There’s a lot of arguments about the importance of a blog design, and how It can help you getting more readers. I will take the side that says “A good Blog design can give a big help catching a first time reader!”. So as I am starting out this blog, I am a good example of that.
Some people think that making Blogger templates is the hardest thing in the world. Weel I say it’s not, at least if you have the right tools to help you in this task. For your surprise, you don’t even need to have THAT knowledge in HTML… CSS… or whatever you think you need. But of course if you have it, making a template is going to be a lot less challenging.
Here I show you the process I use to make my templates, from the beginning, and what tootls I use during the whole process.
1. Get some inspiration:
There’s plenty of CSS galleries, Blogger templates galleries, and tons of great design inspiration blogs. Please make use of them, see what other designers are doing, how the design trends are developing, and try to follow it. The important thing is, never copy the work from anyone, remember: you are getting inspiration, so try to get it, observe the details, get the good things out of it, and use them in your template.
2. Design your template using Photoshop(or another software you’re used to):
Yes, of course you need to design it, specially if you are planning to become a better designer. At least for me, I have the need to see how my template is going to look like when it’s done, so I try to make it as real as possible using Photoshop, and this will help me a lot in the further steps.
3. The Minima template:
Always create a test blog, you don’t want to mess up your main blog right? Then choose the Minima template. Why do it all over again? Minima has all the content well organized, in a great minimalistic white background, all ready for tweaking and customizing , waiting to become whatever your creative mind want it to become! Starting a template from scratch, I mean from zero, is waste of precious time.
4. Firebug (God’s Hand):
Reason why I call this great firefox extension “God’s Hand”: The possiblitity of real time changings in the template, you don’t even have to touch the code, just find the section you want to modify, and use the the keyboard arrows to change the values and the options. It can become your main tool (it became to me) when you get use to it. You will be able to fix any bug, or any problem that you have, in front of your eyes! Once you start wroking with itm you won’t believe how big will be the increase of your productivity, believe me. So use and abuse it.
5. Mind the details:
Yes, make it unique, watch for every single detail, change every little icon, put your personality in it, never be lazy. It can be tiring to make a really good template, but once you have finished it, you will feel great to see the good work you’ve just done. And believe me, the others who will see it, or download it, will notice that you’re a good designer when they see you’ve put a lot of details, like customizing the comments section, the paging buttons, the footer… like none has never done!
6. Publicize it:
Specially when you are starting as a blog designer, make some great free templates for people download it, submit it to some well known blogger galleries, I’m sure that will get a lot of traffic for your own blog, and people will see the good designer you are.
So there are 6 steps I always take when I am going to design a new template. I am sure they will help you a lot in this interesting task. If you have any questions about this post, or even want to add some new step in the run to become a PRO template designer, don’t hesitate to use the comment section below.