Blogging pet hates – getting them off my chest

comments 12

Blogging is something I enjoy doing. I know I’m no great writer. English wasn’t my strongest language at school. Putting together an essay in any other subject was always a little bit tricky for me. I blog because I enjoy it.

Sometimes there are just a few things in the blogosphere that just irritate me to no end. And I can’t stand it any longer. I need to get them off my chest before I implode.

1. Only comment if you have something to say

This is one of my biggest pet hates about blogging. You don’t have to comment if you don’t have something to say. And don’t comment just because I commented on your blog. I only commented because I had something I wanted to add! Seriously, I won’t stop going to your blog if you don’t comment on mine. And on the flipside, if I’ve not commented on your blog, it’s because I didn’t have something useful to add. So, don’t feel obliged to comment. Comment if you really want to say something.

2. Stay away from long blocks of text

Break your paragraphs up people. There’s nothing worse than going to read a blog and the paragraphs are sticking to each other like glue. No one wants to read a giant wall of text. It’ll put people off reading it too! Break it up.

3. Do not centre align your entry

Centre alignment of text should be reserved for headings and images, at the very most. Body text copy for blog entries should never be aligned in the centre. Why? Again, it boils down to being a horrible reading experience. Your eye wants to naturally go to the beginning of the next line. But when you’re aligning to the centre, you can never find the start of the next line as it’s almost always different! Stop it!

4. Black background blogs

I used to have a blog with a black background. USED TO. I learned that it’s just a terrible idea. Are there books out there printed on black paper with white text? No. Okay, maybe I’m being harsh. But it is terribly hard to read your blog posts if your background is black. It’s a strain on the eye. Or maybe just my eyes because I’m all old. I’m not a fan at all. Even worse is if you don’t use white text, have all sorts of colours going on and you don’t make all your content available on an RSS reader. I’m not going to go to your website to read your blog. Sorry!

5. CAPTCHA – go away

I want to comment on your blog. I want to write something and then hit comment and my comment will appear or I know it’ll appear after it’s been approved. I don’t want to have to fill in a bloody CAPTCHA. More often than not, if I see one, I’ll roll my eyes, attempt it if I really want to post my comment. But more often than not these days, I’ll just not comment. They are terrible and pointless these days.

6. All those GIFs!

Listen, I love animated GIFs as much as the next person. But when you have 10 million of them on one post and they’re all huge in terms of file size, your blog post is going to take an eon to load for a few people in the world. It’s a terrible user experience. Either optimise them, or use less. Or use a service like Gfycat – they’ll do all the work for you.

7. Entire posts on the homepage

Occasionally they’ll be a post of mine, a full post, that will appear on the homepage. But these are usually short affairs. Maybe one video. Or one photo. Small entries. Nothing big. But please for the love of god, don’t forget to stick a little ‘read more’ style button to your blog posts, if they’re long, from the homepage. For one thing, your blog homepage will load a heck of a lot quicker. I know what you’re going to say, “But they won’t click to read more, I want them to see everything!!!”. They will if they are truly interested in what you have to say, and surely you’re interested in the truly interested ones and not just any old Tom, Dick or Harry. Right?

Okay, I’m done. Got all of that off my chest and I definitely feel better.

Do you have any blogging pet hates?

PS. I know I’ve committed one of the blogging cardinal sins here by not posting at least one image with this post, but I’m on my new Macbook and still haven’t got Photoshop or Lightroom installed on it yet. Soon! Soon!


  1. Agree with quite a lot of them. You mention that you don’t like it when a whole post does not show up on RSS, I have the same with email (as that is the way how I read most posts). Could you also change that for your posts?

    Captchas are horrible indeed and I usually hesitate to post when I see them (one of the reasons I mostly stay away from Blogger blogs)

    • I’ve had a look through the WordPress settings and I can’t see anything about what amount of the post shows up in the email. I would have thought it would use the same settings as the feed settings. Maybe not? Interesting.

      Blogger blogs are a bit of a pain. When I comment I just want to be able to put in my name and email address and maybe website. Make it simple please!

