This post contains affiliate links. Click here for my full disclosure.
Notice that things look a little different around here? I’ll be honest with you-I’m in looooove! I spent years (for real) designing and redesigning my blog. I studied, I created buttons and menu bars and headers. I tried to make a sidebar that looked like it was supposed to be there. I coded, mapped images, made social media buttons and STILL never felt content with what my blog looked like. So, if you’ve been here a while, you’ve seen lots of designs come and go. And even a name change!
Sometimes I would find a design I liked, but then I would struggle to get everything else to look like it went together.
Anyway, this year I finally decided to check into having someone ELSE design my blog. Go figure! The first thing I did was look at a couple of blogs that I really liked, and checked at the bottom of the page to see if anyone specific had designed them. I found several designers and sent out an email to find out what the cost would be to have my blog redesigned.
I was looking at anywhere from $500 to $1500!
There was no way I could justify spending that kind of money on what is, essentially, a journal.
Honestly, I felt pretty frustrated.
I’m a blog reader. I love blogs. I love the women out there who are creative, and kind, and are full of great ideas on being a better wife and mother, and are willing to put all that out there to benefit others. There is so much good that comes from these blogs. But, the fact is, if I only read the blogs that look professional and clean and matchy, then how could I expect anyone else to read mine if it wasn’t all of those things?
Then I found this eBook. Oh, yes, I did. I’ll get into the book later because it deserves its own post. I should say, though, if you’re a blogger who’s looking to “grow your blog”, you really should check it out, it’s fantastic! So a HUGE “thank you” to Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog for the book!
In the eBook, Abby talks about her blog’s design. It’s kind of like a “semi-custom” design. Basically, what that means, is that someone designs all of the elements, then sells the whole theme. So, while there are likely many others who have the same theme on their blog or website, each theme is customizable, so you can change your font, colors, etc.
Abby uses a theme from restored316designs.com, so I decided to check them out! Oh, my goodness, guess what? They offer several themes, all of which are so pretty and feminine, and each one only costs $50! I swear to you, the heavens opened, the angels sang and I took about .3 seconds to decide that this was my answer!
The website has great tutorials, and in just a few days (I do have a family) I was able to totally redesign my blog. Now I feel like it looks so much more professional, and it’s mobile friendly! My last theme wasn’t mobile responsive, so if you were reading on any mobile device, you had to zoom and scroll around. No more! The menus look great, the sidebar is cohesive with the site, the buttons all work, it’s fantastic! And there is so much more I can do with it, as my blog continues to grow. Yay!
All that said, I do still have to really decide on a logo. For some reason, that is SO HARD for me! Ideally, you settle on a logo and then leave it alone. It becomes a symbol of the blog, and of the blog’s author. Imagine if Nike changed the swoosh, you know? You just don’t go around changing your logo! But I think that’s why I have such a hard time settling! I always find something I like better, I guess. Anyway, see that first “Seek the Green” header up at the top of the post? I do like it, so maybe it will make a comeback in some form.
Even though these themes are customizable, they do still limit some options, of course. And since they just sell the whole thing, there’s not a ton of support, beyond set up. They were fantastic to help me get everything looking like it should, according to the original theme settings, but there’s no guidance beyond that. Say, for instance, that I want to widen the header space. I’m on my own for that. But for the price? It’s amazing!
One thing I’m still working on is getting the colors just right. On my laptop, my header and buttons look a beautiful turquoise color, but on my husband’s Macbook it all looks green. So I’m going to have to go back and find a “web safe” turquoise that will look the same across all browsers and computers.
Why can’t they just all be friends, anyway?
Thank you, more than I can say, for sticking with me through the change. I haven’t been able to really post, since all of my time has been spent customizing my site. But I really am happy with it (for now, ha ha) so hopefully I can get back into the swing of things!
Have a super happy Monday!