How to Design a Blog: 7 Best Practices and Examples

If content is king, then your blog is its castle. Whether you use a no-code page builder or a web design tool to design a blog layout, it's crucial to adopt a content-first approach to blog designs. Your blog's design can help capture readers' attention and keep them engaged on your website

What you will learn

  • What blog design is and why it's essential to your website's success
  • 7 actionable factors to consider when designing your blog
  • Examples of how popular companies have approached their blog design

What is content first design?

Content-first design is an approach in which the content for your blog or website is considered most important, and takes priority over aesthetic elements like typography and themes.

In a content-first style, your designs act to serve the communication of information supported by images and videos. Putting content first can enhance the reader experience and simplify your website design process.

Why is blog design important?

Blog design is important because it enhances the user experience, encourages engagement on your website and improves your brand's perception. A user friendly blog design can capture readers attention and help them stay longer on your blog.

A well designed design can also help your company appear more credible, with 48% of users associating website design with trust.

Easy navigation coupled with an inviting layout can make it easier for users to find what they're looking for, and encourage them to explore additional areas on your blog.

Good blog design can foster brand loyalty and lead to increased traffic, shares and conversions in the long run.

What is the difference between blog and website design?

The main difference between blog and website design is the presentation of information. Website design's purpose is to present products or services by communicating benefits, features and use cases while blog design emphasizes the delivery of long-form content aided by infographics and video.

A website hosts a collection of content, which could be a simple one-page portfolio to a complex e-commerce site with thousands of products.

A blog is a collection of articles. A blog can exist as a feature within a website or as a standalone site—for example, news publications and content sites are essentially giant blogs, but they're also referred to as websites.

Publications like news sites and other article-driven websites are blogs, but we call them websites because there are no additional features or web pages. 

Both forms of designs should be SEO compliant but blog designs need to be even more considerate of SEO principles.

This is because you can attract new audiences to your website through your blog's content ranking on search engines.

7 expert led blog design tips for better engagement

People visit blogs to read content, usually to find an answer to a question they have. So, the primary goal for blog owners and designers is to create a blog layout that's easy to navigate with legible content.

Design your blog for readability

Readability is important in blog design because it has a direct effect on how users interact with your blog and how much content they read.

A blog that is easy to read makes sure that your content is digestible and keeps people from leaving your website.

Make it easy for people to get the information they want, and they'll be happier, come back more often, and be more likely to share your content. Notice how our blog's font is slightly larger to aid readability.

Here are some ways to improve your blog's readability. 

  • Choosing a legible typeface
  • Use a font size between 15px - 22px for the blog post body
  • Headings and subheadings must standout to make content scannable
  • Set your line height to between 150% - 200% (will vary depending on the typography)
  • Apply the standard letter spacing for the body copy font
  • Use white space to separate paragraphs, headings, and visual content (images & videos) so that it's easy to scan a blog page
  • Use empty space around the content to help the reader focus on the texts
Another aspect that impacts readability is the content width. Keep your content centered with a width of 780px - 900px for desktop viewports, approximately one-third of the screen's width. On tablets and mobile devices, the content should take up the full width.

If your content is too wide, people must move their heads slightly to read and scan the blog page. This might seem insignificant, but it increases a user's cognitive load and makes content difficult to read. If people struggle to read your blog posts, they won't return.

Stick with consistent design

Visual consistency is essential for UI blog design. A header or featured image can sometimes pose a serious challenge for designers, because of the different colors and contrasts that make blog feeds appear cluttered.

For example, Surfer's blog uses a specific design and consistent color scheme for header images to match our overall brand concept while maintaining consistency.

Visual consistency also helps highlight blog design elements, like calls to action (CTAs). For example, notice the prominent header UI element; sign up for Surfer call to action on the top right?

We use the same button element and color for CTAs across our website, so users can always identify important actions.

Design mobile-first

Mobile-first or responsive design may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many blogs still get this concept wrong.

Surfer tip: start your blog design with the smallest viewport—a mobile device. 

A mobile-first approach forces designers to prioritize content and reduce distractions. For example, it's tempting with a desktop design to use as much screen real estate as possible, including a widget-packed sidebar with social media feeds, a newsletter form, the latest comments, etc.

Designers must reconfigure the design to move this content below the blog article, where most readers won't see it on mobile devices. These extras also adversely impact performance with API calls and additional Javascript files, resulting in a poor performance and user experience. 

Here are some ways to think about what's most important for mobile-first blog design.

