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Quick Tip: Give Your Blog a Seasonal Facelift

Refresh your blog’s look to refresh your motivation! A change of season is a great time to give your design a spit-shine.

Photo by Home Spot HQ, (CC-BY 2.0).

Last week, Erica gave you some tips for spring cleaning your blog. The start of a new season is also a nice time to make some appearance updates, and refreshing your blog’s appearance can re-energize you as a blogger.

(We’re talking tweaks, not a total overhaul — you probably like a lot of things about your blog, and you’ll want to keep some things consistent to avoid confusing your readers.)

I’ve always admired bloggers who freshen up their layouts while keeping their blog’s feel and branding consistent. Super-popular mommyblogger Dooce changes her header image every month — you can see a collection of all her past headers here — and food blogger Matt Bites creates headers seasonally to highlight the shifts in what he’s cooking and eating.

For the past year or so, I’ve used a version of Ryu customized with a small header image, dark gray background, and bold white text on my personal blog:

KOS grey

I love my theme, and seeing my blog makes me happy — I’m my own #1 fan, as we all should be. But I look at my blog a lot, and lately, I’ve been hankering for something a little different. Something lighter. More lithe. I tried on some other themes, but none felt as good as Ryu. I didn’t need a theme overhaul, just a fresh coat of paint. Here’s the Spring 2015 me:

KOS new

The overall layout is the same — title front and center, posts arranged the same way, widgets in the same place. Readers know they’re on my blog, and they know where to look for information. The fonts and colors, though? Completely updated. Dark gray makes way for a creamy off-white, and white text for simple black. Chunky Futura font abdicates in favor of elegant LTC Bodoni 175.

The old design felt direct and bold — that’s definitely me. The new look has a classic vibe juxtaposed with irreverent content, which feels whimsical. Still me, just different facets of me.

If your blog has looked the same for the past year or so, think about a refresh! It need not involve upgrades of fancy graphic footwork, although those are certainly options. Think about:

We’ve got great tutorials on creating professional-looking custom headers, backgrounds, and widgets with free online tools, no design experience needed.

  • Updating your blog’s tagline.
  • Adding or changing a background color — you can find this free option in your Customizer if your theme supports it.
  • Adding or changing a header image or site logomore free options you’ll find in your Customizer if your theme supports it.
  • Changing the color of your title — yet another free option in the Customizer.
  • Swapping out some widgets, or creating a custom image widget.

This is also a great opportunity to give your blog some clarity.

Try making one small change — not only will it help your blog feel fresh, but seeing your words in a slightly new way will inspire you as a blogger. You don’t have one defined, unchanging set of characteristics and feelings, so why should your blog?

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  1. I’ve changed the look of my blog, a complete 360 degree makeover! Now it’s much cleaner and gives a way more compact look. I guess it was a part of transition of me as a writer which reflected in my decision to change the look. I’m very happy with the changes! Amen to Spring Cleaning! Wohoo! 😀

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  2. As I’ve still not done the full spring clean this is a far less daunting place to start! It’ll make me feel like I’m getting somewhere while I’m still thinking about what to do.

    It’s a good point about not moving things around too much. It crossed my mind that any regular readers might be a bit miffed if I change it a lot. I don’t want to cause the same level of anger and frustration I feel when the supermarket moves the biscuit aisle.

    (Not that my blog is anywhere near as good as a biscuit aisle…)

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  3. I try some other themes from time to time but I found nothing that can accommodate my writings and my tastes as good as my current so I am not planning to change the appearance of my space just yet. Maybe I will move around things and tweak here and there but major changes I’ll keep for later. Besides, I am not even blogging for a year yet.

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  4. Thanks! I do have some time today and will look closer at the links you provided. I’m guessing before the year is over, I will have WordPress host my website as well.

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  5. Good idea! I did a slight adjustment when I saw that someone else was using the same theme. I like the theme so I just changed the colors from pink to blue. I’m still playing with the header. I may change it every month or so. Thanks.

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  6. When I was finding my writing a bit stale – I decided to have a month refreshing my blog, so as well as challenging myself to write everyday. I updated the header, changed the tag line and altered the widgets in the menu bar.

    I am not sure if it encouraged me to blog more often, but it was a nice feeling to see my site looking a little different

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  7. Great idea. I change something on my blog pretty frequently. In the process of finding the right theme so I can leave it alone for awhile.

    Always looking to improve, suggestions and feedback welcomed and appreciated.

    Have an amazingly awesome day😉

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  8. This is great encouragement, but I had to laugh when I thought, “If these people knew how often I change things, they’d probably tell me to STOP changing so much.” Maybe I get bored with things the same for too long, but I change my header about once a week, and generally change colors in background and title to go with each header. I also change my theme about every 6 months, so widgets and their positioning get changed at least that often too. I’m not sure why, but it’s fun for me, and that’s the main reason I blog. I have several blogs, and frankly, if they weren’t fun, I’m sure I wouldn’t do them. And so far, none of my readers or followers have complained, so I guess they accept that I like lots of variety. But, seriously, for people who may be shy about changing things or may just feel that they don’t have good ideas, this post will be a great incentive to help them get started. And I highly recommend change!

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  9. Eventually, I’ll learn how to customize my site more within the scope of a given chosen theme. In the meantime, I play around with free themes and change it up with every change of the seasons. That helps recharge me, and I try never to do the same theme twice. Thnx!

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  10. I changed my theme, last week. Was using Journalist for a while and moved to Big Brother. Both of them offer a neat, simple blog for my blog, where content is – sorry for the cliche – king. There is a refreshing feel and even some of my readers wrote to me that they find some obvious differences.

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  11. I was just going to tweak my page a little but then it turned into a whole new theme, pictures, the works, and I have to say I really love it. Thank you for the push I needed. With the new layout I think it lends to keeping up with change of seasons, mood, or scenery much easier. Although just a simple page if you have time please check it out and leave comments/critique. http://simplygiselle.com/ I know the header pic is a little large… I am working on it 🙂

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  12. Thank you, a good read. I have slowly but surely been tweaking and am getting happier and happier with my look. I would like to experiment with themes but am a little scared to change it as I am not sure what will happen with the formatting. Does the layout from one one theme transfer relatively seamlessly over to new theme? Or better yet is there a way to create a duplicate blog in a different theme so you can compare the 2?

    Thank you!

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