Monday, December 19, 2011

Blogging Pet Peeves

What I really ought to do, is use Google Reader more consistently, so that these kinds of things don't necessarily come across my radar. But, here are the kinds of things that drive me craaaazy on people's blogs.

1. White text on black background. 
I know. I know. I've been there. The first website I designed had white text on black background, and I thought it looked so cool. Plus, there's a certain old-school charm for those of us old enough to remember those old-fashioned green and black, or amber and black computer screens. Except, no. It's murder on the eyes, and there's no reason for it.

2. Curlique fonts.
Can't stand it! Keep the fonts simple. There's a few that are good: Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Arial. Don't stray too far afield from those classics.

3. HUGE blog header.
Don't overdo it! Should I know the name of your blog? Yes. Should it be the only thing that I see when I open the page? No! Blog headers should be wider than they are tall.

4. Auto-play music.
That's an instant close the window for me. Can. Not. Stand. It. I don't care how cleverly you got the sound of ocean waves to play or whatever. I don't want to hear it!

5. Misspellings and grammatical mistakes.
I am terribly judge-y when it comes to these. It's so unfair. I know we in the blogopshere don't have the luxury of editors to smooth over our words. I'll forgive the occasional obvious typo. But when I see a common mistake, like "your" for "you're" I'm clicking on the "x" to close a window faster than fast.

6. Sidebars gone wild.
It might start out simply enough... a link or two, some cool widget, a count-down thingie for the next book in your favorite series, maybe an ad or a shout-out to your other favorite bloggers. Before you know it, things get out of hand, and your blog is all sidebar and no content. I know I lean pretty heavily on the "anti-sidebar" side of things. As it is, I feel like my blog already has too much junk on the sidebar, but my followers have asked for this and that. I think your blog should take up about 75% (or more) of the window. Once a sidebar is at 50%, you've got to be offering something pretty special in your content to compete with all that clutter. And I've seen lots of blogs, that easily have 70% sidebar stuff, 30% reviews and whatnot, which is a total turn-off to me.


  1. #4 & #6 drive me insane. I can't stand it when there is auto play music, especially if I'm somewhere where its quiet and then I open the page and it blasts away. #6 just makes the page open painfully slow. I usually give up before it does. As for the spelling stuff, I don't like mistakes, but everyone is human, so I guess it doesn't bother me too much. It sounds like you don't like grammatical errors and could forgive spelling an typos pretty easily.

  2. A few of them I haven't encountered myself, but I know I'd hate each and every one of them. Especially #5. Like you, I tell myself, "It's a typo. No biggie," but on the inside I'm no longer reading the post, only stating balefully at that one mistake. It annoys me more, though, when I re-read one of my own posts and see a typo. I feel so dreadfully embarrassed as I think 'Who's read that?' and I hate that people could think me lazy or uneducated.

    I don't mind curlicue fonts if they are just a title or signature, but I would be annoyed to see and entire post like that.

  3. Yes! The worst is when I catch an error on my blog after it's already gone live. So embarrassing! Especially when I so frequently rake other people over the coals for it. It really is a matter of consistency. When I see someone make a mistake once, it's not that big a deal. When every single post they have misspellings and mistakes, it's pretty hard to forgive.

  4. Wow. I agree with all of these. Can't stand the music, and grammatical errors just make a blogger lose credibility. The white on black thing is a biggie for me too -- usually it's not like that in my reader, though, so that helps. Those sidebars also cause a site to load more slowly, for those who don't have lightening internet connections. Great thoughts. I hope a lot of people read this...

  5. I agree with all your points! I hate music playing - so irritating. Sometimes it's caused by widgets people have added, but that doesn't make it any better. Take them off people!
    One big new hate for me is the new rafflecopter. The main issue is that you can't see the 'rules' until you've logged in. So, if someone hasn't told me in their post the giveaway is US only, then I can waste time logging in only to discover that fact. Once I didn't spot it until after I'd entered! Please, write in the post if your giveaway is international or not so I don't end up wasting my time.
    OK, rant over! ;)

  6. Oh how I agree with this list. Make the blog easy to read. (I had to learn this one, too). And don't, for any reason, have auto-play music. I'm definitely leaving if music starts playing.

  7. Ha, I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets irked by these things.

  8. Fantastic! Yes to every single one of these! The curly fonts and light font/dark background kill my eyes. Cluttered sidebars don't usually affect my load speeds, but they're distracting and often look cluttered. The huge blog header is a pet peeve of mine too. Grammar/spelling bothers me too. I'm so mortified when I catch an error like that in my posts.

    I'm so glad you linked to this post in your Busting the Newbie Blues post. I think I missed this one when I was on my blogging break in December.



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