I am not a designer and never could be one. Yet, as a blogger, I know how important it is to get a nice, clean, visually appealing look. I want to entice my readers, give them a reason to stay. And good design will do that (along with stellar content, of course).
You may have noticed that today’s post looks a little different.
Okay, a lot different.
I believe in regular blog “remodels” because the process makes me look at every single piece of my blog with the question, “How does this help my readers have a better experience?”
What I did (well, what bobwp did)
I was looking for a lighter feel (not so color dense), more contrast and a sidebar that made my most important stuff stand out more. So, working with the same theme—the amazing Headway (affiliate link)—Bob took my list of improvements and within a few hours this last weekend, gave me something that exactly matched the vision in my head.
I like Headway because it allows casual users to build their blog without knowing all that hard coding stuff. With this theme, even if you need a little guidance, you can do the layout and see how each change you make looks as you go along. You can also add your own touches, like uploading your logo and matching colors to be sure they reflect your brand.
These are the improvements I made, while keeping the Headway theme:
• Redesigned the entire header, keeping the blue green, but changing the script style letters to a much more readable font.
• Changed the color in the navigation bar to a more complementary steel gray.
• Created a new tagline, For bloggers who write and writers who blog (okay, that was my only contribution).
• Made the first (and most important) graphic in the sidebar—my email subscribe box—eye popping, with the bright blue green background.
• Put the dates back under the posts titles to let readers know when they were published.
• Removed the colored borders, replacing with white, to make headlines bolder and more prominent.
How you can remodel your blog without the big bucks
Okay, I admit I’m a little biased, but the talent behind the Headway redesign is bobwp.com, better known as Bob Dunn.
If you’ve been thinking about a blog remodel but don’t have the resources to hire a designer or web developer, you can do your own blog remodel with just a little coaching from Bob. With Go-to-Meeting technology, he’ll walk you through the steps as you both look at your screen in real time. You can buy one hour or five hours or more—whatever you need.
Bob has also just launched WordPress Starters, affordable online classes to teach you how to manage and update your blog all by yourself.
Just a few options for you if you are considering a redesign and can’t spring for a designer to do everything for you.
So what do you think about the new and improved Cat’s Eye Writer site?
What theme do you use on your blog?
Do you ever fiddle with your design to make the user experience better?