I know, I know, I should be de-cluttering my coat closet instead of tinkering with my perfectly satisfying blog design. What can I say, I’m the ultimate procrastinator.
In my defense, as flimsy an excuse as it is, I discovered a plethora of exciting websites and got distracted from the important stuff of organising my life.
I’ll tell you all about these below but first, a confession. I lied in the first sentence of this post. The old design was not, in fact, perfectly satisfying at all. It was quite clunky and limited and a little bit old-fashioned, and I had been fancying a change for quite some time. I just couldn’t be bothered and couldn’t figure out what I wanted.
But then, as I was saying above, today I discovered a couple of exciting new design websites and couldn’t resist their appeal:
- Stacey Corrin is the one that sent me down this rabbit hole in one moment of impulse and I’ve already forgotten how I got onto her website, despite that it was like, 5 minutes ago. She has a tutorial for making a blog media kit and I was like ‘who needs a media kit and what is it?’ and then boom, I get introduced to Canva, and I was drooling and thinking ‘I must find a way to use this thing right now even if I must make something up from scratch to do so!’ – and I still fail the geek quizzes, believe it or not.
- Canva is a fabulous design website; you can use it to create banners for your various social media platforms, posters, invitations and lots more, using your own designs or one of the many options available on the site, including a very generous catalogue of free stuff. The tutorials are fun and interactive, and there is a lot to love there. I usually use PicMonkey for my photo designs but I will definitely incorporate the two from now on.
- In another article, Stacey was talking about colour coordination and had some gorgeous swatches (especially on her Pinterest boards). So again, <drooling>, but then it occurred to me that it’s all very well to admire the colour palettes that have been gathered together but how do you know colour names to reproduce on your own designs? A quick search took me to a page full of the HTML colour codes (gorgeous!) so I can adjust the tone more specifically than the point, click and hope for the best method.
Case in point: you can see on my new design that when you hover on the navigation, the buttons turn green. I was able to incorporate the green into the header and pretend that it was planned that way from the start, which make the whole thing a little bit more appealing, don’t you think? Web designers around the world are probably shaking their head muttering ‘amateur’ to themselves, and yes, I’m a real beginner at this but I still love it.
Another deciding factor for the change was the fact that in recent times I’ve tried to improve the look of the posts by systematically including a photo header with a fancy post title. I know I’m not a photographer, but it’s a challenge to myself to make more of an effort, if not with a photo then still with a design element that makes the post stand out more. The new design requires me to do so if I want to keep things pretty.
As to the actual redesign, I know it’s quite a drastic change and I hope you’re not all thrown off by it. For those that care and don’t know where to find the information, I settled on WordPress’ own Twenty Fourteen magazine-style design. It’s a free theme and I’m not spending any extra money on anything so there are some limits to what I can play with, especially with the colour scheme but I personally think that in terms of readability and funkyness, it wins over the old Fadtastic I was using before.
As this is a free blog on wordpress.com, all design changes are completely down to me, from the header with the name of the blog to the order of the widgets, so please bear with me as I spend the next few days testing things out. I would really be grateful for your feedback either in the comments or by email, especially if there is something that you think has either vastly improved or just doesn’t work at all.