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Blog Design Ideas and Inspiration

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Hey hey, how’s everyone today?  We’re easing back toward ‘normal’– not that we were ever actually normal, but tackling the laundry mountain and cleaning out Thanksgiving leftovers before the Christmas rush begins is as close to normal as we’ll get!

You may have noticed a teensy little change around these parts.  I’ve finally moved on over to WordPress, and while there’s going to be a learning curve (for me), I’m finding it to be a pretty great place.  Since I know nothing about designing a blog, I had an amazing blog designer combine my design ideas with her design skills.  I’m thrilled with how it turned out, so if you get Making Lemonade via email or a reader you’ll have to stop over and take a peek at the new look…. what do you think?

There’s definitely tweaks to be made, and most of my tabs and such are under construction.  Until I get those spiffed up, I’d love to share some blog design ideas and inspiration for those of you considering a redesign, looking for beautiful new blogs to read, or just in the mood to see some pretty things.  While these ideas were my starting points my web designer took them and ran with them… all the way to Carrie’s Happyville.  I’m so in love, and it prompted me to share the blogs and ideas that inspire me!

blog design ideas and inspiration

Overall Awesome.

You know those blogs that make you say, “ahhhhhh….” when you read them?  I started off analyzing a few blogs whose designs I just loved overall, the ones I wanted to crawl into and stay awhile.

Ask Anna is simple, clean, and inviting.  That’s one of the places I fell in love with the slideshow idea that you’ll see under my header.

beautiful simple blog design

Another simple and clever design was found at My Baking Addiction.  It almost makes me want to pull out some sugar and flour and get going.  {I’m not much of a baker.  Cooking, yes– baking, not so good.}

beautiful simple blog design

 

Lil Luna is so clever and happy.  I adore her swags in the header, and how she “brands” the other parts of her blog with them.

simple and beautiful blog design ideas

Clever Ideas.

Then there are the blogs that brilliant ideas, such as putting an email subscription box in the header like on One Good Thing.  Want to sign up for her emails?  It’s right there, can’t miss it.  Brilliant!

clever blog header

 

Tidy Mom also has a subscription box in the header, it looks great and is useful for new visitors.

beautiful and simple blog design ideas

When it comes to social media icons, there are so many great ones out there. For some reason the ones on The Hill Hangout spoke to me, I think it’s because they are coordinated with the blog background.  We didn’t end up doing something similar, but it’s a cute idea.

social media buttons

Another thing you’ll find on most blogs is a date stamp.  I adore the one on The Crafting Chicks.  We went with something simpler, but I had to give a shout out for carrying the date stamp design over from her header.  Cohesive and eye-catching for sure.

simple and beautiful blog design ideas

One thing that’s great about WordPress blogs is the ability to put partial posts on the home page.  While that may seem like a pain for readers, it actually allows you to see more posts all at once, and choose the ones you wish you read.  When you visit a new blog, you’ll also get a quick glimpse into the content and see if it’s a place you want to stick around.  The Handmade Home makes me want to read every single post, and I can see that right from her homepage!

simple and beautiful blog design ideas and inspiration

The way Diane over at In My Own Style used alternating fonts on her tabs make them really stand out– they are, as she says, ‘in her own style!’

blog tab ideas

Beautiful Background.

Blog backgrounds are hard, because you don’t want anything too busy or it will take away from your photos.  But I need some pattern in my life, so I’m not a fan of plain white for my blog.  The gray background on First Time Fancy is neutral but has texture, and I love it!

These happy polka dots on 100 Directions are adorable.

simple and beautiful blog design ideas

But my love of lemons is second only to my love of honey, and once I got the idea of ‘honeycomb’ in my head I had to go with it– hence the honeycomb background.  Plus there’s the nickname I gave my son even before he was born, Bee.  I have a thing for honeybees.  Honey and lemons, life is good!

Unobtrusive Advertising.

One thing I noticed when I visited all the blogs out there were ad spots.  Advertising is something that allows us to do what we do– it pays the bills and offsets the costs of running websites.  Even the biggest blogs were covered in ads, and I decided I wanted a nice balance between having advertising and letting the content shine through.  Again, I looked at the blogs I believe did it best including Vintage Revivals and The Handmade Home.  While they did have advertising, it was unobtrusive and fit well with their overall themes.


There’s a peek inside my blog design obsessed head.  Which blogs make you say “ahhh”?  Whether it’s subliminal or not, what are the blogs you love to visit and stay awhile because of the beautiful blog design?  Anything you don’t like to see in blog design?

Meet Carrie Higgins


Dreamer, thinker, + lemon squeezer; you'll usually find me clutching a mug of coffee, glue gun, fandeck of paint colors, and a child at any given time. This mom of two (and wife to one) loves to share freshly squeezed ideas for home and family. Join the adventure as we learn most lemons can indeed become lemonade-- with generous amounts of sweetness, perspective, and love.

previous post: Holiday Traditions with Hickory Farms (& Giveaway!)
next post: Nativity Ideas for Kids


Comments

  1. oh, it looks AMAZING!!!!!! LOVE your new design!

  2. I love the new look. WordPress looks good on you. ;) I really struggle with blog design but I think it’s because I try to do it myself. I need to let go and let the professionals do it, but it’s hard for this diyer.

  3. Jeannette says:

    Beautiful new design and very user friendly! My blog needs a face lift, so thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Jenny says:

    Have been meaning to say I love love love the new design! Congrats!

  5. Love the new logo and design!!!

  6. Kelly says:

    I love it Carrie! It reflects you and your style perfectly!! :)

  7. malia says:

    Great post! I am in the middle of moving to WP and am changing my blog design… you have given me more to chew on! xo

  8. I love your new design! I just switched over to WP and love it but admit that I’m still a bit lost. Do you know how to great galleries?

  9. Sharon says:

    Love it! These are all great options for social media. One question, I am looking to put a signup form with social media icons included at the bottom of my post. Been working for days on where to get codes or have one designed. Can you offer any help? Really would appreciate it.

    • That’s a good question, I’m not sure how to do that! I know I use a plug-in for WordPress that has the social media buttons so people can share the post, but I’m not sure how to do it so they can sign up. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance!

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