How To Design a WordPress Blog on a Budget

Posted on Jul 7 2014 - 6:22pm by Heather Brummett

How To Design a WordPress Blog on a BudgetDoes it look different around here? It should! I redesigned my site all by myself. It took an entire weekend and about $25. Considering how expensive WordPress designs can be, I was THRILLED! If you are wondering how to design a WordPress Blog on budget, here are my tips to help you. We can have beautiful blogs without all the cost!

***I should tell you that I already had the Genesis Framework. I bought it about 2 years. This is a great place to start. If you need help with that read this Genesis tutorial. Also, this post: Why you should be using Genesis Framwork. If you do not have this, then you will need to read carefully about any theme you are considering. Some only work on the Genesis framework. You still have options without Genesis. Don’t worry.***

  • Find a free theme:
  • Find an awesomecheapWordpress theme:
    • Joolu Themes- Entire collection $25. Some free.
    • Elegant Themes- Entire collection of 87 themes for $69
    • Themify- Standard Theme $59, Get All Themes for $79
    • ThemeForest- Themes start at $3!
    • StudioPress- These require Genesis. You can buy Genesis & Theme together $99.95
    • Etsy - This is what I did! Etsy has tons of WordPress themes and templates. The designers are so talented. Make sure you read what the theme features. First time around, I purchased a theme it did not have the options I needed and it was not customizable. This theme is the glitter theme with several layout and color options. It was $24.95.
  • Make edits if allowed in your new theme. For example, I wanted to have a wide layout and I did not want the background that was included in the theme. Some of these options are very easy to change by doing this:
    • Dashboard
    • Appearance
    • Theme
    • Customize
    • You should be able to see the live preview of your site on the right before you save.
    • Save
  • If there is something you want to change that is not listed in the options for customizing your theme, go to the WordPress forums. You can find a way to change almost anything. For example, you change the width of the content, sidebar, or full blog in your stylesheet by following tutorials. It is not hard.
  • I recommend that you do all edits in Firefox. It is the best browser for editing.Photo editor - PicMonkey- Free Online Photo Editing.clipular
  • Make your own header:
    • I use PicMonkey
    • To determine the color and font used in your theme:
      • Appearance
      • Editor
      • search for font family
      • search for font color
    • To determine the size you need to:
      • Appearance
      • Header
      • You should see on this tab the header size is recommended. Use this size as your guide in PicMonkey. Otherwise, you will need to crop it in WordPress and it will not look right.
    • Load the header in the same section you were in above.How to make a wordpress blog header
  • Make your own About Me section. I LOVE the blogs that have an image that has a photo and description of the blog owner. I made one in PicMonkey. You can use the images that came with your theme to make it look uniform. Once you make this About Me section, save it to your computer, load it to your media files and then add it to your top widget.
  • If you need free images for your site, header, or sidebar try these sites. ALWAYS read if a credit is needed, if edits can be made, and if it is ok to use in your business.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to try your hand at DIY WordPress design? You can DO IT! If you are willing to do some work, you can do this and save hundreds of dollars. Do you have any other tips to share? Feel free to add your tips and tricks.

 

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Mimi July 8, 2014 at 8:44 am - Reply

    It looks so good around here! I felt like this post was written for me. lol You’ve got me thinking! =) I can’t believe how inexpensive it was! I’ve got someone who could use this post as well!

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