If you were to ask me which aspect of starting a blog involves the most fun, I would have a hard time answering you. Right now, though, off the top of my head, I would have to say that choosing the blog template is right there at the top of my list. This is even truer for those who are into designs and those who place high value on aesthetics.
Let’s revisit the term “blog template” just in case you’ve forgotten what it means. Simply put, a blog template determines what your blog looks like. Of course, it is coded using a language, but the end result is what you and your readers see. From colors to fonts to the number of columns – all these depend on the blog template that you choose. As you can surmise, your blog template of choice could very well define the visual success of your blog. As such, you have to be discriminatory in choosing a blog template.
So where do you start? The beauty of blogging platforms (especially Blogger and WordPress) is that they come with default blog templates. This makes things so much easier for the new blogger. Even better, you can choose any default template if you cannot make up your mind just yet – you can always change the template later on.
As with many things that have “defaults,” the blog templates that are available from most blogging platforms may not meet all of your needs and preferences. The good news is that you can find other blog templates online which you can use for your blog. You can either look for FREE blog templates or find a designer/programmer who will create a custom blog template. Naturally, if you decide on the latter choice, you should be ready to pay for the designer’s services (unless you happen to have a friend who does this).
Here are some things to consider when choosing a blog template – whether free or paid.
1. What sort of layout do you want?
What I mean is this: how many columns do you want in your blog? Do you want one main column for the posts and one sidebar on the right? Or maybe you want it on the left? Or maybe you want one main column for the posts and two sidebars – one on each side. This is a great place to start as you can search for free blog templates depending on the number of columns that you want.
2. What color scheme do you have in mind?
Everyone has a favorite color – what’s yours? Blog templates have default color schemes but many also have options to tweak the hues. When checking out blog templates, make sure that the color suits your preferences AND the overall theme of the blog as well.
3. Do you want a custom header?
The header is that image at the top of the page, and it is something that I value highly. The header is often the first thing seen by readers and I think that it has to make a good impression. Now if you think like me, then you will have to look for a blog template that allows users to change the image for the header.
4. What other customization requirements do you have?
Aside from changing the image header, you might want to be able to customize other aspects of the layout such as the size of the sidebar and so on. I suggest listing these things down so that you can check as you are going through various blog templates.
Originally posted on November 28, 2009 @ 4:04 am