Blog Design – Share Your Thoughts

Welcome to What’s On Your Mind – a place to share your thoughts on issues near and dear to a blogger’s heart!

This Week’s Topic: Designing A Fabulous Blog

One of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging is designing a blog you love. At times, however, the process can be both frustrating and overwhelming!

How do you create a custom look on a limited budget? What types of blog layouts and templates best meet your needs? Which widgets and plug-ins are essential for your blog? Which is more important – aesthetics or functionality?

I look forward to reading your thoughts on these issues as you answer the following questions. Have fun – your feedback is a great resource for all!

Questions

1. What elements do you think are most important when it comes to designing a fabulous blog?

2. Do you have a resource to recommend – for example, an article, plug-in, website, or design tool – that would aid your fellow bloggers in creating a better blog?

Thanks for participating and have a fabulous week!

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42 Responses to “Blog Design – Share Your Thoughts”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Stacy Uncorked says:

    1. Pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate are my top 2 'requirements'. 🙂

    2. I'm always on the lookout for info to build a better blog – I've been winging it for the past 2-1/2 years. 😉 One thing I would say, though, is that I made the move from Blogger to self-hosted with WordPress installed…after the fiasco of Blogger over the last 24 hours, I'm really glad I did that. 🙂

    "Hairy" Situation – Can You Make The "Cut"?

  2. BellaVida says:

    Hi, I just landed here from Finding New Friends Weekend Blog Hop .

    I like the topic. I'd also be interested to hear answers. Right now I'm using a blogger template but I'd like to create my own.

    I just downloaded Gimp, a free editing program. I need time to play around and learn it.

    Bella Vida by Letty
    Have a great weekend.

  3. Su-sieee! Mac says:

    A design that's easy on the eyes and easy to find things. Also reading is easy to track. All stuff I need to work on.

  4. Kassandra @ Coffee and their Kisses says:

    1. What elements do you think are most important when it comes to designing a fabulous blog? I think a great header and button says a lot. A header is the first thing that people see when they get to your blog. Your button is used to show you around, so if they both look generic then that's the impression you're giving off.

    2. Do you have a resource to recommend – for example, an article, plug-in, website, or design tool – that would aid your fellow bloggers in creating a better blog? Learn your way around html, at least enough to put in a header & background url.

    Hello! I'm Kassandra from Coffee and their Kisses. I'm stopping by from the Alexa Blog Hop. I hope you'll follow me back as well :o) Have a good day!

  5. Patricia says:

    I am following you via FNF blog hop. Please follow me.
    http://itsabouttimemamaw.blogspot.com/

  6. Chase says:

    Easy to navigate and not cluttered with tons of ads! I like your blog design! 🙂

    Visiting from the alexa blog hop!
    Chase’s View

  7. tawna6988 says:

    Sending you an invite to come and link up to my weekend hop open Thursday night through Sunday at 11:59pm on my blog I hope you have a great weekend! Tawna

  8. Tracy says:

    I love blogging but dont want to be boring or on my soap box any ideas please.>? also I want to make new friends

  9. The Adventurer says:

    Stopping by from NOBH great blog

  10. Jeanette says:

    I'm your newest follower from the Hop Along Friday Hop… enjoying your blog very much! Hope you can stop by 'My own Four corners' sometime!
    Have a great weekend,

    Jeanette

  11. Missy says:

    Hi! I'm a new follower from the blog hop! I'm now following you and would love for you to do the same! 🙂

    Missy
    greenbirdofhappiness.com
    facebook.com/greenbirdofhappiness

  12. Marlee says:

    I found you from the Making New Friends Bloghop, and I think this is a great topic!

    I've only been blogging for a few weeks so my layout is a pretty basic template. I'd like to learn how to design my own would probably be my #1 goal right now. Great post, I'm a happy new follower!

    http://www.marleeindebt.blogspot.com

  13. Xenia says:

    I definitely agree with the comments so far! I used to visit a TON of blogs before starting my own, so I always knew I wanted one that was uncluttered and easy to navigate. I was extremely fortunate that a good friend knows how to do blog design and gave me a makeover to the layout that I have today because I LOVE it.

