Will Taft is a blogger from Southern Oregon. He grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from The University of New Hampshire in the late 1970’s with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Life Sciences and Agriculture Department. His major was Plant Science, general studies in horticulture and agriculture.
Will Taft [dot] Com is his online home where he talks about Gardening, Food & Food Safety, Health, Blogging and Technology, Reviews, Contemporary Issues and Blog Meme’s that he participates in.
Will Taft requested a Free Blog Review for his blog, so here I present my opinion about the look and feel, content and usability of his blog. I will be placing some recommendations about what can be improved in his blog, but do not take these recommendations as specifically meant for his blog. These suggestions should help any blogger in general as design, layout & content optimization issues are basically similar in nature for every blog and can be taken care of by following simple guidelines that are, in general, widely applicable.
Design and Layout:
Will Taft’s Blog uses a simple design template styled using various shades of Grey. The theme is not very dark and is pretty easy on eyes. The light gradient that highlights the post-title from the content of a post is such an eye-candy. The two sidebars to the right sit on the darker background (There are 3 actually; The one with the posts listed atop the two sidebars is not bordered and thus looks as ), distinct from the lighter and brighter content block. There only images that you see on the blog are the ones included in the posts and those that come up from the advertisements. There is no image used in the template framework. This makes the page load pretty fast. The right aligned navigation bar embedded in the header section looks cool and is quite usable as well.
I like Will’s style of writing and love to read his posts, more specifically the posts about blogging and blog meme’s that is a new thing for me as of now. The posts are well formatted, grammatically sound and convey their ideas clearly. Posts made under the categories: Health, Food, Food safety etc. make a good read and are quite informative. You’ll find a personal touch in his write-ups that involve you into the content.
Will Taft’s Blog makes a good casual read for any blogger and is a great resource for those who are particularly in the health, food, environment or energy niches. WT’s blog carries Healthy Living for People and Planet Earth just as the right tag-line. Participate actively, and you’ll have Will engaging back with you. You’ll smell a community spirit while being a reader of Will Taft’s Blog.
- The main blog page is very lengthy. Reduce the number of posts displayed on the main page from 10 posts to 4 or 5 posts only.
- Bring the Feed-Subscription options, Social Bookmarking options (like AddThis and technorati widgets) and the search feature at more prominent positions in the sidebars. Bring them near the top of sidebars.
- Bring the Google Translation feature anywhere near to the top. You may even consider giving it a place in the header section. It will be usable to the non-English visitors only if it is apparent. It is very hard to spot the translation tool at its current position.
- You can remove the Site Index part from the sidebar as the navigation on the top links to the archives.
- Use your feed to display the recent posts instead of the recent posts widget that you are using. Redirect using the feed will mean more item usage for your RSS feed.
- Try to organize the sidebars by grouping together the widgets of similar sizes. The lists like the top commentators, categories can be placed below the other smaller widgets and against each other to make the sidebars look well-managed, clean and tidy.
I hope this blog review helps you to make your blog still better, Will, and wish you good luck with it.
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