Blogging 101: Blog Design

October 3, 2017

Welcome back! It's the beginning of the month, which means another Blogging 101 post! If you missed my posts from the last couple of months, I shared information on fashion photography and using Blogger. Today's topic is blog design, which is probably definitely one of my favorite parts of blogging! You can find a bunch of information about blog design including where to get free fonts and tips/tricks, on my Pinterest board, but here are the biggest, most important, and most fun things!

1. Template

Your template is basically the structure of your blog. I use Blogger and I don't love any of the templates, but if you're willing to spend a lot of time learning how to code basic widgets, you could definitely make one of them work. If you'd rather download a preexisting theme to your site, it's not hard to find cheap and even free templates online. Here are some of my favorites: Gooyaabi Templates | Sky and Stars | Blog Pixie | pipdig

2. Fonts & Colors

While I could easily go on for hours about fonts & colors, I'll try to keep it simple. With fonts and colors, less is more; the fewer fonts and colors you have on your page the more professional it will look. When choosing fonts, you typically want 2-3; a statement font for your logo/blog title, a simple serif or sans serif for your main page text, and maybe another font for other headers that might appear on your page. When choosing colors stick to 2-4, a couple of neutrals and 1 or 2 statement colors. When choosing fonts and colors, take a few minutes to up font pairing and complimentary colors online. As far as downloading fonts, here are my favorite sites: DaFont | Befonts | Font Squirrel

3. Widgets

Widgets are super important for site navigation and convenience. Sidebars are easy to navigate and add smooth lines to your site when they aren't too cluttered. Make sure most things your readers might want to find (about me, social media links, search bar) are easily located, but also make sure that your sidebar doesn't go further than the last post on your page. Key widgets to include on your site are social media icons, favorite shops, popular posts, blog archive, and Instagram.

4. Header

Sticky headers are super popular on blogs these days and a pain to figure out. If you don't know, a sticky header is when the header of your blog stays at the top of the screen at all times, even when you've scrolled down. The best advice I can give you is to look up "sticky header" and the name of your platform or to find a template you like that already has one. The reason they are so helpful is that they are essential to great site navigation. If your audience scrolls down to read a post, or get's lost exploring your site, all they have to do is click home in the top left corner no matter what. It's also helpful for people who navigate quickly; if they scroll down to read a post and decide they want to send you an email or read your about page, the link is already there.

5. Images

Every post should have an image!! This is getting a little bit more into content vs. design, but when people go to your site they're more likely to click if they see an appealing image. I'll probably do a more in-depth post on this later, but aside from photography, graphics are very important. Make sure that any and all graphics are clear and sharp, because nothing looks worse than blurry images and text (I'm being kind of dramatic, but it is very important).

Thanks for reading! I love doing these blogging 101 posts, leave a comment letting me know what you might want to see next! xx, Lauren


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