Discovering Your Blog Layout Style

February 25, 2014

Blog Land / Uncategorized

Hey, thanks for all the really nice support yesterday! I feel a lot less like a freaky weirdo. 

So after a year of blogging there have been many transformations: writing style wise, photography wise, content and layout. I wish I could pick one layout and just stick with it forever. I am a tortured re-designer, constantly learning how to code little things in css or making layouts/effects in GIMP (free version of Photoshop available online). I am constantly reading other blogs and gaining inspiration while figuring out what layout/design is a reflection of my work. As my work sorta changed, so did its face. 

You can see today’s layout. let me show you the progression of the blog. WARNING: it starts out embarrassingly primitive.

  • Some of the first headers. I made these on Powerpoint! I know, you’re super impressed and want to know how I did these. I’m shrinking as I post them. 

full logo 

customlogo

  • One of the first layouts. A purchased theme that I tweaked and customized a bit. This is from before I knew how to take a screen shot! (Shift + command + 3 on a MAC). Oh the purity. I remember learning how to install and modify widgets. Those precious early days of frustration. 🙂

IMG_2362

  • An early profile picture taken on our couch by Chris with a little Sony point and shoot. I kind of fixed my hair. I thought putting on a bit of liquid foundation here made it very professional. I may or may NOT be wearing pants here. 

DSC02919 - Version 4

  • I hired a website designer to help! She creates this logo from a few concepts I have. I photograph and email a pen and ink drawing of how I want the logo and menu to be set up. She does a really good job.
  • My friend and celebrity photographer/stylist Jen Kleiner takes more professional photos of me for this headhsot to match the new look of the site. 
  • This is a screen shot taken while some kinks were being worked out-BY ME, after the web designer had done what I asked. I am a constant tinkerer. It can be challenging trying to convey to someone the image that you want to portray online.  I was frustrated every time I had to ask the web designer to move a space here or change the font size there-it would take days and if I knew what to do it could have taken seconds. The impatience really motivated me to learn skills that would allow me to translate my ideas myself. I was eventually able to make small adjustments and then I took on bigger challenges as I got more confident. 

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 8.48.49 PM

  • Here is the layout as of about 2 weeks ago. You can see some more changes…then I started a few more little changes. I wanted a more minimalist look from the start but didn’t know how to get there. I slowly transitioned into it. Finally, I bought a decent camera, learned how to edit a bit, then learned how to put text on photos and do layouts.

Screen Shot Peach Social Media 

 …and you get what you see today. I wanted less with the layout/background so I would be motivated to take better photos and have the focus on that.

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 12.53.14 PM

I totally recommend wordpress.org as a platform to set up a website. I’m happy that I used it from the start. It’s very easy to learn and use. There is a tutorial for everything and using little drag and drop widgets is the easiest way to personalize your site. Once you get comfortable with that, you can start cutting, pasting and tweaking code to do even cooler things like make buttons that lighten when you hover etc. I borrowed SO many great little widgets and looks along the way and I still do all the time! 

The best advice I could give to someone starting out with a website is to just get started and do so inexpensively. Unless you can definitively look at an existing site and say, “Yes, build me a site JUST like his/hers,” or “I completely trust your vision as a designer to make something perfect for me.”

Build your content. As you develop as a cyber-being, see tons of other cyber beings and find out who you are on the internet, look to hire a professional who you can work closely with in translating your vision. Find someone who has a portfolio full of the types of looks that say “you.” Along the way, learn how to make adjustments to your existing site-this will save you $$ as designers may charge for any changes after a certain point after the main design is complete.

You can check out more blogging topics by clicking on the “Blog Land” button at the bottom of the page. Share some blog layout horror stories  lessons below if you would. 

Linking up with Glossy Blonde and Karly Kim today. 

Glossy Blonde
  • Jenn! I am still getting the hang of “disqus” and I found this comment in spam! Yikes! Sorry about that! Yes, sometimes I just write information and then sometimes I actually show my personality. I literally forget to put in the personality sometimes! LOL Yes, this IS real life and I have totally made some major life changes that then reflected in the blog!

  • Love the new look! I have found myself migrate to more white, too. I am always wanted to tweak my design (and blog name, for that matter). It’s all part of the adventure, and I try not to take blogging too seriously but still take pride in a nice-looking blog.

    • Thank you so much, Bethany! Yes, the simple looks are totally en vogue! I love making little changes! Let me know if you have any questions about anything you see here that you’d like to use! I take a lot of pride in the site too plus I’m a tad manic! 🙂

  • Diana Newman

    totally loving the new layout! and thanks for sharing your transition into what you have now 🙂 i’m currently looking into changing the layout on my page to something a bit more clean but i definitely am blessed because my wife is good at all that design stuff 🙂

    http://www.dianamechelle.com

    • Thank you so much, Diana! Glad you like it! You are SOOOO lucky you have someone close who can do this for you!!!! I don’t have anyone in my family who knows programming. I hear that kids in China are being taught programming at a very early age in school now! I’m looking forward to your new layout! Welcome (back) to CA!!!

  • BlushandBarbells

    I’m a new reader but I love the clean layout of your site. I confess to paying someone to design my site and while I like the logo she created for me, the rest of it is too…flowery(?) and I’ve no idea how to change it. Plus I signed a contract that I wouldn’t change it.

    • Thank you, Wendy! Your site is very nice! I know what you mean when you say…too…fill in the blank. I just could never put my finger on what I really wanted until I could tinker with it on my own. Whoah! That’s interesting-a contract?! Ask me anything about layouts if you like! 🙂

      • BlushandBarbells

        Thanks! I may take you up on that when I read the fine print in my contract!

  • I loved seeing the transition of your blog! Loving the new look too!

    • Thank you, Lauren! I’m into site design like you’re into clothes…except I’m far behind in my development of personal style! Catching up to you!!! 🙂

  • Alisia

    Oh my gosh, it is awesome to see where you started from and where you are today. What a fantastic transformation. With all of the changes you’ve been doing, I have a feeling more changes (even minimal changes) will continue to happen. I think your blog looks fantastic, I need to revamp mine but I don’t know if I want to spend the money on it.

    • Alisia-totally. It is so different! It was almost like I knew I wanted it to look sorta like this but I wasn’t confident enough to go there! You are soooo right…I’m seeing little things that I want to change as we speak! 🙂 Yes, before investing totally take your time and see what you like out there. 🙂