Happy Bloggiesta, ladies and gents! One thing I’ve noticed during a few Bloggiesta Twitter chats is the frequency of people mentioning that they want to change their blog design but don’t want to spend a ton of money in the process. Understandable? Totally understandable. Thankfully, there’s a little step between the free themes offered by your platform and throwing down a bunch of cash for a custom design: premade templates. There are a ton of places you can look for premade designs, but there’s a great collection on Etsy, which happens to be reputable and easy to use to boot. So, today’s goal is finding a Blogger or WordPress template and getting your site all jazzed up for under $50 (in some cases, much under).
If you’re not quite sure how this works, you’re basically purchasing a code from the designer that you’ll be putting into the inner-workings of your blog. It’s a super easy process, but if it makes you uncomfortable to think about messing with that stuff, most of the designers offer installation for a few dollars extra. The thing to remember about the code is that it will be custom to your site, so instead of seeing the sample headers or categories, you would be seeing your blog name and your own personal settings.
Just searching Etsy’s homepage for terms like blogger premade template or wordpress premade template will bring up thousands of results to go through. You can use the filters on the left to narrow your search and sort your results at the top.
I went through and found a few examples for each blogging platform just to give you a peek at what’s available on the site.
Just as a disclaimer: I haven’t worked with any of these designers, so I’d check out their feedback before you buy just to make sure you feel comfortable. I can, however, highly recommend New Chapter Designs, who did the custom design for my Blogger site and then updated it when I transferred to WordPress. She has a waiting list, but does have a great premade Blogger template that’s only $15 if you’re anxious for a change. I can also recommend the Tweak Me Theme for WordPress, which is what Stephanie used as a base for my design, especially if you’re looking for something easy to customize.
A few other things to think about while searching:
- If you find a design you like, you can browse the rest of the artist’s work by clicking on their name at the top of the page.
- Did you fall in love with something that happens to be on the wrong platform? Browse through the designer’s shop or send them a message, they might be able to adapt it for what you need.
- Try to ignore the color of the sample designs. That sounds like an odd tip, but most designers will let you choose your own colors for just a few dollars more.
- If you love a designer’s work, take a peek at the cost of their custom work (usually a page within their shop). Some designers are really affordable and you might end up deciding it’s worth it.
- Responsive templates will cost more but are more than just mobile, they adapt to the size of any screen they’re on.
So, it’s time for your challenge! Even if you’re not ready to commit quite yet, take a peek and see what you can find. You can leave your favorite designs or any questions in the comments!