The number of bloggers in the world will reach 31.7 million next year. That’s a staggering number of blogs, for sure, but do all of them attract the same amount of traffic? Obviously, no. Only the ones which hit the mark stand out.
“How do you hit that mark”, you ask? Even someone dense about blogging would blurt out that it’s all about the quality of your content. Not entirely true.
You see, producing engaging content that will be read, shared and will leave the readers wanting for more is of paramount importance. Nobody’s denying that. But that’s only part of the story.
Because here’s the thing. Would you come back to a blog cluttered with ads, widgets, buttons, and godawful design elements? Probably not.
Would you bother giving their content (even if it’s awesome) a read if it is barely readable because of a poor font choice? Because of incorrect line-height and padding? No.
What if instead of subheadings, the content is presented as a huge indigestible chunk of text? You get the idea.
You can’t expect to build a loyal readership, or even expect most readers to skim through your post and answer your call to action if they don’t find the design visually appealing. That is why it’s just as important as your material.
So now that we’ve established why good design is a key to a successful blog, here’s a roundup of 32 most eye-popping examples of blog designs inspiration out there.
The first blog design in this rundown is a minimal, clutter-free and contemporary bootstrap template. It’s flexible, easy-to-use and easy on the eyes.
The homepage greets you with a featured article that also serves as a header. You can use this header to showcase your most popular entry. The title itself is bold, easily readable and sleek-looking. Right below the title, you’ll find a short punchy description hinting at what the post is about.
To help the reader decide whether they have the time to read your post now or if they’ll bookmark it for later, the template displays the estimated reading time with every post.
Now for the layout…
It uses a fusion of two and three-column layout, which might be a bit unconventional but it works like a dream. With that being said, the template is highly customizable, so you can alter the default layout style if you choose to.
Parrot is very responsive, retina-ready, and is built on Bootstrap. It also comes with 4 pre-designed pages, which save you not just time but also effort when you’re setting up your blog.
When you reach the end of your post, the header automatically displays social media buttons for easy sharing.
They opted for a charcoal color in lieu of solid black text – a color that has been shown to be easier on your eyes. It shows how much thought went into this design. The smooth progress bar is another welcome touch.
The bottom-line? It’s a clean, meticulous, and responsive template from the get-go.
Nice, Very Nice
This blog design stands out because of its bold and neat typeface choice. The header simply contains the typographic logo, accompanied by some text. There are no fancy or intrusive animations. No gaudy illustrations. This header is as simple as they come. And more often than not, simplicity translates into great design.
As you scroll, you’ll find stories arranged into a fusion of two and three column layouts. Again, the titles for these stories stand out because the font choice is very eye-popping.
Once you dive into a story, you’ll find it free from clutter. The content is organized. Very readable.
The social media sharing buttons are strategically placed at the very beginning of the story and towards the very end. I find this design choice thoughtful, because it makes the buttons accessible without getting in your way.
In fact, I’d submit that this sharing hub configuration is among some of the most effective ones, because the buttons aren’t too ‘in your face’, or intrusive.
As for the subscription to their newsletter, you’d have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the footer to find it. In my experience, a newsletter pop-up attracts more readers. But if it’s your secondary concern, this choice isn’t half bad either.
Next up, we have a design that showcases the cover story with a big, eye-catching banner with white overlay text, a brand name, and a logo of the same color. The banner takes up almost your entire screen, which is an effective choice if you want to grab your visitor’s attention, the second they land on your homepage.
As you scroll down, the cover story pulls away to reveal their latest stories. This section only features custom images and illustrations (which look pleasing, I might add) and no text. You can click or tap the images and they’ll take you to the post. Odd? Yes. You’re going in blind, so to speak. Some readers might favor this novelty. Others might not.
Moving further down, you’ll find their ‘staff picks’ section, which unlike the previous one lays out stories with their titles and a short excerpt giving you a peek into the post.
The stories themselves are laid out in alternating single-column design, with plenty of white space so the posts aren’t fighting for viewer’s attention.
