My first blog was a mess. No, really. It was horrible. The content was fine but looking back… the blog design was cringeworthy! I made my first blog in blogger, and I designed it myself. Now, when I say designed – picture a kid in a candy store. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and every new feature spurred an aha moment – I needed that widget or box on my blog. Or so I thought. Because I didn’t.
Instead of bettering my blog, I was confusing my readers and myself because I wanted it all. I wanted all the widgets and colors and gimmicks and O to the M to the G was I not doing myself, my blog or my readers any favors by not being able to limit myself and create a put-together blog design.
However, four years have passed and I’m lightyears from where I started out. I’m not saying that the blog design I have now is by any means the perfect design (after all, taste is and will always be personal and subjective), but all the different blog designs of my past have taught me a few things and today, I’m sharing them with you guys because why start at the bottom if you can just as well nail it from the get-go?
Why is my blog design so important?
When you design your blog, think of it as you would of a brand. Your design will be the first thing your readers see when they enter your blog or encounter one of your posts on social media. Your design is your blog’s shop window to the world and you want it to look as inviting as possible. Also, try to come up with a design or a concept that sticks out (at least from your immediate competition) so when your readers see your images on Pinterest (or other social media for that matter) they’ll know which of the many options to choose. They know you, they like you, and if they recognize your design in the midst of a lot of other random blogs, chances are they’ll pick you!
Pick a Color Scheme
Picking a color scheme for your blog is essential. You may think that this step is of little or no relevance to you if you’re only going to go with a standard black and white design (in Denmark almost every blogger does this), but even a deselection is a choice. Choosing not to pick a color palette should be a deliberate decision unless you want to make the same mistake that I made when I first started out. I didn’t pick a color scheme. Instead, I just went with whatever I liked in the moment (and there were a lot of moments, I tell ya) and it ended up looking like something even a kindergartener wouldn’t hang on his walls.
If you have no idea how to pick your color scheme, I suggest you take a look at coolors.co which is a great tool, and it’s so easy to use. Start the generator and press the space button until you find a color you like. When you do, you can lock it and continue until you’re satisfied with your scheme. You can also input hex numbers of colors you already know you like and see them in combination with other colors. Personally, I would pick between 2 to 4 colors but as long as you’re consistent, you do you.
Pick Your Fonts
Please, oh please, limit the number of fonts you use on your website. Too many fonts can disturb your blog design! Ideally, you pick 3 from the beginning and stick with them forever and ever. We know that’s not gonna happen, right? There are just too many wonderful fonts out there and just when you think you’ve found you favorite, someone brilliant creates a new and even better one and you want to switch.
Make sure to pick an easily readable font for your paragraph text (the text in your posts). If the font is a little too artistic, people won’t want to read it. Save the artistic fonts for your header or images (if you’re wild, maybe even for your title), but make sure to assign that the main part of your text a standard font. Preferably a sans serif font but if you’re crazy about that serif, by all means, keep it!
If you want to go with a handwritten or calligraphy font, I recommend you stick with one. Notice the font in my header? That’s the only wacky font I use. My best advice is that you choose one wacky font (if you want a wacky one!) and mix it with 2-3 normal fonts. 1 for your title, one for you paragraph text and maybe one for something else. All the text on my blog is sans serif.
Limit the number of widgets in your sidebar
A crowded sidebar can work, but more often than not it doesn’t. Many bloggers forget that their sidebar is part of their blog design. They forget to clean it out and end up having heaps of unnecessary widgets and badges and boxes and what have you. Before you add anything to your sidebar, ask yourself if that particular feature will benefit your readers. If the answer is yes, and you believe it will add value to your blog, then go ahead and add it. If, on the other hand, you’ve found some random Hanna Montana Quote Generator (billion dollar idea?) or a clock (seriously, we know what time it is!) – ditch them. And the badges too. Unless you’ve won a really cool award or make a living making badges. In that case, well done you. Keep the badge.
If you’re about to make some changes to your blog design, you may want to read my easy Photoshop Tutorials on how to create a round image and how to make patterned text. I use both features a lot (seriously, I don’t think I could function without patterned text!) so if you’re not already familiar with them, I suggest you take a look!
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, I would love for you to pin it or in other ways share it on the interwebs! If you have any questions or comments, do leave them below 🙂