FAQ | Blog Customization
Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 4:05 PM
Hi Jamie – I've admired your blog and website. I think that your website is through Blu Domain, but how did you do the blog? Is it a Blogger site? Did you make the template? It looks great! I'm trying to get a blog going myself, but I'm a little lost. Any info you could share about your blog would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Every since I debuted my old "new" blog back on September 18th (wow, I can't believe it was that long ago! Time goes by fast...) and now this "newer" blog last week: I have received at least twenty-five emails from photographers commenting on my custom design and asking questions. I just don't have the time in my work day to answer each question individually, so I thought I'd do a big post here. I don't proclaim to be a "customization" guru or anything, I've just always played around with HTML and websites ever since I was a pre-teen and I've picked up a few things on the way that could help you with your customization. One thing to make note of though, is that some of the tips I mentioned will only apply to customizing blogspot blogs, as different companies (eg. wordpress) can be customized in different ways.
1. Start at the top!
A header is a great way to customize your blog. I designed mine in Photoshop, but if you are not graphics-savvy I would suggest going with a designer like Chocolate Cactus, who does great blog header designs for only $100. To place it into your blog, go to Template > Edit HTML. To figure out the HTML for this, try Blogatech.
2. Get creative with your background.
I found my old damask background on iStock, and altered it in Photoshop to match my brand colours. For my newly re-vamped blog, I've chosen to go with just a simple light blue colour which doesn't distract from my work and my images! Some other great sources for backgrounds are The Inspiration Gallery, Veer, and Dreamstime.
3. Understand the language!
Almost all of my customization was done by trial and error...I studied my original blogspot template (Minima) until I felt like I was comfortable with what each part of the html and script was saying. Once I knew what part of the language correspond to a different part of my blog, it was easy for me to change my Times New Roman text to Arial, or my black text to gray. For writing colours in HTML, this Hex Color Code Generator comes in really handy! I apologize that this "tip" is really broad, but really, HTML can be learned by reading your codes. There are times when I'd be looking for a good half hour, playing around with certain values until I found exactly the line that I needed to change to get my blog to look like I wanted it to look! (Woah, can you say run-on sentence?)
4. Don't let your viewers get lost.
That's all the simple tips I can think of for now, but photographers, if you have any questions: email me or leave a comment on this post. I'm going to try to keep up with a photographer FAQ at least once a month from now on!