How To Design Your Own WordPress Blog In Simple StepsForget Blog Design Services and Do It On Your Own
How Do I Design a Blog on WordPress? These are some of the common blog design question asked in many WordPress forums by people who want to start a blog on their own.
Blog website design is critical to the success of your blog. This guide will show you ow to design your own wordpress blog while spending the minimum time possible.
Do you have friends who might be looking for the same guide on how to design a blog website?
This guide will help you design a blog website. I will teach you everything on how to desigh a blog to achieve an amazing design that your audience will fall in love with.
Having a pretty blog is critical to improving blog conversions. Whether your aim is to attract many subscribers to your email list or you want to sell your courses, having a blog with a great outlook is a big plus for you.
Most website visitors will be attracted by the the blog appearance before they read what your blog is about. This means that if your blog looks shoddy, this is the first blocker. Most of them will not go beyond this point.
About This Guide: As mentioned above, in this guide will go through designing a WordPress blog step by step. This is a lengthy guide, so be prepared to put in sometime.
I am a busy person, I don’t have time to do all this: If you don’t have ample time to come up with great blog designs, you can always pay someone to design your blog – A fully designed blog using wordpress theme (custom or premium theme) will cost you around $500. Note that in most case, you will end up spending more than this when you design the blog on your own. Agencies have access to greater discounts than you.
If you don’t have the time to go though this right now, use the subscribe button and we will send the link to your email. You can also bookmark this page so that you can check it out later.
Preriquisites: This guide is meant for new bloggers who have already installed WordPress on their hostings. If you have not, follow our guide on how to start a blog using WordPress. (click on that link).
Before we embark of designing your blog, lets go over some other reason why WordPress is the best blogging platform and the reason why 29% of the websites (blogs included) use WordPress.
I am doing this incase you are not convinced that you are on the right platform and incase you haven’t started, don’t make a mistake of choosing another blogging site software.
Self-Hosted WordPress Blogging
Most new bloggers rush for free blogging sites with an illusion that you can start a blog for free using a service that is hosted by a third party and expect to make money blogging.
It is okay to think that way! I have seen over 5 bloggers (who are my friends) tell stories how they started blogging using the free sites but once they start making money our of their hosted free sites, the third party will pull them down citing ‘violation of the terms and conditions or rules of engagement’. Yes it happens!
For the sake of new people to WordPress let me define what I mean with the following terms:
Hosted Blogs – These are kind of blogs either offered for free or under a monthly contract. In most cases you don’t have access to your blog files.
Free hosted blogs includes Blogger, Wix (Free and Paid), and Weebly among others.
If you are serious about creating your own successful blog online, stay clear of such blog sites. I will show you tools to help you create free wordpress blog designs
Self-hosted WordPress Blog: – These are the complete oposite of hosted blogs. You own every file on your website. You can also access the files do backups, while only paying a small fee for hosting.
Hosting will cost you something from $3.95 to $15 per month depending on how much traffic you are getting on the site.
Here you download a blogging software from WordPress.org, find a reliable WordPress hosting like Bluehost, who will also add a free domain and domain privacy protection on top.
Did you you can actually stop asking other people or filling WordPress forums with request such as- where can I find someone to build my website? or who will design my website for me? All is to select a blog hosting service, learn how to set up a self hosted wordpress site, and master the art of wordpress blog design.
A Hosting Service: This is a company that will house your wordpress files. Click here for review of the best WordPress blog hosting services.
If you are just starting, I recommend Bluehost Why?
If you don’t have a hosting service set up already, Click Here To Get Started. It will take you less than five minutes of your time.
Here are other links to get you started:
- A step by step guide how to start a blog for beginners,
- How To Start a Blog With Free Set Up Service,
- FBS Premium Blog Starter Kit – (Get best wordpress blog designs)
Lets get started with the guide on how to create a beautiful blog that will convert more. This guides have been used to create some well designed wordpress blogs online.
