Ever since I started blogging I've bar once designed my blog entirely on my own. There are a couple of reasons for this, I wanted to add some more knowledge to my HTML bank and I didn't have the money to pay for a design. Your blog design is your first impression to the online world so you obviously want it to be as awesome as you can make it. So today I'm going to talk about designing from scratch yourself and why it's not as scary as it seems.
WHAT'S YOUR VISION?
The most important question to ask yourself when you start thinking about designing your blog or even if you do hire a designer is what do you want it to look like? Personally, I love it when blogs include elements of their personality in their design, you can still do this in a slick and professional way but it's awesome when your blog can be a reflection of you as a person. Other things to think about include:
- Colour scheme.
- General layout.
- Blogging platform.
- Image size.
Like anything, it's always good to gather inspiration of what kind of blog designs that you like and admire. When doing so it can be easy to let yourself get too carried away and taking inspiration a little too far. If you like a feature of someone else's design then try and put your own spin on it as it's never ideal to copy someone's site to a T. Taking inspiration from things other than blogs is a great idea too, I personally love looking at personal branding and type.
MAKE A PLAN
Once you've gathered all your inspiration together then it's time to make a plan of how you're going to go about getting your design going. When redesigning this space back in June here are the key things that I included in my plan:
- Strong colour scheme.
- A visually lead website.
- Functional archive system.
- Key information easy to find.
- Easy to read font.
Undertaking a design or redesign is a big job and something I feel is always a work in progress when you're doing it by yourself as you've got the freedom to constantly play with things. It's easy to become frustrated when things don't come together as quickly as you might have hoped so it's important to stay patient.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
If you're a person who comes from the MySpace era then you will have probably dabbled in the world of HTML but for many it's completely unknown territory. So keeping it simple is key, it takes a while to learn HTML and CSS and to work on more advanced elements for your site so keeping things simple is a great way to go.
Google really is your best friend, there isn't a question that you can't ask that search bar and won't find the answer. There a ton of blogs and YouTube channels out there that offer free tutorials and advice that it make it incredibly easy to pick up new skills. Although it's time-consuming it's great to teach yourself that process in the long run. Trial and error is all part of running a blog and even though at the time I could have happily thrown my MacBook out of the window I'm glad I was able to take something from a difficult experience and learn.