The design is sleek and stylistic but you have to scroll more than you’re probably used to. It is also very minimal, so much so they cut out the estimated reading time, which is probably the only gripe I have with the design.
Kinfolk features a very clean and tasteful look. You’ll notice how the fonts and color schemes are in line with their brand-image – a magazine and travel guide.
On top of the navigation, search and brand logo, there’s a banner showcasing the latest issue of the magazine on a simple background, along with some white overlay text. So far, so good.
The navigation is cleanly stashed away in a hamburger menu – a design choice that minimizes clutter. It uses a card layout. Three columns. But with a twist. The leftmost column only houses a single post, which is sort of “stickied” and moves along as you scroll. It’s not a downside in itself but the animation is a bit jittery.
Kinfolk doesn’t do anything ground-breaking or reinvent the wheel, but what it does, it does right.
Next up, we have Inside Intercom. It’s landing page isn’t exactly trailblazing. Some might find it too basic (at least that’s what I think). But where it lacks, it makes up for it with its gorgeous illustrations.
The first element that catches your eye is the big, vibrant artwork that is accompanied by the post title, a short description, estimated reading time, and its category. Aside from the news section, the posts are sorted into three columns, again with estimated reading times and excerpts.
The navigation is arranged along the left pane. It contains post categories and calls to actions for both their newsletter and social media buttons. And it is also the part I found most poorly designed; there’s definitely room for improvement there.
Inside Design by InVision
This blog is a prime example of how you maintain color scheme and brand consistency. When you open the page, the logo is conspicuous but its typography shrinks back into the navigation bar as you scroll (which I find inventive).
Speaking of scrolling, the right pane is dedicated to recent stories that let you sort through these posts without scrolling through the page – another creative touch. As for the right pane, it showcases the most popular story which immediately catches your attention.
Another aspect worth mentioning is the blog’s use of animations – which admittedly are very original and fresh. The blend of images and illustrations for posts works well too.
A pop-up card invites you to join their newsletter as soon as you land on their blog – good strategy. The banner fills the whole screen with an image. The company logo, the latest issue, and the menu button are featured as overlays. It’s aesthetic and pleasing.
The navigation links are nestled inside the menu button, which shoves the page to a side to reveal them on a solid black background. Tight and tidy. Scrolling along, you’ll find another banner dedicated to their featured story, complete with overlay text. The colors are mostly muted which complements the overall aesthetics of the blog.
The story pages showcase the post on a light pink background which reduces eye strain and improves readability. If you’d rather prefer to listen, you can also opt for that instead of reading them – a novel touch.
Which brings me to my next point, readability. They put a lot of thought into making the blog posts as easily readable as they could. The font choice contributes to that. As does the completely distraction-free look. What about social links? Yes, they are there. And very accessible too since they stick to the left side.
Check out Emergence Magazine
Christmas HQ captures the holiday spirit, and it captures it beautifully. From the stunning animated illustration as the header and Christmas-themed design elements, everything about this blog says “warm” and “welcoming”.
The layout is divided into two left and right panels. The left one features stories in two columns while the right pane showcases the latest food & drinks as well as decorations.
Once you dive into a post, you’ll find the reading time right under the title – an immensely helpful feature if you’re pressed for time. The social media buttons sit beside the title for easy sharing.
The overall design is appealing and you can tell from the get-go that they hit the mark with the holiday theme.
Moving down the list, we have a slick-looking German blog. Keeping the pop-up newsletter train going, this blog’s homepage also greets you with a sign-up card. It is a bit unique in the fact that it uses both a hamburger menu and a traditional navigation menu – and no it doesn’t change depending on your screen size, it displays both side-by-side.
Save for the featured and top articles, the posts are organized in three-column cards. I’m not a fan of this layout because not every article gets the same amount of attention from the viewer. The font hierarchy isn’t half bad – no complaints there.
Crème Guides’ color palette is light and vibrant, as are the post thumbnails which make for a visually appealing blog design.
Interface lovers is a blog which features interviews of accomplished and up and coming designers. So it comes as no surprise that it’s designed well.
It’s very minimalistic yet flavorful. I love the clean and simplistic header which includes their typography logo and a few helpful navigation links.
