So you have just started blogging, your blog asks for rebranding OR you’re willing to actually brand it after all. How to create an amazing blog design & layout that will work both for you and your audience? Grab some ideas!
Initially, I wrote this post about two of my blog designs ago… It was written to go through my choices and evaluate them, to understand what’s really necessary for my blog/website. With time, I’ve worked on it & now I can offer you several great tips to keep in mind to make this easier for you!
First of all, remember that having a blog (or a website) is all about you being proud and happy with whatever you’re doing. It’s not always about the best design ever or the most amazing content (although content IS super important, let’s not forget that). Let’s take a look at some things to keep in mind when you’re creating your blog!
1. Template choice
Whether your blog will be made on WordPress, Squarespace or any other platform – you will have to choose a template. P.S. You can check out a review of both platforms right here.
I was using Squarespace and it offered me around 30 various templates that all are different and designed for various needs. Later on, you can adjust most of the things yourself, but it’s great to start out strong and with something you really like, right? Once I moved to WordPress, the choice was even harder since there we oh, so many, options!
My template choice was rough. I’ve changed it for several times, without being able to decide whether I’ll want to create it simple or outstanding, easy to understand or colorful and full of information. After all, I’ve landed on a safe ground and kept my website pretty traditional and simple. What’s the most important part of this whole thing – I love it.
When you’re choosing which way to go, you should keep in mind variety of things:
- What are the most important things you want to showcase? Is it your portfolio? Your blog posts? Or your story?
- How many pages will you have & how much of a written content will you want to use?
- Are you looking forward to having a strongly visual website or you’re more of a written content person?
- Will you need blog and sidebar for your blog? This is especially important for Squarespace blogs since not all of them have sidebar feature!
Check out all these features for each template you choose BEFORE you actually get your hands on it. Otherway you might lose a good dose of time.
When you’ve chosen a template, you need to choose what to put on your blog… Depending on your needs, you need to choose what information you’ll put in these sections AND how you’ll call them, so people who are on your website can fast and easy find what they need. (I often get out of page even without realizing what it’s about if I can’t do it fast).
Be mindful about how you name your pages. I’ve seen so many blogs without Contact information and later on, I realize – it’s hiding under ”services”. It’s good to be compact BUT contact information IS one of the most important things to have on your website, especially, if you’re a freelancer/creative.
My best advice for you over here: keep it simple.
Recently I read that websites with a sidebar on the right side get much more views than the ones with the sidebar on the left. At first, I thought ‘of course! who would even think about putting the sidebar on the left?!‘, but later on I realized that I’ve come across few websites that had sidebars on the left and they weren’t so bad either…
Anyhow, I have put one sidebar on the right, on my blog page, because I needed a place to put some additional information.
What to put in a sidebar? That’s a tricky question! Sidebars with way too scattered information are crazy. At the same time, you really can use a sidebar at it’s best. Just chose what works the best for you! Here are some ideas:
- Short intro to you and your blog
- Shortcut to most interesting articles
- Your course or freebie ads
- List of useful resources
- Your e-mail signup!
4. Fonts & sizes
Here I have one super important idea: give yourself some time to try things out! Fonts are specific… You might like them, but at the same time there IS something that will look better, you just have to find it.
I have made all my font choices through some experiments and at this point – I’m completely satisfied! The best idea to get there? Check out what others are doing!
Talking about font size… I would like everything to be smaller, but as research has proved it – people like if the text is bigger and easier to read. So I’ve used bold, as well as clear, readable text for blog posts and the rest of information.
It’s hard to choose one side in this question. What color to chose?! What’s the best choice?! There are so many options… and I won’t lie by saying – most of them really are great choices! The trick is simple: chose what works the best for you and your audience.
Your website colors should be in harmony with your style of writing and your personality. After all, it should also be related to things you’re offering!
I’m always all about the simplicity. Black & white, some simple accents like yellow, green, red… Whatever rocks your boat! Don’t make it too hard on people eyes and you’re good to go!
That’s the main advice from me to you today – whatever you’re creating, make it the way you like it! That’s the most important part!