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Win a Copy of Web Design for ROI

One of the books that I’ve been enjoying lately is Web Design for ROI: Turning Browsers into Buyers & Prospects into Leads. It might surprise regular readers who know that I’m a self confessed web design dummy to know that I’ve been reading (and enjoying) a book about this topic – but I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of it in the mail a month or so back and it is a topic that I’ve enjoyed learning about.

This isn’t a book about designing sexy sites – it’s a book about designing profitable ones (although sexy can be good too and this book will help with that too). It’s not a book about designing blogs – but a lot of what you read in it will inform decisions that you make about your blog’s layout and design also. Whether you’re designing your own blog or hiring someone else to do it this book is a worthwhile read.

I won’t review the book here (to be honest I’m still only 70% of the way through it) but if there are some good review of it on it’s Amazon page if you’re interested.

What I am happy to announce though is that I’ve been given 5 copies of this book to give away to ProBlogger readers.

How to Enter

To enter this competition you need to do 2 things:

1. In comments below leave us a comment telling us what blog’s design you love the most and why. Feel free to leave a link to the blog but do include some thoughts on what you find attractive about the blog’s design and why you admire it.

2. Your comment needs to have the keyword ‘web design’ in it – this will help us make sure comments don’t get caught up in our spam filters.

On Saturday (at midnight my time) I’ll end this competition and choose 5 of my favorite comments (ie comments that stand out for their value) to win a copy of the book. I’m also keen to see what blog designs you love and hope it’ll help provide many of us with some inspiration on that front.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Greg says:

    I know my chances of winning thsi web design book are almost null, but I recommend to everyone to read a book if you want to learn! It’s the best way :)

  2. shriya says:

    Well, I love my husband’s web design shankrila.com – in fact a heavily modified version of Saur theme. I love the grey and orange hints and the tag cloud plus the footer is great! IMHO. :-)

  3. My favorite blog web design is http://www.saleperson.info because of combination retro wallpaper plus modern layout and darken colors.
    Honestly, this is not mine but Dreamworks Redux theme developed by Vinh Le. I will tweak it litle :)
    It’s so cool that I visit this link every litle just to see that theme. If I get smaller font it will be perfect.
    Good work Vinh, hope I’ll get a book.

  4. Chris Estes says:

    The best web design is New York Times. There is something about the proper usage of white space on a classic newspaper design that is just plain sexy. No matter what the lastest sunglasses brand or suits classic styles are always sexy.

    The New York Times may not be a favorite news source but at least you can spot their style as synonymous with newspapers. Many news blogs are modeled after their front page an excellent usage of white.

    How is white sexy? A lady in a white dress is always beautiful. I don’t know so much about a man in a white dress… But when I wear a white suit the lady’s flock to me and if I ad nice accessory, like a Pulitzer prize winning story, they really jump out for me.

    So yes the New York Times gets my vote for sexy web design.

  5. Karen Putz says:

    I like the Freelance Folder web design. Simple, but it uses eye-catching graphics and photos in the blog posts.

  6. Jeremy Zhong says:

    Dear Darren,

    Firstly, pardon me for my poor english and usage of vocabulary.

    Previous Blog Design > Current

    Your previous blog design was more to my liking than your current one. Right now when I enter problogger, there are too many links everywhere on your page and I don’t know where to start from. A lot of people sees it otherwise but that’s my personal opinion. However, I love the new implementation of a weekly video post, been looking forward to it every week.

    Your previous blog design came in 2nd in my list after Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneurs Journey.

    What I Find Attractive:

    ==> Good flow

    He presents his information well and has a flow in it, starting off with Introduction at the top right hand corner, popular articles, mailing list, entry, etc.

    ==> Embedded Audio Message

    What’s really interesting about the Introduction is it has an Audio Message. I’m not sure about everyone’s opinion about this but I would rather hear an audio than reading it. Upon hearing his introduction message, I knew I liked his accent and content, and proceed on to downloading his podcasts. I had not seen a blog that utilize this Audio function that effectively.

