7 Tips on How to Pick the Best Blog Design

Posted on July 11, 2013

There are many websites that provide free and premium WordPress themes and Blogger templates. With so many options, how is a blogger to choose? Here are 7 factors for you to consider in order to guide you towards your perfect blog design.

How to pick the best blog design

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

1. Budget

Both WordPress and Blogger provide free themes available for anyone to use. This means that it is highly likely for other people to be using the same theme as you. Usually, there are some design limitations and little flexibility. Paid themes can vary in price anywhere from $15-$80. Themeforest and Creative Market are just two examples out of hundreds of sites that provide Wordpress themes and Blogger templates for you to choose from. Anyone can purchase and use them for their blogs. Paid options usually provide you with more flexibility on the look and feel of your blog design. Lastly, custom themes and templates are created by a web designer for a specific client. They can be quite pricey but will ensure that your blog design is one of a kind and there will not be another one just like it. It is up to you to decide how much money you want to invest in to your blog and how much customization and functionality you are looking for.

2. Layout

When considering a design for your blog, you will need to consider how you want your content to be laid out. Do you want a more traditional blog format where your posts are displayed chronologically with a sidebar column? Or do you want more of a magazine style theme? Do some research to see which blog design layout is best suited for your needs. A great way to do this is to browse your favorite blogs and see what you are drawn towards.

3. Design Elements

When searching for a blog design, it is important to keep an eye on the design elements that each template offers. Elements such as color, fonts, and background will help you to settle on a blog design. Some templates require you to know CSS in order to get the look you want while others are more user friendly and provide tools like a color wheel. Decide what is important to you aesthetically and this will help you to filter out designs that won’t work for you.

4. Functional Elements

While the design elements in a blog design are important, you will also want to take some time to review the functional elements. These elements are important in providing a great user experience on your blog. Make sure elements such as the comments, headers, and share features work to your liking and are the way you want them to appear on your blog. Most sites also provide reviews written by users for each blog theme or template. Read them to see what others have to say about their experiences.

5. View other blogs with the theme that you are considering

When you find a theme that you like, try to find some other blogs that are utilizing the same theme. Designers will usually provide some real client examples for you to view. If not, send them an email asking for a few sites that use their design. Take some time exploring the sites to make sure that you like the functionality from a user’s perspective. This will also give you a great idea of how others have taken the same theme but customized it to their own liking.

6. How is your blog viewed across different devices?

Nowadays, most people are utilizing many different devices while browsing blogs from laptops to tablets to smartphones. Is it important to you whether or not a reader is getting a good user experience if they are not on a computer? If so, you will want to consider a theme with a responsive design. This means that no matter what size the screen is, the design of the blog will automatically respond to the screen size. Some themes also come mobile friendly which means that your blog will lay out nicely on a mobile device. Google favors responsive designs because they improve crawling efficiencies which means that it will help Google index your site’s contents. This is very important if you want to be found in search engines easily.

7. Support

Be sure to find out what kind of support is offered with the theme of your choosing. Is there a forum where other users support each other or is there someone you can contact and hear back from in a reasonable time frame? Especially if you are just starting out, you will want some kind of support in case you need help uploading your theme or changing certain design elements.

Choosing a blog design can be overwhelming. Take your time to do your research and follow the tips above. Soon enough, you will have a blog design that you will love and want to show off.

Where is your favorite place to search for blog designs? Which step above is the most important to you?

 

3 Responses to “7 Tips on How to Pick the Best Blog Design”

  • Great post! It’s good to keep in mind that you can also save a decent amount of money by purchasing a theme from Themeforest or a similar site, and then hiring a designer to make small, custom tweaks to that theme to make it more original looking. It’s definitely going to be less expensive than hiring a designer to make a custom theme from scratch, but small cosmetic tweaks will make a big difference. (Insert shameless self-plug here… I can do this for folks!)

    I’m also interested to hear what others think of the different types of blog post layouts that are available now. I feel very old fashioned but I definitely prefer the regular blog layout over the magazine layouts, which can sometimes feel too overwhelming and busy.
    Jenn at Hello Brio recently posted..Chats with Creatives and a GIVEAWAY: @byMargaretVera Handmade Fashion Accessories [OPEN]My Profile

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