple list, not a list of 73 things).
  5. Move the search bar to bottom.  If people want it, they will find it.  (Oh, but make sure you have a search bar!)
  6. Remove your affiliate and group buttons to separate page and just link on sidebar.
  7. Do you have a slider plugin on your homepage? Make sure the images that load there fit the slider sizing, and don’t detract from your site.
  8. Only have ONE Bloglovin button (not two or three).
  9. Show off your favorite posts (or most popular posts).  Those are vital to your blog.
  10. Move your “sign up for emails” widget to the top.
  11. Consider removing or simplifying footer widgets.  Don’t let your footer collect your long, unimportant, list-like widgets.
  12. Remove or change generic text that comes with plugins, email list boxes, or your contact form.
  13. You know that plugin that makes your blog take TWO MINUTES to load?  Delete it.  (Test your plugins’ speed with the awesome Plugin Performance Profiler Plugin.  I TOTALLY recommend it.)

Add Social Sharing Options

All too often, I want to save/share/pin a blog’s image – and can’t!  That blog just lost my business.  Here are some ways you can amp up your social footprint.

  1. Add a social sharing widget.  I have used Social Warfare for years, and love features it gives me while keeping my site super fast.
  2. Add a print button.  If you have a recipe blog, this is a must!
  3. Add a hover pin-it button. I love the one included in Social Warfare!
  4. Add an email option so your readers can forward links via email.
  5. TEST OUT YOUR SITE FOR PINTEREST. Make sure your readers can EASILY pin pinnable images. I recommend using this pro version of Social Warfare for their Pinterest options.

Ads for Minimalism Blog Design?

I am getting into sticky territory here.  I know we make money off of our ads.  But, here’s the thing.  If an ad is not making money, remove it.  Your blog real estate is precious, and if an ad is not making you money, it needs to go.  Here are some other ad changes you can make:

  1. Move your ads around to find better locations.
  2. Consider removing obnoxious ads (pop-ups – or the ones instead of the header).  I know they make you money – but they also turn away readers. Check your bounce rate to see if your readers are affected when you make ad changes.
  3. Work with an ad agency (I recommend adthrive.com if you qualify!) so they can customize your ad layout for your site. Make sure you ask them for a clean layout.
  4. If you have any sponsored ad widgets or codes in your sidebar, only keep them if they are making you money.
  5. Check your site on every device – tablet, mobile, and desktop. If possible, even check on different search engines and operating systems (Apple and Android). Make sure you are using a responsive layout and responsive design.

Streamline The User Experience

If you offer ten thousand messages to your readers, they drown each other out.  Pretend you are a first-time reader and create a simple message that leads your reader from one page to the next.  Here are easy ways to accomplish that:

  1. Remove all audio and video players that play automatically with sound.
  2. Create and advertise only one call to action.  (ie. “Follow for a free e-book”)
  3. Create a “Start Here” page and link it in the menu, navigation, homepage, or sidebar.
  4. Remove above-the-fold ads and distractions that show other people.  You don’t want the reader to think the old lady at the top of your sidebar is you.
  5. Simplify your menu.  If you have a thousand links, it is hard to know what the blog’s forte and focus is.
  6. Only have one set of follow buttons with all your follow buttons together. And make it user-friendly!
  7. Maximize (and update) your “about” and “contact” pages. These need to be the hub of your blog.
  8. Get rid of broken feeds, the Captcha function, and anything else that stops the reader from reading more.
  9. Do you type in all italics?  Please change it.  It looks like you are perpetually whispering.
  10. Remove dud images from old posts.  (Why not go ahead and replace images with pin-able graphics and custom photography!) This is the time to showcase your life and content, and photography is the best way to do that.
  11. Add “the fine print” with your terms, policies, copy-write info and affiliate link info.  See mine here and in the footer.

Fix the Big Stuff

Every blog has “big stuff” (colors, fonts, typography, spacing) that can go awry.  I know the following list might involve hiring a blog designer to fix things, but please consider doing it.  You can have the best content in the world, but if your font is illegible, it doesn’t matter.  Here are the top fixes most blogs need:

  1. Make your font darker and at least 16pt. This size is proven to be the best for the reader experience.
  2. Make your body text left-oriented (or justified).  Center-orientation is the worst.
  3. Space your widgets evenly to have an easy-to-read sidebar.
  4. Remove any extra spacing after your header.
  5. Change up the font and format of your post titles.
  6. Change up the format of your headers (inside your posts).
  7. Make the body of your blog wider.
  8. Have only one menu – and maybe make it only one level.  (Don’t have ANY menu links that are duds.  Be intentional with your menu.)
  9. Change up your fonts to make them appealing.
  10. Remove the meta text that says “Ginny posted this 4:00 am”.
  11. Does your background show seams when the pattern repeats?  Dislike.  Find a seamless pattern.
  12. ADD WHITE SPACE.  If your body background is a dark color, your reader’s eyes will get tired and move to another blog.
  13. Simplify to only 2-3 colors on your blog. Better yet, focus on a single color scheme that you can consistently use to reinforce your minimal web design style.
  14. Change your comment system.  Either customize the colors and fonts for the system, or download a plugin like Disqus for better commenting.
  15. Consolidate your categories and tags!  Use the Term Management Tools plugin to merge all your current categories into just a few large categories.  (I love this plugin!)
  16. Add an opt-in bar for a blog newsletter.
  17. Do you like patterns?  Choose ONE.  Too many patterns = scary. UPDATE: Patterns aren’t used anymore – opt for a clean theme!
  18. Make sure your images don’t extend over into your sidebar – ask your designer to set the width of your images.