1. Qualities of a Great Blogging Theme
If you are just starting another blog (a blog that can stand out), stop and find something else to do! With so many blogs out there, only the best bloggers will become successful.
I ussually tell my friends that blooging is all hyped and they respond saying that I am doing that to demotivate them. If you can’t come up with a blog that has an appealing ‘Look and Feel’, making money blogging is not for you.
Here are the five (5) key qualities of the best wordpress blog designs.
Appealing To The Eye
A great blog design will capture the eye of your audience and help you use your words to win their heart. You can’t claim to be a pro and yet you are a Pro who can’t invest in a better looking blog design. I might understand, but the potential audience won’t. Unless you are blogging about some technocal stuff for geeky audience, a poor blog design isn’t going to be of much help in growing your audience.
How User Friendly is The Design of Your Blog?
Can users be able to navigate your website without spending time looking for those menu items? Are users struggling to find links to your other pages or posts? Blog visitors’ experience is crucial in determining how far your blog site will grow. Your website must be user friendly for you to build a profitable blog.
Did you know blog user friendliness is used by Google as a ranking factor? If search engines determines that your blog website design is not user friendly your blog will not surely not rank high. Low ranking means zero traffic from search engines.
Blog Design Uniqueness
If visitors goes to a blog A and then blog B, both with same designs, do you think they will trust you? To succeed with blogging, you must stand out and be unique. A unique wordpress blog design is a nice way to create a brand. Unique blog site designs will give you an upper hand over other bloggers.
Blogging is a business like any other – Unless you are doing it for fun. I always discourage non-tech savvy bloggers to either hire a blogging website designer or use plugins like Divi Builder which anyone with no experience you to create a unique blog or website design. (I will talk about this later on) – Avoid free blog themes that can’t be customized.
Is The Design Of Your Blogging Site Responsive?
In US alone, at least 77% of adults own a smartphone and 96% of Young adults (18-24 years) have access to a smartphone. To a blogger, these numbers are crucial, they are more than a statistics!
If your theme or blog design is not responsive or rather mobile friendly, your conversions and traffic will be considerably low.
Did you also know that Google and other search engines have started ranking site exclusively for mobile users. If you have an existing WordPress blog, you can use this Google tool to check whether the site is mobile friendly or not.
Most free theme since the developers do not offer support are still not responsive. For an existing site, you can use WordPress website migration help
Optimize Blog Loading Speed
Both Google and your blog visitors hate slow websites. Nobody has the time to wait for your site to load. Infact, if your website takes more than 4 (four) seconds to load. A poorly structured theme will definitely slow your website down.
This is why Studio Press Themes have been come popular with many successful bloggers. They are lightweight and do not slow down your site. You can improve WordPress speed and use this as a your way to standout from other bloggers.
I don’t know why most bloggers out don’t take time to clean up their blogs or at least use various WordPress speed and perfomance optimization services to improve their blog load times.
Now you know various things to consider while designing a WordPress blog. Let now look at various ways you can use to come up with an amazing design for your blog.
Note that for WordPress, we use themes to customize the look and feel aspect of your blog.
We have 3 core ways how you can design your own wordpress blog:
- Premium Themes,
- WordPress Site Builders,
- Free Themes – For free wordpress blog designs.
2. Building Amazing Designs Using Premim WordPress Themes
Using paid theme is the most recommended way of building blogs with pretty designs. Infact, most WordPress website designers use paid theme to make beautiful sites.
The beauty with buying a theme for your blog is the ease of customization that most themes come with. You also get support from the theme developer of not less than 6 months. This is awesome! Isn’t it?
Most premium themes are easy to customize and will only take you less than one day to get started. With premium theme, you find a theme that meets your blog specifications!
Most peope avoid paying for a $50 to $125 professionally designed theme and opt for free themes which inturn prevents them from ever making money from their blogs. Imagine saving $100 to loose a chance of making over $10,000 every month? Does this make sense to you?
