etsy premade blogger templates

The Hunt for Premade Blog Templates

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.

Blogger

etsy premade blogger templates

Left: ShinyMagic | Right: AdrienDesign

etsy premade blogger templates

Left: xosarahshop | Right: KotrynaBassDesign

Self-Hosted WordPress

etsy premate wordpress templates

Left: DinosaurStew | Right: 17thAvenueDesigns

wordpress themes etsy

Left: PixelFrau | Right: IdyllicDesignStudio

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!

 

  • awesome!!! i’ve been thinking to change my design (i have currently none whatsoever lol) but never knew where to start since I’m sooo bad at this…
    so thank you)

  • I have the hardest time finding a 3-column pre-made template! That was a big deal in the past, but my ad network has recently changed their policy so the ads don’t have to be above the fold. Now that I have some more wiggle room that way, I might play more!

  • Wesley

    I feel like I could spend all day browsing through these! Seeing looooots of chevrons, and chalkboards, haha.I like a lot of the stuff fro Kreated by Kelsey!

    • Oh, I’ve lost a good share of my time exploring! There’s definitely a “style” to a majority of the shops and it definitely involves pastel and chevrons (which is why I suggested ignoring color, since you can request they be changed). Like you found, though, you can usually stumble on something that fits you!

  • I’m such a sucker for new themes! I LOVE playing around with them!

  • Great tips! Pre-made templates seem like a fantastic, affordable way to get a less generic theme. If I didn’t live with someone who could make me a custom theme, I would totally have gone this route!

  • Dinosaur Stew

    Thanks for featuring one of our templates here! There are a ton of ways to make premade templates “your own.” Like you mentioned, if you’re not keen on the colors of a certain premade, they can be modified on the cheap (our color changes range from $5-20, depending on complexity)! It’s also simple to use a custom logo instead of the default header, so if you don’t have one already, always feel free to message the designer to see about having one made!

  • This is really great Shannon. I think coming up with a look is something all bloggers struggle with all the time. I have not totally liked every theme I’ve had, but have always settled because this technical side of blogging is not my strong point. I’m definitely going to look at Etsy.

    • I had a really hard time nailing down what I liked in the beginning, too, until I just decided I needed to spend a little money. This was a good way to get on the right path without going crazy.

  • Jennine G.

    Very cool. I didn’t realize you could do this. I assumed the only options were to hire a designer or used the premade ones on the site.

    • This ends up being a pretty good middle ground, especially for Blogger (there are some that are really nice under $20!).

  • This is awesome – I had no idea there was a happy medium b/w the free stuff from WordPress and using a custom designer – thanks so much! I’m definitely going to use this as my guide while I try to revamp the look of my blog. I checked out Stacy’s post no custom designs, but it seems like there is something wrong with her site – I couldn’t get through and then finally got an error message. I’m going to keep checking back.
    Question for you – is there a risk in changing your design/template if you don’t really know what you’re doing? Could you end up losing all your content? Can you tell I have no idea what I’m doing on the tech side?! Haha!

    • Stacy’s blog was working this morning, so hopefully it will be back up soon!
      There’s not much risk in doing things this way (definitely not content wise). Your site might look a little wonky while you’re getting things set up, but you won’t lose anything. Are you self-hosted WP? I didn’t want to get too specific up in the post since there are people on both platforms, but basically what you would be downloading is just a template that would show up under Appearance > Themes on your dash (you would do it under Add New up at the top once you have the download). It’s really, really easy.

  • This is really helpful! Thank you! I love my book blog design, but I have another blog that I’m not quote ready to go full custom design, but wouldn’t mind a little something more than what I have. Great resources :)

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  • guiltlessreading

    Please don’t tempt me … ;) I seem to get the itch every few months and I’m worried people won’t remember my blog hahaha

  • EmmaK

    This is a really informative post – thank you. I have spent some time trying to make my own header and gave up this week as it didn’t fit after all my efforts! Do you have to have a self-hosted blog on WordPress for the easy sites to work do you know? Thanks. Emma

    • I never used WP.com (I went straight from Blogger to self-hosted WP) but, from what I can tell, WP.com only allows you to use the themes within its system – which means these wouldn’t be allowed (almost all of the WP shops warn that they are for self-hosted only). BUT, if you’re able to upload your own header, Etsy could still be helpful. I just searched “custom blog header” and sorted by lowest price first…you might find someone who will do what you want for pretty cheap! https://www.etsy.com/search?q=custom+blog+header&order=price_asc&page=1

      • EmmaK

        Thanks Shannon. Really helpful! Emma

  • Stephanie Turner

    What a wonderful post, I have been looking for a new design and this is all very helpful!

  • Stacy (The Novel Life)

    Shannon this is fantastic! My daughter is starting a travel blog, this weekend no less, and I’ve sent her a link to your post. What a great resource for all of us! I never even thought of using Etsy for my design, duh! But it all worked out in the end. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips!

    • Stacy (The Novel Life)

      oh! and I am soooo so sorry my blog is not working correctly right now! Thank you for the shout-out for the design post. . .this is so embarrassing! I spent 3 weeks putting it together and then my site crashed yesterday and I only back up once a week…..thus everything was lost. :-( Now I’m just trying to get my site to work correctly then I can re-create the post. What a nightmare!

      • No worries! I hope everything gets sorted out! I saw you mention that you were going to switch it to the September Bloggiesta, so I edited the post ;)

  • Jennifer

    These look great and I’m actually in the process of going self hosted, but am having trouble finding a premade theme that I like. Thanks for the tips! (Stopping by from SITS Girls Sharefest)

  • Etsy has some great stuff, I went looking after you blogged about it before. I can do a little of my own blog designing but when it comes to spacing and creating nav bars it never looks right. I choose a design from 17thAvenue Designs and just inserted my own header.

  • Nishita

    Etsy’s stuff is great, but they don’t always work for blogs that have been around for years. I picked up a template from Etsy and probably I didn’t choose wisely because all the images I had went wonky, and while there was a fix, nothing looked quite right.

    I then went with ThemeForest and they have great templates with a lot of functionality added in, and great support. Very reasonably priced too. Highly recommend!

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  • I recently discovered New Chapter Design, not through your blog, but when I saw that she’d designed your site, I was even more excited about her work. And the cost for a blog design is one of the most reasonable prices I’ve seen, so as soon as she’s taking more requests, I’m going to be all over that! Thanks for the helpful post Shannon! :)

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  • Great list! I just got a redesign last year, and already I’m anxious for a new one! ha! I like how everything is clean and organized on the examples you have above. I might have to check these out a little more closely later on. Thanks for sharing!

  • I always forget about Etsy as a source for blog designs. Great tips here, thanks!

  • Words for Worms

    Do you find the Tweak Me theme easy to use? I’d like to get a less generic layout, but I’m a little concerned about my lack of programming prowess. Is it relatively easy to use?

    • I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get my blog looking the way it does now without help on it, but I think I would have been able to play with it enough to get it looking good. I love that SO many people use it and it looks totally different on everyone’s blogs.

      She also has other premade designs that are a little more “finished” but in the same price range and still customizeable: https://creativewhim.com/shop/

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  • Ooh Great post and thank you!!!

  • Great tips I want to redesign my blog. This was very helpful :-)

  • Beth

    Thank you! This was very helpful. I’m on my way to a better design! Love yours, by the way!

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