How To Web Design

How to Effectively Display Content

Written by lexie

Your content is your bread and butter. But how does one effectively display content on their site?

Week in and week out, you produce amazing content your audience raves about. You know this because you’ve done intensive research, and your competition simply can’t keep up with what you’re producing — but for some reason your content isn’t getting as many page views as you’d hoped for.

Your content might get hits because people are coming from links, but what happens once they’re on your website? Do they leave immediately after they’re done reading your blog post, or do they check out other content on your website? The way you display content can have an impact on your visitor’s decision.

Want to know how to effectively display your content? Here’s how to do it.

Utilize White Space

White space is wasted space, right? Wrong.

White space is any space in a design that’s blank, and white space should be used for more impact. It’ll make the rest of your design stand out and increase the level of importance of each line and color. The same goes for content.

Smart Passive Income uses a ton of white space for their blog post. There’s no sidebar or colorful design popping out. It’s just the content. This increases the importance of each word because you have nowhere else to look, and all your attention is on the content itself. This makes readers less distracted and more engaged with the content that’s displayed.

If you really want the content itself to stand out, then use white space. Readers will find it appealing, and they’ll read your content much more carefully.

Display by Popularity

Let’s say someone visits your website because a friend of theirs sent them a link to a specific blog post. They like your post, so they decide to go to your homepage and see what else you’ve done. The first few articles don’t grab their interest, so they leave.

Don’t let this happen.

You should have your content displayed by popularity. The most popular posts should be near the top of the page, and the least popular ones should be near the bottom. New visitors will be getting your best content, and they’ll have to choice but to stay and read it.

There are many ways to get your popular content in front of new visitors. BuzzFeed has a trending page where you can check out their most popular articles that are currently trending. There’s also a section on their homepage that features their trending articles.

Popular articles are effective because they offer social proof. Your new visitor is aware that other people liked these blog posts. They’re more willing to give it a click and read through because it already has a stamp of approval from many people. Display your popular content first to use it more efficiently.

Organized Grid

Content isn’t limited to just text from a blog post. It can also be promotional content that needs to look appealing to new visitors. This content should be displayed like an organized grid.

Kanbanize uses a grid when promoting their features. The content is set up in two columns, with multiple rows going down the page. Each feature has an icon that helps separate it from the previous feature, and they’re all about the same size. This grid adds structure to your content that appeals to visitors. All the information is well organized and easy to read.

Pick and choose when you use grids. It might not be the best idea to use it for your blog post because the text won’t look great in blocks. If you’re displaying features or a list of blog posts, though, then a grid might just be the way to go.

Bold Image

A picture says a thousand words. Each blog post should be accompanied by an image that perfectly sums up what the visitor is about to read.

A picture should be included with each blog post, so it shows up with the title when it’s displayed on your website. Users always look at the picture first, so you have to make sure it stands out and entices the reader to click on your blog post.

Images are especially important when your niche is mostly visual. Food blogs need to use strong images so visitors know exactly what they’re going to get from the recipe. Jump, Jive & Kale uses a high-quality image with each recipe and places it next to the title. Your eyes are first drawn to the photo, which is basically making the sale.

Images are also important for displaying content when it comes to social media. You don’t have a chance of standing out on social media if you don’t have a photo to go with your post.

Use the Sidebar

The sidebar is every blogger’s greatest weapon. Not only does it make your website look more professional, but it’s also where you can place important features. Visitors will see these features, and it doesn’t look like it’s being forced in front of them.

Take advantage of your sidebar. Some bloggers use the sidebar to place an opt-in box, social media accounts and advertisements. While all these features work there, you should also have your popular content.

When you read, your eyes move from left to right. This means anyone who is reading your blog post will eventually have to look at your most popular content list if your sidebar is on the right side of their screen. Niche Hacks has their most popular content list perfectly placed. The icons for each article make the entire list stand out. They’re also all different colors, which pop nicely against the white background. You’re almost forced to look at it.

The sidebar adds more depth to the content without making it seem crammed — there’s still plenty of space within the text of the content itself. When your sidebar is well designed, it actually helps the display of the current content while also promoting your other blog posts.

When it comes to effectively displaying content, it essentially comes down to the design of the page. Clutter and disorganization will turn readers away — even if the content is good. However, a well-planned design along with engaging content will surely keep readers where you want them — navigating your site.

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About the author


Lexie is a designer, writer, and coffee lover. She writes about trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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