Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Experimenting with blog layouts

Don't be alarmed if you see strange things on my blog in the next few days. I'm experimenting with different layouts to find out what works best.

So if the colors don't match, if the header is too large and out of shape (and ugly), or if you can hardly see the text on a similar color background, you'll know why. No worry. It will come out right in the end, I promise.

Any suggestions welcome.

I have a few questions for you, dear followers (and anyone happening to just pass by):

1) Is there any blog layout elements you like to see or you can't stand?
2) How do I create an awesome banner for the top of my blog?
3) How do I find free layouts, other than the ones provided on Blogspot?
4) Are there colors that are more attractive than others for backgrounds and for fonts?
5) What's your favorite blog layout? Any example I can check out?

Thanks! The most useful answer will be highlighted in my next post.

6 comments:

Harley D. Palmer said...

1. I can't think of any off the top of my head...I do hate "busy" blogs - ones that are full of ads and gawdy images - things that draw attention away from the main content. In some respects I also don't care for posts that are full of twenty different font sizes and colors. While a bit of color is fun and makes a great post - I hate it when people take it too far.

2. If you want a custom image, you could ask someone (like me) to make one for you or you could make it yourself. If you know coding, you could add the code for the image directly into the template but you can insert the image into the header area straight from the customize layout page if you don't.

3. http://btemplates.com has a ton of blogger templates that are free to download. It's where I found both templates for my blogs. The templates come with great banners and such. http://www.eblogtemplates.com is also a good place to find some (they also have WordPress blog themes if you ever need one).

4. The obvious rule of thumb is if you have a dark background use light font and a light background use dark font. I will say that yellow, orange and anything in neon (like pink or lime green) to me is just - distracting and blinding.

5. I don't have a fav blog layout perse - for me I love 3 columns (side bar - main content - side bar) because it is easy to organize the widgets and such. One side bar means you have to have all the side bar stuff in one HUGE list but with two, you can split it up a bit. But that's for me personally - I tend to have a lot of information on a page and 3 columns help me to keep it from being crowded and cluttered. For two column layouts, I like the way you have yours now - with the sidebar on the right side. I know many webdesigner out there are like "Standard says it goes on the left" - but I read left to right, so I would prefer to have the most important info on the left side (like a blog post!).

Hope this helps! Good luck on finding a cool layout and if you need any help just let me know!

Cheree said...

Here's a great site with free blog layouts that you might want to check out: http://www.pyzam.com/

It's always helped me out. As for the colour scheme, as long as it's not too contrasting and hard to read (and there's not too many) then it should be good.

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Harley! I'm already trying a layout from one of the sites you suggested. Thanks for offering to make me a custom banner. I'll know where to go when I get tired of pre-made templates. ;) Great tips!

Cheree, thanks for the link. I'll check it out. I agree that the text should be easy to read. I once saw a blog that used red text on black background and I strained my eyes reading it. Black on white, or dark on light, has become my favorite.

Emailman said...

This is an awesome layout, Annie. I would be happy with it if it was mine :)

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Kurt! Harley and Cheree both have great links for free layouts in their comments, if you're interested in changing yours. It's very simple do upload.

Harley D. Palmer said...

It looks great Annie! Great choice!

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