Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 9, 2008
This particular post isn’t going to detail the process of downloading software or how to set up a blog on a blogging site. The “how to” is regarding how you want your blog to look, based on the purpose and your personal style.
As a for instance, when I decided I was going to create this blog, I knew that I wanted to have the middle for the content and sidebars on both sides of it. In other words, I knew coming in I wanted a 3-column template. You can get a blog without any sidebars, one sidebar, or even 3 sidebars, giving yourself four columns.
What are the purposes for all those columns? Let’s look at it in a little better detail, starting with only the one column. Basically this means you just want to write your blog and don’t want anything taking away from what you have to say. You’re not looking to advertise anything. The problem with this is that you probably won’t have many people link to your blog because many people like to at least have the opportunity to receive a link back, and a one column blog wouldn’t have a place to link. Also, blogs will keep archives of past posts, and it will break them into both categories and date ranges, but there won’t be a place for that to display so you can’t even show people that information. What I don’t know is how one would get into a one column blog to sign in, though there’s obviously a way. Overall, you lose a lot with this format.
Looking at a two column blog, usually it means the column where you’re entries are is wider than the other column, which can be on either the right or left side. This is the most common template, as it allows a person to show everything that’s meant to be shown, such as all the things I mentioned above, as well as allowing for some type of advertising if one so chose. The problem with only having one column is that you may end up having too much stuff in the one smaller column that your site looks junky. At the same time, since your content will probably be long, you have a lot of room to get things on there.
A three column blog offers more flexibility if you’re looking to advertise and also want to keep all the other stuff mentioned earlier. You can also add a calendar and many other things, and it offers you the ability to have some balances with your blog; I’m all about balance. What you have to think about, though, is whether you want the sidebars on each side of your main content or both on one side or the other. There’s no negatives to either, so it’s more of a personal choice.
A four column blog allows you to break things down even more, but in my mind, it’s too much and it’ll take away from whatever you’re writing about on your blog. A four column blog allows for the most diverse type of advertising, because you could have all your Adsense in one column, and all your affiliate ads in another.
The final thing to talk about, no matter which style you choose, is deciding on color. Overall, it doesn’t really matter what colors you pick depending on what you like, but you need to think about the readability of your blog for everyone who visits. For instance, picking green and pink for your blog might impede someone who suffers from color blindness from being able to read your blog easily. If you have a dark background with your blog you’ll want lighter print to offset it. Things always work best when there’s enough of a contrast to have either dark print against a light background or light print against a dark one.
Finally, be sure that the title background fits the image you’re trying to project in some fashion. I picked the background image for this blog because it was red and red is my favorite color. I saw some that had nice picture backgrounds, but those didn’t fit my style. I saw some that I thought might look pretty nice, but in the end decided they also didn’t fit my style. If you have the knowledge, you can always change the pictures or colors later on, though, so the most important thing overall is choosing the style you’d like.
And there you go. What’s coming up next about blogs? Stay tuned.