High priority
  • Blog content (including featured images, video, and text)
  • Header navigation menu
  • Blog title
  • Call to action buttons [high priority for business goals]
  • Footer
Medium priority
  • Header image
  • Author (optional)
  • Published date (optional)
Low priority
  • Category tags (optional): low priority
  • Social sharing links (optional): low priority

Maintain an easy to navigate blog layout

A well-structured blog layout is crucial for user experience, readability, and scalability. There are four vital components to keep in mind for a successful blog layout:

  • Header with logo, primary navigation, and search
  • Blog title at the top of the page
  • Main content areathe blog post
  • Footer with secondary navigation, social links, contact, disclaimers, etc.

If you're wondering about sidebars, they can be challenging and present a few issues:

  • Distract users from content and your most important CTAs
  • Difficult to navigate on mobile
  • Reduce page performance and increase page load times

However, sidebars can also help your readers navigate through your content, and provide additional author information, so you must decide for yourself.

If you use a sidebar like us, ensure it helps to improve the user experience, like offering related content pages in a topic cluster. Avoid external links like social media accounts, as these direct people away your website, reducing the possibility of converting them.

You can already see our sidebar on your left to the article but here's another example from Stripe's blog.

If you prefer a clean and uncluttered layout, consider placing your sidebar's content below the article. If someone really wants to find you on social media or see more content, they'll scroll down to find it—they have to do this on mobile devices anyway.

Establish a visual hierarchy for blog layouts

Visual hierarchy reflects the importance of UI elements and content, guiding readers' eyes as they navigate a blog post. Here are some ways to use visual hierarchy for designing blog layouts:


Use different sizes, weights, and styles to distinguish headings, sub-headings, and body text. Some blogs use a different typeface for headings and body text to accentuate the difference.

Color and contrast

Designers use color to draw users to specific content and create separation, especially for hyperlinks and call to action buttons.

Spacing and alignment

Spacing and white space are highly effective design techniques for creating separation and hierarchy. For example, it's standard practice to use whitespace around headings and between paragraphs to make content more scannable.

Media content

Images, video, and other media break up text and enhance visual appeal. Designers can use images strategically to support content and guide users through the article.


Using bold, italics, and underlining helps draw users to important text or instructions. For example, we use bold for these bullets to make it easier for you to identify the label.

G2's Learn hub for example has a nice on-brand visual hierarchy for its blog posts.

Reading patterns for scannability

Reading patterns are an advanced UX design technique for designing blog layouts. A 2009 eye-tracking study by the NN Group identified six web page reading patterns that you may observe by tracking the readers on your own blog:


The most common reading pattern for blog articles. Readers start by scanning left to right at the top of the page before they scroll down the page until a specific subheading or text catches their eye, whereby they scan left to right again. They may continue doing this until they find what they're looking for.

Spotted pattern

A user's eye scans the page, looking for a specific word or content. This is why visual hierarchy is so important. It allows users to skim pages and complete tasks quicker. For example, if you're writing a food blog, emphasizing the ingredients throughout the blog posts will help answer "what do I do with the eggs again!"

Layer-cake pattern

Some users scan every heading and subheading, looking for a specific topic. This scan and jump eye movement create a layer-cake effect in the eye-tracking software. Using descriptive headings is essential when structuring blog layouts.

Commitment pattern

Some blog readers will invest (or commit) to reading an entire article. These people typically want to fully comprehend a topic, like directions, cooking instructions, or product documentation.

Zigzag pattern

A typical reading pattern for two-column layouts. This layout can cause readers to stumble, so avoid wrapping text around images to enhance your blog's readability.

Include search functionality

Include a search bar for your blog.

Designers often overlook search for blogs, but many people use this feature to find additional content. Search increases engagement and keeps people on your blog site longer, which can signal positive indicators to Google and suggest your blog higher in search engines.

Search is also great for keyword research and learning which your most popular blog posts are. For example, if you notice your readers searching for "blog design," you know it's time to write an article about how to design a blog.

Blogging platforms with good blog design

While you could design your blog layout from scratch, including the admin section, developing and maintaining it requires considerable skills and resources.

Most modern blogging platforms or content management systems (CMS) offer many out-of-the-box features that simplify launching and maintaining a blog. Here are two popular blogging platforms to build a beautiful site.


WordPress blog designs are recommended for non technical individuals and businesses who need a website and blog. It's one of the most popular blogging platforms and you will most definitely find a WordPress theme to suit your blogging needs.


  • Multiple hosting options for as little as a few dollars a month
  • Thousands of WordPress themes and developers
  • Lots of design possibilities with page builders (i.e., no code development)
  • Comprehensive and scalable
  • Many plugins to increase functionality


  • Extra cost for SSL and CDN
  • Additional plugin features are usually paid
  • Plugins can adversely impact performance

WordPress is the oldest blogging platform and therefore has a robust community around it. It's a comprehensive CMS for corporate and personal websites, e-commerce, social networks, forums, and more.