    I do see a switch to WP at some point, but for now I don't have the time to learn the new platform… as well as want to risk losing my Google PR and the advertising $ that comes in with it. Someday, though!

  14. Charlotte | Life's a Charm! says:

    (1) What elements do you think are most important when it comes to designing a fabulous blog?
    – Easy to the eyes, color coordinated, not cluttered, not too flashy
    – Proper separation and labeling of pages, posts and comments. (It should be easy to see when one post or comment starts and ends.)
    – Has adequate functional elements, like navigational tools, search form, uncomplicated subscription forms, comprehensive about me texts, etc.
    – Not too demanding, easy to load, does not have so many heavy elements like BIG or too many photos or videos that take too much to load; and does not overtakes my speakers because there is a music coming on.
    – The design should focus on the content of the blog.

    Sorry, I have so many opinions on this.

  15. DeyiMizu says:

    I think a great header and simple design is what I love in my blog design!

    Im your new follower from blog hop! Hope you follow me back too!

    Mimi @ DeyiMizu Beauty Blog

  16. Keenly Kristin says:

    Well, it's always a learning process, but it's important to have everything accessible, of course…like your links to Google/Facebook/Twitter, etc…and I think your blog design should be a reflection of you, your personality, what you're about. It should be unique to you.

    Stopping by from the Alexa hop…would love if you could stop by:http://www.keenlykristin.com/2011/05/american-idol-epic-fail.html

  17. Kerry SewPizazzed.com says:

    Following from the Blog Hop

    http://milestonesoffaith.blogspot.com/
    http://sewpizazzed.blogspot.com/

    Kerry

  18. Mama Chocolate says:

    Not too cluttered…a header that doesn't take up the whole screen!

    Blogelina's Blogging Class has probably been this single most helpful thing in getting my blog set up better!

    Stopping by with my Alexa toolbar!

    Johanna at Mama Chocolate

  19. Self Sagacity says:

    1)&2) I'd love if bloggers consider the stuff they put on their site. Fast load is important. Not one that bogs down my connection.

  20. Jessie @ MomVantage says:

    I like a clean look, without too much clutter. It also needs to be easy to navigate, and load quickly.

    Stopping by from the Alexa hop – hope you are having a great weekend!

  21. cajunlicious says:

    Hi! Following you from the Finding
    New Friends blog hop! Hope you visit
    my Cajun blog and return the follow!
    -Jessica @

  22. Not a Perfect Mom says:

    I can't read blogs that have too much clutter, it gives me a headache…I don't mind ads and buttons, but overkill makes me want to leave…and it must be easy to navigate.
    and I totally paid someone to redo my blog for me, I have no html skills nor do I have the desire to learn, I found a great girl who really worked with me…

    here from the alexa hop!

  23. amazey says:

    Visiting you from the Alexa hop. I won a blog makeover from Crafty Hippo Designs. She completely took all my thoughts and created exactly what I wanted for the look of my blog. I am not at all a creative person and there was no way I could have done what she did.

  24. KDL says:

    I think the content is more important than the look, but that said, if the look is too cluttered then people won't get to the content. I just switched blogger templates so that my posts show up on the left instead of my sidebar. It seems to be well-received.

    I usually look at other peoples' blogs to find widgets that I like – such as the carousel widget from amazon that lets me show off the books I review and liked instead of having to maintain a whole separate page for that.

    I have trouble with the blogger templates because it seems like it's hard to get the look you want. I'm still not entirely happy with my new banner, for instance, but I've spent hours on it and it's as good as it's going to get for a while.

  25. mhoward says:

    Hi. I landed here from the Alexa hop.
    I like unique looking blogs where all the follow links are together and I can find what I'm looking for fast. I love about me sections b/c I like to feel like I know the blogger a bit.
    http://www.howardhousereviews.com

  26. Mommy Head says:

    1. I think the blog design needs to match the person. I know that my blog design is a great picture of who I am and it makes me smile whenever I go to it.

    2. As far as plug ins and design helpers, I think the html code for centering is a big one! I like things to be uniform.

    Stopping by from the Alexa hop. Hope you will stop by as well 🙂

  27. Kelly says:

    This is an awesome topic! Rarely do I read every comment, but I did on this one.

