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Archive for the ‘Blog Design’ Category

154 Free Monochrome Developer Icons

WPZoom released a free set of icons for designers and developers. The icons are designed by David Ferreira and available in .PNG, .AI and .PSD format. The icon set features most common icons, also social media buttons, and is rather complete for most uses. A preview of the set posted below.

The set can be downloaded for free at WPZoom.

Categories: Blog Design, Linking
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5 Free Social Media Icon Sets for Back to School

It’s been about a month since I posted free social media icon sources (last time I offered some fun niche blog social media icon options), and with a new school year starting, I though it might be a good time to search for some creative social media icon sets that can give your blog some back to school flair.  Check out the options below!

1. Puzzle Social Network Icon Set

What grade school student doesn’t love puzzles?

2. Sewn Badge Icon Set

This set reminds me of badges on Cub Scouts uniforms!

3. Moleskin Icon Set

For the discerning student, only a moleskin notebook will do.  Are moleskin icons right for your blog?

4. Color-stroked Free Hand Icon Set

This is one of my favorite hand-drawn icon sets.  I wish my doodles looked this good, and I love the crumpled paper.

5. Hand Drawn Social Media Icon Set

Here is another option if you like the hand drawn style.  This one offers consistent square shapes with simpler designs drawn on grid paper.

What do you think?  Will any of these social media icon sets give your blog the bling it needs?

Follow the link to read more about back to school and blogging basics on Performancing.

Categories: Blog Design, Blogger Tools, Blogging Resources, Blogging Tools
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Magic 8 Ball and More Cool Blog Widgets

Who doesn’t love the classic Magic 8-Ball toy?  Did you know you can add one to your blog?

It’s true!  There are tons of free widgets that you can add to your blog to make it fun, interactive, and even more useful.  Listed below are several sites where you can find free widgets that you can install on your blog right now.

Some widgets will display on your blog with ad content, but some widget directory sites offer an option to pay for a pro account and remove the ads from the widgets.

Keep in mind, not all widgets are created equal.  Read the reviews, check the star-ratings, and be prepared to delete the widget if you don’t like it or it doesn’t function properly once you install it on your blog.

Most importantly, make sure the widgets you choose to use on your blog match your blog’s topic, tone and your audience’s expectations.  For example, if you write a blog about finance and investing, the Magic 8-Ball widget (like the one shown in the image at the beginning of this post) might not be appropriate, unless your audience knows you for having a sarcastic tone or sense of humor.

Check out these sites and browse around the widgets available.  From countdown clocks to Etch-a-Sketches, there is a widget for everyone!

1. Widgetbox

Widgetbox offers a huge selection of widgets and several different types of accounts with varying price tags and features.  The basic account is free, and a free 7-day trial offer is available for the pro account.  You can follow the link to see current Widgetbox fees.

2. SpringWidgets

SpringWidgets is owned by Fox Interactive Media and offers a directory that includes tens of thousands of free widgets that you can add to your blog by simply copying and pasting specific share code.

3. Widgipedia

Widgipedia is owned by Vendio Services, Inc. and aims to be the ultimate widgets resource.  Widgipedia is free and you don’t need an account unless you plan to create and upload new widgets to the directory.

What do you think?  Are you going to spice up your blog with a widget?  Can you resist the mysterious allure of the Magic 8-Ball?

Categories: Blog Design
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5 Free Social Media Icon Sources for Niche Blogs

Do you write a niche blog about food, spirits, Asia, clothes or science?  If so, you’ll be interested in the social media icons highlighted in this post.  Even if you don’t write a blog about one of those niche topics, you might like the social media icons featured below.  They could add some color, visual appeal, and interest to any blog!

Check them out and see if the right social media icons to give your blog some zing are included in the list!

DelliFeed Icon Set

These food-related social media icons are available in six sizes and include cakes and popsicles!

Cheers Web 2.0 in a Glass Set

This set of social media icons includes martini glasses, wine glasses, margarita glasses, beer mugs, and more! Read More

Categories: Blog Design, Blogger Tools, Blogging Resources, Blogging Tools
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How To Easily Edit Your WordPress Theme Design With The Firebug Firefox Addon

Firebug for FirefoxAs bloggers, we aim to provide unique user experiences for all our visitors online through the use of the best blog designs and templates we can find. Although there are thousands of free and premium themes available, there comes a time when we want something specifically suited to our taste as well as our readers’ without hiring a developer.

