Saturday, January 31, 2015

Post Titles

Hey y'all!
I'm Mrs. White and I blog typically over at Little Homemade Housewife.
I do a little bit of everything, 
but one of my biggest passions is graphic design.
I have a small shop designing blogs for everyone who would love some affordable beauty in their lives!
Katlyn has even done an awesome review on my services!

Today, to help out with her awesome blogiversary,
I volunteered to share some of my easy customization ideas for your blog!
Whether you're looking for just a small spruce,
or for something a little more dramatic, but don't have a lot of funds.
I'm here to give you some little tips and pointers!

There are definitely some ways that you, yes you, can help change up your blog.
Very simple tips that are always favorable.

Though before I go any further, I want to give one major tip.
always always always always.
That is the first step you should take whenever trying out a new experiment with your design.
No matter how minor, because lemme tell ya,
even a small tweak can sometimes result in hours of unraveling of what went wrong.
So if this happens, and you don't know how to fix it,
voila, reinstall your old template, and good as new!

In order to do this, go to your blog dashboard.
Then go to template.
Followed by this little button up in the corner "Backup/Restore"
Then, click it and download full template.
Easy peasy right?'ll save some headaches.

Another life lesson from my own designing is:
Google and tutorials are definitely your friends.
It is honestly how I learned to design blog templates.
By googling certain things I was looking how to learn how to do, and read along.
Sometimes I decide 'woah, okay, I am definitely not ready for this'.
And then, well, nothing lost right?
And even if you do try it, and it doesn't work out,
remember that first tip?
The worst thing that can happen is you go back to what you already had.
I say that's not bad.

One of the easiest things to change that can have a super big impact is background color.
If you go from a big white background to something with a bit of color,
or vise versa,
imagine what a huge difference that can have!
There are also some great free tileable backgrounds that are super easy to install as well.

To change background color:
Go to your blog dashboard,
Template along the left hand side,
Edit HTML. Click proceed.
Now you don't have to scroll very far [or use the handy CTRL+F]
to find something along the lines of:
Now here's where you can do one of two things.
First, you can either scroll upwards and find the (usually) first item under "Variable definitions"
and look for something like this:
<Variable name="bgcolor" description="Page Background Color"
  type="color" default="#fff" value="#ffffff">
and change the #ffffff (or whatever you have) to a different color.
You can also, and in my opinion, somewhat easier,
use that hashtag color value in place of the $bgcolor. Either or.
Free easy color hash tag finders such as this one are a big help in finding what color you'd like to use.
You can also find different color pallets to use in coordination with each other
in places like pinterest or colourlovers or design-seeds and find them that way.
always hit preview before you save it to see if ya like it ;)

If you're interested in doing a patterned background, Amanda from Royal Daughter Designs has a great tut and some free backgrounds!

A second way you can spruce up your blog with some minimal effort
is to customize some of your fonts!
Header fonts are the easiest, and oftentimes look the best.
And with a little gem called Google Web Fonts it is entirely too easy.

First of all, you'll have to spend some time looking through their database.
When you find a font you'd like to use, click on the 'Quick-Use' option to continue on.
Get back to your HTML to edit [refer to background color]
and you're going to look for the beginning of your header.
looks like this:
Directly above that, you're going to c&p the code in step three of their steps.
When you c&p the code, you need to add one simple thing that will make your code actually work.
<link href='' rel='stylesheet' type=text/css' />
That little backslash at the end there, that's in purple, is important.
You need to add it to your code, or else you'll get some odd error code.
Moving on!

Next, you're going to take the code from their step four,
and integrate it into your HTML.
I'm going to tell you how to do it for your main post headings.
Look for your Posts section. Looks something like this:

/* Posts

Underneath that, there's a code like this:
.post h3 {

Now chances are, there is already a font-family entry. All you have to do is replace that with the code from step four on the google web fonts.
Don't forget you can play with the size of the font as well in that same section!
And again, hit preview to see if you like it before committing with your save!

See? Super super simple!

One last quick tip!
If you do have a little bit of fund to spend, there is some affordable options.
One: Shop.
Shop around and see just who offers what you're looking for in your price range.
If there's nothing out there you find that is within that range,
there is always something that few people think about.
Premade layouts or ala carte items.
Premade layouts are still totally awesome and customizeable to an extent.
They are usually very beautiful, and much  more affordable than a custom overhaul.
Ala carte items are also usually very affordable and that way you can get a little face lift without committing to the large expenditure of a full layout.

All righty!
Now that I've chewed on your ear for a while,
I'll let you get back on with your regularly scheduled reading!
Thanks for reading, and thank you so much for Katlyn
 for allowing me to help pitch in for her awesome blogiversary!
If you have any further questions on design, whether for yourself or done for you,
don't be afraid to email me!