You'll find thousands of developers to build custom blog designs, or you can choose a blog template from thousands of design marketplaces.

Other CMS options like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and Blogger are suitable for entry-level blogging but lack customization features—meaning you're constrained to the platform's themes.


Ghost is a modern blogging platform that's recommended for bloggers, publishers, creators, and podcasters.


  • Easy to use (good for beginners)
  • Starts at $9 per month ($25 to use a custom theme)
  • Built-in SEO, newsletters, and membership payments
  • Basic blog templates with a sleek and modern design
  • Intuitive admin UI
  • Free SSL and CDN


  • You need to work closely with a developer to customize themes
  • Only one hosting option (ghost.org)—self-hosting requires cloud hosting expertise
  • No native plugins—uses Zapier integrations

Ghost's intuitive admin UI is easy to navigate and simple to learn, even if you're not tech-savvy. The platform's built-in SEO, newsletter, and membership (Stripe integration for payments) features provide everything you will need to start a blog or a newsletter.

Ghost is also popular for business blogs; Buffer, OpenAI, DuckDuckGo, Cloudflare, and Duolingo are some brands using the platform.

They also have a marketplace where you find modern themes and can hire an expert to customize your theme or develop your web design.

4 blog design examples

Let's take a look at how some popular companies are tackling blog design for the websites.


OpenAI's blog looks like a product changelog, which appeals to the brand's engineering target market.

This layout is a perfect example of a user-centered design, where OpenAI's blog design meets its users' aesthetics. Engineers are used to changelogs without images, so removing featured images from the blog homepage makes sense.

The articles use minimal design, with centered content and a max-width of 750px to make the text legible and scannable. They also use images, GIFs, and code embeds to help tell each story. 

OpenAI's simple mobile-first blog site design delivers the same user experience across mobile, tablet, and desktop. It helps the brand maximize visitors and keep readers engaged, no matter the device they use.


One of the earliest examples of blog design in the SEO and content marketing space is Backlinko.

The homepage of Brian's blog features a hero section with a featured image of Brain and a newsletter call to action—a common design practice for many personal brands and influencers to get people into their email lists. His latest blog posts follow the hero section.

Brian uses a lot of empty space within each article, more so than a typical blog. Backlinko is also famous for its customized images, infographics, and other visual content to create an engaging user experience.

Any visual content Brian uses always looks consistent because he sticks to a specific style and highlights the parts he wants to draw attention to —a smart technique for maintaining visual consistency.

Spotify Design

Spotify Design is another example of a well designed blog, produced by Spotify's product designers sharing insights about the organization's design challenges and decisions. If you work in product development, this is definitely a blog to explore.

The homepage of the design blog features a hero carousel with their latest posts. The colorful blog layout and high-quality feature images are vibrant and on-brand while maintaining excellent UI consistency.

Each article features a colorful header image, a bold title, and social links instead of icons. The social sharing link makes sense because users can share the article anywhere rather than the most common platforms.

The button size is suited to mobile devices because users tap it with their thumb to copy the link.

Another on-brand element are the sidebar buttons for the previous article, next article, and to shuffle articles, mimicking the buttons on Spotify's media player—a fantastic strategy to increase brand awareness and engagement.


AirBnb hosts its own travel blog, showcasing beautiful destinations around the world.

Called AirBnB's newsroom, this well designed blog contains a cool personalization trick in the form of visually appealing pictures taken at travelling sites they cover.

It helps readers get a full picture of the location.

The overall design and feel of AirBnB's blog has been crafted carefully with travel sensibilities in mind. The blog conveys an airy open experience that is inviting in contrast to a traditional hotel's typical closed doors feel.

In the top left corner, there's a logo of the blog, so the reader can always come back to the blog's homepage.

The blog layout also has a drop-down menu with a version of the blog with other languages.

Key takeaways

  • Blog design is crucial to providing a great user experience, fostering engagement and sparking brand loyalty among your readers
  • It's essential to design mobile first with your users' readability and navigation in mind, while maintaining design consistency and scannability
  • Content management systems are a great way to get started quickly and offer thousands of modern blog designs that you can select from and customize

What is UXPin?

UXPin is a component-driven design tool that enables product designers to build advanced prototypes and simplifying design handoff by quickly translating design to code without any drift. It's mission is to bring designers and developers together. Explore UXPin features with a free 14-day trial.

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