I’m obsessed with blog design. You know it, I know it. A good design is vitally important. How many popular bloggers do you know who use the blogger default theme with no customisation, personally I can’t name one. How your blog looks directly influences how popular it is. Now I realise that not everyone has the CSS skills that I possess but there are simple changes that you can make to substantially improve how your blog looks. I’ll outline some of them in the post. Let’s get down to it.
1. Streamline Your Sidebars
Really and truly the only information you need in your sidebar is your photo and about me blurb(although you could just have an about me page instead), following options, social media links, archive and categories. Any more than this is just unnecessary. Streamlining them makes your blog look more aesthetically pleasing and greatly improves page load time. One sidebar is adequate I really don’t get the attraction in 3 column layouts. Many will disagree with me on the sidebar issue but it is my opinion from a design point of view.
2. A Custom Header
I do a lot of blog reading and one thing that crops up again and again is people using Blogger’s default header. They are not attractive and having one demonstrates a lack of effort. Even the non tech savvy are capable of creating a header in picnik or a similar site. It really is as simple as choosing a nice font and writing your blog’s name in a colour that compliments your colour scheme. it isn’t a huge task and it really does make all the difference to your design.
3. Using a Custom Font
Adding a custom font used to be an arduous task only to be performed by the tech savvy but all that has changed. In Blogger’s recent upgrade they added the ability to add Google Web Fonts via their template designer. So now adding a new font is a cinch. It is equally easy for WordPress users too via the plugin Fontific. A unique looking font used on post titles and sidebar titles can really make all the difference. Just ensure that the font is easily readable. Some fonts really are a nightmare to read.
4. Complimentary Colour Scheme
Make sure to select colours that compliment each other and don’t clash. Those legends over at Studiopress have created a ton of colour palettes that can show you which colours go together. Don’t overdo it with bright colours though. A fuchsia pink post area with bright yellow header area is so not a good look and frankly it would hurt my eyes.
5. Customise Your Titles
You could add a background colour, or a border or whatever effect you like. You could even add an icon to the start of the titles. These two tutorials will demonstrate how to do this.