Bonus – The Best WordPress Plugins

There are millions of WordPress plugins out there. It’s hard to know which ones are best! Take my advice, and use minimal plugins. Each one adds extra code to your site, and can slow it down. Be incredibly picky when installing plugins, and only add plugins that are regularly updated. Here are some of my favorite essential plugins:

  • RankMath SEO: This is my favorite SEO plugin ever. I have used Yoast SEO, All In One, and SEOPress, and this one is by far my favorite. It’s slim (doesn’t bloat your site), and gives me unreal insight into the SEO for my site. The free version is incredible.
  • AntiSpam Bee: You need a plugin to blog comment spam on your site, and most people will recommend Akismet. While that plugin is really great, I have found AntiSpam Bee is better. Here is a great article explaining the difference.
  • Social Warfare: You need a social sharing plugin, and Social Warfare is the best of the best. I used this plugin for years, and it definitely helped grow my site. The pro options are endless (floating sharing buttons, matching branded colors, etc.). I highly recommend it!
  • W3 Total CacheA caching plugin will optimize your pages, store data for your site, and reduce the load time when visitors visit your site. In short, it makes your site super fast. Definitely recommend!

Bonus – The Best Minimal WordPress Themes

Once you have WordPress hooked up to your site, what next? Now it’s time to make it pretty.

There are SO MANY WordPress themes out there for your WordPress website or personal blog, and I have personally used DOZENS. I have used free wordpress themes, high-quality expensive themes, and everything in the middle. Here are some of my favorite theme options for your site. Look for themes that have customization options, multiple type of website pages (landing pages, page layouts), and/or drop page builder options or custom widgets to give you flexibility!

  • Bluchic: I had the Victoria theme from Bluchic for YEARS and loved it so much. It was my dream theme. You can see their whole shop here. Their themes are just stunning. I totally recommend them! You can also sign up for all their awesome freebies here.
  • Astra: Astra is hands-down the best free minimalist WordPress theme out there. I have used it, and I love it. It is built well, and won’t slow down your site. It is very customizable, and has almost unlimited options. The one reason I don’t prefer it, is that it looks very generic, and takes a lot of work to make it look personalized. But, as far as free WordPress themes go, Astra is the best.
  • Hello You Designs: I have purchased many Hello You Designs, I love their quality! They are feminine, unique, and a really great price point for a minimal wordpress theme. I have admired this theme for a long time.
  • Acabado: If you are interested in a basic WordPress theme for a blog’s niche site that gives you minimalist website design, then Acabado is your best possible option. Acabado is created by Income School, the founders of Project 24 – the ultimate niche site resources. It is lightening fast, does not require any personalization (ie. “About Page”), and is sleek! I have this for a couple other sites, and love it!
  • Davey and KristaRight now I’m using an Elementor theme by Davey and Krista, and it’s my dream site. Yes, it costs more than the other minimalist themes on this list, but I wanted it for so long, and it was worth every penny. The theme I have is an Elementor theme, which is a website builder that my theme uses as a basis. It was complicated at first for me to set up, but Davey and Krista have great resources and customer support, and I loved customizing it. If you are going to spend money for a site with high quality content, I totally recommend Davey and Krista.
  • Elementor: If you are looking for an easy way to start using Elementor that is pretty fool-proof, check out this Hello Theme by Elementor. It is so pretty and easy!

PHEW!  You made it to the end!  Let me know what design tweaks you make!



What is minimalist blog concept?

If your blog is hard to navigate, full of ads, and not very organized, I leave. Your blog design is your first impression to the world – so I believe that it really matters what your design looks like.  On the flip side, if you have a pretty blog with a beautiful theme, I will probably return to it several times a day just to look at how pretty it is.  


What is a good minimalist design?

I think we should all challenge ourselves just to look at our blog designs. I mean, actually look at them.  Pretend like you are a newbie who just stumbled across the page for the first time.  What do you see?  A clear message?  A simple “hello”?  Or a thousand colors that make your eyes spin?


You might also like:

How do I start a blog with no money? (REAL tips that work)

The best managed WordPress hosting – An Honest Bigscoots Review


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I’m Ginny and can’t wait to meet you! I work 50+ hours a week. Mom my two kids. And strive everyday to spend more real time with my husband and kids.

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