On almost any post you see about blogging, it will tell you one of the most important things to consider is your blog design. Whether you're new to blogging, trying to grow your blog, or even trying to hook some sponsors, blog design is HUGE!
I've been around the block a few times with designers, so I feel like I'm starting to understand it a little more. The first designer I ever went do was Melissa Rose Design, back in like 2011 or something. I bought a pre-made template and LOVED it. She's been doing amazing work ever since.
Today I'm simplifying it down. How DO you go about choosing a blog designer? Here's some tried and true tips for choosing a blog designer.
Step 1. Set your budget
Blog designs can be EXPENSIVE, but it's never ever appropriate to ask a designer to lower their prices for you. They spend a lot of time learning how to do what they do, and a lot of money on programs they need to create your design, not to mention the labor it actually takes to create a blog design.
In my experience, on average, custom blog designs can range from $30-$250. Which is a pretty big range right?? And it's not necessarily that you get what you pay for. Sometimes more inexpensive designers still do a phenomenal job, and sometimes you need a pricier designer to get the job done, it's all about the research.
Have a small budget? Jana Tolman Designs is a wonderful friend of mine with inexpensive prices and fast turn around.
Step 2. Do your research
Ask around! Find your favorite blog designs and ask them who designed their blog. Ask them about their experience. Don't just settle with finding one person who's design you happen to like, look around plenty! This is a huge investment you are making in your blog, so make it worthwhile!
Thinking about Wordpress instead of Blogger? Those designers are few and far between, but I've heard nothing but good reviews about High Note Designs. She's the Wordpress queen!
Step 3. Check their portfolio
Every blog designer should have a page called "Portfolio" or something similar. This is where you can see past blog designs they have done and see if they have the skills you are looking for.
A great portfolio example would be Heart & Arrow Design who designed my old blog, This Little Blonde.
Step 4. Decide on a date you need your blog design done by & find designers availability
There are few things more frustrating than signing up to get a blog design and then realizing it is going to take 6 months to get it done, unless of course you've planned ahead and don't want your blog changed for 6 more months. Most designers have a waitlist/wait time on their design site somewhere, if not don't hesitate to email them! This is a JOB for them and they should be willing to answer questions for you.
Looking for a quick design? Anniversal Studios does designs in just a few days with a max of 3 weeks. That's SUPER fast in blog design world in case you were wondering.
Step 5. Decide how much say you want in your design
Some designers charge per alteration, but what if you don't like the original design? However, keep in mind that changes do take time. As a personal choice, I know I'm indecisive, so I'd never go with a blogger who would charge me for less than 2 alterations. Anything more than that and I think they deserve to be paid more, but part of a custom design is that it's CUSTOMIZED! And you deserve to have a blog you love.
Step 6. Choose your designer
Make sure they fit all your specifications and choose a blog design package that works for you. Find out what they charge if you ever want anything changed on your blog (because trust me, the day will come.) Ask them as many questions as you want!
Think you'll need post-installation support? Love Grows Design is AWESOME at that.
Step 7. Find your inspiration
Create a secret Pinterest board to start hosting all the inspiration you find. Collect links to blog designs you love and send them to your designer. Draw out a picture of what you want and send it to your design if you'd like.
Do you want simple and impactful like Love, The Skinny's Designs? Or are you looking for something more bold and busy?
Step 8. Sit back, wait for your design and profusely thank your designer
I 100% believe in blog karma. If you love your blog design, tell people! Whenever I see someone ask who does good blog designs, I always give a shout out to my homegirl Brielle. She deserves it! And blog karma has come back to me from that in so many ways.
Do you have any other tips you'd add to choosing a blog designer?