Your design greatly affects how many visitors want to join your viewing party… on your blog, that is. WordPress Theme Blog designs can make or break how likely a visitor is to stay on your website or bounce to another.

You’re already creating great WordPress blog content and additional resources that your audience loves. Let’s work on displaying them in the most user-friendly, visually appealing way. In this mini blogging series we already covered 7 reason why you blog isn’t growing and this post we’ll cover WordPress Theme blog design.

The best place to start is by gathering blog design inspiration. We’re going to break down 3 of our favourite blog designs and why we love them so much.

Blog Design Example #1: Buffer

Blog: blog.bufferapp.com

Buffer, one of our favourite social media scheduling tools, is known not only for their wickedly fast customer service but also for their quality social media content.

When you visit Buffer’s main blog page, you’ll see a specific blog post featured above-the-fold. This tells first-time visitors what types of content they can expect to find on the blog.

Blogs to inspire WordPress Theme Design | Buffer Social

If Buffer would have highlighted a blog post titled 4 Ways to Increase Your Personal Finance Goals in 2017 (which, by the way, you won’t find in their archives), visitors would probably be confused as to how personal finance relates to the social media scheduling tool.

Buffer’s focus is on teaching potential users about the power of social media and digital marketing. Their current featured blog title, 30+ Free Instagram Tools to Help You Grow Your Following, makes sense to readers.

With our new SmartTheme, you’re able to highlight a specific blog post in the header of your blog’s main page. It has a similar look to Buffer since the layout includes the blog post’s publish date, a small headshot of the author, a “read more” call-to-action link and great visual appeal.

Blogs to inspire WordPress Theme Design | OptimizePress SmartTheme

The bold header of Buffer’s blog grabs your attention, but what happens when a visitor wants to browse through the rest of your blog content?

If you keep scrolling through Buffer’s blog, you’ll find more relevant blog posts on social media marketing in their two-column layout. Each blog post title is paired with a high-quality stock photo that fits the content type.

You’ll also see a variety of content categories displayed throughout the blog including Content Marketing, Design, and Resources. The OptimizePress SmartTheme includes the same content labeling feature which helps readers understand what they may find under each category. It’s almost like a digital newspaper with each article matching its associated section.

Blogs to inspire WordPress Theme Design | Blog Post Listing

Want to grow your blog further?

Download our Blog Growth checklist.

Blog Design Example #2: Help Scout

Blog: www.helpscout.net/blog (Not a WordPress Theme)

As a powerful customer service tool that helps companies manage their help desks, Help Scout focuses most of their blog content around customer loyalty.

We love the branded icons and graphics Help Scout uses for each of their blog posts. They are super unique! The icons and graphics also help visitors find what they need at a glance in an engaging way.

Much like Buffer, Help Scout also has a featured blog post above-the-fold that tells the reader what topics are popular on the blog. As you keep scrolling, you’ll see a three-column layout that highlights even more blog posts in various categories like Growth, Product, and Culture.

Blogs to inspire WordPress Theme Design | HelpScout Blog

We like how Help Scout features a digital resource within the regular blog post feed to showcase special ebook-worthy resources. They also use the single column format on their post pages.

In the SmartTheme, you can also highlight these additional resources in multiple ways while building your email list. One way is through the downloadable resource banner that is included below the featured blog post banner. The other is through the big call-to-action button at the bottom of the page.

Each call-to-action button leads to a lead capture form so visitors are added as subscribers to your email list. Then you always have a way to connect with them!

Blogs to inspire WordPress Theme Design | OptimizePress SmartTheme Hero Optin Box

HelpScout also use bold colours and funky graphics rather than images as the blog post thumbnail. If you sourced some paid icons you could make your graphics using Canva.

Want to grow your blog further?

Download our Blog Growth checklist.

Blog Design Example #3: CoSchedule

Blog: coschedule.com/blog

CoSchedule is a content marketing scheduling tool that helps you plan your social media and blog content. Their blog focuses on giving their readers content marketing tips, tools, and resources to help them save time and grow their online audience. We recently published a post about crafting blog post layouts that was inspired after reviewing one of their posts.

CoSchedule also includes a featured post above-the-fold, but rather than including a full-length photo banner, they have a bold photo header with a right-aligned text box detailing additional information. This layout matches how the blog posts in the regular feed are formatted, which makes for great consistency.

Blogs to inspire WordPress Theme Design | CoSchedule Blog

We like how easy it is to find the blog categories in the top banner and the label on each blog post in the feed. You’ll also find email sign-up forms and opt-ins throughout the blog, a feature that is included in our SmartTheme (more on this in another post).

You may notice that our newest OptimizePress theme doesn’t have a sidebar like CoSchedule’s blog. This is to create a cleaner, more streamlined user experience for blog readers.

The less distraction, the better!

We recommend focusing on one call-to-action (as seen in our Marine blog example) and weaving it throughout your blog’s pages and posts.

Blogs to inspire WordPress Theme Design | OptimizePress SmartTheme Header Optin Box

If you’re ready for a blog design that functions as well as it looks, our new WordPress Theme SmartTheme was built just for you.

With this OptimizePress theme, we really wanted to focus on creating a non-cluttered atmosphere that helps users get to your blog content easily and allow you to collect leads throughout your content.

Our Favourite Features

Here’s a quick peek at some of our favourite features:

  • Bright, bold photo banner highlighting your favourite blog post
  • Smart call-to-action buttons sprinkled throughout the page
  • Attention-grabbing photo thumbnails next to concise text excerpts from blog posts
  • Clean, modern look with an even cleaner user experience
  • Easy access to browsing the rest of your website (say goodbye to high bounce rates!)

Now before you ask “When is the SmartTheme available?” I will tell you this. Our current Beta test group have been giving lots of feedback and we have squashed any bugs. The next step is to roll the SmartTheme our to our ClubHouse customers first.

Our staggered release allows us to provide a higher level of support during this period.

Obviously, if you can’t wait for the public release you can join our ClubHouse.

Want to grow your blog further?

Download our Blog Growth checklist.

Please share what you like about these blog designs in the comments.


    10 replies to "3 Awesome Blogs To Inspire Your WordPress Theme Design"

    • Nick

      David, does the Clubhouse currently have the new theme?

      • David Frosdick

        No, but they will be getting an email once it’s released there.

    • Jessica Rundle

      Where do we find the Smart Theme in the club house? Not seeing it.

      • David Frosdick

        Hey Jessica, it’s getting released to Club members first.

    • Julio Cibrian

      I’ll join as soon as it is available :) I’m keepin an eye on my inbox!

    • Jessica Rundle

      Any ETA on the release date for club members? Also, is there any more info on the OP leads app? Not much on it.

    • Nurudeen Tijani

      @JessicaRundle, i just joined ClubHouse and the SmartTheme is available for download.

    • Tecsolo SEO

      Great post David ! Thanks for these great blog examples. Can’t wait to start using the SmartTheme it sounds awesome.

    • Maria Teresa

      Hi!
      I installed the Smart Theme theme to create my blog.
      But I noticed that inside each article there is an advertising banner that leads to your site (orizzontal, with black background), at the top right under the navigation menu.
      How can I delete it please?
      Thanks for the reply

      Maria Teresa

      • David Frosdick

        Check the advertising option in the theme setting and turn it off. If you are still stuck please reach out to our support team, they can offer assistance on that.

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