The interviews are laid out in two columns except for the featured interview which retains its place as you scroll. The title and its excerpt are displayed on top of the thumbnail as overlays. The rest of the interviews are stacked on top of each other, each with its headline and a short bio of the interviewee.
The only nitpick I have with this design is the limited number of sharing options, but that can be easily remedied if need be.
Many blogs that are jam-packed with content often end up looking like a mess. But Surfacemag avoids that pitfall – at least for the most part. This blog is arranged in a reasonable and digestible layout, despite the ‘infobesity’.
It categorizes its stories into three different sections. The right section displays the top picks, the middle one lets you explore the so-called “The List” – an assortment of different stories from different categories. Lastly, the left section is home to a slideshow.
Every article is paired with a giant banner which adds to the clutter but delivers little value. The social media sharing links aren’t readily noticeable either. Instead, they’re tucked away in an oddly-placed and hardly visible ‘share’ text.
The homepage is neatly organized and approachable. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the article pages.
Vanschneider veers from the traditional designs with its fresh and innovative appearance. It’s tidy. The color scheme is great. The font choice is easy on the eyes. The animations enrich your experience. This is the kind of design that helps you build a loyal readership – readers who come back to your site.
Next to the hipster-looking logo, you’ll find a modern navigation bar. Below that, huge lettering which tells you the section of the blog you’re in, which is brought to life with a liquid animation when you hover over it.
Speaking of animations, the search bar deserves a special mention. Once you click or tap on the search icon, it fills the whole screen with a semi-transparent color and a huge blinking cursor, which is not only novel but extremely well-designed.
All of that coupled with sleek illustrations make this blog pure eye-candy.
Is it the unusual position and design of the navigation menu? Or is it the striking animated spray paint graphics? Or perhaps the bold typeface choice? Maybe a blend of all three? Whatever the answer may be, everything about this blog’s design is simply stunning.
Even for all its quirkiness, it doesn’t look like they sacrificed readability. The content is broken down in easily-readable bits, along with an image or two sprinkled. However, functionality might have been traded off because there are no buttons to share the article or any form of social proof to be seen.
Even though it has its shortcomings this unexpected design sticks in your mind.
Uber’s Los Angeles is another example of a blog design done right. It’s very simple and straightforward but enticing nonetheless.
Let’s start with the navigation menu. It’s minimalistic to look at and the relevant navigation links are nested inside the main elements. Magnificent. The search feature follows the trendy design of blowing up the bar to fill your whole screen. Again, very appealing. The sign-up button sits next to it and has a distinct blue color that contrasts with the background and readily grabs your audience’s attention.
As far as the layout goes, it displays the posts in a three-column card format. Each card animates with a drop-shadow once you hover over it.
The articles themselves are illustrated with beautiful relevant illustrations which certainly add to the reader’s experience.
Taking all of that into consideration, it’s not difficult to see why this blog design inspiration made the cut.
There’s one word that sums up my opinion of this blog’s design perfectly. Mesmerizing. The color scheme is maintained throughout to make it even more consistent with the brand image. The hand-drawn illustration on the landing page has the same color palette as the Slack’s logo. That’s only one example of the meticulousness and thought they put into it.
Speaking of the illustrations, it uses a very rare style – one that you don’t see everywhere. Black and white cutouts with strokes, strategically placed on solid block colors to maximize visibility. Hovering over almost every element triggers an animation or a graphic.
The content is formatted to give text as much white space as possible, which obviously helps with the readability.
Elemental by Medium
There’s hardly a blogger around who hasn’t heard of Medium. It is only one of the most popular platforms which publish stories and big ideas. Elemental is a subsidiary of its parent platform which publishes wellness blog posts in the light of science. Fascinating. Isn’t it?
But what about the design? Well, let’s just put it this way: I don’t have any complaint. It’s simple. Captivating. Readable. Exactly what you’d expect of a good blog design. There are no fancy bells and whistles or ‘innovative’ (read: tacky) design elements, which surprisingly works in this design’s favor.
