Now it’s launched! The new amazingly gorgeous look for the blog is finally here. Welcome to check it out and learn how to make your blog stand out too! In this post I’ll tell you what I’ve changed and why. There will also be tips how to make your blog look amazing.
BEFORE & AFTER
THE CHANGES & HOW TO MAKE IT YOURSELF
1. THEME + FONTS
Previous years I’ve been using Yumblog theme. It’s very beautiful theme that’s just fine but I wanted to update towards more modern look. Yumblog is theme meant for food blogs. This theme is called Maxwell. It’s more modern, clean and elegant. It’s optimized to all different platforms.
Choosing a theme can be hard work (and might take hours haha!) but it’s very very important! The theme might either limit your creativity or support your ideas and personal style. Remember this when choosing theme for your blog or site!
I wanted to have theme that a) has menus (categories and social), b) has dropdown option of subcategories, c) looks clean and makes you concentrate on content instead of background, d) makes it possible to download own photo to the header, e) shows only a little sneak peak of every post and ask you to click read more.
Did you know that if reader reads the fonts page for 30 minutes it’s still counted to be bouncing away immediately because the visitor did not click anything? By asking visitors to click to continue your page becomes more interesting for search engines (SEO). Additionally it makes it easier for your readers to see what you’re writing about and head to most interesting articles.
Funny thing that kind of linked to theme is that before this makeover I had never thought that fonts matter. I was using the one that the theme had as a default. For copyright texts in photos I was using the default of my Mac’s Photos and something that just looked good in other programs.
Well, to make the style more recognizable and solid you should think the fonts too! The ones I’ll be using in future are dreamy and beautiful Fertigo Pro Script for headlines and beautiful, slightly dreamy but easy to read Museo Sans for other texts and copyrights. Tip: If you use Photoshop it allows you to download more fonts online with Typekit!
This blog used to be in peachy tones with some warm beige, red and chocolate brown. It was beautiful in it’s own way but it kind of reminded me of my grandma’s house. That’s not what you want from a modern lifestyle, fashion and travel blog, right?
The new set of colors presents freshness, happiness and new beginning for me. I think the new colors are more in this century too, which is a nice thing. I gave up the background pictures of my old design because I think they weren’t very fresh and they had nothing to do with my content. Now you guys can fully concentrate on the content with a solid background, yeah! 🙂
Using the natural white and white to background makes it so peaceful that it doesn’t catch your attention but it’s still very welcoming. Using very dark gray for texts because gives slightly foggy tone to them. Black is quite radical and kind of sad color so you might not want to use it, however it requires some contrast to make you guys able to read the posts so very dark gray works excellently. When as dark gray is not required there will be some medium gray seen too.
For some smaller details light dreamy pink, cute yellow and light green will be used. I love these colors because they remind me of summer, sunsets, beaches, flowers and other things I enjoy. They just make me smile – I hope they make you smile too!
3. TAGS AND CATEGORIES
This part of the blog really horrified me already a year ago. I used to have over 100 categories and over 300 tags. Seriously, could you guys ever navigate here? 😀 I’ve been decreasing the amount for couple of months already to make some sense here.
Blog this small should never have more than 50 categories and tags together in my opinion. And even 4-10 can be enough. If you’re a new blogger keep this in mind!
Above: new menus of this blog
I used to have two menus 1) Social with LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram buttons and 2) Menu with About, Photography Portfolio, Cooperation/Collaboration. At the same time I had huge amount of tags and categories at the sidebar. How to make this a lot more simple?
This is how: 1) keep the social (+ add all your some channels there) and 2) Do menu that includes About, Categories and Contact. You can have subcategories but make them appear only when reader sets mouse on top of categories button.
5. SIDEBAR & WIDGETS
Remove anything that doesn’t offer value to the reader. Make them simple. Keep texts short. That’s basically all you need to know + it’s good to have follow button somewhere. If you have a sidebar prefer having it on the right side because people usually give more attention to right than left side.
PS. To Celebrate the new look I will open the biggest giveaway so far tomorrow, remember to come back and participate! 🙂