    ==> Popular Article Section

    Next up would be a Popular Article section which includes an Audio Message too. These are the 4 articles that I first read on his post as I was really fascinated why is it really popular. After reading those 4 articles, I began to love his style of writing, and went on to read more of his other entries, subscribed to his mailing list and even thought of joining BlogTrafficKing but did not have enough cash flow for it. It was like a chain reaction. Every blog should implement this Popular Article section as it gives new visitors a chance to look at the best contents by the Author and whether or not his content and style of writing are to that visitor’s liking.

    ==> Huge font to Motivate me to read!

    The font of Entrepreneurs Journey was huge! I really love it as it gives me a chance to scan through the article quick without missing any words. I happen to miss a lot of words when it comes to small fonts. I am a BAD speed reader. The huge font really somewhat plays with my mind, tells me I have less to read(when it could be the same amount) and gives me a motivation to carry on reading. Had not seen a blog that has such huge font as Yaro.

    ==> Slight Improvements…

    However, there could be a minor improvement that could be done, in my opinion. The ‘categories’ section at the bottom right hand corner were shrinked to fit that spot together with the ‘Recent Comments’ section. Many new visitors would tend to miss that spot due to it’s small font and width of the sidebar. I am not sure if it would perform better if it was placed below his Blog Mailing List (Not BlogTrafficKing Mailing List) instead of that little ad. Well, Yaro might had done some testing to figure out that spot is the best for ads. I don’t know. Don’t take my suggestion too seriously. It’s great as it is now.

    Why I admire it?

    As I had mentioned earlier on, I find the design to be simple, plain, organized and there’s a flow to it.

    I am aiming my blog in the future (I dont know where to start), to be like his.

    PS: I am terribly sorry for writing such a lengthy one. The above are just my personal opinions and there are people who bound to disagree on my stand. Don’t take it too seriously.

    PPS: My apologies once again for the structuring of my sentences. I tried my best. I don’t grow up from a english speaking background. Sorry. :(

    PPPS: I am not paid by Yaro to write this. I respect him and he deserve this small opinion from me for dishing out fantastic content every week.

    Best Regards,
    Jeremy

  7. Duane Brown says:

    I love the web design for Go Media, http://www.gomediazine.com, as I think it shows off their design and style. The content is also really great and you can just feel for them as a person. I think a website/blog’s design is related to one’s personality.

    If you are into design, art or business… this is a keeper in your rss reader.

  8. Neural Spike says:

    http://myinitiation.blogspot.com/

    I just finished the web design of my first blog (!) “ My Initiation ”, it’s fresh new. I like how I could transform one default blogger template into something to fit all of my wants; it was like css zen garden in some way, adjusting the page to create something till it’s yours. I managed to put a clickable logo in it, to put a custom favicon, to place the bookmark button in line with the title, the comment and send links. I like how I blended MyBlogLog and the email form. The result is that is has all the features that I wanted and yet it’s very clean and simple; it didn’t end up messy like the rest of the newer blogs that incorporates the same elements into the page. I love it, I think it’s the best example of how you can be productive and do-it for free, with tools already available on the internet.

  9. Nick says:

    My favorite Web Design for a blog is currently http://www.problogger.net

    I hope the fact that I am picking your site as my favorite does not discourage you from picking me as a winner as I will explain why this truly is my favorite design of blogs I’ve seen so far.

    This was my first blog that I subscribed to as I was looking into starting a web-based businessness and blogging caught my attention. The reasons I believe it is very well designed web site and blog is because the middle post, about the fold and centered is your weekly video post. I think videos stand out and catch the attention of viewers. I then like the location of your featured post, it is prominent at the top of the page and is impossible to miss, it is also given extra space for readers to be able to get more into the article before clicking through so they’ll know if they want to read it or not. Further, the location of “recently at the blog” is in a great location and is set up nicely. I like unlike many blogs (and this is good because of how often you post and may not be good for others necessarily) how this is really an archieve of helpful blogging tips. And it is laid out as such. When you look at the recently at the blog section you see the diversity of blogs, it gives new visitors many opportunities to choose what they like and give you more opportunites to find new readers for your blog. I also think that your ads on the right and location of RSS subscribe is in a good location. I think the site looks classy and does not feel cluttered, as well as when you click through to a post it is easy to read and has a good font size, things that may seem insignificant but are good to keep readers reading the whole way through the article.

