I'm so excited. I recently wrote a few articles on this topic, and it is discussed in both my books (check them out here on Amazon) under "Blog Layout & Design", TypePad has just posted another one as well. Although it's posted on the TypePad blog, you can use these tips for whatever platform you use!
This article (by Typepad) also has great links to other related articles, such as Recommended Widgets – many of which have tutorials on my site!!!! If you can't find it, let me know and I'll direct you or use the Google Search box on the left side.
TypePad's Keep It Simple Tips (this is an excerpt from their full article):
- Use a two column right or three column right layout. By placing the sidebars to the right of the main content column, your new posts will load quickly and be the first thing visitors to your site see.
- Keep widgets to a minimum. Widgets are cool but take more time to load on your site. Only use widgets which you feel enhance the content of your blog and place the widgets in the far right column. See our list of recommended widgets.
- Add a page break to longer posts. The split extended entry feature allows you to break up your content and display an introduction followed by a Continue reading…link to view the full post. Place images and videos below the fold for quicker loading of your front page.
- Insert image thumbnails. Large images take longer to load, but you can insert smaller thumbnail images in your posts which link to the full size image in a pop-up window. Also check out the thumbnail gallery feature available in beta.
- Reduce the number of posts displaying per page. At Settings > Posts, you can limit the number of posts displaying on the front page of your blog.
- Reorganize your blog – where to put things in your blog and why.
- How fast does your blog load?
- My book, Beginning Google Blogger.
- My book, Creative Blogging.