"Good design is like a nice suit. The clothes don't make the man, but they sure can make him look good." (Professional Blogging for Dummies)
You've chosen a blog niche, a blog name and a blog platform. Now it's time to choose a blog design. Remember, you want your blog to stand out in the crowd. You want it to catch the reader's attention.
You have three choices. First, you can use a standard template, which usually looks generic.
Second, you can customize your template; in this case you require a basic knowledge of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language, a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, colour, graphic and hyperlink effects) CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) or PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor, a server side scripting language designed for web development). Third, you can code your blog from scratch to give it a custom look. The latter is only recommended for experts.
How much work are you willing to put into your blog design? How much do you want your design to stand out? These are the questions you should be asking yourself before you set up your blog. A standard design template contains all the files necessary for your blog design. A good design makes your blog content more accessible, something essential if you want to attract readers.
As it says in Professional Blogging for Dummies: "A professional blog designer can create a completely custom design, help you tweak a template, or simply create a masthead [image plus blog name] and other graphics to spice up your blog." You can find a blog designer by checking out your software's website. Also, you can ask your favourite bloggers who designed their blogs.
Ideally, you want to make your blog match your website. You also want to make your blog stand out. A unique blog design is particularly useful for blogs about photography, graphic arts and humour. A typical blog design template contains a masthead, posts, navigational tools and sidebars. It's up to you how you want to arrange these items. Don't forget to create badges and widgets that others can download to promote your blog (www.hongkiate.com/blog).
Remember, content dictates design, not the other way around. You want your readers to find what they're looking for quickly.
Check out the following website to learn more about designing a blog: http://howtomakemyblog.com/how-to-design-a-blog/.