I have had a lot of people emailing me questions lately on how to design your own blog. Most people are quite shocked to learn that I did this blog on my own. It’s really pretty simple once you get the hang of it. I don’t have any training, and 6 months ago, I didn’t know a thing about html. Some people are able to hire a blog designer, which is wonderful, but if you don’t have the funds, like me, these links with help you learn how to do it yourself.
The first thing I suggest is making a test blog. That way you can mess around and try to change things all you want, and if you completely screw it up, oh well. At least you’re not messing up your real blog. Next is to make sure you save your current template as it is. To do this, go into Customize, then under Layout there should be a tab that says Edit HTML. I copy all that and paste it into a word document. Then I know if anything were to happen, I have it saved somewhere else. You need to get comfortable changing html.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that before you start, make sure you change your blog template to Minima. It’s easier to work with. I used a free 30 day trial of Photoshop Elements, and did a search on youtube for “How to do digital scrapbooking using PSE” to learn how to use it.
Here are some links to the tutorials I used to learn how to get my blog looking nice, or some good ones I have come across since. (Most of these are for blogger only, however some, such as the “grab our button” would work for wordpress as well.)
For a 3 column template:
- 3 column template tutorial (some people have said this didn’t work for them, so try the next one if you are one of those people!)
- 3 column template tutorial #2
For background and header changes:
- Blog Design Tips
- How to Make You Own Background
- How to Get Your Own Custom Colors for Your Blog
- What I did for my header is design it on it’s own, save it as a jpeg, then go into customize, and under Layout, I click on edit in the header box. Then you can save your image to go behind the title and description, or instead of the title and description. I have it instead of title and description, so I can have my own fonts, etc in the header. One nice place to design your own is using Scrapblog. You have to sign up, but it’s free to use, and they have tons of digital paper, embellishments, etc right there for you to use. No need to download anything else.
How to Add a “Grab Our Button” Box to your sidebar:
- Grab Our Button Tutorial
- Grab Our Button and Other Important Info on buttons (Vertical and horizontal placement!)
(I did mine differently and it’s a little complicated to try to explain here)
- How to Number the Comments in Blogger (This one is a little more complicated and I’ve heard that some people have it work fine when they use Firefox, but it destorts their blog in IE. I used it, however, and didn’t have any problems. I don’t know why it worked for me, and not for others)
- How to Add a Favicon next to your URL: See that fun little picture up next to my URL in the address line of your browser? That’s called a favicon. You can add your own easily!
- How to See What Your Site Looks Like in Different Browsers (This is awesome! It will take a screenshot of your site and show you what it looks like in different browsers so you can make sure it looks OK in all of them!)
Since I have written this post I have changes over to a self hosted wordpress site, but if you would like to see the design I have talked about in this post it is still available at http://sweetnsassygirls.blogspot.com
I hope this helps get you headed in the right direction! Please feel free to contact me with any questions, or leave a comment. I’d love it if you could help share this post with others too by using the share/save button on the bottom to Stumble and Digg this post.
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