Tuesday, December 15, 2009

HTML Genius? I Think Not!

A couple years ago I was bitten by the blogging bug, and I must say it is something that I ABSOLUTELY ADORE! I love being able to unload my creative writing passions on many an unsuspecting reader! Around the time that I was in middle school I realized that I love to write. At the time (and at my school) this was very much encouraged, but by the time I hit high school and college, this proved to be a bit of an issue, as I would routinely be awarded with papers and tests that said "Great job... but next time try answering the question!". Whoops! Instead of actually writing about what was expected of me, I would instead eloquently spin a story of my own works, only quasi relating to the subject matter at hand. However, once I discovered the blogosphere, my creative writing juices once again started flowing, and I realized that there is a whole realm where I can let my thoughts go crazy!

When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to do more then just share with my audience my writing, I also wanted to share with them my overall creative vision. In my mind Swoonette had a very specific look and feel, but it was something that I could only define in my head. So, because of this, I took it upon myself to actually create my own blog design! I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing when it comes to HTML and CSS, however, I was convinced that I would be able to work some DIY magic spell and have a close to perfect end result. So now, after many trial and error moments, I am pleased to say that I was able to turn a very blah basic Blogger template into the vision of my dreams, and what you see here today at Swoonette! Of course I'm no professional, and I know that a true web designer could really amp up my blog design and add all the bells and whistles that I really want, but I feel so proud of myself to know that even though my design is simple, it is EXACTLY what I want... and I did it all by myself!!!

From the standard Minima Blogger template...

...to the Swoonette blog design!

So... Swoonette says:

  • If I can do it, so can you... so have no fear
  • Prior experience in web design is not at all necessary... I have none! (of course it would come in useful, but then where's the fun DIY challenge in that one... hehe!)
  • Don't start entirely from scratch (you'll only find yourself wailing in despair), instead pick the plainest template you can find (or for an even easier time, a template that is already very close to what you would like your end product to look like!)
  • Be sure to continually save and download copies of your template as you make changes to the code (I failed to do this many times, and thus had to keep recreating my blog from start... no fun!)
  • Sketch out on paper, or in Photoshop, a template of your ultimate design, it will help you stay organized and serve as a visual checklist of pieces you've already coded or have left to work on
  • If you can think of it, chances are there is a tutorial for it... Google is your best friend (I actually never once cracked a book for help!), everything you will probably need is right on the web
  • If possible gather your friends to have them "test" out your design on various browsers, platforms, and screen sizes (there is still a hiccup in my blog design, as the footer doesn't appear quite right for my Internet Explorer viewers... sorry everyone... but it's such a minor detail I was willing to let it slide)
  • Most of all though, just have fun, and let your creative juices flow


Wendy said...

It really is impressive you created this all on your own! Congratulations!

Vic said...

Thank you so much Wendy!

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