The stories are sorted into multiple columns. There’s plenty of room for the thumbnails and titles to ‘breathe’, so to speak. So it doesn’t feel too crowded. You also find the number of ‘claps’ on a post which is a good form of social proof.
Openhouse is a magazine blog, and same as a number of mag blogs today, it loosely follows a familiar design. Which isn’t a downside, considering how this design has been a lightning rod for praise.
The homepage showcases a slideshow or a ‘carousel’ with 5 different stories. It covers almost the entire page and has a beautiful custom image that contrasts well with the white text overlay. And ask any designer, and they’ll tell you that contrast is key to good design.
They tried to get creative with the menu button. It’s a circular outline instead of the traditional hamburger icon, which some might find appealing.
Scrolling down leads you to the stories section with articles arranged in a two-column format. It’s a layout many readers favor.
The animations are fairly basic. But that’s not to say they’re in poor taste. The line-height and padding are near perfect which makes reading a breeze.
Tilda Publishing Blog
The next entry in this list is a design and journalism blog which is all about minimalism. The illustrations, typefaces and even the next to no use of hovering animations, all point to a carefully selected minimalistic design.
Unlike most blogs that show you a pop-up card to sign up for their newsletter, this blog dedicates the space for its main header space to that sign-up section and social media sharing widgets. A bit unconventional? Sure, but tremendously helpful if you’re trying to get more readers to sign up.
The header is supplemented with an illustration that goes well with the whole theme. The translucent white navigation menu is another subtle but nice touch. The illustrations with characters are animated ever so gently to give it an expressive look.
The articles (mainly web designs from their customers) are arranged in a single column, which again is accompanied by eye-catching artworks.
Backyard is a projected of Airbnb oriented towards curtailing waste and sharing homes. The blog’s sole purpose is introducing consumers to the project. Which means there isn’t a lot of content, which would demand an organization into separate columns.
The design is as simple as it gets. There are no buttons or links to click. No fancy illustrations, graphics or animations. In fact, the only part you can click is the navigation items, which appear when you hover over a dot in the corner. The text is placed on a light beige background.
It’s not difficult to see that readability was their main focus. There’s virtually no clutter, buttons or widgets. In plain English, you can digest the content without distractions.
Now evidently, there’s nothing striking or radical about this design, and in my view, that’s what the designer intended. Because its beauty lies in its simplicity.
Cup of Couple
This blog brings an interesting design to the table. And the design isn’t just interesting, it’s fresh too.
Let’s explore why…
You start with the automated slideshow at the very top which stages featured articles, in three sets. If the visitor is interested in any of the articles, they made certain that the posts will not miss their attention. Underneath that, you find the blog’s logo in the center. The background is light grey which reduces the strain on your eyes and also looks aesthetic.
But that’s not what’s so novel about this design. It’s the article headlines. They are presented as a sort of news ticker tape loop animations. You can read the whole title once you hover over the post. It’s a great way to format the posts in the three-column layout because the posts don’t struggle for the viewer’s attention. Each of the article headlines gives the viewer a taste, and if they’re curious they’ll hover over or maybe even dive into it.
This blog’s strength lies in its beautiful illustrations and artworks. The design isn’t astonishing but the customized thumbnails make it pure eye candy. So, kudos for that.
Below the navigation menu, you’ll notice the stories section divided into three columns – each featuring posts from a different category. The left column showcases the featured article supplemented with a big and beautiful illustration. The typeface choice is just as gorgeous.
The articles are presented in a clean and clutter-free way, with an aim for readability. The social media buttons stay on top, right next to the bar which shows you your reading progress — another convenient touch.
Once you reach the end of your article, it displays some more posts in the same category that the reader might be interested in. Which is a tried-and-tested way to keep your viewers engaged?
Scrolling further, there’s a podcasts section staging their latest podcasts. After that brief stop, the original layout of the posts resumes but this time, it showcases editor’s picks, again with often hand-drawn, vivid, and enticing illustrations.
Another aspect worth mentioning is the gentle animation of characters in some illustrations, which add a flair to the thumbnail.
