Getting Blog professionally designed

TF Carthick
TF Carthick
from Bangalore
3 years ago

Someone gave me feedback that my blog doesn't look like a professional author page and I should get it designed by a professional.  I spoke to one person and she is charging a handsome sum of money - but I am unable to evaluate if whatever she is offering is worth the amount. So was looking for some thoughts.

Let me tell something about my blog. It is not meant to earn any direct revenue. It is more my personal brand to support my aspirations of becoming an author. I will use it to post updates on my writing and to give samples of my creative content so that when I bring out a book there is pull through from readers who appreciate my style of writing.

With this purpose in mind, I am thinking whether to just stick to plain vanilla and just keep posting content or will there be value in paying and getting the thing to look like a professional website. I am not even sure how to evaluate if the designer has done a good job.

What she is offering is to recreate my blog on wordpress and link to my domain. From what she says, main work she will be doing is choosing the right templates and the look and feel. Any custom illusrations apparently cost more as do any extra special custom page designs.

So I am a bit confused on how to go about this. I am willing to pay up on a one time basis. But want to see how I can evaluate if I am getting the value for my money in terms of attracting readers through the look and feel and tempting them to sample the content.

Replies 1 to 9 of 9 Descending
The Sorcerer
The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
3 years ago

You could just get a premium theme. A lot of premium themes have some drag and drop feature behind. Some cost $30. The ones with a lot of back end thingy with inbuilt plugins go as high as $60. My first theme was from industrial themes and second one from tie labs. 

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
3 years ago

Few questions.

1. Do premium themes have one time cost or is it yearly cost?

2. Do they require maintenance? Will theme suddenly start slowing down or throwing random errors or swallowing comments etc.?

3. Does one have to take hosting as well to make use of premium themes?

4. Do premium themes give flexibility to have my own structure and organization and structure or does the theme have its own structure?

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
3 years ago

I bought two from themeforest. Its a one-time payment unless you want the theme maker to do something 'unique' with that theme, which you have to talk to him/her. Updates came regularly. No worries there. Apart from ocassional update of the theme whenever it rolls out, no. Its just like update plugins but it needs to be done manually (maybe some themes have auto). I assumed yours is self hosted wordpress. I am not sure of non hosted ones. Some premium themes allow some form of flexibility. You do get frameworks on which you can put a child theme. Its like buying a frame and putting the cloth of your choice. Some frames are open source. Some are not and cost good money. 

The Sorcerer
The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
3 years ago

Honestly speaking for your use, search in wordpress database. There are so many good themes. Its more on research. There would be some restrictions since its free, but hey. its free. 

Rajiv Verma
Rajiv Verma
from Guwahati
3 years ago

Let me know if you need professional help, I would be happy to share with you some samples.

Arvind Passey
Arvind Passey
from Delhi
3 years ago

I'm sure professionals can always add value to whatever they do... though someone like me would generally feel they are expensive. Which is why I'd prefer to stumble along, learning to differentiate rights from wrongs and reaching a stage where things are better than they were when I had started. So if there is a time constraint or you do not have the inclination to negotiate a steep curve, it will be better to negotiate on the price and the value promised by a professional.

 

I think the blog looking like a professional author page has no a(e)ffect whatsoever on the reader, unless you are aiming for Stephen King kind of interactions with your readers, and even King doesn't need to maintain his website to sell his books.

Your blog, karthikl.com, as it is, looks alright and it should do fine enough for your aspirations.

If you like to look at your blog, and feel good about it that it looks professional, loads quickly, has lot of cool stuff, then by all means you can go ahead with all that, but it has little impact overall on the readers.

Ritika
Ritika
from Mumbai
3 years ago

I want to point out one more thing, currently you are just paying for your domain and hosting the blog on Blogger. But when you move to Wordpress, you will also have to pay the Wordpress hosting price, yearly.

Its a simple ROI formula - Do you think your website can be useful to you? 

Not just in terms of ads, or revenue, but can it help you get more opportunities as a writer? 

I invested a very good amount of money in getting my writer website designed. But the website has got me so many writing jobs that it was more than worth it. In fact, I have probably made 20x more money with my website

If you don't think your website can help you get more opportunities and chuck the plan. There are many Blogger templates that look a lot like Wordpress templates. For instance, my personal blog indianscrewup.com is still on Blogger, and it looks pretty good.You can find hundreds of free themes like this :) 

Sonali Patil
Sonali Patil
from Bangalore
3 years ago

The website in conversation seems good. Since its not majorly made into money making. Maybe some wordpress like looking themes may help, also as mentioned earlier in the conversation above premium theme will also help.

Check http://newbloggerthemes.com for some great, free themes. I have already installed one and they look quite professional 

CyberKID
CyberKID
from India
3 years ago

This has more to do with the choice of themes. Most often getting yourself a good clean theme with a clean layout does the trick. That is possible with even free themes that are a lot of times good enough to give your blog a clean and clear (professional!) look.

What I would suggest is that before reaching out to any "professionals", who charge you a bomb for doing the things, why not try doing it yourself with getting your own hands dirty by looking at a couple of "clean" free blog templates for your platform. That should ideally do the trick. If you're feeling a bit more adventurous, you can delve deep and do some more tweaking and tuning of the theme(s) that suit you.

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
3 years ago

Cyber - I am bit scared of themes - in case they have some trojans or something. That is why even in blogger I never tried themes. 

Same is the fear of hosting - more than the cost, it is the fear of getting hacked.

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
3 years ago

Get the ones downloadable from wp. I doubt they have that. 

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
3 years ago

What is downloadable?

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
3 years ago

https://wordpress.org/themes/. Except in self hosted, you need to check from its CMS itself. 

HR
HR
from Bangalore
3 years ago

What’s the guarantee of current theme of your blog not getting hacked? 

 

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
3 years ago

Current one is a native blogger template.

Rajiv Verma
from Guwahati
3 years ago

There is NO Blogspot/Wordpress/any other CMS-based which does not have a theme. BP/WP/any CMS is not a website but an engine upon which you create/design websites (templates or themes, whatever you want to call it).

And if you think that themes hosted might have trojans, well then in that case, it's very much possible wordpress itself will have trojans, no? ;)

HR
from Bangalore
3 years ago

Laughing Native template or Custom template...it doesn't matter for hackers...they can hack anything if there is a monetary benefit or steal some info for misusing or troubling the owner.

We poor bloggers have only contents online that they won't hack as they won't get any ransom. If they needed something from our blog then they can easily copy in a different way  :P despite content protected. They might try to hack only reputed blogs (that generates enough revenue) but those blogs owners are (except few) mostly tech-savvy and they knows very well to tackle hacking technically.

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
3 years ago

What I meant is WP and blogger are reputed companies while I am not sure about third party template providers. Not sure if they are also provided by reputed companies who we can trust not to give a template that has code that nefarious things or which later faces errors I can't resolve.

HR
from Bangalore
3 years ago

You can trust some third party companies for theme / templates.

When sometime issue can happen from WP or Blogspot template then there is possibility from third party templates or themes as well. Sometime https protocol also not safe.

You can rely on some of the reputed free WP / Blogspot template providers (for WP themes) such as http://www.justfreetemplates.com/wordpress-themes and https://www.siteground.com/wordpress-hosting/wordpress-themes.htm etc. and (for Blogspot) like https://btemplates.com/

You have to know how to download and use the zip file exactly to set new template of blog. Make sure to save old template before taking any step.

Most of the sources are like ‘give and take policy’. If you use their source or template then they will display their brand name and track your blog record / stat as well.

If you know the basic html or coding (to modify as per your choice) then you can rock.


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