Hi guys! Just continuing on with this series of tutorials, but I wanted to take a step back to talk a little bit about custom blog design. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a blogger, so I hoping this will be of interest to you. As a blog designer, of course this is a natural post to write, and I’m honestly not trying to toot my own horn, as custom blog design is not for everyone. But hiring a blog designer most definitely has its benefits, and I wanted to outline just a few of them if you are considering a blog design for your own Blogger or WordPress blog.
- A custom look. Okay, so there are definitely tons of pre-made blog design templates out there, and honestly, some of them are awesome. And on a lot of them, you can change the theme colors and add in your own header (but then of course, you have to design your own header :/) but in my opinion, they still have that out-of-the box type of look. Your brand is your most important asset when blogging, so it can be really cool to see your vision come to life. Also, the blog design is customized to YOU. YOU get to say what you want to see, and have your own blog brand designed just for you. For example, I recently designed a blog for a food blogger and she wanted to see an artist’s palette with pastries instead of paint dabs. Try finding that clip art! I designed a custom header for her blog and it was really exciting to help her bring this (super cute) vision to life and it ended up looking adorable.
- Matchy-matchy. On a standard blog design template, not everything is going to match. Your social media buttons may not be the right color, the fonts might not look quite right with the rest of the blog (a good blog designer has an eye for the right fonts. You don’t want a heavy serif font paired up with a clean, streamlined blog design). On the blogs I design, I like to add in a little matching graphic or flourish to the sidebar headers, and create an attractive About Me graphic that matches the rest of the blog. The result is a cohesive blog design branded uniquely to you!
- Plugins installed. Oh my gosh this is actually huge. As a blog designer I have spent, literally, years on figuring out what plugins work the best. Just try typing in “image slider” to your plugins search, and see what comes up! Literally, a hundred sliders. So a blog designer has most likely been designing blogs for years (I know I have!) and through trial and error, come up with the most efficient and best plugins for various blog tasks. Trust me, this alone is worth investing in a custom blog design, and some plugins can actually harm your blog, or break other functionality, so it’s really good to have someone who knows what they are doing.
- You’re locked and loaded right off the bat. As a blog designer, my intent is to provide clients with a turn-key blog design template. A custom blog design should be ready to rock and roll right out of the gate, meaning that all you should have to do is to create a new blog post, and you’re off. No fooling around with the blog setup, or trying to follow a lengthy tutorial, all of your plugins will be installed, categories and navigation set up, widgets in place, and you won’t have to lift a finger. It takes a lot of the hassle out of blogging and leaves you to concentrate on the fun part!
- Extend your brand. A custom blog design generally includes the option for add-ons like Facebook and Twitter headers and Pinterest and Instagram profile pics, among others (see my post here on the importance of branding). Once again, creating these from scratch, or using clip art, can be tedious and time-consuming. A blog designer can create a consistent brand for you across social media platforms quickly and easily so that anyone visiting you on any social media outlet will immediately recognize you and your blog!
So, those are just a few of the reasons why a custom blog design and hiring a blog designer is a great idea. It really isn’t just to promote my services (though of course if you are so inclined you can check out my blog designs here!) but to let you guys know how much easier hiring a professional can make things, whether you are a brand-new blogger or an old pro who just wants a facelift. It’s like going to the hairdresser vs. coloring at home, it’s a little more expensive sure but the end result looks so much more professional, lasts longer and is often a lot faster in the long run! If you have any questions on blog designs, feel free to comment below!