Brandland’s blog has a very distinctive and unique design. Unlike most blog designs which split the content into different columns and have readers scroll (sometimes for way too long) to find posts that interest them, it uses a new approach. Minimal but effective.
At first glance, you’ll notice the bright geometrical background which has a sort of ‘pastel’ look and feel to it. To the right, there’s a horizontal navigation menu which takes you to three different pages on the blog: Guidelines, resources and help center.
When you tap them, the background is replaced with content which undeniably is displayed to maximize reading comfort. The way they achieved that is by breaking the content into separate sections and displaying them on the right side for the reader to conveniently access.
The three-dimensional pastel illustrations are sprinkled throughout the page which points to brand consistency.
When the reader reaches the end of a post, they’re presented with two navigation buttons which let them either delve deeper into a topic or return to the homepage.
The footer displays useful links as well as social buttons which couldn’t have been placed better.
Eye on Design
From the soft pink color palette to the use of ASCII emojis right on the header, everything about this design says, “informal” and “friendly”. Navigation is tucked away in a hamburger menu which covers the whole screen when clicked – making navigation easy as pie. Only easier.
The illustrations are quirky and in line with the color palette of the whole design. The main story’s thumbnail covers almost the entire page. And I love how they didn’t bog it down with overlays. It is presented as an illustration, nothing else – at least till you hover over it. Doing that reveals the title, an extract, the by-line on a semi-transparent soft pink block.
The rest of the posts are sorted into a two or three-column layout, again with a similar hover-over animation and style.
Post themselves are spaced well and the typeface size is just right. There’s nothing to distract the reader on the page. The sharing buttons stay on top of the post, along with the title. The color consistency is maintained here perfectly too.
In so many words, this blog is a fine example of continuing a consistent brand image and it has some attractive illustrations and graphics to boot.
Just look at the spectacular header. It’s welcoming and cozy – a good representation of the brand itself. As the name might giveaway, it’s a blog about design. So it won’t be unreasonable to expect top-notch design from it. And it delivers, right off the bat.
The typeface choice deserves a special mention. The fonts are easy on the eyes and clean. Owing to this, the reading experience is fairly pleasant.
You’ll notice vibrant illustrations not only as thumbnails but also featured within the articles.
The search icon redirects you to a different page which adds an extra step to something that should’ve been simpler. But that’s a nitpick more than anything.
The Next Web
The Next Web has a visually compelling design, thanks to its header with attention-grabbing titles and lovely hover effects all over.
A detail many blogs often seem to overlook is highlighting social proof along with their posts. The Next Web, however, doesn’t. It shows you the number of shares beside each post’s title which is a great form of social proof.
The stories are laid out in four different columns, which can prove valuable if you have a lot of content to showcase and little screen real-estate without demanding your visitors to scroll endlessly.
That said, it is far from ideal. It does suffer from some minor readability issues; mostly content’s font size. But that criticism can be dismissed as a matter of personal preference.
The header features the logo in the center with weather and some other updates on either side. It works. The header looks fabulous. As does the navigation menu with its block letters.
It uses a card-style layout in multiple columns. When hovered over, each card tells you the number of reads and comments on that particular post as social proof.
The left column of the homepage is dedicated to news updates within the Moscow city. Speaking of which, the city gets its own section on the homepage, so does every other category, making it possible to sift through the categories that matter to you without ever leaving the homepage.
You can access the prominent topics by clicking the hamburger menu but the font size could’ve been larger. The posts too can be a bit distracting to read because the photos are stacked on top of each other so you have to ‘wade’ through them to read the material.
What makes a blog exceptional? Good question. Three answers. The design catches the viewer’s eye. It is easily readable and digestible. And finally, it leaves the reader feeling educated. This blog checks all these boxes.
It ditches most of the thumbnails in favor of clean cards with text only. And it looks pretty tidy because it doesn’t feel like there’s too much going on. Hence, less clutter.
The thumbnails it does use, are almost invariably the same illustration with similar colors and text overlays. In addition to the blog posts section, you’ll also find a number of reading lists grouped together with captivating thumbnail designs.
