It’s Friday! I work Saturday and Sunday (I’ll be working 12 days straight) so it’s not really too exciting it’s the weekend, but I’m sure a lot of you out there are pumped! I wanted to add another post to accompany the blogging tips I’ve been giving since my increase in statistics. One of the changes I made that really improved my blog was changing my blog design. I don’t have the budget to hire a designer, but I knew a pre-made template would do much more for me than trying to create one on my own.
Edit: After years of working in a cubicle (as a social media and marketing manager), I’ve broken free and am now writing on a separate site. If you want tips for growing your blog and/or business. Head on over to Winn Creative Co.
Will this work on the platform I use?
Not all templates work on the same format, make sure the design you want is compatible with your blog. If you are on WordPress, make sure it’s for WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress.
Does this match the style I want for the future of my blog or is it just pretty?
In the future I plan on hiring a designer to create a whole new blog design, I wanted the design I chose now to be something along the lines of what I would want in the future. I love the colors and layout of my current blog design and would want to continue with that once I have a unique design. There’s no harm in completely changing the look of your blog down the road, but the design you choose should definitely represent the style you want to have for your blog. If you’re not a preppy kind of girl, don’t pick a preppy blog design just because it’s cute and affordable.
Is it responsive? (Does the design adjust to the device a person is using to view your blog.)
People are keeping up with their favorite blogs on all sorts of devices these days. You want to make sure the design you have isn’t going to be a pain in the butt to read if the user is on their cellphone. Non responsive themes don’t always look pretty on a cellphone.
Does it come with installation instructions and do you get any help if you are completely lost?
The worst thing would be to buy a theme then have no idea what to do with it. If you just can’t figure it out will the designer help you? My pre-made template came with instructions and if I needed help I could pay to have the designer install the theme for me. Fortunately the theme came with fantastic instructions that even I could follow. Be sure to read reviews and see if past customers had any issues.
Are you allowed to change any elements of the design?
If there’s a theme you LOVE except for one tiny aspect, can you change it? For an extra fee I could change the colors or fonts of the design. What about after you purchase the theme? Say you want to change your social media buttons, the designer might have it included in your purchase that you must use all of the design or none of the design. It’s important to know the options and limitations of the design so you wont be in trouble or disappointed down the road.
Do you trust the designer?
The most important part of choosing a template is whether or not you trust the designer. I bought my template from Sarah of XOSarah and had been a regular reader of her blog for a while. I trusted she knew what she was talking about and wouldn’t sell bad work. All her reviews are positive, plus she does regular design work so she will be a great person to use once I upgrade my design. There are a lot of premade templates out there, you want to make you’re investing your money into something worthwhile.
So where can you find a pre-made blog design? A search for pre-made templates on Etsy will produce pages and pages of results. I recommend starting with the bloggers you know and go from there. When you find a design you love, go through the above list to determine if it’s worth your money.
Where did you find your blog design?