Here are some of the themes you might be instrested in that meets the five qualities discussed above. Please note that these are some of the themes I have used to start my own blogs and client blogs.
Option 1: Divi Theme & Builder By Elegant Themes:
This is the simplest way to build an attractive yet unique WordPress blog or website.
Divi is my number one recommendation.
Divi is the most flexible wordpress theme and when used together with Divi Builder, you can create a customized blog design within minutes.
The beauty with Divi as a blog design builder is that it is easy to use and the team behind it (Elegant Themes) provides support and video tutorial for all functionalities of divi.
If you are looking for a flexible solution that will help you design a wordpress blog without touching a line of code, then this is the perfect solution for you.
Elegant Themes comes as a package, you get access to all their themes, plugins, unlimited usage, and unlimited support.
I have personally used Divi to build business websites for corporate and I would recommend it as the first option.
Pricing: Elegant themes provides all their products in two simple plans: Annual Plan and One Time Plan:
Annual Plan – Will cost you $89 Every Year.
One time Plan – This is a one time fee of $249
Both plans offer the same features and the only difference is support. In the yearly plan, you have to pay $89 every year to get support and updates. The other plan is a one time off payment and you get lifetime updates and support.
Depending on your budget pick a plan that will work for you. Click here to start creating awesome blog with divi.
Option 2: Studio Press Themes:
This Is My Number 2 Recommendation. Attractive and Secure WordPress Themes
Studio Press Themes are built on genesis framework. This is one of the most robust WordPress framework that you can build your blogging website on.
Whether you are looking to create awesome blog designs or even a website for your business, Genesis themes will never disappoint you.
Most successful bloggers use StudioPress themes to create successful blogs. To be precise, over 213,675 wordpress blogs are powered by Genesis framework.
StudioPress Themes are built under 5 core premises: Security, Fast Performance, SEO Friendliness, Responsive Designs, and Ease of customization.
Click Here To Browse StudioPress Premium Themes
Note: If You are a WordPress design company, they have a package for you where you get all the great themes one time. You will never have to buy a wordpress theme ever again in your agency. Click here to learn more.
Option 3: ThemeForest Themes
If the two options above are not great for you, Themeforest is a marketplace for WordPress themes you should look out.
Why did you put this as the third option? One of the core things that you need when growing a blog is the peace of mind. You need to be sure that if a theme broke down, you will easily get support from the developer. – Whether it is a live chat support or plenty video tutorials.
Elegant Themes and Studio Press came as 1st and 2nd option because the parent companies will give you support for their products. They both offer support for their products unlike Themeforest which is a martketplace. You have to submit a ticket with the individual developer not knowing how soon they will respond.
With that said, there are some great themes that you can use to come up with beautiful blog designs.
Most themes will cost from $45 to $59. In most cases support is packaged differently like say $12 for 6 months.
Note: Themeforest is now offering managed hosting which offers cheap themes and free installation. You only pay $19 per month or $90 per year – Check them out here – Evanto Hosted Services.
There are many other premium themes but I recommend the above set. I can only recommend the tools that have helped be attain blogging success. I have used many other paid themes but each had one issue or the other.
I have also tried to select themes that gives you a wider choice.
On average a good theme will cost you $59, you only need to add $30 to get DIVI which is: offers wider customization tools plus also get multiple themes and plugins at one price.
Now hoping that you have made a choice for a theme, lets look at free themes if you prefer to go the hard way.
3. Customizing Free Blog Designs
Free themes comes in handy if you are looking for budget way to design your blog site. If you choose this option, do not install themes outside WordPress Themes Repository
What is this? Wordpress Themes Repository is the official WordPress Theme directory where you can find approved themes and install on your site for free.
I discourage you to install a free theme that doesn’t come from the repository. This is because you are exposing your new blog to thousand of malicious people out there.
There are high chances that the free theme you are getting elsewhere has backdoors where backers will plant malicious codes. When your blog is relatively new, you surely don’t want to deal with WordPress security issues at this level.
