Chapter 9. Designing Your Blog

In This Chapter

  • Seeing how designs work with your blogging platform

  • Sifting through your blog design options

  • Doing your own design or hiring a pro

  • Working with design elements

Good design is like a nice suit. The clothes don't make the man, but they sure can make him look good.

That's what your blog design does for your content: It makes it look good. Good blog design provides a framework that displays your content for maximum effect and reader engagement.

Because of the way blogging platforms work, it's really easy to try on a number of "suits," and easily change your design when you need (or want) to.

In this chapter, I explain how your blogging platform and design work together, provide an overview of your design options (including when it makes sense to hire a designer), and wrap up with an outline for pulling together all the design elements.

Discovering How Blogging Software Incorporates Design

Before picking a design option for your blog, it helps to have a basic understanding of how your blogging platform works. A blogging platform is a lightweight content management system. It uses a limited set of standard design elements, such as post title, byline, headline, sidebar, default text, block quote, and so on. As shown in Figure 9-1, the platform stores the design of your blog in one place (the CSS files) and the content of your blog — your posts — in another (the database). When someone visits your site, a set of instructions (PHP scripts) combines the ...

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