Monday, October 27, 2014

Improve your blog with Site B Design


Good morning and happy Monday, ladies! Today I am SO excited to have one of my best friends guest posting on my blog. Bailey is many things (a stellar friend, wifey, mama, suuuper smart, oh so sweet), but today we are here to talk about her new venture in life-- creating cute and functional blog designs! 
Bailey started her design site, Site B in November 2013. She got the idea to start this when she decided to design her own blog, since Blogger templates aren't that great. She has had a lot of experience with web developing and designing through her college major, her on-campus job, then her most current job as a web developer at Ancestry.com. Over the past year B has run her business simply from her design site, but today we are celebrating the grand opening of her Etsy shop (she is also offering 20% discount on ALL of her Etsy shop items through November 2nd by using the code RACHEL20) ! Bailey offers a variety of pre-made templates, as well as extra add-on options and custom blog designs. Keep reading below to read more about her work, and see some awesome examples.  
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Hello lovelies! I am so happy to be here today and can't wait to talk to you all about blog design! This is something that I am SO passionate about, and I get so excited when I help new clients. I created Site B as a way to help people get the blog of their dreams. It truly is such a treat for me to meet and work with bloggers like you. 
Here is a preview of some of the past designs I have done: 


So, first let's talk about some key characteristics that you definitely don't want your blog to live without:
  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Everyone wants their blog to grow, am I right? We try and try to build our audience and get more readers - but what many bloggers don't realize is that one of the simplest ways to grow is by structuring your code correctly. Oooh! I said the word 'code', and that can be scary for some people - but not to worry! That's where I come in :) I love the code, and would love to help you + your blog out.
  2. Page Weight: Huh? Blog pages actually weigh something? Yes! Everything on your page contributes to the overall 'weight' - Every image, widget, file, etc. The more your page 'weighs', the slower it will load. And who wants to sit here waiting for pages to load? We all have places to go, people to see :) One of the things I can help with is optimizing your pages to help them load as quickly as possible. This will help you keep more viewers on your blog, rather than have them jump ship when your post takes too long to come up.
  3. Responsive Template: Have you ever tried to view a website from your phone, tablet, etc. but it doesn't fit the size of the screen comfortably? You have to zoom in to be able to read the words and see the pictures? Yeah, it's not very fun... I can help make your blog resize to fit the width of any device it is on! Be nice to your readers - don't make them zoom in :)
Ok - enough of that boring, techy stuff! Let's take a gander and look at just a few of the awesome things that I can help add to your blog.

Social Media Icons - Rach came to me a few months ago and wanted me to give her icons a makeover - of course, I said yes! Here is a look at the before and after:
OLD ICONS:
NEW ICONS:

Now, that may not look like much at first glance - but let's look closer. Try hovering over the old icons. Now try hovering over the new ones. Pretty cool, huh?! Most designers create actual images for each icon (which is what Rach's old icons are). This increases the page 'weight', which makes your blog load slower. This is BAD! I use an actual icon font, which doesn't have nearly as much weight as images Another upside to this method is that I can easily add cute 'hover effects' when your viewers mouse over your icons. I can make them change color, size, opacity - whatever you'd like!

Page Navigation - Do you see how Rachel's tabs at the top of her blog 'stick' to the top of the screen, even when you scroll down? This is called a 'fixed' menu bar, and if it's something you want added to your blog, just let me know! Another fun thing I can do for you is create a drop-down menu - Say if you want to categorize similar pages within the same tab. Here's a sweet mock up of what I'm talking about: (hover over the tabs to see the magic)


Display similar posts in a grid - So, Rach marks her fashion posts with a label called 'style'. Blogger has a default view for readers to see posts with the same label, but it's not so pretty. I've come up with a new way for your readers to view similar posts, which (in my opinion) looks soooo much better! See for yourself:
See these in action: Blogger's Default View vs. Site B's Custom View

Doesn't that just make everything look so much cleaner? I love how it gives readers an overall view of all the posts, so they can easily pick and choose which ones they want to view. 

Well, I could just keep on talking and showing you cool things to add to your blog forever, but this post is getting mighty long. I hope you found these examples helpful, and if you want to see more fun stuff to add to your blog, check out my add-ons page here!

Thanks for letting me be with you today, I had so much fun! Make sure to check out my site if you are looking for a custom design, or simply want to add single widgets to your blog. Don't forget I am also offering a 20% discount on ALL of my Etsy shop items through November 2nd by using the code RACHEL20. Hope to be in touch with you soon!

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There is a reason why I like to call Bailey my "blog doctor"-- she is really knowledgable about what she is doing. She understands all the coding and work that goes into creating a blog design, and I love how passionate she is. She loved her job so much, that she made it her hobby. I really can't say enough good things about her. Let me put it this way: I've been blogging for three and a half years, and Bailey is by far the best at optimizing my blog potential and making it the way I want! Bailey is a web developer by day, and a blog designer by night. Whether you need help redesigning your whole blog, or need some touch ups here and there, Bailey is your girl! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop and her site for any of your blogging needs!
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1 comment:

Sami Simpson said...

Ahhhh I just got mine re-designed and I'm totally loving your work girl! Next re design I will definitely be contacting you!! Love all the stuff that you offer! :)

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