The idea of starting a new blog is exciting! This initial enthusiasm quickly turns to frustration when we realize the many details involved. Designing and customizing a blog is often a challenge for many beginner bloggers.
In this post I share how you can quickly start, create, and launch a blog that looks pleasing to your readers. One that is easier for you to manage when completed. Using a simple start design that works. You can easily build on it over time. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
I remember starting my first blog. As a writer all I wanted to do was write. I didn’t know the first thing about how to begin designing my blog. Visitors would see my site disaster then quickly run for the hills! All I’d seemed to accomplish was a ton of mounting frustration, overdoses of discouragement, a site that looked awful, and nothing was working right!
1.Why begin with a simple and clean design?
Creating a simple design is the best way to start. In the beginning less is more. Nothing fancy. Especially if you don’t know what you’re doing yet.
Of course we all want great looking blogs. It’s easy to look at the big picture. When we do this we fail to understand the importance of the small steps that lead us where we need to be.
We have to simplify our mindset. If we don’t do this then we can’t enjoy the process of starting a blog. Instead of enjoying the process of starting a blog we can become overwhelmed and stressed.
First impressions count. Have you ever heard the saying, ” You never get a second chance to make a first impression?”When someone visits your blog for the first time they will formulate what they think at first glance.
This is another great reason for a creating a simple start design. By making your blog pleasing for everyone you will be sure your visitors will appreciate it. You’ll have succeeded at making a great first impression!
2. Choose a Responsive Theme
Themes come in so many styles and layouts. With so many to choose from it is often difficult to decide on which to use.
- Will you use a free or premium theme?
- Choose responsive themes so they show up well on any device.
- Check how the site appears on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.
3. Decide on Your Theme
With so many themes to choose from this is not always an easy decision for many of us. Out of the box whether free or premium things don’t look good until you design and customize your chosen theme. If you don’t want to hire a web developer than I suggest you use a You Tube WordPress theme tutorial.
I recommend you check out Greg Narayan’s You Tube channel. There you can explore a variety of WordPress theme tutorials. He has many other helpful tutorial videos there about many other WordPress topics.
4. Best Practices For Choosing a Color Scheme
A two color scheme always works best with 3 at the most. Only one is a more vibrant color. Use the chosen colors throughout the entire site. Too many colors create clutter and distractions.
Written content should stand out with less vast array of color. More vibrant colors make for great accents. Muted and light colors provide for a clean look. The reader should see lots of white space between the splashes of colors. Adding images and other content will bring in some color as well.
5. Home Page
Decide whether or not you want your home page to be a landing page. If you don’t simply set reading to latest posts.
If you do want the homepage of your blog to be a landing page it is wise to keep this simple to start.
- A short scroll- This encourages people to not get stuck on your homepage. Instead they go to about, blog, and other places you have great content on your site. This will help to reduce your bounce rate.
- Make sure to have an ‘about’ button and a little description of your site.
- To dress it up you could have a post carousel. I have that on my home page to feature my latest posts.
7. Blog Page
You’ll need to choose how you want your blog page to be laid out. You can do this by going to your WordPress dashboard and selecting appearance > customize. Once there you can find the options for blog layout.
I have mine currently set with the sidebar showing on the right. When a visitor chooses a blog post the layout opens up to default with no sidebar. I’ve done this to make it easier to read and responsive for all devices.
Set your desired individual blog post layout format to show how you want it to on the blog page. To do this you’ll need set the page layout to either default, with or without sidebar, full width, with or without sidebar.
Many people have asked me how much content they need on their site before launching it live.
Begin with an about page.
A minimum of 3 blog posts.
Create an easy to manage posting rhythm.
It is easier to start small with a consistency you can commit to.
Your readers will appreciate a regular posting routine.
Add an attractive featured image for every blog post. This is better than adding it to the body of your blog post itself. Setting a featured image is excellent for SEO.
If you want to design a header it is best to keep this simple also.
Not too busy or cluttered. It should reflect your logo, title, tagline, and caption.
Anything more than this will look too busy.
I use Foto Jet to design site headers, Facebook covers, and Twitter headers.