Finding a template for your blog can be difficult, trust me I know. From the time I begun my blog to now, I’ve gone through at least three templates. Even though I’m quite happy with the way my blog is designed, it took me a while to get here. So, today I thought I would share a few tips that I learned while going through the long process of finding the perfect template, to hopefully make things a bit easier for you.
Okay, before we get started, I am going to make things a bit easier to understand, by creating an imaginary beauty blog called Modern Beaute. Personally, I learn with examples so I’m sure I’m not the only one who learns this way. So throughout this series, Build a Blog, I’ll be basically creating Modern Beaute from the ground up. Just in case you missed the first post in this series, make sure you read that first, where I discuss how to start a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog. So, lets get started!
Decide your Setup: Is your blog going to be a portfolio for photos, a traditional blog, a site that sells services/products or a mixture of a few things? I’d start by determining what your blog type is to make it easier to search for templates. In this example, Modern Beaute will be a traditional blog, so a template similar to this would be more suitable than a template like this, which is geared toward a portfolio.
Functionality: Are you setting up a blog, a website that will have an interactive forum, or an e-commerce site? It is important to know exactly what you want your site to be now, and in the future so that your template can support it. For example, if you are starting your site off as a blog but hope to sell products directly through your site, you may want to look at templates that contain a section for a blog as well as supports e commerce etc.
Pick your Theme and Color Scheme:
Most templates (especially the paid ones) are easily customizable when it comes to changing the color scheme, but you do want to find your “theme” and what I mean by theme is the look and feel of your template that will contemplate your blog and your content. Personally, when I think of Modern, I think of those pretty black and white spaces that are all over Pinterest and when I think of beauty, I personally associate it with a classic red lipstick why I don’t know, but you get the gist. You want your color scheme to represent your blog’s name or content. So for my imaginary blog Modern Beaute, I will be searching for a minimal template that’s predominately black and white with a bit of red.
User Friendly: Most templates will allow you to view a demo version of the theme before you buy or download. Play around with it! Make sure that you feel that it’s user friendly. Is it easy to navigate? How’s the size of the text? How easily accessible are the other pages (especially the about and contact pages) in the layout? Are the social media buttons easy to find? Are their sidebars? Think of yourself as a reader when evaluating whether or not a template is user friendly.
Mobile Responsive: This is a bit of an extension of user friendly, but it needed it’s own bullet so that I can stress the importance of having a responsive template. I learned this lesson the hard way, but at least I get to share my experience. Think about the amount of people who have their phones in their hands… those are the same people viewing your blog, well for me at least; a lot of my traffic comes from mobile devices. If your blog does not adapt to the screen size of the device your reader is using (i.e. the text size, the size of the graphics) guess what happens.. They leave, and probably won’t return, which is 100% what we don’t want.
Since I’ve discussed a few things to look for, now let’s talk about where to find some templates, for free and paid.
Before I get started, if you don’t want to spend money on a theme, that’s A-Okay! I in no way think that having a free template is less than , or mediocre compared to a paid theme. I do however, think that if you are short on time buying a paid theme came in handy for me and was so much easier to set up, but when I was on Blogger, I had plenty of time before launching my blog as well as short on cash, so I went with a free template that I was able to customize the way I wanted it.
The only thing I would say is negative about using a free template is that the chances are higher that you may come across a blogger with the same template/design, but there is a fix for that…customization. When I was on Blogger I used a free template that I found on https://gooyaabitemplates.com/ and then used lots of HTML and CSS to customize the blog so that it had a bit of character and didn’t look like someone else’s. No, I’m not at all a coding genius, but I learned everything through google searches and YouTube videos. Much of the information I found on YouTube and Google, I have been able to use when I switched to WordPress. So if this is the route you decide to go, don’t think those hours of learning goes to waste. It is pretty valuable in the future, well more like very valuable.
Free Blogger Themes:
*Make sure the theme you select for Blogspot/Blogger comes in .html format for a quick and easy upload.
Free WordPress Themes:
www.woothemes.com (E-Commerce Templates)
Paid Blogger Themes:
Paid WordPress Themes:
A Few Blogs I Follow That Offer Templates & Design:
Installation/Support After Purchase: When looking to purchase a theme, before clicking the buy button just because you love the design, see what type of support is offered. Will the seller provide an extended amount of support for a couple months just in case you have questions? I found this to be so helpful when I purchased my first theme. Having the opportunity to communicate with the seller just in case something went wrong, and it did a couple of times, was such a great feature to have to save some time instead of having to spend a couple hours searching for the answer on google as I did previously. Also, some, but not all themes, come with different design set up. For example, when I purchased my template it came with about 6 different ways to set it up, depending on what type of blog format I wanted.