Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday

A couple months ago I made the switch to Blogspot blogging platform. I had 3 different blogs: 2 at Homeschoolblogger and 1 at Xanga. HSB made some changes last summer and it made it less friendly to customize the blogs nicely. Xanga has been good, but I wanted more to my blog that I just couldn't do at Xanga. So I combined my blogs into one and made the switch to Blogspot. I didn't import any of my stuff over, just started anew! 

I found some great resources along the way as I was setting up my blog to "fancy" it up! I had an idea of how I wanted my blog and through doing some "Googling", I found great tutorials, templates, backgrounds,buttons and more. I was thinking I would have to pay a blog designer to design my blog the way I wanted it, but I didn't have to. It was all FREE via the resources I found. 

Many resources I found led to other great resources and so on and so on. 

Here are the wonderful resources I found:

Beautiful Blog Designs has great FREE Templates and Tutorials. 

I was led to LeeLoublogs from the above resource. LeelouBlogs is by far my favorite FREEBIE for templates and backgrounds. Make to read about the difference between a template and background The template comes with lots of "Fun stuff" and a background is just a "background". You can install both, as I did, but there is a slight difference. I like the Template because it comes with Post Dividers, Favicon, Sidebar Title Dividers, Blog Header and more. A Background is just that a background design. 

Beautiful Blog Designs and also Simply Blog it Backgrounds both have a nice list of Blogs where you can find free templates and backgrounds. Some are the same on both lists, but there are lots of options! 

Some of my favorite were/are: 
Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates
Hot Bliggity Blog
Dotty Dot Dot

I really wanted to have a Navigation Bar at the top. This would allow readers to jump to all the posts of a particular "label". In order for the posts to appear when a reader clicks on a particular catergory, you must add a "label" to your post when posting. I found a great tutorial that was very easy to follow and got me the resulted I wanted:
Creating a Navigation Bar or Menu Tabs

I recently added the current navigation bar with the drop down menu. I used this tutorial to create a Horizontal Drop Down Menu Navigation This type of bar allows for subcategories to drop down in menu when you hover or click on the menu category. 

Do you want others to promote your blog on their blog? I found a really nice and easy tutorial about creating "Grab the button".  Creating a Blog Button

Sneaky Momma Blog Design has tons of tutorials for all levels of bloggers. 

Do you post personal pics on your blog and don't want them "captured" for use elsewhere on the net? I personally make slideshows for my blog when posting lots of pictures. Although, when I am posting only a couple of pictures, I create a watermark on my pictures before posting to identify that the pic is mine. I use this tutorial:
Creating Watermarks on Pictures

Do you post a lot of recipes on your blog or other things that readers might want to print? Want to make it "Printer Friendly". Here is a great tutorial on Adding a Printer Friendly Button to each post. 

Want a "signature" to automatically post with each new post? I used this tutorial to Create a Signature for my posts

Tired of the same old fonts? Want something different? I used this list to change some of the "font family" on my blog: Font Family List

Want to know how many visitors you are getting on your blog and your blog stats? BraveNet has lots of great tools and widgets for your blog.  

Some other neat sites I found that could be useful for designing your blog:

Blogger Tricks

Spice Up Your Blog

Blogger Buster

Beautiful Blog Design Tutorials

It didn't take me a lot of time to get my blog the way I wanted and I am really content with my blog look and design and I did all for FREE!! I can now update and change my blog around when I want and "fancy it up" with any cost whatsoever!! I would enjoy seeing some "newly designed" blogs if anyone uses any of this info!!! 

For more great hints and tips visit Kristen over at We are THAT Family.

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Jennifer said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for this great collection of resources! I'd been looking for a printing button and now I have one.

I am visiting from WFMW and today I wrote about monthly menu planning.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for all the tips. I've been in the process of learning to redo my blog for a while. Some of these sites I've seen, but many I havne't. Thanks for sharing these learning tools.

familymgrkendra said... Best Blogger Tips

You are very welcome! I am very glad it worked for you. You have a very nice blog!

familymgrkendra said... Best Blogger Tips

@Cozy Home Scenes

I am so glad you found this post useful! Looking forward to seeing you redesigned blog when you get it complete!

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