In my WIP (work-in-progress), a mad scientist named Dr. Gerhardt manipulates wasps for his own warped purposes. Presumably I don’t have a warped mind, but like Dr. Gerhardt, I’ve manipulated things. I’ve made changes to my blog to make it more user-friendly.
8 Bloggerly Manipulations
1. When I post an image, I describe the image in the alt text so seeing-impaired people know what’s going on. Wait, do blind people read blogs? Actually, yes, but it’s often via an audible text-reader. A text-reader can describe the image if you put descriptive words in the alt text. Hover over today’s feature image, and you’ll see “image of zombie horse about to bite” in a little text box.
2. Speaking of images, I shrink huge, 7797 kB photos to 178 kB photos so they’ll load faster on readers’ devices.
3. I don’t post animated GIF’s. Yes, they’re fun! But they’re also hard on people with neurological impairments. If I’m surfing the net when I’m tired, they’re hard on me, too. It feels like eye-strain or something, and I quickly scroll past them.
4. I keep the links in blog posts to a minimum when practical so readers won’t get interrupted in their reading experience (click here . . . read . . . click back . . . read some more). I usually put reference links at the bottom of a post, like the link for these user-friendly webpage ideas.:-)
5. I stopped truncating my posts when I send them out on email notifications. The idea is someone reading on a phone can read the whole thing without having to click and then wait for the phone to load the webpage. Nowadays, people use phones more than laptops or desk computers to read content on the web.
6. I use a WordPress theme that’s responsive so folks can read my blog on whatever device they choose.
7. I keep my blog minimalist-looking. Readers don’t have a lot to distract them from the post they’re reading. I don’t know the age of my blog readers, but the older you get, the more important it is to have distraction-free focus in order to absorb what you’re reading.
8. Along the lines of minimalist-looking, I am saving my pennies to go ad-free on WordPress. I’m excited to get rid of those scary images of bowel cleansers and toenail fungus cures and . . . well, sure, I’ll stick an image of an angry horse on my post (because, you know, zombie horses), but no one needs to see toenail fungus!
But this is not an ad. It’s a personal recommendation.:-) Last year I read a terrific psychological whodunit thriller, The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict. (What do you do when you come home and the key to your front door won’t work, and worse yet, there’s a stranger living in your house?) The book just came out in paperback from Mulholland Books. If you’re looking for a fun read with a complex female protagonist, you’d like The Stranger Inside.
Ideas to make your website more user-friendly: https://elementor.com/blog/wordpress-accessibility/
Statistics about internet use, mobile devices vs computers: https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/mobile-desktop-internet-usage-statistics
Scott Young, author of Ultralearning, explains how older brains need an environment with fewer distractions in order to absorb what they are studying: https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/