Yeah, we all know that WordPress themes and designs just plain suck. It is the one thing that Blogger is winning at; the customisation options for those blogs are endless and simple and- I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. WordPress themes are what Trump is to America. You know – an easily solved problem!
Solution being: someone put a bullet through his big, red head. Please.
Seriously, where are assassins when you need them? Oh, you wanted the solution to WordPress theme pain? Or just general blog design tips and advice? I mean, I personally think my Trump related advice is priceless, but sure whatever.
This post idea came from day . . . 2 . . . of the 30 Day Creative Self-Improvement Challenge – updating my blog branding! So many people have been asking me for blog design tips because we people living that “Free Plan” life on WordPress suffer. And, if I can alleviate some of your pain, it is my duty as a fellow human to try. And I’m going to do this alongside you because, quite frankly, I’m terrible with instructions and you might appreciate the help.
So this is my current blog design graphics pack, I guess. (And you can see it in all its high definition glory on DeviantArt here)
Step One: Gather inspiration! I personally head straight to my tumblr (which is here, by the way) or Pinterest to see the kind of colours, images and whatnot that inspires me/makes me up, but you can draw inspiration from other blogs or magazines.
Step Two: Answer some questions about your blog. These are to get an idea of the type of blog you have and the overall image and feel you want to present.
What Is Your Blog About?
Fashion, art, entertainment, life
What Do You Want To Be Known For?
Personality, humour, sarcasm, creativity, helpful
(Minimum of 3) What Unique Features Does Your Blog Have?
Voice, life advice, random-mid-post-ramblings
What Inspires You?
Tumblr, wildlife, plants, art, buddhism,
Words Associated With Your Blog?
Cynical, sarcastic, funny, interesting, alternative, bohemian
Serious or Personal?
Step Three: Taking all these answers into consideration, start filling out these sections. Remember that right now you’re just fleshing out ideas. Just jot down everything you can think of or possibly want to incorporate then jot it all down.
Black and white, faded red and yellow, green, brown
Sass, sarcasm, cynicism, spiritual
Roses, tombstones, skeletons, mandalas, ivy, windows
The skeleton as a character
So one of the many things I’m loving to do at the moment is create manifestos – so naturally, at the beginning of this little blog revamp I tried to create a manifesto that I thought would fit with the new blog. I was very, very wrong. You can laugh at me (it’s encouraged, actually) but I think it’s a good example of how you should think about your branding and what not before you jump in.
Step Four: Create a template. So this is just a sketch of your possible blog layout. Include your widgets, any kind of imagery you might want- just get a nice visual of where everything is going to end up.
Step 5 – Start To Create Your Graphics. Regardless of if you’re like me and just love having random images everywhere, (because pretty things are soulfood) you’re going to need some blog graphics. Buttons, logos – now is the time to create them.
This is such a painfully long step that I’m not going to drag you through all of it with me – but as you can see, I narrowed my ideas down and started to create my graphic elements with a uniform feel; I prefer my buttons to be illustrative, so that took a ridiculous amount of my life but you don’t have to drag it out like I have.
Step 6 – Pick a theme and edit your widgets.
Okay, so you have a rough idea of what you want your blog to look like and where you want your widgets to go – now is the time to actually sort the placements and whatnot out.
How I personally lay out most of my widgets is with an image widget that’s hyper-linked to a page; for example, the above image is for my landing page for new viewers. This is how I create my category sidebars as well, in case any of you were wondering.
Step 7 -Tweak and tinker. And that’s it!
All you have to do is think up a theme that fits your blog, plan it out and you’ll realise that getting it onto the screen is way easier than you originally thought. I hope this was helpful, but writing it was like pulling teeth because this shit is hard to explain so if you want any extra help or advice just let me know below!
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