I’ve been working lately on redesigning my blog. I almost decided to hire someone to do it, but I guess I am a DIYer at heart. It has been fun and frustrating playing around with it, and it is still a work in progress, but I am very happy with the results so far. Here are a few useful tips I found along the way that I wanted to share with you.
1. How to get rid of shadows from your header, post area, and pictures in Blogger
I went with a simple white background where the pictures would pop, but for some reason I could NOT get rid of the shadows around the sidebar images and around the images in my posts.
Then I found this tutorial from Makin’ Cute Blogs (a fantastic site with a lot of helpful tutorials for people like me who only half know what they’re doing).
I had tried following other tutorials, changing around the html code, and of course changing the template options through Blogger, but nothing worked. Then I found this tutorial. All you have to do is copy and paste a short code in the CSS section.
If you want to hire someone to design your blog, Makin’ Cute Blogs also has a page where you can connect with custom blog designers and check out their portfolios.
2. Make a test blog
My sister-in-law, Jill, gave me the great advice to create a test blog where you can mess around with design and codes without messing up your real blog. Once you create a new blog, go to your real blog and copy the entire html code. Now go to your test blog and replace the code. Some of the gadgets and sidebar images won’t transfer automatically, but it is a great way to play around with things to see what you like first. I think that the last time I redesigned my blog, I freaked out my visitors for a few days, haha.
3. How to install social media icons
After I posted the other day about the free social media icons, I got a few questions about how to install these to your site. Basically, you install them just like you would install a blog button (here is a great tutorial from Blogging With Amy). First, download and unzip all of the icons you want to use. Next, upload them to your Photobucket site. Now copy and paste this code, once for each icon you want to use, into the same HTML gadget on your sidebar (You can do this from your Layout page… click add gadget… then add HTML).
<a href=”YourFacebookPageURL“><img src=”YourFacebookButtonImageURL” /></a>
(Use the same code for all of your buttons but of course put Twitter URL and Twitter Button URL etc.)
4. Buy beautiful pre-made blog designs on Etsy
Did you know that you can buy gorgeous personalized-looking professional blog designs on Etsy? They are customized for your blog and very affordable. I especially love these designs for Blogger or WordPress from Joy (How Joyful)’s design shop, HJD Studios.