How to improve my website design

I recently got a message saying that my website wasn’t very well designed. They then didn’t give any suggestion on how to improve it.

I’d be really interested to hear as many thoughts as possible as to how I can improve my website.

The site is and is mainly a blog website for my wife and I to chat about our running. I’d like to make it more visually appealing but not really got any ideas on where to start.

EDIT: I’ve now made some changes to the site since the original post. Any further feedback is welcome.


Just out of interest, who sent that message? Somebody interested in your blog, or somebody touting for business and offering to “improve” it for you?

I don’t like the dark mochaGrunge.png background to the page; it seems too “heavy” and out of keeping with the rest. I’d swap it for maybe a pale blue.

Other than that, nothing really stood out as needing attention, although I kept getting distracted and reading your content, rather than looking at your design - and the content is, after all, the point of the whole thing. (Congratulations on your PB in the Loch Ness Marathon; my husband has run that several times, and I know from him it’s not the easiest of courses. )

Hopefully you might get some more ideas from less-distractable members.


You have a lot of interesting content on your site. Well done! I have a few suggestions that might help, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

I would suggest some change to font colours to make the blog more readable. White text on black backgrounds is hard on the eyes. If you want to keep the black background, I would soften the contrast just a bit - maybe make the text a very light grey or some other pale colour. Just make sure that the contract is high enough.

When you hover over the links, the colour becomes very close to the background colour and is hard to read. Try adding more contrast here too.

Long lines of text on a computer screen are very difficult to read also. Do you have any control over the layout so that you can make your lines shorter?

The only other thing that I would suggest is to try to keep the style of the site fairly consistent from page to page. I found that as I moved around the site, it seemed like I was actually being taken to completely different sites instead of different areas of the same site.


Hi both
Firstly, thanks for your quick replies.
The person who contacted me introduced themselves as an SEO expert but didn’t toute for business - whether that was to lure me in or not I don’t know but it did make me think about the design a bit.

  1. The MochaGrunge was meant to resemble tarmac = running on roads, but I get what you mean. It doesn’t look great. I’ll play around with some colour options. Thanks for the comment about Loch Ness marathon. It is a tough course but lovely at the same time :slight_smile:

  2. I’ve got rid of the black background on the text, change it to a blue and I’ve removed the gradient on the navbar, at least on the main site.

  3. I’ve got full control over the entire site, I built it myself on the Umbraco platform. I’ll look at options with regards to the long lines of text. If you have any examples, that would be great.

  4. You are correct when you say it’s like two seperate sites. It’s an Umbraco site but the blog area is a plugin which at times is a nightmare to style. I’m working on getting the entire site looking and feeling the same. I just can’t find a layout which ‘works’ for the blog. Again, any suggestions would be great.


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I get those types of contacts once in a while and it is most certainly a ploy to get your business, but I’m glad it had the effect of encouraging you to look for ways to improve your site. IMHO, all site owners should always be on the lookout for ways to improve.

The blue background makes the content much easier on the eyes.

I would still look for all your links and make sure that their colours (also check the hover colour) provide enough contrast for legibility. For example, the links in the footer are aqua and don’t show up very well on the blue. Because you are using several different background colours, getting the links right might be a bit of a challenge because you want them to be consistent throughout the site if possible. But this will really help.

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The last one of those I got was just after I had completely redesigned a site and they referred to having contacted me previously about the site and were wondering why I hadn’t done anything about it. I think a lot of those emails are generated without them ever having gone anywhere near the site they are referring to.


First of all, if you use wordpress, it’s easy to make your site look great. There are plenty of themes, free and paid.
Paid one: I would recommend Genesis Theme (lightweight and not leaded with tons of unused features)
There are both Frameworks, meaning that if you want to change something you need to know some CSS. If you dont know how to do that then install a free theme for wordpress. If this is not possible then ask a friend to modify the CSS file. Other solution is to hire an expert.

Has this now turned in to a thread for people to try and sell me new themes or their design services!??

My day job is a web developer and I use Umbraco. I only dabble in the design side of things for my own site, hence the reason I posted on here looking for feedback. I can make as many changes as required via CSS etc but sometimes you need someone else to show you what needs changed / suggest changes.


One, thing. I find the font size rather too small. The section I looked at was set at 13px and you would do better to use em or rem units.

I would also find the narrative more appealing if it was in the 1st person rather than the 3rd person (ie we instead of they).

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I just recommended you a good theme cu customize.

Thanks @Gandalf - Will have a look and make changes.

Interesting feedback about third person as well. I’ll look in to this as well. :slight_smile:

The point of a review topic is to look at the current site and highlight specific elements which work well or which need attention. Simply offering a general method to start again from scratch is not appropriate here.


It does not look like a website, but a webpage. There is no info bar, left/right panel. footer, menus, and the list goes on…

Seriously? Are you sure you’re looking at the same site as the rest of us?

There is a very obvious menu and and equally-obvious footer. As for side-bars, there is no requirement for a site to have such things.

Perhaps you could show screenshots of what you see as the problem areas, or provide a bit more helpful description.

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I appreciate any feedback back but this has confused me. I even had a look on my mobile to make sure it was acting correctly.

Sorry if you don’t like my comment, but i honestly don’t like the design at all.

I was looking at your website on my phone, @OwainGDWilliams, and it is very clear and uncluttered, which is very good.

But I couldn’t find the hamburger menu for quite a while (it’s in the upper right hand corner) because it blended right into the background colour. It’s this same issue of having enough contrast for readability. It would really help if you would change the hamburger image to either black or white so that it stands out and people can find it to navigate to the rest of your site.

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Thanks @WebMachine good point and I’ll make the changes on my next update :slight_smile:

Hi.When the SEO expert told you that he will improve your website, he meant to say that he will improve the ranking of your website on Google. SEO is a part of Digital Marketing.It will generate more traffic into your website to make it popular. Please check the ranking of your website on google at Alexa. Alexa is the most popular tool to check the ranking of any website on Google…

@askaparna: you seem to be a bit confused here. Firstly, whether or not the SEO expert meant to refer to search engine optimisation isn’t really the issue; @OwainGDWilliams is asking for advice about the design in this topic.

Also, Alexa ranking is independent of Google or any other search engine, and unless you pay for and install their analytics code on your site, you will only get an estimated Alexa ranking. Actual performance in search engines is a more useful guide to check.