Demonstrative blog review: the blog of Horaţiu COMŞA-HAGIU, with its good things and its things that can be further improved

In this blog post, I analyze the blog of Horaţiu COMŞA-HAGIU, an account with passion for life.

A. What I like about the blog?

1. The search box is where I expect it to be – in the upper-right corner of the blog;
2. The search box is also neatly surrounded by borders, to make it more visible:

3. The graphics of the blog is simple and unobtrusive; You don’t want to catch my attention with the graphics, which is great; The colors are calm and relaxed, just fit for long reading the blog for a long time;
4. It took you good courage to put personal photos with family in the “About” page; Very nice of you;
5. The information is clearly structured;

B. What I’d do better?

Copywriting

1. I think the name of the blog:
“Horaţiu Comşa Hagiu” should contain a dash (“-“) somewhere between two names;
2. I see you don’t use diacritics, except for the title; My suggestion would be to use them (we’re speaking about Romanian, after all);
3. The theme, although it belongs to a Romanian blog, is not translated; It’s not hard to do and in my opinion it’s worth the effort;
4. There’s a punctuation mark missing:
“Horaţiu Comşa Hagiu All rights reserved”;
5. On the homepage you have some ALL CAPS texts:
“CLASS FIN-EXPERT”;
“QUO VADIS?”;

Design

1. Your tag line is referring to Romania and capitalism and wild life:
“capitalism salbatic carpato-danubiano-pontic”
and you show a tropical picture – beaches, sunset, palm trees – in the blog’s header; I see little logic in this;

Update: other pages have other photos, but still there’s little coherence between the blog’s tagline and the photos;
2. You have this in the footer:

a. If you have a RSS button on which you have “RSS” written on red, having an explanatory label called, yet again, RSS, is, to me, rather futile; Why explain a button on which you say “RSS” with the label “RSS”?
b. The icon of RSS should be a bit higher to be seen properly;
c. The RSS feed button occupies a whole row; I would advise you to put the RSS subscription option on the same line with the copyright notice; You may even have it as a text link;
3. In my (humble) opinion, you have too many menus:

There are two menus on top, two on the right; Having just two (three at most) sets of menus would simplify things;
4. Your categories:

a. Are on your blog twice, next one to the other; It would be nice to have the categories just one time on your blog, instead of the present situation;
b. Are sorted with different criteria (they are not in the same order); This is even more confusing to me;
5. I would prefer that your archives:

also list the number of blog posts you’ve written in one specific month; Also, to me it’s not that nice to see that your blog has some large period of times with posting breaks, but I think this will be solved in the future;
6. The meta option

a. Has a futile option for the regular visitor (who wants to login on your blog?); You, as an admin, want that option, but for the sake of your users it would be better to save the link for login in a separate place, instead of presenting the link to each and every visitor you have;
b. Put the “Subscribe to comments via RSS” option in a rather unusual place; I would expect to find this option right next to the other option of subscribing to your blog via RSS – “Subscribe to blog posts via RSS”;
7. Come with me for a moment: imagine categories from the sidebar gone, imagine Meta gone; Now there’s room for “Recent posts” to be on the left column; Thus, you can (pretty easily) switch from a three-columns blog theme to a theme with two columns, which is rather simplified; You could also consider putting some stuff in the footer (the blogroll, the links to recent posts, the ad for “Toate blogurile” / “All of the blogs”);

SEO

1. I find it interesting that the title of the blog is not
“Blog of Horaţiu Comşa Hagiu” or
“Horaţiu Comşa Hagiu blog”, and is instead:
“Horaţiu Comşa Hagiu”;
In my opinion, having a keyword or two in the title of the blog would help your rankings;

Usability

1. I see you are using The FinderFox widget; Personally, I don’t need any extensions to help me with my searches; I have already a search box for Google, and an add-on that pops-up whenever I select a word is more of a question than of any help; So it just creates more dilemmas, instead of helping me solve; Two Twitter buttons (one for search and one for posting), a Wikipedia search function? Too much fuss;
2. Most of the time, the RSS button is placed somewhere in the right; You have it on the left, but since it’s a very big button, it’s easy to spot;
3. I would prefer to have an option to subscribe to your blog via email;

Search function

1. Let’s say I search for an inexistent word on your blog; The message I get (and this is a quote) is:
“Not Found – Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.”
Ok, so what do I do with this; You tell me you haven’t found anything; You can help me with:
a. Providing me with a search box right after the text so I can search again;
b. Giving me a list of top blog posts, or a list of categories, or a tag cloud;
c. A link to a sitemap is also welcomed;
d. Perhaps even a method to contact you would be fine;
(have a look at this inexistent page on your blog to have an example)
2. Regarding the search box:

a. I personally disagree using (at all) three dots – “…”; It shows uncertainty;
b. Ok, so I type; No what? Enter? How should I know this by heart?
c. I prefer to have a search box similar to Google’s: type a word, and a button with “Search”; In this way the text “Search” never disappears from the screen and I have something to click on;
d. Situation: I go to the search box, type something in it, get away from the computer; I come back; What’s with that text in the box? (I can’t see “Search” anywhere on the screen) I’m confused;
e. Instead of using WordPress’s function of searching, I’d much rather advise to use the one provided by Google; Most users know how to use advanced queries on Google, few people know how to search via WordPress search (advanced operators in WordPress? sorting the results?);
f. Your search box is tiny, small, petite; Make it bigggggger;

The about page

1. Typo? “plantie”;
2. Comma missing? “nerabdarea fetitei mele care”;
3. “4 6 luni” is better written “4-6 luni”;

About blog posts

I’ve had a look at the entire blog (it’s just 4 pages of blog posts) and I saw, in a not-that-slow-of-a-reading mode, just two things:
a. This blog post has a not-that-good typed punctuation:
“Scurte …si subtiri”,
and instead it could be typed:
“Scurte… si subtiri”;
Also, there should be no space in here: “@ capital.ro” (the thing repeats itself on the page);
b. The photo in this blog post should have no alignment, since it makes the tag align a bit wrong:

c. I think that presenting the tags in the comments area (so you inform your readers that they can use tags when the post a comment) is not that good of an idea; If a user knows what tags are, he generally knows what tags to use; And if the reader has no idea what tags are, I doubt that the user will know, for example, how to close the tags;
“You can use these tags: <a href=”” title=””> <abbr title=””> <acronym title=””> <b> <blockquote cite=””> <cite> <code> <del datetime=””> <em> <i> <q cite=””> <strike> <strong>”
d. Also, at the end of each blog post there is this text:
“Subscribe to RSS feed”
In my humble opinion, the RSS for that blog post should be the comments RSS feed for the blog post, much rather than having the RSS feed for the whole blog;
I liked the blog posts in general, they were very nice; Good formatting, nice information, quality insights;

Some hints:

1. I’d love to have a method of contacting you;
2. Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn are other options of improving the visibility of your blog;
3. I read an article on your blog; I read and I read; I get to the bottom of the page; What’s there?

A link to RSS and copyright notice; It would be great if at the bottom of the blog I can find out other things to read;
4. I’d have a look at a list of WordPress plugins to install;

___________________
Bottom line: the blog of Horaţiu COMŞA-HAGIU has quality articles and a blog interface that can be improved.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

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