1. Inspiration is key. What I have learned from all 3 of my DIY blog designs so far is that it’s all about inspiration. When I have enough inspiration, it’s so much easier to start creating. And when I’ve created with lots of inspiration, I’m so much happier with the end result (versus, when I’m not, which was the case with my last layout).
It really comes down to creating a clear vision for the design. What do you want it to feel like? What adjectives would you like others to use to describe it? I asked a lot of this kind of questions from myself before getting started and when I was looking at other designs, too. I collected logos, patterns, colors, fonts, and really tried to envision what I wanted the end result to be like.
2. Take your time. This is always the most difficult step for me. I can be really inpatient when I’m working on something. I want it to be done yesterday. But, when I was designing, I realized I need to take it slow and let things sit for a while. Maybe that font I found so amazing today won’t feel that great tomorrow. Or, that color-scheme I chose might need tweaking after I’ve “slept on it”.
3. Always test first. I created a new private test blog to test things out before I installed them to my real blog, and I’m so glad I did. I ran into so many troubles, it took me literally days to figure them all out. The designing part was a breeze compared to the coding aka getting things to look just right.
Which brings me to my next point.
4. There are no unique problems. When it came down do putting the design into code, there were a lots of things to figure out. Why doesn’t the header fit? How can I make the links underlined? How do I center this god damn header? Why the hell is the search bar not moving to the right? (Yep, the language kept getting better and better as days went by).
Luckily, I realized, I was not the first one to run into those problems. Loads of other DIY web-designers had already ran into the same things. So, me and Google spent some quality time together, and figured it out together.
5. Patience is more important than skill. Yes, it would be awesome if I was already a HTML and CSS wiz, but I’m not. I’m a lot better at it that I was a week ago, but I’m nowhere near good. But, as long as I have the patience, chances are, I’m going to make it work. Case in point – the Favorite Posts section. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why after applying all the appropriate CSS to the image links, they were not showing correctly on Chrome. Other browsers were fine. I spent hours trying to come up with a solution. And just as I was ready to throw in the towel, I figured it out. Everything can be done, even if you don’t know how at the beginning. Just have patience (and google the life out of it).
I’m going to share the best resources I found in a future post, so other DIY designers could maybe save themselves a few hours and grey hairs.
As for my new design, I’d like to point out just a couple of things that are new.
First, I’m starting a mailing list aka the lovelist. This is not the same as subscribing to posts via e-mail. If you subscribe to the list, you will receive e-mails from me that are not going to be published here on the blog. I’ll send out early bird notices on new arrivals to the shop, special promotions, some behind the scenes action I won’t share on the blog, and one exclusive DIY project a month. These are projects only the people on the mailing list will receive. You can subscribe on the sidebar, or by clicking the link below this post.
Secondly, you might have noticed the new “Blog Shop” link on the menu bar. I make a lot of things, and sometimes not all of those things are keepers. Sometimes I make something just because I love the idea, but I really don’t need the result. Or, I love the process so much, I’d love to create more than one. And not all of them fit into my Etsy shop. So those will end up there. I will be adding the remainder of the Love Art there soon, and maybe a few other Creative10 projects will find their home there.
Whew! That’s a lot of talk for today. I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend, and I wish you an energized start to a new week!