Best and Worst Designed: Top 10 Financial Blogs

Designers

I love reading about finances. If I’m not reading a blog about web development, I’m often reading one about money. I find it fascinating that despite the fact that every single person will deal with money on a daily basis, virtually no standard education is provided regarding how to use it well. I’ve never once been required to take a class focusing on money management; in fact, when I took a class in college regarding investing in stocks, I was the ONLY person in the class that was not required to be there because of their major – and I got weird looks.

But this blog isn’t about money, actually, it’s about the design of the top 10 financial blogs. It’s important to keep in mind that some of these are designed terribly, and yet still are in the top 10: Content (and the adaquate organization of that content) is far more important then the design.

I found these “top” 10 Financial blogs through Money Crashers who rate them according to about 9 criteria including google rankings, twitter followers, alexa rankings, etc. (criteria used can be found on their website).

1st Place – Money Saving Mom

This one won by a penny! (yep. Just said that.) I like it because of the well designed logo, the organization of the links, and the way she created icons/logos for each of the items in the second row of links. Also, it didn’t have the crowded feel some of the others did.

Runner-Up – Deal Seeking Mom

I loved the texture on the top as well as the subscribe “tags” on the right, but the logo wasn’t as good, and the main page has no clear hierarchy for my eyes.

3rd Place – Mint Life

The Mint Blog broke out of the standard look for financial websites, and went with a minimalist design. I think it went a little too minimalist, specifically with the header. But the hierarchy is nice and clear.

4th Place – The Consumerist

Best Financial Blog Designs - The consumerist

I like the header bar of this one because it is so distinct; it set itself apart from the page below. The links on the left are obviously the blog, while the sidebar items are boxed to keep them organized.

5th Place – Get Rich Slowly

I regularly read Get Rich Slowly, but the design is just so-so. The hierarchy is evident, but the design is outdated – more 90’s style.

6th Place – Wise Bread

This is another blog I regularly read. I LOVE the logo and tag line. It’s beautiful. The blue and green colors are great. But it has some serious errors: an ad at the top (I absolutely hate this), an ad to the left of the logo (What?!?), and your eye doesn’t really know where to go. I do love the link bar and the slideshow on top, though.

7th Place – Money Crashers

Money Crasher’s lists its own site in the top 10 – possibly rigged? The basic design is actually fine, but the ads at the top don’t line up with the sidebar/main page below which just confuses the eye. If they lined the Ad up, it would drastically help the design.

8th Place – Consumerism Commentary

And now we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel. An old logo, random ad in the middle of the top header bar, small fonts on the link bar, and hierarchy nightmare. But it gets worse.

9th Place – My Money Blog

So I’m assuming this is a guy who just started blogging about money and it took off. But this is about judging design, and his design is not good. The name is just a boring font on top. Looks like he started with one sidebar, and then added another when he added advertisements – it’s a terrible look.

But here’s the thing: this is obviously a guy who’s making money on blogging, so, as another blogger, I’m really happy for him.

Last Place – Bargaineering

This site combines all the crappy stuff in the other sites: a bad logo (please – don’t use clip art for your logo!), an ad that moves (the zip code thing is constantly moving), an ad in the header, and tiny fonts for the link bar. Add to that a grey/blue color pallet and you’ve got a design that can only be described as “bla”.

Summary

These are the top 10 – the TOP 10 – financial blogs. So while design is beautiful and important, it just goes to show that if you start with awesome content, even a terrible design won’t (completely) hold you back.

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