Think about the last time you had excellent service at a restaurant, store, or hotel. What made the service so excellent?
Perhaps it was the small details. The place may have smelled nice. The bathroom was clean. The staff were friendly.
These small details can come back as a negative as well. What about staying in a hotel where the room thermostat didn’t function? Or perhaps Wi-Fi happened to be down that day.
Small details usually only matter when there is something wrong. These small details, however, can make or break what is a good experience.
Blogs are no exception, and paying attention to certain small details can allow your readers to have a good experience on your website. Your readers probably won’t notice, but that is likely a good thing.
1. Turn on Full Feeds
I’ll make it simple: from a reader’s perspective, full feeds need to be on.
One extra thing you can do here is increase the number of posts showing in your feed.
2. Don’t Force Readers to Register to Comment
In the words of Liz Strauss, forcing (yes, I said forcing) readers to login is the equivalent of this analogy:
To me, that’s like putting a sign on the mailbox that says, “Excuse me, please. If you want to deliver mail to me, come up, knock on my door, ring my doorbell, and then wait for me to answer. And maybe I will.”
Again, from a reader’s perspective, there shouldn’t be a required registration to comment. Readers simply don’t have time to register for each blog they want to comment on.
3. Allow Comment Subscriptions
Another easy way to add convenience to readers is to allow readers to subscribe to comments.
If I go to a blog and leave a comment, I’d like to know if somebody replied. Typically if a blog doesn’t have a way to subscribe, I won’t be back. It’s nothing personal, but there are too many blogs to keep track of.
For WordPress users, there is the invaluable Subscribe to Comments plugin, which easily allows readers to receive e-mails whenever there are additional comments.
4. Remove that CAPTCHA
From a blogger’s perspective, CAPTCHAs can seem necessary. Many are overwhelmed with spam, and CAPTCHAs are a quick way to stop spam in its tracks.
However, CAPTCHAs are often defeated, and accessibility takes a nose dive.
One thing I’ve been trying out here is a WordPress Plugin called WP-SpamFree. The plugin has actually worked quite well when used in conjunction with Akismet. And the best part is, no CAPTCHA.
Here’s where you come in. As a reader, what conveniences you when visiting a blog?
What lacking feature causes you to scream into the heavens, “WHY???!!!”