So, how many of you have started looking at other blogs and thought “Wow, mine looks so plain compared to theirs?” With some really simple tips you can modify your blog to look and work exactly how you have visioned. Most of these options are easy to find and others are not such. Watch the video below or continue down the page to view some text directions.

 

 

So here are the tips for improvement:

1. Layout – Not as much to do in this section, but what you can do is important.

Your blog is organized into a bunch of different divisions or divs for short (remember this term for advanced blogging). That’s what all of the boxes visually represent in the Layout section. Things that you can modify here are titles, navigation links, header image or text, and the organization settings of blog posts etc. Plus by clicking “Add a Gadget” you can add additional “Gadgets” / additional divs that allow you to link to social media, insert calendars, and type custom code.

2. Template – TONS can be changed here to modify the look and feel of your blog.

Here is where the real customization comes in. Template is where you have the chance to use the many drop down boxes to choose colors, font sizes, backgrounds etc. You will also notice that there are both Live on Blog and Mobile Templates. Live on blog would be how you view you blog on a computer. Mobile would be how it’s viewed on smartphones and small devices. Keep in mind that a lot of tablets actually have the same screen resolution as a laptop, so Mobile is likely to only affect phones and touch screen devices under 7″.

Today I am going to focus on the Live on Blog part. Go ahead and click that orange Customize button.

Once you click the customize button the first screen you see is the Templates section. Here you can choose a basic layout and feel for your blog using the scroll arrows and clicking the preview images. When you click an image you will see additional preset color maps below.¬†Assuming your blog is public in Settings you will get an option called “Dynamic Views.” These views will somewhat imitate some websites and apps you may use like: Pinterest, Twitter, Flickr, iPhoto, etc. It does this by allowing you to display posts in a collage, organized list or streamlined, smooth interface. This also makes the blog fairly mobile friendly and changes the layout fluidly from device to device.

The next category, Background, does what you think. It allows you to choose a background image for your blog as well as the color theme for the text on the page. For a background you can choose one from the list of available backgrounds OR you can upload your own. Keep in mind that it is not legal to use designs created by other people without permission or unless designated by usage license.

Adjust widths is a VERY important category. It allows you to drag sliders to change the width of your blog in pixels. Keep in mind that some of the older machines use a 1024 pixel wide display by 768 pixels tall. This means that it may be wise to keep the blog smaller than that number. Play around with the widths to see what you like.

This is where the Layout category becomes important. For example you may want a single column layout or a two column, maybe even a three column. My advice is to use the blog layout that fits how many items you want to display. Each of the icons for layouts give you a generic idea of what your blog will look like.

Last, but not least, the Advanced category. This allows you to fine tune exactly what colors are used where, as well as text styles and sizes. There are far too many things to list so here are a few tips:

 

  • For background there are two backgrounds. One spans the entire size of the web browser. One is under your blog posts, titles etc. The second one is what gets adjusted with the width slider under Layout.
  • A dashed red box will show you an approximate location of what you are changing in the blog preview on the bottom half of the page.
  • Visited Color under links changes the color of the link once it is clicked or navigated to.
  • Add CSS is designed for people who fully understand blogger and how CSS works. Enter CSS code here at your own risk! On another note some HTML and CSS will be taught in later blog posts.

That’s all I’ve got for fine tuning colors and the look and feel of your blog! Enjoy!