I've been meaning to write a post on blog design for a while now, and this awesome post by Kate Gabrielle guest-posting on Laughing with Broken Eyes has reminded me that it's been languishing on my to-do list.
Basically, trying to make a blog (on Blogger at least) look halfway decent is a total nightmare. The pre-made themes are fine but they're also so bland. And style bloggers tend to be creative types, so it's frustrating to know how you want your blog to look but not be able to do it.
When you start out with a Blogger template there are so many simple things that need to be changed to start making your blog look your own. For example, why is there an annoying little line that separates all the Gadgets in your sidebar? Who wants that? It's the first thing that needs to go! Of course you can Google for tutorials (which is what I did) but often the hardest part is trying to figure out the name for what you're trying to do - it took me about a week to find the correct phrase to Google when I was looking for a way to put a horizontal list of links under my blog header. And I'm still not sure what that list of links is called..
Pretty much every blog I've seen seems to be very well designed and attractive, but I'm sure there are some newbies like me out there trying to figure out how on earth you can post two photos beside each other (and why on earth Blogger makes it so hard to do).
Instead of trying to give my own explanation of all of the different things you might want to do with your blog design, I've compiled a list of a few of the tweaks you can make, with links to the very helpful tutorials I used that worked for me:
- How do I remove the annoying separator line between gadgets?
- How do I make the gadgets appear closer together, without the big empty spaces between each one?
- How can I make my own titles for gadgets?
- How do I make my images have nice curved edges?
- How can I post two pictures side by side in a post?
- How do I make a picture in a blog post open a link when you click it?
- How do I make a button advertising my blog, with code for people to copy and post on their own website?
- How do I write post titles that aren't in a default font?
- How can I put my own pattern over a font for my header?
Huge thanks to the sites which posted the tutorials above, without them, who knows what this blog would look like!
I have plenty more tips so please let me know if you found them helpful, if there's anything you see on my blog that you'd like to know how to do or if you have some tips yourself.
DISCLAIMER: all of these tips are useful only if you are very new to blogging or if you have zero html experience like myself. I'm sure they are laughably simple to a lot of people though! And I in no way claim to be an expert, or to know what I'm doing really - but if I can point someone in the right direction I will try!