There are numerous ways to choose blog design - based on goals, looks, functions or maybe budget. But there is only one way to improve blog design. That is to make it fit your purposes better and manage to skip ruining it in the process .
Unless you've started on huge budget and custom design (and who does?) you are usually at one of two starting positions. Those are:
- generic design looking like a blog;
- bright impressive design that may not look like blog at all.
I am going to need some illustrations so pardon my terrible drawing skills. Generic blog design would be something like this.
It has all common elements at common places. It is pretty good at serving content but as time passes you may realize it's simply not on par with blogs around.
Eye-candy at its best. Some designs put impressive looks before anything else.
And again after some time you may notice that stiff, colorful and slow loading looks may not be best frame for your content.
Two important things
Improving design can become constant process. It may be hard to grasp changes you need on first attempt. Your core purposes may also change and initially good design elements may expire their usefulness. There are two important concepts you should adopt to reduce risk of ruining instead of building:
- modular design;
- consistent looks.
Evade inspired on the fly editing
Without splitting page into modular parts and working on them one at a time you risk:
- breaking semantic markup;
- producing invalid and hard to edit code;
- creating bottlenecks that slow down page load.
So first step is doing changes in parts. But it’s not enough because sticking to this rule only you may easily end up with something like this:
Aim for awesome and consistent image
By creating some rules you can make consistent:
and it becomes much easier to control everything and change parts with maximum speed and least trouble.
Combining modular approach with clear guidelines to overall looks you are going to slowly move from the starting point to highly effective and personalized look that will exactly fit your blog.
Good luck to everyone who find customizing their blogs as interesting as I do and if you are as bad as me… Rule three – hire real designer when situation calls for that. :)
This post was written for Blog Design group writing project/contest held by nice people from Blog Design Studio and sponsored by equally nice Daily Blog Tips and Blogging Tips blogs so I don’t even feel like ignoring contest for required links to sponsors because I am reader and subscriber to all of these.