Have you visited my blog lately and thought to yourself Where am I? This place looks different!?
When I started blogging in February 2011, I had very little design skills and I was not very familiar with the mechanics of the blogger platform. I started out using a very basic template and colour scheme but felt that my blog was not very unique and its design did not represent the content that I was posting. I started admiring the eye catching designs of other beauty blogs and contacted the bloggers to see how and where they got their templates. Some had said that they paid designers to create their templates and others downloaded pre-made designs from free blogger template websites. I decided to go with the latter because, at the time, I was a new blogger and didn’t want to pay for a design in case I realized a few months later that blogging wasn’t for me.
After finding a few good sites with downloadable templates, I searched for anything and everything beauty related. None of the templates seemed to be a perfect fit for my blog but I chose this one because I liked the colour scheme and thought that the not too busy header had a classy look:
After using the template for a few months, I started experiencing layout problems and didn’t really know how (or if I could) customize the template so that my blog was easy to read and navigate. Also, since I was not making many fashion-related posts, I thought that the shoe icon, though cute, was a bit misleading. The cartoonish looking girl was very fashionable but I started wondering if readers would start associating me, the writer, with her appearance. After all, I really don’t look like her and I wasn’t a fan of her outfit. Nevertheless, I decided that I would just keep using this template until I found one that was more my style…which never ended up happening.
About a year and a half after making my first post, I realized that I still had very little design skills and still was not very familiar with the mechanics of the blogger platform. Once May 2012 began and I had more time for blogging, I thought that it was time to seriously consider a professional blog makeover. I looked online for blog designer companies and asked other bloggers for recommendations. Many of the designers that I found were charging close to $200 for basic services. I thought that this was a bit much and was determined to find someone more affordable.
Late in May, when I was having no luck and was contemplating giving up on the search, I got in touch with the writer of one of my favourite beauty blogs, The Sunday Girl (http://www.thesundaygirl.com/). She told me that her blog was designed by Peaches & Cream Designs (http://peachesandcreamdesigns.blogspot.ca/). I checked out the design company’s site and was pleasantly surprised by their portfolio and also their pricing. They offer individual A La Carte items as well as packages that allow for great discounts. I contacted the company first to ask if what my blog needed was within their services. Also, because I’m not so great with blogger terms, I asked what some of their services (Grab Me Button, for example) entailed. A very kind woman named Ana replied to me very quickly, assuring me that she could help me achieve the blog design that I was looking for. In addition, she sent me examples of the items on her services list so that I could easily determine which ones my blog needed. I knew that this was the designer for me so I filled out an order form which reserved me a spot on June 10.
In the three weeks leading up to the date that my design would begin, I filled out a design questionnaire to communicate to Ana the vision that I had for my blog. She also recommended that I look at other blogs and send her links to the ones that had designs that I liked. Through this process, I discovered that I wanted something classier and easier on the eyes than the harsh colours of my previous template. The black and dark pink were nice but they seemed to take away from the images in my posts. I also wanted something more beauty related and I didn’t want a character to define me…but I wanted there to be a cat of some sort somewhere on the blog (yes, I may be a cat lady). The colour scheme that was common across all the blogs that I liked included light pink, white, and black or grey. For backgrounds, damask patterns repeatedly caught my eye.
I went over all of this with Ana and she started to work promptly on June 10. I was so excited and eager to see what she would create for me. After all, aside from the preferences that I had communicated, I had no idea what she had in mind for the design. Three days later she sent me a test blog that featured the majority of my new template (background, header, navigation bar, etc.). She asked for my feedback and wanted to know if I would like anything changed or moved. I loved everything about it!
Over the next two days, the other details were added such as social networking icons, post icons, and the final and most exciting touch—the cat! Throughout the entire process she always asked for my opinion before making any important additions. By the 15th of June (only 5 days after Ana had started working on my design), the template was ready to be added to my blog. Ana installed everything for me and fixed any lingering problems caused by my old template. She also answered my blogger questions and helped me customize my blog settings.
Overall I had an amazing experience with Peaches & Cream Designs and Ana! I highly recommend this company if you are looking for an affordable designer to give your blog a makeover. I am so happy with the results! Now my blog looks classy and it’s much easier to read. The design reflects the content and allows me to connect the means with the medium which is always a good thing!
What do you think of my new design?
P.S. Stay tuned: I will be having a blog giveaway soon to celebrate the new look!