Saturday, March 8, 2008

:: I'll Make You Drool If You'll Make Me Drool ::

After abandoning my old website and moving to Wordpress, I've finally gotten around to registering a new web address and am in the process of setting up shop over there. (Don't worry -- this URL will automatically redirect over there once I'm all ready for you so you won't have any trouble following me.)

I love using Wordpress and will still be using it, but hosting the site myself (OK, not myself, but hosting it with my own web provider) provides so much more flexibility and gives me a lot more power over my blog.

It proves how geeky I am that I am very excited about this.

Because moving to my own URL will give me the opportunity to fine-tune the look and feel of my Wordpress blog, I've spent the last several days drooling over blog designs I like. Here are screen shots from various parts of six of my favorites.

Shim and Sons Blog

from http://shimandsons.typepad.com/shimandsons/ (I love how almost stark this blog is. Even the images on the site are all on white backgrounds so there's just this very calm, open feeling to the whole thing.)


from http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/ (Mostly what I love here is the layout of the sidebar extras -- the small square images used to display Flickr images and playlist information. NB: the blurriness here is my fault, I won't go into it, but honestly I decided I was too lazy to spend the six seconds it would require to redo the shot because the blurry version gets the point across... lame, I know...)


from http://bkids.typepad.com/ (Mmm. Pretty illustration at top. I also love the very subtle outline used around the images on this site.)


from http://www.designmom.com/ (Here's another example of a nice, plain site that still incorporates a lot of sidebar stuff -- badges, menus, etc.)


from http://veerle.duoh.com/ (Here's a great way to really delineate between the post and all of the extra stuff -- using three similar yet distinguishable shades of gray, Veerle's blog creates a kind of cacophanous yet easy to follow (and beautiful) blog that is perfect for the CNN generation (where we want as much on screen at once as possible). I'm not sure this blog design is exactly for me but I do really like that everything here looks like it was chosen specifically for this blog -- no generics here.)


from http://glittergoods.typepad.com/glittergoods/ (I chose a strange section to display here because the part of the post that's showing here is only images, but I just love the way this blog uses so many images in the two sidebars. Art/craft/design blogs rely so much on showing in addition to telling and I like that glittergoods is able to put her own work not only front and center but also right and left.)

As you can see, I like nice simple blogs that highlight their content and original images nicely, but I also appreciate blogs that find visually interesting ways to provide other information, as well, like book- and playlists, Flickr and etsy galleries, and links galore.

Many of my favorite crafty/artsy blogs incorporate image headers and the headers change frequently. Since I'm the kind of person who goes through redesign after redesign, I like of like the idea of building change right into the structure of the blog using image headers so that maybe I can save major overhauls for when I'm feeling really antsy.

So now it's time for audience participation: other than the ones I've shown here, what's your favorite blog in terms of design? Which blog really gets your mouth watering and your heart pitter-pattering?

7 comments:

McSwain March 8, 2008 at 5:13 PM  

Simple is better. I wish I were an expert in blog design so I could streamline my own. I think that Stephanie Klein's (http://stephanieklein.blogs.com/greek_tragedy/) and Heather Armstrong's (dooce.com) sites simplicity of design lends to their appeal, and thus their popularity. I really like dancing mermaid's (http://www.dancingmermaid.com/blog/) design.

Toni March 8, 2008 at 5:35 PM  

One I regularly visit is http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/. The design itself (by http://everydaymommy.net/) is rather simple but what I like best about it can't be seen in one viewing. See, over the course of the year the layout remains the same but the colors change 3 or 4 times (seems to happen with the season). I planned on doing something similar with my own blog but then my designer apparently fell off the planet. Oh well.

Julie March 10, 2008 at 9:08 AM  

Thanks, ladies. I can't believe more folks haven't posted their own favorites. Weird. Makes me appreciate your links all that much more. : ) Well, that and the fact that I found them helpful. I have to say, I was all about the white background until I saw http://www.dancingmermaid.com/blog/. It's just so very lovely and wonderfully blue.

I'm also really loving http://blog.modishhandmade.com/ even though I really dislike the image in the header -- it's a bit too wall tapestry for me. But everything else about the site is very nice -- the type is clear and small, there's a lot included in the sidebars but it doesn't look particularly cluttered. I guess it's kind of like some of the others I've already posted, but the khaki background and tiny type set it apart a bit.

Christina March 10, 2008 at 6:37 PM  

Oh, I'll have to think on this. I read so many blogs in a feed reader, that I often don't remember what each looks like when I click through.

I have my own Wordpress blog and domain name, but I can't get the templates customized enough to my liking yet, so it still isn't live. Someday I'll find the time to get back to working on it, and learning even more about CSS.

Dharmamama March 11, 2008 at 2:47 PM  

This site - http://www.designspongeonline.com/ makes me want to cut out all the materials and use 'em!

Three Things (Or Maybe Four) « Letter9 May 8, 2008 at 6:31 AM  

[...] may or may not remember when I started thinking about designs… Well, I’ve been slowly playing with different ideas over at my new URL (dontcha just [...]

JimmyBean October 1, 2009 at 1:07 AM  

I don't know If I said it already but ...Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I'm glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

A definite great read..Jim Bean

There was an error in this gadget