Sunday, April 15, 2012

Like My Pretty, New Design?

Well, so do I!

Friends, I stand before you one of the most technologically unsavvy young people on the face of the Earth. I'm part of the Apple generation, a group of people who are used to one-click options. That's the nice thing about Blogger's offered backgrounds and such. I just click on the pretty picture of books and poof! Insta-background! Same for Twitter. One click for a picture, another click to change the color. Easy-peasy.

But I knew I couldn't stay with my one-click options, no sirree. It's not professional. I may be an amateur, but I don't want to look like one.

So I cannonballed into a Google search to try to find an easy way to spice up my blog.

Now, with a certain lack of savviness also comes an almost irrational fear of icky things like malware and Trojans and wooooooorms. Ew. Thankfully, the Web hosts a bunch of people who want traffic more than they want my information, because traffic means ad money. Yay capitalism!

Google was teeming with all sorts of sites offering creative blog and Twitter backgrounds, headers, buttons, etc. It was a little overwhelming, especially since so many were cute, but just not me.

There were so many headaches that other naive amateurs can relate to. I found a cute background, but it didn't have a matching header. One did have a matching header, but I hated the header! Okay, a cute background, but how the heck do I make the background fit? AAAAH! It's off-center! Whew, it fits, but I still need a header. Why do all these headers suck? They're too small! Here's a nice one... no, no survey, thank you. Maybe if I can just stick a cute little image next to the title that's already there... Okay, fine, Blogspot, have it your way.

Headaches, I tell you, headaches! And don't even get me started on that queer little creature that is "coding."

But finally, after two days of scouring sites and wrangling with looks, I think I've found something I'm happy with, and I wanted to share credit.

The Cutest Blog On The Block provided my blog background. (It's called Love In Literature.)

Makin' Cute Blogs gave me a ridiculously easy tip on how to center my header (once I found one.)

The Background Fairy gave me my blog header (Vintage Newspaper With Bird), my Twitter back ground (Vintage Newspaper), my navigation bar buttons, and the individual bird on my Twitter background. (For the record, I really love that bird. I need to name him/her.)

Beta Templates helped me figure out how the heck to change my post title color (the blue was clashing.)

Handmadeology showed me how to correctly scale my header, enter in my title, and get it looking pretty on my blog.

Free Twitter Designer helped me figure out how to take my little birdie and position it correctly with my newspaper background to work on Twitter.

The CoffeeShop Blog gave me remarkably simple instructions on how to enter custom navigation buttons into my bar, rather than try to tweak someone else's code (word to the wise, if using a transparent layer, save as PNG, not JPEG). I also learned how to create the pages that the buttons link to as well.

Tada! I'll probably still tweak a bit, because I'm a perfectionist, but I'm pretty pleased with myself. I also need to do a few more structural changes on the blog.

Now that I've bragged like a gramma with baby pictures, what do you think of the changes? Do you have any suggestions? Anything else you'd like to see? Also, please come visit me on Twitter and tell me how you like that background as well!