Blog design is one aspect of blogging that I think is extremely important (it’s also something I have a blast doing). The look of your blog is not only a first impression for new readers, but it also helps give them an idea of your style and what kind of vibe to expect from your content. A bad design can turn people away almost immediately, while a well designed layout can make people instantly connect with your blog. I recently gave AGO a makeover, and tried to keep the following things in mind while redesigning…
Make Everything Visually Appealing
Have you ever visited a website or blog that had teeny tiny fonts or a 50+ color scheme? Even if their content is amazing, it’s a little hard to concentrate and connect with what you’re reading or looking at. When designing your blog, keep these things in mind:
- Fonts – Keep them simple and easy to read. I tested out some blogger fonts a few months ago and found that most of the super cute fonts were really hard to read when used in a paragraph. I think simple fonts, though not as exciting as cursive or curly fonts, are prettier and a good idea for most blogs. Try out some different fonts and have your friends or family members give their opinions….if most say it’s too hard to read, then maybe save it for a photo caption or to make a single sentence stand out in a post.
- Colors – My advice? Not too bright, not too dark. Don’t select colors that are so bright they hurt your eyes to look at (especially if reading them), and don’t select colors that are so dark or similar that your readers will have to highlight any text in order to read it. This could kind of be annoying and might cause a disconnect with anyone reading.
- Layout – Make sure your blog has a clean layout to it. Even if you want a bunch of items in your sidebars or under your banner, try to make them as cohesive and organized as possible. Blogs with super busy layouts tend to make readers and new visitors a little frazzled because they won’t know what to look at or read first. Easy navigation of your blog is key!
Design With Your Readers In Mind
Some good advice when designing your blog is to pretend you are viewing your blog for the first time. Is it easy to navigate? Are clickable links and buttons easily noticeable? If you were wanting to learn more about the person behind the blog or needed to contact them, is this information accessible? Keep these things in mind while designing your blog. Some of the most viewed pages on my blog are the About, Contact, and Categories (which are all easy-to-find in my top header), so definitely consider making this information available to your readers so they can have easier navigation of your site and build a stronger connection with you and your blog.
Use Your Resources
When I first started designing my blog layouts, I thought I was going to have to spend a lot of money on fonts, editing software, clipart images, etc. However, this was totally not the case. There are so many websites and resources out there that offer free content that is ideal for remodeling your blog. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve used over the years:
- Picmonkey: I’m sure most of you already know about this site, but I have to mention it. I used Picmonkey for all of my editing needs before upgrading to Photoshop. You can use the site for free and have access to almost all of their editing tools, fonts, effects, and more. I definitely recommend checking this site out if you haven’t already.
- Dafont: I love Dafont! I’ve gotten almost all of my fonts from this site, for free! They have a huge selection of fonts, so be warned – you’ll probably spend a good hour or so downloading all of your favorites.
- Pinterest: Simply doing a search for “free _____” on Pinterest will give you so many links to different free resources that bloggers and business owners have put up for grabs. You can find all kinds of cool things, from fonts and stock photos to graphics and clip art.
Get To Sketching
This has always been vital for me. I usually have so many ideas running through my head that it can be hard to really nail down the perfect details for how I want my blog to look. There have been times in the past where I’ve had about 5 different blog designs drawn up…talk about too many choices! Sketching out how I want my blog to look always helps because once I have all of the final details drawn up, I’m able to use my sketch as a “blueprint” of sorts to make sure the end look is complete.
Incorporate Your Personal Style
This is your blog, so ultimately you want to decorate it in a way that you’ll love. Whatever inspires you and makes your heart happy, try to incorporate that into your new look. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that in the end it’s going to be you staring at your blog more than anyone else, so make sure the overall look is something that helps keep you inspired and excited to create content.
Do you have any helpful tips for blog makeovers?