Blogging 101: Template Design Basics

18 May 2015


I am certainly no expert on style, but I always love to search through blogs and pinterest for inspiration. I do all these things because I really want my blog to be aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to visit.

Obviously there are more important things to think about than just the design. Your blog could be as pretty as the stars and have terrible & empty content. Likewise your content could be amazing and be overlooked due to your poor blog layout & design.

Today I've picked out three incredibly basic template design choices and listed the do's and don'ts of each one. To some people these might seem incredibly obvious, and that's okay! But to others they might be exactly what they need to give their blog design a reboot. If your blog suffers from any of these design faux pas, don't despair! They're all an easy fix! I'm here to help.


Illegible & Unattractive Blog Headers

Your blog name is very important, it is your brand and it's what people see as soon as they come onto your main page. You want it to be lovely and memorable. 

Don't:
  • Use a font that's difficult to read
  • Use a font & font colour on an image so that your name is hard to see
  • Upload an image and then have blogger automatically put text in front of it
  • Use a default blogger header
Do:
  • Pick a font that's easy to read and suits your blog style (Dafont has free fonts!)
  • Create & upload a header that is an image that has the text attached (guide)
It's easy to create a lovely header for your blog in a variety of programs and websites. There are many different styles and designs to choose from, whether you want to have your blog name on a photo or just have a beautiful font. Make your blog stand out, it's the first thing a reader is going to see.


Crazy Post Text

I want to read your content, that is why I'm on your blog. So I kind of need your text to be large enough for me to read, visible against your background and a font that doesn't consist completely of squiggles.
Good vs Not So Good
Don't:
  • Use a coloured font. . 
  • Use a decorative font. 
  • Don't make your text this small
Do:
  • Have your post text black or grey. Save the colours for your header or sidebar headers.
  • Use a traditional and easy to use font, helvetica, raleway, georgia, verdana. No one is going to fault you for going too basic with your base font.
  • Keep your text at reasonable size, between 11-15px as a min-max size. 
Simple doesn't mean boring, it just means a little bit easier and a lot less effort to read. 
(guide on changing fonts/sizes/colours on blogger)


Super Patterened & Non-Seamless Backgrounds

What I mean by non seamless backgrounds is when you choose and image for your background and you have it repeating. But the image isn't seamless so it has a clear edge, and when it repeats it is very visible. Super patterned backgrounds are completely fine as long as they aren't actually underneath the text you're trying to read.
Good vs Not So Good
I know you love your background. But do you really want it to be the only thing your reader can see?
You can also find some sweet seamless backgrounds to use here.


Some Final Tips

  • White space is your friend. You don't need to fill every inch of your blog with stuff.
  • You don't have to commit to a header or a font straight away, keep changing it up until it's something you love.
  • Decide on a colour scheme and adapt it to everything. I would only choose a maximum of 5 different colours. Mine are black, grey, white and gold. What can I say I love monochrome.
  • Have a maximum of 5 different fonts on your blog. So everyone doesn't get visually confused. Use the fonts for everything. Make it your signature brand and style!
  • Don't be afraid to start from scratch with your template. Clear the fonts/colours/backgrounds and start fresh!
  • Most of all love your blog! Love how it looks! It is yours after all!

Cya! xx

**If you need some help creating a blog header or making sure it's the right size for your blog, you can drop me a line at tegans.home.blog@gmail.com


More from Blogging 101:




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25 comments

  1. I've evolved mine to be quite basic. My only issue now is side bar clutter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My next Blogging 101 post is actually on Sidebars ;) xx

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  2. Wonderful tips, Tegan! Can't wait for your next posts in this series!

    May x • The MaydenBloglovin'

    ReplyDelete
  3. cool post

    Check out my new post on my blog
    http://carrieslifestyle.wordpress.com
    Posts online about many styles, Tahiti, USA, Beijing..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great tips. xx
    http://www.ninasstyleblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing these really great tips

    CANDICE | BEAUTY CANDY LOVES

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  6. This is a helpful post, my blog is very boring and completely white but that's because I'm technically challenged when it comes to blogs, and also I prefer minimalism to clutter. I'm desperate for a new header though, I'll get round to it at some point!

    Lucy x
    www.yellowicing.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. My sidebar is also a mess haha. I need to get Twitter and Instagram logos apart so I don't need the entire page stuck on there, lol.

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  7. Completely agree! I dont write in black, but the amount of times I have given up reading someones blog because the font was too small and just unreadable. Nice tips!

    Pam Scalfi♥

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  8. Completely agree! I dont write in black, but the amount of times I have given up reading someones blog because the font was too small and just unreadable. Nice tips!

    Pam Scalfi♥

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  9. Lovely post :) I love a friend's blog but it"s so difficult to read it and I hate it! Bloglovin is a great solution :) but the problem is still there ! x

    www.aishettina.blogspot.it

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  10. Cheers for the tips! I know at the start I found this particularly hard! X
    Glam night look over at-
    hailandharmony.blogspot.ie
    // BLOGLOVIN

    ReplyDelete
  11. Totally agree with all of your tips. I change my blog design so often but I think I'm finally happy with mine now. I really love your design, it's perfect. I would love to know what font you use for the text of your posts? :) x

    Sinead | Dreaming Again

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    Replies
    1. My main font for the text is Raleway :)

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  12. I have redesigned my header so many times and just can't capture the feel I want to create! Definitely the first thing I noticed on coming to your site was its amazing design so thanks for sharing!

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  13. I completely agree, sometimes it's so hard to read blogs as I have to squint to read the font haha. Great tips, love your header by the way!

    www.sophieslittlesecrets.blogspot.com

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  14. in the middle of changing my theme and this is so helpful! x

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  15. Fantastic post! I don't understand why people choose fonts that are difficult to read, that's also why I stopped reading another blog. Her blog was great, she switched the layout/design and the font made it impossible to read

    XO Naomi in Wonderland

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  16. Great post! There's nothing worse than someone who writes a great post in a font that is barely eligible.
    --
    prettymadthings.blogspot.co.uk // x

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  17. Very helpful tips!! Thanks for sharing. Xoxo

    http://www.sweetsimpleday.com

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  18. What a brilliant and helpful post! x
    fashionismyfirstlanguage.blogspot.ie

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  19. this is amazing! I really hate when a blog has some crazy funky font... ugh! I instantly exit out! there is this really sweet girl who visits my blog and I always try to visit her back but she has a crazy background with a big crazy font... it hurts my eyes and I just end up leaving :( a simple layout and a nice font are so important!


    Jessica
    pyreflies.org

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  20. These are some great tips. I might have a re-design of my blog soon as I do love the monochrome blogs a lot, Ii hope my blog isn't too offensive to people passing through xo

    EmsAlice // Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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  21. Yes!! So many people use fonts that are hard to read and its a major turn-off for me! Great tips :)

    xo, mikéla / simplydavelyn.com

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Thanks so much for commenting everyone! I read and appreciate every single one of your comments! xx

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