    Lastly, I like the color orange, so you have an unfair advantage over me because of the orange on all of the post titles.

    I should add however, I believe I have taken the best parts of many blogs and will be implementing them on my new blog (linked to through my name) which is not yet running, and then that will be my favorite web design for a blog!

    Thanks,
    Nick

  10. Clint says:

    My favorite Web Design for a blog is currently http://www.dooce.com

    I’m a pet lover like the author, and she incorporates her dogs into the design on a regular basis. She also rotates the masthead monthly to provide a fresh look.

  11. I love the WordPress Dream Theme

    It’s a more dynamic layout and I have been using it for a few weeks and getting great feedback. It is a premium theme but with my busy schedule, I needed a techie person to put the pieces together and customize it and that (Ben Cope’s expertise) was included.

    Live Your Dreams,

    Jill

  12. I love all ALL templates available to people who use the latest version of Blogger.

    Their attractive designs, combined with feature-rich modules (and the ability to just jump in and edit in HTML if that’s your thing) make it easy for even a beginning blogger to communicate clearly and powerfully and look like a pro. It takes just seconds to set the controls to ping Technorati and Google; that, plus the box for tagging each post, makes Blogger ideal for SEO.

    I’ve had friends (writers, not designers) who have floundered around with more sophisticated apps, creating some pretty cheesy-looking blogs in the process, only to return to Blogger.

  13. Nabin says:

    I like my own blog’s web design.

    http://ajabgajab.blogspot.com

    I have worked pretty hard to get the three column design. The advertisements and links are easy to navigate and the contents are also well positioned.

    (PS: I am in your Mybloglog community and I did not get this offer there, it is not fair not to announce it there.)

  14. Robbie says:

    I believe the web design for http://www.iwillchangeyourlife.com/ has an effective design because of the efficient use of pictures. They are both astheticly pleasing, and work to draw in the eye towards the post. From there the clean, well spaced text is easy to read. The use of quotes, bolding, and links are all done is such a way that enhances the post rather then distracting from it or making it seemed cluttered. Aside from the actual posting the side bar also does a good job of categorizing and seperating important groups of links.

    Great contest! It really gets people to think about the effectiveness of web design.

  15. JPM says:

    If we can vote for our own, I would for http://www.jpmartin.com – designed based on Elite, hacked, modified and painstakingly optimized for users and search engines alike. A minimalist design that’s easy on the eyes, with domtab navigation highlighting the fresh and best, breadcrumbs to help you navigate and a clear search function to help you find things. Ultimately once the reader is on a post and likes it, he can either share/read related/bookmark/subscribe.

    Appreciate your feedback – good and bad!

  16. John Lampard says:

    A little late but Airbag and Authentic Boredom are some more examples of well designed blogs.

  17. Sheamus says:

    I tell you what is quite interesting about all this, is how many of these highly-touted blogs perform very poorly when viewed through IE6. Some struggle to maintain a fixed layout, whilst others take an eternity to fully load.

    Now, hold on – I’m a Firefox man all the way. However, I, like millions of other people, do not have any control over what one is forced to browse the Internets with whilst at work, and like many other organisations, my firm won’t upgrade from IE6, because that’s all they trust.

    Indeed, a recent article at Techcrunch suggested that IE6 still represents 31 per cent of all browers being used. I can well believe it. My stats on my various sites bear it out.

    While it’s a dangerous game to be too focused on backwards compatability, and one can make all kinds of noises about how that 31 per cent needs to catch up with the rest of civilisations (and I agree – they do), as I said, many of these raved-above sites are a bit of a nightmare in IE6.

    And 31 per cent is a lot of disgruntled readers.