    I love going to blogs that are creative in design, easy to read, fast to load and everything is easily accessable. If the first thing I see are a bunch of ads, I'll leave.

    I started blogging in January of this year and didn't have the money to have someone design my blog, so I did it myself. It was OK, but I kept trying to create new designs and wasted a lot of time! I found Robin at Digital Designs and More that designed my header and buttons for a very reasonalbe price and I'm very happy with my new design. She was also very easy to work with.

    As far as the layout and plug-in's and getting started, my brother had recommended a site called 7 Minute Websites. It has step-by-step instructions for getting started with WordPress.

    The Blogger Bug is also another good resource. She has very easy directions to follow for a variety of things.

    For any of you that read my comment, I'd love for you to stop by my blogs and let me know what you think. (I will have a new header and background designed for my Indiana Inker site soon. I'm still deciding exactly what I want).

    I'm stopping by from the Super Stalker Sunday Blog Hop. I've stopped by before, so I'm already a follower. 🙂

    Kelly
    Coupons, Crafts and Causes
    Coupons, Crafts and Causes – Facebook
    Indiana Inker
    Indiana Inker – FB

  28. Lisa @ Granola Catholic says:

    stopping by via blog hop. I would love for you to visit me too.

  29. Pinching Abe says:

    Hi, I'm here from Relax and Surf and am a new follower. Please visit me sometime soon!

    I think above all, you have to have easy sharing tools. You can write an award winning post and no one will share it because it is too hard to share. Make sharing tools an integral part of any blog post!

  30. Kelly says:

    I've found to be very helpful as well.

  31. My Fitness World says:

    I love blogs that are friendly and inviting. I like personal looking blogs oppose to business looking ones. It has to be easy to read and find things. The header is the first thing people see and the button makes people want to see your blog. So a good header and button design says it all.

    Now for designing your blog, well you need to learn how to use Gimp {its free} or PhotoShop {not free}. Making headers and buttons are like editing photos. You just need to know want size and how to save it so it looks good. I think starting out in blogger is perfect, but eventually you need to move to WP.

    I'm following you from the Lower Your Alexa Blog Hop.

  32. angellam says:

    I like the format!

    Visiting your post from the lower your Alexa blog hop!

  33. Mom vs. the boys says:

    mostly I just like an organized blog and I hate searching for ways to follow a blog. make it easy for people, put it near the top, easy to find

  34. Becky says:

    I love your design. I haven't ventured into trying to design my own blog yet, but that will come. Following from Alexa hop.

  35. Things Sent My Way says:

    I've tried some templates that won't let me number my comments – that's essential for me! I also like three column blogs. I've just set up a new look on mine and I'd love an opinion too! I like this one, and it's kinda inspiring me to putter again.

    I'm following from the Lower My Alexa Blog Hop. Come visit me back!

    Michelle @ Things Sent My Way

  36. Lisa Ladrido says:

    Hi Ramona! Thank you for your kind words. I hope you are doing okay with your condition. I can see you understand exactly how I have been feeling! I am so glad you stopped by to visit. Have a blessed week. ~Lisa
    I am all a twitter about life

  37. Susie B. Homemaker says:

    I think you definitely need a balance between the two- it has to look good and be easy to use. Keeping the clutter (ads, buttons, etc.) to a minimum and organized makes it more pleasing to the eye and easier to navigate. And a Search bar is a necessity, even for a blogger- I hate when I can't find something on another blog.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and following… I'm following you back as well. 🙂

  38. MommyDigger.com says:

    Following from the Alexa Blog Hop! Please stop on by and follow me at http://www.mommydigger.com and say hello 🙂

  39. Jenny says:

    When I started blogging I spent more time changing my backgrounds then I did writing, I think. I had a concept for a blog that I would just leave the same and fortunately found a wonderful blog designer who could execute what I envisioned.

    I find that a lot of flashing, moving, busy things generally crash my computer. I tend to stay away from them. I like simple and easy to navigate with slighly larger font.

    But, hey, I'm just old and crotchety!

    Thanks for another thought provoking link.

    I'm really enjoying this series with you.

    A+

  40. Neal says:

    I think a great header and simple design is what I love in my blog design!

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