Instead of a column layout, it uses a grid format for its thumbnail free cards which make for compelling design.
My Domaine is a lifestyle blog with a design that packs a punch. The header doubles as a thumbnail for the featured story with text featured on a white block which makes for great contrast.
The top stories are laid out in a card format in three different columns. There isn’t any hover over effects or graphics of any kind which keeps the design minimal. There’s one card for each column keeping the section from feeling too crowded.
Popular stories from every section are showcased on the homepage so the readers can find stories they’ll love without getting redirected to other pages, which is a welcome touch.
As for the posts, the font choice could have been better and a tad larger. The photos within the article are used sparsely. This limits distractions and lets the reader absorb the content.
Another area I find it lacking is the absence of any social media sharing widgets or buttons.
Tability is another blog with magnetic illustrations and graphics, except it gets the whole design perfect. The header is simply a block color with a tiny logo in the dead center – which looks refreshing.
The stories are cards stacked on top of each other but separated into different columns and are animated with gentle effects. Subtle but it tempts your visitors into clicking the posts. The typeface hierarchy is impressive too. The content is formatted in a sizable font and includes some well-drawn custom imagery and artworks.
The social media buttons are presented on the top which makes them accessible.
Unlike some half-baked designs out there which divert too many resources on either the web design or illustrations, this blog balances both exceptionally well. The result is a memorable blog that outshines the competition.
Space10’s design is very intuitive. The header of your blog is the first thing a visitor notices and it’s important that it grabs their attention. And from the looks of it, a lot of effort went into the header of this blog.
They used a ‘bento’ variant of the hamburger menu which opens with a satisfying animation. There is a title, a description, and easily reachable and intuitive blog page links. All of these elements are presented on a large background as overlays which keeps the header clean and simplistic.
A good color scheme can easily make or break your design, so it’s important to choose the right one. And more often than not, the right scheme is the simplest one. And it seems like this blog truly embraces this principle. The charcoal and white color scheme tell you that much. Choosing only a two-color palette gives the site a very minimalistic, simple and inviting look.
The only colors you’ll notice are of the thumbnails which are animated with a gentle but satisfying effect.
I wanted to include a blog that features a black or dark-themed design and Monster Children is a prime example.
The header – which in this case includes the navigation, logo and secondary navigation which is hidden away in a hamburger menu. The secondary navigation seems a bit redundant but allows for symmetry. Regardless, the whole header uses a black-and-white scheme including the pure white logo which contrasts nicely with the pure black background.
Next up, there’s a slideshow showcasing some of the more popular stories and their thumbnails are noticeably darkened and harmonious with the general feel.
There are different topics arranged into blocks side-by-side with text overlay and thumbnails but they don’t take up a lot of screen real-estate. I like how they light up when hovered over – an effect you might be used to seeing but not like this.
The stories are arranged into a single column, complete with oversized thumbnails and titles.
Long story short, Monster Children lines up nicely with the dark-themed trend.
A List Apart
A List Apart implements another B&W design. If you’re looking for a design that uses images sparingly but well, this is it.
The only image you’ll find in the blog is the header illustration – black & white but tasteful. The stories aren’t aligned into columns or cards you see everywhere. Instead, it’s simply a link along with an excerpt and a by-line.
Keep scrolling and you’ll find more articles arranged into a grid form. It seems like the designer wanted the audience to focus solely on the content and this format achieves that neatly.
Custom imagery can make any design come to life and Design Systems uses it skillfully. The entire homepage features a colorful and rich geometric background which gives the design a somewhat transparent look and feel.
The posts are spaced apart well and in a way that grabs the reader’s attention immediately. Other sections feature their own geometric design each with three articles.
The navigation is revealed by clicking the hamburger menu on the right, which, interestingly enough, only covers half the page. You’d notice that blog designs mostly blow up to cover the entire page.
Phew! That was a long read but now to wrap this post up: design can be instrumental to the success of your blog. So use these best blog designs for inspiration. Be creative. Experiment on your own. Come up with a design that’ll wow your reader and tempt them to come back.