  2. I agree with a lot of what you say. Centre align text? Why would you do that? I have to disagree about the black background though – obviously, because my blog has white text on black. I find it far easier to read, my eyes have to strain less than they do if the entire page is bright white. When I’m doing powerpoint presentations at work I use white text on black, it just looks so much better, just like photos look better on a black background. But that’s just me.

    I agree about Captchas. Unfortunately when I turned them off (actually a suggestion of Nostra’s, as he did a pet hate things years ago) I got a truck load of Spam and had to turn them back on again. Sorry. I’ll try turning them off again and see, I don’t post as much as I used to anyway.

    Never thought about not having everything on my homepage. I might look into that. I don’t think my blog takes too long to load up though, does it? I’m happy to hear otherwise. Yours does load up very quick indeed though.

    Erm, not sure how to end this comment! Enjoying Bahrain so far?

    • Nice ending to the comment 😉

      Stark white and with proper black text is indeed not that great. Instead what I find better is a very very slightly grey or creamish white, with a not quite black coloured text. It makes such a difference. It’s what I have on the blog here.

      Hey, no need to be sorry about having Captcha! Sure sometimes you need it, but there are definitely other ways of stopping spam while it not being too hard to comment. You want to make it easy for real people to comment after all.

      No, your blog’s pretty swift to load up. But homepage loading is a big thing for me, especially now when my Internet’s less than stellar. Coming off of fibre optic broadband to sub-1M broadband!

      Bahrain is good 🙂 Enjoying the move out here so far 🙂 Thanks!

      • Glad your having a great time; your broadband is probably now as fast as ours in Aberdeen.

        I turned Captchas off yesterday and within 10 min I had an anonymous robot promoting their blog! I guess this is the trouble with being on blogspot, probably what it was like for hotmail email users. I’ve left Captchas off but am making all comments come to me first for approval, so at least I can filter them that way. I’ll see how it goes.

        • Haha! Aberdeen and Bahrain have something in common then 😉

          Ouch, really? That much spam? That’s got to be something to do with being hosted on blogspot, I would have thought. Maybe. Jeez!

          Though looking at my akismet stats (the tool that automatically blocks spam on WordPress), I get hit so many times a day. So I can believe that! See how it goes. There’s got to be another alternative…

  3. Agree wholeheartedly with you on everything. I used to give shallow comments and when I changed that, I found better comments on my blog too. CAPTCHA should go away. There are other ways to reduce spam like comment moderation. The askimet on my blog works wonders! I think the whole post vs. partial post on front page is different for every reader. You tend to do what you like on your own blog, which for me is like you, abbreviated posts on the homepage.

    • Yeah, always do what’s best for your blog. After all, if your blog is about short posts, or photo only posts, it’s not such a bad thing to have everything on your post on your homepage.

  4. If there’s one thing I really can’t handle well, it’s text on black backgrounds. It’s also an option on the Kindle app but I find the whole experience too harsh for my eyes.

    The endless paragraphs are also definitely a chore to read through, especially if full stops and commas are lacking (mostly seen on forum posts, thankfully). I’ve seen seen those centre aligned posts. There is a place for it (i’m thinking quotes, poetry, lyrics, etc) but I agree that it makes for an odd reading experience when used for aesthetics over readability.

    • I know a lot of coders and dev people love coding on black backgrounds. But I can’t stand it. Makes me feel like I need to squint!

      And this coming from someone who’s first website was all black 😉

  5. Jaina, I agree with nearly all of these. The commenting one in particular is a sore spot for me. It’s easy to tell when someone just comments to get someone to click through to their site. I’d rather get more substantial comments even if there are fewer of them.

    Black backgrounds and lots of gifs are too much for me. My brain can only take so much! Same thing goes for CAPTCHA, where i frequently have a hard time reading it and end up getting frustrated.

    The one where I’ll disagree is with having the full posts on the homepage. I’m not a fan of reading a post and then having to click “read more” to get the rest. I do think this is more of a personal preference than any type of general blogging rule, so I can see your point for sure.

    • I once came across a CAPTCHA where the background was white, with black lettering moving in the background and the foreground letters which needed to be identified, were also ‘jiggling’. Nightmare!

      Personal preference is definitely a big part in how someone wants to view blogs and how they want to interact with them, as well as how you layout your own. So I can give you that last point 😉

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