Discussion: Blog Designs

Lately I've been spending a lot of time with my blog design, and I realized that it's become a problem. I feel like the quality of my posts aren't as good as they can be because of the time I've committed into making my blog look pretty, but I just can't seem to make up my mind about what I want. If you've stuck with me for a while, I'm pretty sure that you know what I'm talking about. I've been through a total of 5 designs but I don't feel like I'm still content with the way my blog looks. Unfortunately I don't have screenshots of all my designs since I keep on changing them so rapidly.



The reason why I've been spending so much time on my blog design is because I feel that the appearance of the blog can be more or as important of the content of the blog. If the blog design looks like crap, well, no one is going to want to read the content in the blog. That's why I've been trying to design my blog so it looks intriguing and makes people want to read the content, but I've been having so many issues with myself.  

When I first started blogging, I wanted to hire a blog designer, but I really wasn't sure whether I'd be totally satisfied with the final design, since a lot of blog designers have this "one design only" policy. And since I'm one that's super critical of blog designs, I just wasn't brave enough to take the risk. After that, I started to design my own blogs and I learned so much to the point where I could do practically anything, so hiring a blog designer just kind of disappeared from my options (and I didn't want to pay for a design when I could do it myself).



It's even worse especially for an indecisive person like me and being a blog designer. When you're a blog designer, you tend to take in account on everything, and I mean everything, that looks fantastic when going on any blog. I want my blog to look good, but I can't seem to accept that I can only have so much. Every time I finish a design, I say to myself: "okay, this is the FINAL design, and I'm never changing it." And then after a few months or so, I decided that it's time for change because I see an awesome design for the placement of the slider, a fabulous place for the header, a unique background that matches with a graphic or whatever stupid reason.

I really want to just finalize the design and focus on the actual blogging part. I want to make my blog flourish and grow, and I want to become more involved in the blogosphere and meet more bookish people, but it's this design and myself that has been restricting myself to do so. If the blog is not active, or there is never a regular post basis, I know I won't be able to meet my goals for 2015.

This is why I'm going to set my priorities straight now, and I feel that the beginning of the year is the perfect time to do so. I'm going to be designing a blog design that's here to stay, and with my "permanent" design, the most I'll do is tweak it so that I can focus on the content of the blog. This will mean that for the next few weeks, I'm going to be working on my design one last time, and I might not be able to post. I feel as if with this whole design thing I've been disregarding my blog readers, and that's the one thing I never want to do again, but I can assure everyone that this will be the last.

How much do you invest in your blog design, and how important do you think it is? Leave your thoughts!

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Olivia

Olivia is a fangirl from Canada with too many book boyfriends who also adores sweets, drawing, and watching anime. She started off trying to write a full length novel, but some things are just easier said than done, so Olivia spends her days writing blog posts instead. That is, when she's not spending her free nights playing League.

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28 comments :

  1. Hi! Well, that's a good 2015 goal. You know I'm pretty sure that if I knew how to design blogs and managed to figure out CSS, I would probably have the same issue. XD For what's worth, I think your blog design right now is pretty awesome.

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    1. Thanks Pamela <3 Sometimes I wish I didn't know how how much I know. I swear, it's frustrating to have the skills but not know how to apply them!

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  2. I have this same problem! It seems to me I can NEVER be satisfied with my blog design. As for having someone else design for me? I'd love it but like you said -- what if it's not everything I imagined it would be?! I actually just put up my new banner with the same theme to it today and this is one I'm very happy with (at the moment)! Nice to know I'm not the only one with a blog design obsession! :)

    -Emily @ Books & Cleverness

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    1. Thank god, I'm glad too. I love your header at the moment, it's super adorable. And with me the problem with buying premades is that I'm too scared someone will have the exact same design and my "logo" will not really be a logo!

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  3. It's looking good! One of my goals for this year is to get or make a custom theme for my blog.

    I really like the header that you have in the second picture. That would make a cute theme, especially with all of those colors. Whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be beautiful. Good luck! :)

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    1. Thanks and good luck with your goal :)

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  4. First let me just say how much I love all the blog designs you've done these past few months even. Everything I saw a new post on your blog, I always got excited to see if you changed your design again LOL! I know that might sound weird, but it's true. For me, i mainly don't think the design of one's blog equates to the quality, even though you have both a beautiful design and some high quality posts!! Still I think it's awesome how you also help other's with the designs of their blogs, and at the same time, sharing your designs with other bloggers who may be lacking in the look-of-their-blog department. It's so awesome how you've created such a thought-provoking post! Another thing I wanted to say is that I change my blog banners based on the season or holiday. For example, on Christmas I put a little Santa hat on my bee and snowflakes and Christmas trees! I just think that's a great way to touch up a blog design without changing EVERYTHING. Keep em' coming :D

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

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    1. Aww thanks Alex, you rock <3 sometimes I get excited too when I visit a blog I read and see that they have a completely new look, it's just so refreshing :D

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  5. I love your blog designs, girly. You know that! But I agree, the quality of posts is most important. I've liked all of your designs, but I think the one with the owl is my favorite. It's colorful and cute! :) I also love whenever you surprise me with new designs that are so so so so pretty <3 I think as long as the blog isn't too cluttered or busy and has nice aesthetics that's good. Something that's clean and easy to read is best.

