Review: Blog with Ric

When creating a blog there are two things that separate a good blog from a great blog: a focus and a good design. A blog needs to be focused on a specific subject, unless it is a personal diary, and it also needs to have an easy to follow navigational design.

For this week’s review I will look at a blog that contains a long description, but short posts, and all the elements of a good design. The author has chosen to talk about many subjects, but can they all be tied together under a single focus? Let’s have a look at Blog with Ric.

Blog with Ric

Web Site: Blog with Ric

Description: This blog is intended to share my experiences with just about anything. Postings can be about blogger hacks and tools, design and templates, programming and web development, earning online, my investments, savings tips, useful links, personal rants and other topics that catches my mind’s fancy.

Design 3.5 stars

I feel the design of a blog can help determine if a visitor stays and reads the posts you have written, or simply closes the site and moves one. A site should be easy to navigate and well designed to help a visitor find their way around.

The design of Blog with Ric almost accomplishes both those tasks. It has all the information that I look for in a blog, an “About Me” section, “Categories”, or in this case “Labels”, archives, and a method of subscribing to the RSS feed. All of this information is provided in the right navigation sidebars, in which there are two.

With the left side dedicated to the blog’s content, the author has moved all navigational links to the right-side, similar to Technically Easy. The one thing that, unfortunately, Blog with Ric lacks is some organization on the right side.

For the right side, it nice to have the subscription information at the top, but it could be followed by the “About Me”, and “Labels” sections to allow the visitors to navigate through the many posts. The ads on the right part of the navigational sidebar could display the ads, and other links. This sill provide a nice balance of navigation and advertising for the blog.

The one major downside to this blog is the lack of colour. There are two dominant colours: yellow and green. While a few posts provide some images, they don’t add much colour to the blog. I’m not a huge fan of yellow, at least for the background, but adding some more images to the blog could help spice it up a bit soon it doesn’t look too drab.

Overall, the design of Blog with Ric has all the elements needed for a good blog, but a bit more colours, and some minor organization in the sidebars could make it even better.

Focus 3.5 stars

The focus of the blog appears to be a long-winded description of various topics that the author has chosen to discuss. When I read through the posts on the blog, it appears the focus is more geared towards Web sites.

Many of the posts talk about the author’s success with this blog, with topics discussing how the blog success came about and the Web sites that were used.

Many of the posts simply contain links to Web sites the author has found interesting, and overviews of various technologies, whether they are related to Web sites or not. To some degree, the focus can be hard to determine as the author has chosen to talk about many different topics with regards to Web sites and technology.

Content 4 stars

It can be difficult to rate the content of a blog if there is no real focus. In this case I will look at the content without regards to the focus.

Most of the content are posts that contain only text, with very little images, which can be both good and bad, as text is quicker to download, so the blog loads quickly, however, at the same time a picture can help enhance the topic of the post. It would be nice to use a few more images in some of the posts to add colour to the yellow and green look of the blog.

The posts themselves are quick and to the point, which is always a plus with blogs. This allows a visitor to read many posts quickly without getting bogged down in lots of off-topic discussions. Many of the post themselves consists of a one line introduction to a Web site, followed by a link. Although this is nice, additional text about the site would add more value for a visitor.

The one big plus to the content is the fact that a new post is published on almost a daily basis, which can help keep visitors coming back for more.

Spelling and Grammar 4.5 stars

I found that the posts are well written and contain very few spelling and grammar mistakes. For those posts that do have a mistake, the mistake doesn’t reduce the readability, or distract from the point the author is trying to make.

Overall 3.5 stars

Bog with Ric has a lot of potential of being a great blog, with some minor modifications to the design and focus. The posts are well written, short and to the point, but don’t have any real focus. Many of the topics discussed can be divided and written over several blogs. This is one blog, however, that you may want to check out.

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