Blog Review XPTricks.Net

Eerik from XP tricks has won this jump-the-queue blog review worth $150 as a prize in the Lets Win This Contest Together that ran for a month at Shanker Bakshi’s blog and concluded on 1st September. Inspirit Blog had sponsored the contest with prizes worth $185. Today I am going to review Eerik’s blog XP tricks jumping over the queue of so many blogs already waiting for a free blog review from Inspirit Blog.

Having said that, I’d start with this blog review that will cover all the elements of a blog from its design and eye candy to the add-ons and content, from the management of navigation bar to the sidebar widgets, and everything else that is significant for a blog. Whatever I’d tell through this review will (of course) be related to this particular blog, but I’d recommend that all of you read through and try to pick the maximum tips from this review to better up your own blog.

Navigation Overview

5 posts on the home page is optimal and the read more tag has been sensibly used to optimize the length of the home page. You can dig through the previous posts by clicking on the Older Entries link below the 5 posts on the main page. However I am disappointed not to see the archives anywhere. Its hard to navigate older entries beyond a few pages without the archive in place. No having or listing an archive virtually kills the prospects of your previous blog posts getting their due exposure. You might get some search engine traffic to them but unless people read that buried comment, rate or review it, social-bookmark it, you’re not going to get good rankings in the SERPS (Search Engine Results PageS) even!

The navigation bar at the top is minimalistic with only the most basic pages listed there : About | Contact | Register. However when I ran through the links in the rightmost sidebar just above the footer, I figured a link to the Link Exchange page. That can come in the top navigation bar as well, instead of being down there so neglected! My personal recommendation yo all of you is to list all the pages on your blog together at one place, be it the navigation bar or a prime spot in the sidebar.

Besides all this, the posts have not been categorized (or labelled) and hence there is no categories widget in the sidebar or anywhere else on the blog. Sorry Eerik, but I am not at all pleased with the navaigation on your blog and I really recommend you add the archives in the sidebar, and tag or categorize your blog posts appropriately so that they can be easily accessed from the tags/categories widget. Also, move the Link Exchange page to the navigation bar from the bottom where no one will easily notice it. Your Link Here looks more like a text link ad-spot.

Sidebars and Footer Overview

The very essential features that I feel should always be there in a blog’s sidebars are navigation elements (as we talked above), feed subscription options, social bookmarking, social networking and blog promotion widgets, blogroll and resources link-list ( and advertising elements – if you wish to). Out of these basic elements, you have the feed subscription options in the right place on the home page, and social bookmarking buttions like digg, reddit, etc. on the single post page. You may add the RSS subscription options on the single-post page as well.

You should start working on other elements as well. The prime aim of any blog is building traffic. As soon as possible, join social networking sites for bloggers like blog catalog and mybloglog, entrecard, etc. and work on growing your blog’s community. Build a healthy readership base so that all your hard work doesn’t go in vain. If you’re investing your peace and time in publishing useful content, you should market it in the right way so that people actually see it. It’s important to build traffic and grow your blog’s readers community.

Considering that your blog is now 8-9 months old (Yes, I read back till the first welcome to XP tricks post), the MyLinks section just above the footer should not be empty as it is right now. See below how I use that space on my blog. A very basic footer with copyright information is okay. You may add a privacy policy or disclaimer there. Else, its fine.

About Page

Another important thing that you should take care of while writing an About page is that it should give the reader an idea of what the website or blog is about and who’s the person behind it. You’ve briefed about XP tricks in 2-3 lines but I did not see your name anywhere in the whole blog. I would have never known that you’re Eerik if you’d not told your name while entering the contest.

Advertising

You’re using Google Adsense smartly on the main page with text-links unit just below the title and an ad-block below the post. Nice places to put those ads, actually. However consider avoiding the in-line ad placement in your blog. I find that quite distracting as your blog’s content container isn’t as wide that it’ll accumulate the ad quite well. You should consider this post of yours and see how the image used in the post is being pushed out of view due to the ad placed along with it. You may consider placing adsense somewhere in the sidebar, instead.

Content Overview

Overall, your blog has quite some content worth reading but not everyone is as patient as me to navigate through all the older entries through the link at the bottom. Work on your blog’s navigation bar so that posts and pages are easily accessible. Try to minimize writing content that can be found elsewhere on the internet and bring up more original and interesting tutorials, tips, tricks and tweaks unless the intent of your blog is to share the goodness of internet that is already there.

I hope that this review helps you optimize your blog and build some traffic and a healthy readers’ community. Feel free to drop your comments, share ideas and opinions and write about this review on your own blog to share with your readers.

Peace.

50 thoughts on “Blog Review – XP Tricks dot Net

  1. Thanks for the review!

    The MyLinks and navigation are not finished yet as I started to use this theme a couple of days ago as I was having some problems with the old one.

    I’ll put an archives and a random posts widget on the sidebar as you suggested. One of my readers also mentioned this.

    Most of my readers aren’t bloggers and the blog network widgets will probably distract them. As to getting traffic from social networks, I’ll give it a try.

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Eerik
    http://www.xptricks.net

    To Shanker Bakshi:
    I have actually thought of making a Vista tips & tricks blog as well, but first I have to get Vista! 😀

    Eeriks latest published blog-post ………. How to: change the start button text on Windows XP

  2. If that is the case with your theme – if you need any help with it, feel free to contact me anytime. I’d be pleased to assist you with your blog.

    And even I haven’t upgraded to Vista yet! I have used it on the laptop that I got for my dad and on a couple of friends’ laptops and I am least impressed with it.

  3. I like the Windows look of the page that matches his subject. I found an interesting tip on changing the START button but I think a little more depth in the content would be nice also. Maybe break down to be educational to some that are newbies.

    Thanks!

  4. What type of theme designs do you think are better for usability purposes? 2 or 3 columns? How should the navigation be structured?

    Myron Tays latest published blog-post ………. If poor people worked they wouldn’t be poor anymore would they?

  5. Very valuable and excellent tips, i always wanted to some changes in terms of my destop appearance, and h=you have provided really excellent tips. Thanks a lot, the article is very well written as well.

    Catering Miamis latest published blog-post ………. Catering Miami, Wedding and Social Events

  6. Very detailed review. I do have to add that while joining social networks is something I always encourage people to do – adding their widgets is not right for all blogs. Unfortunately they add latency to the page load and in my experience don’t bring same level of benefits to each blog. Something that each blog owner should test and not just blindly put onto sidebar

    Alexs latest published blog-post ………. WebProsperity Pre-Launch

  7. Congratulations for this post winning at blog seo contest, you deserve it. This is such an informative blog.

    Cesars latest published blog-post ………. The Tnomeralc Web Design Toys

  8. I do like the idea of featured posts, its a great idea for getting traffic to older posts via one click and not just providing access to recent posts. Do you think its necessary to have subscribe to Rss feeds at the top of the page or is the standard feed link at the bottom of the navigation ok?

  9. Nice review. I’ve been cehcking in with that site from time to time, and have been glad to see some nice tips being offered up. Very helpful.

    Computer Mouses latest published blog-post ………. Razer Lachesis

  10. Follwing this, I think he has got the navigation system right and there are some good posts as well. I rely on TechPublic articles and downloads for some XP tricks because tinkering with OS should be done with a proper advice from experts. This blog is also very good, I will try some tricks mentioned there soon. Thanks for the review.

  11. Good review. I really like the site design, it’s sleek and easy to navigate. And I kinda found the content to suit my needs since I’m a Mac user =)
    .-= Hnr1e´s last blog ..Bead knitting stitches =-.

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