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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    1. Agree! I really like designs that are clean and easy to read, but I'm not too much of a minimalist either. I like adding colour to designs and it's what I usually aim for when designing. Thanks Rach <3

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  6. I love every one of your designs and would buy one in a flash if only I could afford too! :/

    I completely agree with you on if a blog design is crap you're definitely discouraged to actually read the content! I always feel discouraged when I look at my very basic design and know that people aren't probably concentrating on the content because of it. :(

    I know that whatever design that becomes the 'permanent' one is going to be absolutely gorgeous!! :)))))) Looking forward to it!

    Oh, and I've always had a soft spot for your owly header ;)

    Ella @ Once Upon a Bookish Time

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    1. Don't worry too much about your blog design at the moment! I find it really clean and simple, and that's a perfectly fine style to have. I'm thinking about making a Blog Design section which might help?

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  7. The new year has me looking at changing up my blog design, too. But I think you're right; playing with new designs can be fun and helpful, but not if it's interfering with operating the blog. Good luck! I know you'll find a good balance and have lots of fun this year. :)

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    1. Thanks Kel! Good luck with your blog too!

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  8. I can totally relate. During my first year in blogging, I created a beautiful yellow layout, it was simple yet elegant in the same way and I received adoration from other bloggers. But after a few months, I wasn't satisfied any longer…I ended up changing and changing my blog's design because I was envious of other bloggers' layouts, so my blog ended up being hideous therefore I went to buy a pre-made layout so I had no choice but to stick with it HAHA it actually worked :))

    www.lite-rate-ture.com

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    1. OMG THE ENVY OF OTHER BLOG LAYOUTS! I can SO relate! There are so many options and it can be so overwhelming sometimes!

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  9. I don't invest too much on my blog to be honest, though I'm certainly not the best designer out there, even with 2 years of some experience. I cringe at my design from 2012, back when I first started blogging. *hides*

    Personally I have a thing for simple yet maybe a little complex. Not too bright that it hurts my eyes, etc.

    I've made a major redesign about a year ago and I'm really happy with it so far. Of course, I did have to change it when Ella hopped aboard (and then hopefully not abducted), but not by much (only the header and a few other minor things). Whether I choose to make a new design, I'm not sure.

    I am having a bit of design itch, but Lupe from Catching Bookz is letting me give her blog a makeover. :D

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    1. OMG I remember my first blog design *cringes with you*. It's great to see how much you improve though throughout the years!

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  10. I think all of your blog designs are really lovely! I can't figure out one thing about HTML or CSS, if I could, I would probably have the same problem as you. I think the design is very important, but not so much. I mean I think it's important to have a good design, but for me if the blog is "clean" I mean like readble I usually don't mind much the design. I think both your posts and your desings looks lovely anyway. :)

    Paranoid Puppet @ The Inside Mind of a Paranoid Puppet :)

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    1. Don't give up on learning HTML and CSS! Once you get the hang of it, you can customize practically anything on your blog. Tutorials help lots!

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  11. It's really cool that you decided to write on this because I am changing my blog design at this very moment! I agree that if you don't have a good blog design people won't want to read your blog. However, I don't have the skills to design myself (I want to, but it's kind of hard when you don't have Photoshop and have to try and rely on Paint...because Paint sucks) and I don't have the money to hire a blog designer so I use either Shabby Blogs or The Cutest Blog on the Block. All your blog designs are super cute, I wish I had your talent! Good luck with your new design. :)

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    1. Thanks Gabs! Your blog design is looking good so far :)

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  12. Blog design is important. It's the first thing readers see and can be the deciding factor between browsing and clicking away. I'm on my third blog design myself. With that said, though, I still think the quality of posts are essential. Yes, readers might take that first step because of design, but it's the content that makes readers stay. I wish you luck with your permanent design, I'm sure it'll be great:D

    Claire @ Cover to Cover

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    1. Definitely. Posts and the design both play an equal part in attracting readers. Good luck with your blog design :)

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  13. I've been spending a lot of time on my blog design right now, and I agree with you that how they look is as important as content. There are blogs I just don't visit because the font and color choices are too difficult to read or there's music that comes on as soon as you open the link, or flashing gifs all over the place.
    I am bringing my blog back to life after a 4 year hiatus. I've adapted well to the changes in blogger since 2010, I was actually surprised at how few there were. I'm having some trouble with its limitations, actually.
    I'm impressed with your technical skills on all three of these designs, but I like the top and bottom ones best.

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    1. Thanks! And yes, there are blogs that have too many colours and are just too overwhelming to read. I'm pretty happy with my current blog design now :)

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  14. I have this problem too! I used to change the designs on my blog in a short span of time and I'm really worried if my readers won't recognize my blog but I just can't satisfy myself. I have this image in my mind but I don't know much about web designing apart from what I googled so I can't truly achieve the goal that I wanted which results in repeated tweaking and changing of templates. I have settled on my template for now and I have stayed with it for a month or so now. I am so proud of myself. :D But, I am starting to feel tingles in my hands again and the dissatisfied feelings is starting to emerge! So, now I have a totally new image starting to grow and come together in my brain. It's infuriating how addicted I am to my blog design!

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    1. ^all of my feelings too right there! There's always this part of me thats NOT satisfied after seeing other amazing blog designs. I'm loving my current one though and I hope I wont change it :D

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