Sunday, June 24, 2012

Making your blog look like a website

Here's a blog with info about how to make your Blogger site look like a website. It's just getting started, and looks like it will be quite useful. Blogger is a very nice platform for people like me, who aren't really terribly good with HTML and the like. What I've personally found useful in making my Blogger websites look website-y (not counting this one, which is supposed to look like a blog!):

1. Remove the navbar. He tells you how to do it on the linked site, and it's key. Your site will always look like a blog as long as the navbar is sitting there. Take away the navbar, and voila! You have a much cleaner looking site.

2. Getting rid of the attribution (also explained on his site) isn't quite as important, IMHO. I leave the attribution so the image designer gets credit, and add in a copyright for myself and my banner designer as well. If you delete the attribution, you probably want to credit your banner artist somewhere else.

3. And that's also key-- get a good banner (and set it to replace the usual words that make up the header). I use the Picture Window template, which allows you to insert a banner. I don't know if other templates do or not-- you'd have to experiment. But if you get a professionally made banner and choose colors to match in "advanced template" choices, you have a nice simple-looking website.

4. When you alter the template, sometimes you have to experiment to find colors that go well together, and are readable. I usually choose a darker background color, and a lighter interior background color. Notice that the Picture Window template has a grayish frame that can't be changed on the template, and which reflects the background color. This can result in some odd colors. I tried to use a dark burgundy background on one site, and the grayish area turned pink-- not the autumnal combination of colors I was going for. Experiment and find out what looks best.

5. Use pages, and put the links at the top rather than at the side. This creates a nice-looking set of tabs on the Picture Window template. To keep my tabs to a manageable number, I limit the pages (contemporary romance, historical romance, and so on) and then list my books on the page, with links to separate posts for each book. I sometimes find it hard to get book covers to lay out correctly on a Blogger page, and have to experiment till it looks right. It's harder when all the covers aren't quite the same size.

6. If you use any pattern or image at all on the outer background, make it a super simple one. A lot of fancy stuff in the background is distracting and doesn't look really professional. Blogger lets you pick from a bunch of backgrounds, but I think keeping it simple is best.

 7. You can choose a nice font for your page and post headers. I use a readable script, which looks romance-y but is still easy on the eyes. You can also get rid of the date at the top of your posts (which looks like a blog, not a website) by making it transparent. There's probably a better way to do that, but I haven't figured it out yet.

8. And finally, get a proper domain name and set your blog to use it. You can even purchase the domain name through Blogger, if you like.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks, Ellen. I bought a domain name, and even purchased a website but I am not having any luck getting it to look good, and in fact, I can't even get it to come up when I type in my domain name. I just get that the site is under construction. Blogger sounds easier, but now I have to figure out how to get my domain name off the one under construction.