I wrote about how to make a blog header a while back and thought I’d polish the post a bit and make it more 2014 friendly.
No matter where you are in your blogging life, your blog’s header is of the utmost importance. If you’ve already got a header, I challenge you to take a look at it with an editorial eye Is it optimized for mobile? Does it accomplish what you want it to for new site visitors?
My favorite part from my previous post about headers was the basic tips that I led off with.
Tips on creating a website or blog header:
• keep it clean
• minimal pictures
• make sure it fits
• don’t make it too tall
• make it look professional
• don’t make it look cheap
As I mentioned above, the header is a very important part of your blog. It’s basically like the job interviews outfit you pick out: it’ll be people’s first visual impression of you, so you want to make it good.
If you’re not creative, or are not good with graphic design, hire someone to do it. There are designers throughout blogland who do a great job for $20-$50. Even better, you can check out Fiverr to find hundreds of people who will create you a header for $5! You can see their work and any feedback they have before ordering. Do your research there, find a good one and you’ll land a great header for $5!
I’ve gotten some great design work done through fiverr and can’t believe I only paid $5 for it once it’s done! It’s definitely worth a shot.
If you decide to make a blog header yourself, here’s an easy way to do it:
1. Assuming you’re in WordPress and have a header function, simply hover over “appearance” in you dashboard and click “header”. Your header’s dimensions will be listed on the next screen. In Blogger, the easiest way to find your header’s dimensions is to visit your blog and save your current header as an image on your computer. Then open the image with a photo editing program (I use Paint) and look at the dimensions.
2. Create a blank jpeg file of your exact header dimensions. Note: if you want to change the size of your header, you’ll need limited php knowledge.
3. Go to PicMonkey and open the blank file that you created.
4. From there, you’re on your own as far as creating the header. Use the tips above, familiarize yourself with the tools that PicMonkey has to offer and play around with it until you come up with something you like. Note: now would be a good time to “spring” for the paid subscription (something like $3/month) so you can use the premium fonts and graphics. Don’t skimp on your header!
5. Once you have a header created, it’s time to upload it. WordPress users will simply upload it under the “header” section and you’re good to go. In Blogger, head to the layout section of your dashboard and click edit in the header scetion. (see below)
6. If you have an existing header image, click “remove image” and you’ll see an option to upload your new header.
7. Find the file on your computer and upload it.
8. For “placement” choose “Instead of title and description” if all you want to show in your header is your image (this is usually the case).
9. Check your blog!
That should be it! The tough part about this whole process is coming up with a header that you are happy with.
Again, get creative and keep it clean! Find out what works for you. Look around at other blog’s headers and get inspiration. Don’t copy though. Experiment with real images and text, graphics and text, or text only. Shift things around and ask the opinions of others. This is a very serious task in terms of setting up your blog, so give it the time (or investment) needed to produce a nice-looking header.