Last year I gave my blog a complete overhaul. Previously, it was on blogger and the design itself was pretty basic. I wanted to make my blog look both professional and visually attractive – but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it. As much as I’d love to hire a web designer to make a completely bespoke blog design, it is just way out of my price range and to be honest my blog is just not quite at that level yet!
So I decided to do everything myself. Finding a design, editing it, making my own logo and also migrating from blogger to wordpress. I have to say it was a learning curve, nothing worked out 100% right the first time. But afterwards I was much more knowledgable of blog design and very happy with how my blog looked!
I got quite a few requests on how I did my blog design a while ago, so I thought I’d put together a post with all my top tips. Sorry it’s so late, but I wanted to make sure it was as coherent & helpful as possible!
Finding a template
My current template is from Pipdig, which is a very popular place to find blog templates. All of their designs look great, there are options for both blogger and wordpress blogs and the prices are not too bad either. The only issue with Pipdig is that a lot of bloggers will have the same design as you, which is fine, but I am thinking of switching mine up soon just so that I have something a bit different.
My favourite place to find templates is Theme Forest. They have endless options for blog designs and there is a range of prices. Most of the themes will come with 6 month support as well, so if you have any issues with the installation/glitches, the creators can help you fix it. The only thing is that I believe they only cater to WordPress sites – but I will go onto other options for blogger blogs in a moment.
Another place that is great for finding blog design templates is Etsy. You can find loads of affordable and pretty designs from a variety of sellers! Some of my favourites are Eclair Design and Get Polished Creative. There are a lot of options for both Blogger and WordPress users, so you will definitely find something to suit you!
Installing & Editing your design
Now, I’m not an expert so this part is really just going to be some advice. Installing templates is normally quite straight forward and the design you purchase should come with some sort of instructions. However, if you have any difficulties just email the creator of the design and they are normally very helpful!
Now comes the fun part – editing your design. Most templates will come with multiple options for layouts and also options for colours/fonts, so I’d recommend having a play about with these until you see what you like.
Creating your own graphics
This was something that I was really not experienced with when I started re-designing my blog. I wanted to have a really nice header with some fancy writing, but I wasn’t really sure how to go about it. I ended up creating my own, which I will get onto in a moment. However, there are options if you don’t want to try to create your own graphics.
There are a lot of websites that offer pre-made logos for blogs – I’ve had one in the past from Autumn Lane Paperie. They have so many gorgeous logo designs and they only cost around $15. You can also find logos on Etsy or just search Pinterest for inspiration. I learned a lot about blog design through Pinterest.
Now, if you want to try it for yourself you have various options. I made my current header on Photoshop, using some watercolour vectors I bought on Etsy and a font that I found via Pinterest. If you don’t have Photoshop then you could use Picmonkey or Canva to make some graphics.
Etsy sell a huge amount of vectors/clipart that are perfect for blog design. Some of my favourite sellers are Bella Love Letters and River Wild Watercolor. You can find gorgeous florals, fashion/beauty related illustrations and also a lot of seasonal things as well. These are also really inexpensive – it’s only £4-£5 for a set of clipart normally.
Finally, if you are looking for fonts I would highly recommend looking at Pinterest. Just search what type of font you’d like e.g “script font” “handwritten font” and so many will come up. Just be careful because some you might have to pay for, but there is a great selection of free fonts out there too.
Plug ins and Widgets
So this advice really only applies to wordpress.org users – sorry! But I had to talk about plug ins if I’m going to do a post on blog design. One of the main reasons I switched from blogger to WordPress was that there were far more options for designing your blog with plugins. I’ll focus on the design related ones today – but if my top picks for WordPress plugins is something you’d like to see, let me know!
When it comes to blog design, there is one plugin that everyone needs – Visual Composer. It’s a plug in that allows you to build your blog posts/pages from the ‘front end’ – meaning that you can see how your post is going to look as you are writing it. It’s the easiest way to create posts and I personally think it makes everything look neater and more professional.
It isn’t super cheap at $34, but it makes such a difference. A well as being much easier to build blog posts, it gives you a lot of other features like separators, custom headings and image sliders. I don’t think I could ever go back to creating blog posts without it now, it is that good!
So that is where I’m going to end today’s post. This was more of a brief overview of where to start with blog design, after all I’m not an expert! But if you’d like any more blog posts on this topic (that are maybe a bit more specific) then do let me know in the comments!