Performancing Metrics

Archive for the ‘Blog Design’ Category

Blogging Pitfalls: Why You Need to Know HTML & CSS

Keyboard ImageIt wasn’t that long ago that starting up a website required a great deal of expertise, time and commitment. There was a reason that those who created sites in the early days of the Web were stereotyped as “dorks” and “nerds”, it was because you had to know HTML, the ins and outs of site construction and at least a decent amount about how the Web worked just to get a basic site off the ground.

However, for Web development, the march of technology has been toward simplicity and ease of use. Blogging and Web publishing in general are both more approachable than ever. Not only can one set up a Facebook account in minutes but they can do the same with a WordPress.com account or a Tumblr blog as well.

In short, anyone who wants to publish a blog can easily do so and almost no experience is required, just the ability to fill in a short form and write some new content.

But this doesn’t mean we’ve gotten away from HTML and CSS being a requirement for creating a successful site. Not knowing these languages can be very detrimental to your site and not only keeps great content from finding the audience it deserves, but can actually cripple your site in ways you can’t predict.

Simply put, if you don’t know HTML and CSS, at least to a minimal extent, you are holding your blog back and gambling with its future.

Read More

Categories: Blog Design, Blogging Resources, Blogging Tips, WordPress Themes
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,