On Blog Homepage Design

Do you think blog home pages should carry only excerpts or teasers? Or should they carry the posts in full?

Shankar Ganesh has made a guideline for posting on your blog (via Mark Ghosh). While it is very useful, I find myself a little uncomfortable with point 8, I think it borders on usability.

8. Don’t miss to use the teaser to display only the post excerpt and to increase page views.

I think whether a post should be shown in excerpt or in full should be a function of where it is being shown. Is it being shown on the homepage, in archives, or in search results. If a reader visits the homepage, why to ask him/her to go through one more click to read the entire post? This can hurt regular readers who visit your homepage for updates and find that they have to use more clicks to read the entire posts.

I am not saying that this is entirely wrong, but doing this only to increase the page views, in my opinion, makes you inconsiderate towards your readers.

I think it should be a factor of frequency of your posts and probably even their length. As should be the number of posts that you show. If you write about once a day, you can keep the top one or two posts in full and the rest as excerpts or links, called a mullet style design, which provides a balance between only excerpts and only full posts. If your frequency is higher, it might make sense to keep all your posts in full. I also know that a lot of readers expect full posts on homepage when they realize that they are reading blogs.

However, I realize that this can be only my opinion and preference. What do you think? What would you like to see on this blog?

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Connor Wilson said:

    Having to trick readers into clicking a “read more” link is only giving in to the fact that your blog isn’t interesting enough to them to read something else.

    I personally display four full posts on my homepage. Anything more and it’s too much scrolling, and anything less and posts are looking at only a day and a half or so of attention. I’ve already been told my homepage is too much scrolling, but when I read a blog, especially a WP blog via RSS, I want to see the whole thing without having to reload.

  2. Sankaranand said:

    i personally feel that read more should in someway satisfy the usability. although i display full post in my blog, some users who visit homepage prefers to search for next post or content, when you make the full post visible in homepage, it becomes lengthy and user has to scroll down till he sees the title of next option.

    but in this option, they give the ability of user, the menu of selecting posts to read..
    this is just my personal opinion πŸ™‚

  3. Dj Flush said:

    I am in favor of Shankar here and I liked his 8th point. The point here is that not everyone is interested to read what I write about “Humour” and If they see 2 full posts regarding Humour on my blog they might leave without even knowing that below them I had 4 sizzling Technology articles waiting for them.

    The “More Tag” is meant not only to ease those readers who do not like a certain blog post but also helps them in choosing which post they are going to read next.

    If you display 6 Full Blog posts on your homepage that will definitely take away some readers at once

  4. K-IntheHouse said:

    I am with you on this Abhijit. I personally hate having to click on the ‘more’ link in articles and I just skim over the whole page unless there was something extraordinarily interesting. I would think that the author puts his posts visibility to me than my convenience.

    The ‘mullet style’ does give a good balance between the 2 sides and I think I’m going to try to figure out how to implement that at ShanKri-la.

    I wonder if there is a plugin already written for this so I can spend more time blogging than maintaining my blog. πŸ™‚

  5. Patrix said:

    Frankly, I find the argument to not provide a ‘read more’ lacking. If you are a regular reader of a blog, you are reading it through the RSS feed reader where full text is enabled (if not, it should be). If you are clicking through from a referring blog or search engine, you arrive directly at the single post page where you can read the article in full.

    For those who want to eat the cake and have it too, I recommend the Inline More plugin.

  6. Abhijit Nadgouda said:

    Thanks for your input guys!

    I agree that there are instances when you do not want to read the recent posts, but then you can always have the most recent posts in the sidebar or links to topic archives.

    Patrix, I wholeheartedly agree with you that a regular reader should use the feed reader. I do use it regularly, but I also visit some of the blogs physically since there are 2 or 3 new posts every day there. Visiting the blog is easier than reading through the feed reader in such a case. Thanks for the Inline More plugin link, did not know about that. However, it is still one more click.

    Probably this is completely subjective, but I find the more link not in favor of web users, unless they are not interested in the recent posts.

Say your thought!

If you want to use HTML you can use these tags: <a>, <em>, <strong>, <abbr>, <code>, <blockquote>. Closing the tags will be appreciated as this site uses valid XHTML.



Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
+91 9819820312
My bookmarks


This is the weblog of Abhijit Nadgouda where he writes down his thoughts on software development and related topics. You are invited to subscribe to the feed to stay updated or check out more subscription options. Or you can choose to browse by one of the topics.