Elements of a Great Food Blog Design 101
So now hopefully we have gotten you interested in food blogs. Maybe you checked out a few of your favorites, checking the platform, or design - but let's get the intrigue going even further.
So let's break it down? What makes the design good? We are going to keep this one pretty short and sweet because over the week we are going to break it down even further. One thing we will come back to a lot this week is this list of must-haves. The key here is to let the content (not ads, not brand) shine, and to let the site be REALLY usable. Much more than most other kinds of websites, or even prolific blog styles. I mean no one prints a fashion-blogger's posts.
1. Letting the Content Shine. This seems obvious right? Yeah, well a lot of the time, us designers see a chance to add in lots of fun branding for our clients, but when it comes to food blogging, you have to be REALLY careful. Branding can sometimes be the absence of "things" and better yet, the defined structure, layout and color palette that let's your client's work shine over the designer's brand.
2. Legibility of Recipes. This one makes me cringe to write, but I see it so often. From "fun formatting" to designed specialty recipe cards, the key here is that you are asking people to follow directions. Textbooks aren't that fun to read, and it's for a reason. Yes, we get to let a little bit of fun into blogging, however right aligned text, fun illustrations, fancy footwork... all taking away from the reader actually pulling out their laptop, or printing the recipe and trying your work. THAT is how you get fans!
3. Usability of Recipes. Different than legibility, usability comes with the idea that the recipe is easily usable. Are you offering a printed version of your recipes? You don't have to in this day and age, but know that it IS possible in Squarespace (we will cover this later in the week!) Other things we want to mention here for recipes: serving size, units of measurement, length of post. These things matter! Don't skip out on them.
4. Searchable and Navigatable (I know it's not a word) - Indexing of Recipes is just ONE way that a site needs to be really usable as a food blog. When there's a blog that's so prolific - so many food bloggers post MULTIPLE times per week, so how do you make sure that everything stays organized. You MUST have a search bar near the top of the page, and you MUST organize your recipes into a really usable way. Make sure to check in with our Recipe Indexing post to learn more!
5. Simplicity and Niche. What can readers expect from you? This comes down to content branding, but having a cooking niche is so important! If they love your salads, and then for two months they only see meat stews, you are going to lose readers, so keeping things simple, organized and niche is key!
6. Branding (yes branding comes last). Number five touches on this a bit, but lastly the key to a great blog design is a hierarchy of design, layout, color, theme and more. JUST remember, the branding comes last, because a great food blog can run on a simple theme, have very little DESIGNER branding elements, and be wildly successful - because they have knocked all of the above things out of the park.
Other Posts You Might Like Coming Up:
- Recipe Formatting
- Google Recipe Formatting
- Printing Recipes
- Best Squarespace Food Blog Designs
- Indexing Recipes on Squarespace