Step 4 – Designing Your Blog

by Matt Banner | Get free updates of new posts here | Last Updated on

Choosing a Theme that Represents You and Your Blog

Lessons in Step Four:

  • Things to consider when choosing your design.
  • How to use themes, font, and formatting to create a unique design for your blog.
  • The difference between premium and free themes.

 

Designing a Blog: Where to Start? Choose a Theme!

Another reason why WordPress is hands down the best blogging platform: themes!

WordPress offers a variety of beautifully designed free themes that you can preview live to see if you really like it – and if you do, it’s 2 clicks to install it!

Here’s how:

Wordpress Dashboard

Hover over “appearance” in the left sidebar menu. Select “themes” to visit the theme directory.

Once you’re there, select “add new” to browse the directory of free themes.

Add New Theme

Remember, all of these incredibly designed themes are free. Yup, absolutely free for you to choose and customize to your liking.

Use the search bar to type in some specifics you’re looking for in your blog’s design. Or simply browse the “featured” section to see the most popular themes.

Browse Themes

Once you’ve found the one you really like, select “preview” to get a great feel for how the theme would actually look.

Browse reviews and the feel of the theme.

Found that perfect one? Great! Hit “install” and you’re just about done.

Preview Theme

On the next screen, WordPress will start installing the theme. Just click “activate” to finish the process.

Install Theme

Viola! A brand-spankin’ new theme right in your dashboard.

Now, lets further customize it with the right text and the right colors. Click “customize” to do so.

Theme Dashboard

Customization is so easy to navigate.

On the left sidebar, select any element to make a change.

Save your changes and the update is reflected on the right side for you to easily view and see how it would look on the live version of your website.

Customize Theme

Once you’re all set, save your changes and they will show on your website automatically.

Final Product

 

These are fully functional layouts that give your blog a unique look and feel. There’s a lot of them though, here’s how to narrow down your choices:

  • Consider your audience, what would they like to see. Something tame and simple, or something snazzy?
  • Make sure it’s mobile-responsive, which means that it will look good on both computers and smart devices like tablets and phones.
  • Decide if a premium theme (usually $20-40 but not necessary) is within your budget.

 

Premium, or Free Themes?

You’ll come across two types of themes: premium and free. There are certain advantages to either one, but the big difference is the that premium themes tend to stand out more and have more features.

Free themes are great because they don’t cost anything, but you have to consider that some of these are better than others, and that a lot of websites could be using them, making yours stand out less. The good thing though, is that you can change your theme at any time!

 

Don’t forget that installing a theme is super easy:

  • Browse themes under the Appearance section of your dashboard.
  • Click Install when you’ve found one you like.
  • Finally, click Activate on the following page. You’re good to go!

 

Going Beyond Themes
blog design elements

We’ll learn more about how to add these elements to your them as we move along.

Remember: The theme is the basis for your blog design, but there are other factors to consider:

  • The size and color of your font.
  • The layout of your posts (structure and images)
  • How your posts are organized (categories and sections)

 

These factors should all be looked at from a reader’s perspective. There’s certainly established methods for writing the perfect blog post, but always feel free to experiment. Keep your readers in mind and you’ll always make the right choice!



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