To select a free theme, you need to look at 3 things:
Last updated: Only work with a theme that has been updated in the recent past. This simply shows that the owners still support the theme.
Active Installs: How many other people are using this theme? If you are looking for a great theme, use the one with the highest number of installation. It is a simple indicator that the theme is good.
Reviews: Go for a free theme that has high number of 4 and 5 star ratings. Don’t be confused by a theme that has the number of reviews being less than 10.
Now you know how to select a theme. In the next section, we will briefly cover how to install a theme on wordpress.
4. How To Install a WordPress Theme (Free or Paid)
The beauty with WordPress is that is offers two ways of installing wordpress themes. One is installing the theme from the respository directly. This is one click and activate kind of installation.
To install a free theme directly from the repository:
1. Go to your WP Admin area -> Appearances->Themes
2. Click on Add New
3. Search For the desired theme and click on it,
4. Click on install and it will start installing,
5. Finaly click on the Activate button to make the theme active.
From there, you can publish your posts.
How To Install a WordPress Theme Manually:
For a Premium Theme, you have to upload the zip file in the following steps:- how to install a wordpress theme manually
1. Go to your WP Admin area -> Appearances->Themes
2. Click on Add New,
3. Choose file and then click on ‘Install Now’ button as shown in the screenshot below.
5. Customizing Fonts and Text Formatting
The look and feel of your blog site will be greatly affected by the font you are using and how well your articles are formatted.
These are some of the things most new bloggers ignore and they end up affecting the success of their blogs.
Remember that the main point of starting a blog is to increase your following and earn a living out of it. Even if you have started a blog for other reasons, you still want some part of your audience to be loyal followers. At the end of the day, you still need to pay for blogging expenses.
Now, lets look at various elements in formatting that determine your blog success.
Font Type: What font are you going to use or are already using on your blog posts and pages? A good font will make your blook look attractive. If you don’t know how to add fonts to your theme manually, I recommend you use the Easy Google Fonts plugin which give you a simple way to change fonts.
This plugin gives you over 853 font families to choose from. This plugin is available on WordPress plugin repository.
Font Size: How readable is your content. Can your visitor read the contents of your blog without straining? Make sure you use large font sizes for your blog.
Large font combined with the right font color, you are bound to convert more. Most successful blogs use 15pt to 20pt font sizes.
Emphasis: Whether you are looking to send your audience to an affiliate link or you want them to take action on your site, you must use emphasis on action words.
These includes: Varying font weights, underlining, captitalization, use of italics, and heading tags (H1-H6 tags).
Note that even for blog SEO, structuring of data is critical. You should utilize heading tags properly.
For example, a blog post or a page should only have one H1 heading but can have multiple H2- H6 tags depending on the content structure.
Text Color: Depending on the type of blog that you are building. You may prefer to choose a different blog color, but most blogs use black (#000000).
Avoid using too many colors on your blog as they may make your blog look uninviting and confusing.
Stick to one color and use text decorations (underline, italics, bold, and capitalization) for emphasis.
These are some of the things you need to consider when designing your wordpress blog posts and pages.
6. Optimize The Blog For Speed
Finally, you need to make sure that blog is as fast as possible. Nobody likes visiting a slow site. People don’t have the time to wait for your blog to load.
Here are some of the ways you can increase wordpress speed and make your blog stand out.
Optimize Images – Use image optimization plugins that will compress your images.
Cleanup Your Database – If you have had many plugins installed, comments, or you have high number of content, your WordPress will become bloated with time. Optimizing the DB will make your site faster
Reduce the number of requests to the server
Use Caching Plugins: Use either of these plugins – WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache.
Use a CDN – Content delivery networks – Cloudflare is a free option.
I hope this article helps you design an attractive blog. Use the comments section to share your sentiments or questions on how to design a blog in WordPress.
One more thing: If this article has been helpful, please share it with your friends. Sharing is caring! We can help each other design blogs that will be a success.