If you’ve been running your blog for a while and done a tonne of modifications to your template (e.g. third-party ad code is often dodgy) or even if you’ve just redesigned (as I will often do with my personal blog) it’s worthwhile to do a bit of a spring clean every so often.
This list is also a reminder for me, as I haven’t completed all these things yet. I haven’t included a list of all the reasons why these things are important but in short: you’re making your blog more accessible, flexible and user-friendly.
- Validate your home page template, your blog post templates and your CSS files –
Type in your blog’s URL and click check. Reduce those errors down to 0.
- Once validated, check your blog in multiple browsers, especially:
IE 6, Firefox and Safari. IE 5 is good too. If you’re on a PC, you can still see what your blog will look like in Safari thanks to SafariTest
Iron out any bugs.
- Increase the font size in your browser settings for both IE and Firefox. Does your blog still work OK when you increase it up a couple of notches? Do you allow people to resize in IE? Does your blog work OK when you decrease the font size (not as important as the increasing though).
- Turn off stylesheets in your browser. Does the blog’s structure still make sense?
- Turn off images in your browser. Is everything still understandable? Is the text still readable?
- Try resizing your screen to 800 x 600 pixels and 1024 x 768 pixels. How does it look?
- Check the download time using this handy tool
- Check the quality report for your blog
- Read Blog design and usability advice and Blog Interface Design 2.0 for ideas as to how you can improve your blog’s interface
- Oh, and most importantly, talk to the people reading your blog – find out what they like and don’t like!
I find the Web Developer’s Toolbar invaluable for many of these checks.
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