Jan 20, 2010

10 Ways to Beautify Your Blog: Day One

beautify blog

Finally, it's here! Ten Ways to Beautify Your Blog.

Sorry it's taken me forever. And thank you to everyone for your encouragement. Things have been busy lately, and then our laundry room flooded. So some guys came {restoration company} and ripped out our floors among other things. We have huge fans blowing 24-7, and I can't even hear my phone when it rings. Or the baby when she cries. Or the doorbell. But we're surviving! As if I didn't have enough house projects going on!

Oh, and did I mention that someone's turning ONE on Sunday?!?!

Okay. Ready? Day one.

Disclaimer: I'm no expert and hope I do this justice, so let's just say I'll just tell you everything I know. I've learned through trial and error, and from just playing around. And if anyone wants to add to more ideas via comments, feel free!

1. Find a layout you love.

This may seem easy and pretty self-explanatory, but the reason I am making this DAY ONE is because oftentimes changing the layout will cause you to lose EVERYTHING ELSE, so make sure you have a great layout that you will want to use for awhile before moving on to day two {if I ever get there}. Keep in mind that colors, fonts, and background designs can all be easily changed without changing your layout. I will show you more of that stuff coming soon.

Some great free layout sites (for Blogger) that I know of are:
These layouts have options such as one, two, three, and multiple column design. However, choosing a three-column layout will cause your center column to be smaller. Wide center columns are nice because then you can post BIG pictures (how to post big pictures coming soon). :) On the other hand, a one-column template would be great if you are into photography and want to display super large pictures.

How to Get a Link Bar
I've gotten some questions about how I got the links on the top of my blog. There are a few ways to do this. First, you can choose a layout that has links as part of the design {that's what I did}. Second, you can actually add your own links to any blogger layout {thanks, Lena} by following these directions:

1. Go to layouts, then page elements, then Add a Gadget {the gadget under your header that's super wide}.
2. Choose HTML/JavaScript
3. Paste this for each link you want to add

4. Fill in "yourlink" with the website you want your link to take you to, and LinkName is the name
5. View it in rich text to play around and make it look pur-ty

Hopefully this has given you a few ideas that you can play around with. If you're afraid to dive in and try a whole new layout because you don't want to lose your old one, you can always start a new "test blog" that you can try new stuff out on first. Just a thought.

Let me know if any of this is helpful! I would love to hear your feedback.

Lots of fun stuff coming soon!

*Our Blog Templates can be tricky to download. Here are the steps I did that worked for me with this website:
1. Choose a layout, then click download
2. When the window opens where you must decide to "save file" or "open with," choose"open with," and then find WORDPAD.EXE, and click "ok." A wordpad document will open up.
3. Copy and cut this whole document.
4. On blogger, go to the "layout" tab, then "edit HTML, and paste the entire wordpad page
5. Make sure to preview before saving and if you don't like your changes, click "clear edits"

As for BTemplates, downloading this worked better if I saved it to my computer, then used the browse/upload feather from blogger. However, you you will have to back-up your old template first if you don't want to lose it (I don't think the "clear edits" option works this way).


Juliet Mock said...

Thanks Nealy! I have been eagerly anticipating your 10 tips! Sorry to hear about your laundry room. I hate it when things like that come up unexpectedly. Our old house flooded once or twice and we had fans blowing and we were shop vac'ing it for hours! Oh, www.cutestblogontheblock.com has nice layouts too. That is what I am using now.

The Chidisters said...

Here are a couple other websites that I like to use too: http://aquapoppydesigns2.blogspot.com/ and http://www.shabbyblogs.com

Looking forward to your other 9 tips!

vandahlen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bee Van Dahlen said...

Thank you for your tips! I love your blog. I have a question: How do you get it to show all posts with the label for example PHOTOGRAPHY when you click on Link Bar PHOTOGRAPHY?

vandahlen said...

hey Nealy! Here I am again, my email is beevandahlen@gmail.com, Love, Bettina

Sarah said...

Hey Nealy! I was curious about how I link a blog post to it's 'label'? my layout has a linkbar already in the script, but I know know how to make it go to the page that it should. does that make ANY sense?? haha!

Laura said...

Thank you SO MUCH for these suggestions! They have helped me a lot in redesigning my blog. LOVE your blog too!!!

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