The ability to customize your own blog theme is an invaluable skill and will save you lots of time and money in the long-run; and through the use of a tool like the Firebug Firefox Add-on, making simple and advanced customizations are easier than ever. Firebug is a tool I use extensively as a developer to help me understand a site’s layout and quickly implement design changes through CSS. So here are some tips and ideas to get you started on customizing your own WordPress themes. Read More

Categories: Blog Design, WordPress Tutorials
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How To Create A Cool “Bubble Up” Effect For Your Blog’s Icons Using CSS

CSS Bubble EffectA few years ago, the bubble effect that I’m about to show you to create could only be executed using flash animation but thanks to some CSS innovation, the limitations and boundaries to simple yet elegant design are crumbling. For any blogger or website owner, its very important to learn a little HTML and CSS; you will find that you have more control over your blog’s design and will be able to implement simple changes that can make your blog’s design stand out.

Here is a short and simple tutorial to give your buttons a nice bubble up effect that is sure to catch your readers’ attention, using the image swap method in CSS. Read More

Categories: Blog Design, WordPress Tutorials
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I Love that WordPress Plugin – WP Maintenance Mode

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  Sometimes a little WordPress plugin comes along that makes me smile, and WP Maintenance Mode is one of them.

Let me start by saying — I’m not a web developer.  I’m not a blog designer.  I know just enough CSS and HTML to be dangerous, and I have no problem keeping it that way.  Would it be super handy to know CSS and HTML?  Absolutely, but it’s one of those things that always gets pushed down in my list of priorities.

So now that I’ve revealed that little snippet from my life, back to the WP Maintenance Mode plugin.

Why do I like this plugin so much?  Read More

Categories: Blog Design, WordPress Plugins
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20 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Blog

volume knobIf you want your blog to be successful, then you need to start thinking immediately about how your blog is designed and configured.  In other words, the way your blog is set up could ruin your chances of building a successful blog.

With that in mind, following are 10 of the easiest and most common ways that people ruin their blogs.  Avoid them!

  1. Too many ads
  2. Blinding colors or colors that are too light to read
  3. Pop-up ads – make them go away! Read More

Categories: Blog Design, Blogging Tips
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Awesome WordPress Customizations That Don’t Require Plugins

WordPress, being the most popular blogging / content management platform in existence, has a huge community of developers and designers worldwide who are constantly brainstorming new and improved ways of making this legendary system more extensible through the use of plugins. Thanks to these plugins (9,486 Plugins according to WordPress.org), the average user can add style and functionality to their blog or website
as easy as the click of a couple of buttons. No coding required.

However, adding tons of plugins can significantly slow the loading time and overall performance of your blog. Therefore, its really important to use those that are absolutely necessary and delete the ones you’re not using. So, for those of you who may want to go the extra mile to guarantee 100% loading efficiency and dabble in a little code, here are some unique customizations that can replace some plugins that you may have installed. Read More

Categories: Blog Design, WordPress Hacks
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What’s the Right Blog Template Width?

One of the good (or bad, depending how you look at it) things about being a blogger is that you’re the publisher, editor, writer, and graphic artist rolled in into one. Apart from finding out a good topic to write about, most bloggers look for a good template to use, whether the blog is on WordPress or Blogger.

One of the most common questions that stump in the template decision is  “How wide should my blog’s template be?” And there’s a a couple of good reasons to why this is a bottleneck in the template selection decision.

See, the thing is that screen resolutions are as varied as the topics about blogging. It used to be that the only relevant resolution was 1024 pixels by 768 pixels (1024×768). But now, only roughly 1/3 of screens out there have 1024×768. The majority is now a resolution bigger than that.

The other reason is readability. With the changing resolutions, I won’t be surprised if people also tweaked their screens DPI (dot per inch) setting. This setting can make text and images to be displayed bigger (or the same with a lower resolution screen), even when the physical screen becomes bigger. This makes text more readable even with a ultra-high resolution display. Nonetheless, the upper limit in nice, readable web typography is 75 characters wide, give or take a few characters.

Now, with the variety in user needs, what’s the best width for blog templates? (Length or height is rarely an issue because people are used to vertically scroll).

Assuming you are using a 14 pixel size for the text and default character spacing, you would need at least 520 pixels for the main content area. Plus, if you add two columns 160 pixels wide (Why 160 pixels? This is to accommodate the widest standard skyscraper ad size), you would need an extra 320 pixels. Finally, you’d need approximately 10-15% buffer for margins. The final total? 924 to 966 pixels wide.

Surprisingly, this is very near the favorite 960 pixel-wide designs today. This number also seems optimal for common screens based on W3Counter’s final 2009 stats,  60% of displays out there range from 1024 pixels to 1280 pixels wide.

Categories: Blog Design, Blogging Tips
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