Sunday, 3 August 2014

New Look is Coming Along

It's week 2 of Beautify your Blog. Erin's examples and instructions are really well done. The lesson was on Blog Layouts and Backgrounds.
New background

Erin gave us suggestions for finding wallpaper through Google. It turns out that getting the right wallpaper is tricky. They suggest that if you want to image to cover the full background of the blog, then the image should be 1800 x 1600 or greater. However, the image needs to be under 300k - that's quite small. So if you want a large image, the resolution has to be pretty low; and then you would only see the sides of the wallpaper behind your blog.

Another option is to find a smaller image and tile it. This can work very well, but it really depends on the image. I found a funky but not too strong image at Wallpaper It's relatively small; tiles well; has colour and interest without over-powering the page.

Following Erin's instructions, I also made the test blog wider. I think it's important to show more of the blog and less of the background!

First version of the new look
Although Erin suggests keeping the blog's background (where the writing is located) white, I just found the contrast to be too much. I played with many colours and the one I liked best was the cream. I actually loved the pale pink, but that didn't give the page enough contrast.

I'm not sure is this is my final background design but I'm going with this choice at this time. The great thing about the design is that it can be changed, and it's even easier than painting a room!

Second background choice
Second background choice
I guess I must of had reservations about my choice because after publishing this blog post and making the changes in the Learning & Design blog, I got an idea (oh oh!) When I took the picture of the blog above, it was with the Snipping Tool and I notices when I posted it that it was quite small in, why not take a snippet of one of the backgrounds that I liked but was too large, and see if this would work. Well, it did!
Second option for the new look

Now I have a dilemma - which image should I use? I'm going to post images of both images and blogs. I don't have to decide right away - and if you want to tell me which one you like best, that would be appreciated!

The next two lessons are about creating a header - I can't wait. It would be nice to create something that pops!

What I learned:

  • I loved playing with the background! I seem to be unable to choose anything that is really sedate.
  • Sometimes it's good to consider other tools such as the Snipping Tool to play with your images.
  • I also learned how to add a text gadget at the bottom of the blog to give credit for the image.


  1. Hi Andrée! My screen is 1920 x 1080. What happens if your wallpaper is 1800 and people stretch the window to fill the screen? Right now it just adds tiles, although it's not so pretty when the vertical tile lines aren't hiding under the text area. I have a screen cap I can show you. I have two screens across which I can stretch a window, is how I found this out.

    1. This isn't a criticism of your wallpaper, or of how you've set it up. Just wondering about the first question and just viewing the limits wrt the second situation. It's not like people would ever be viewing a website across 2 screens.

    2. Hi Rita,
      I noticed the same thing. It's just really hard to get a wallpaper large enough that isn't too big in size. I was thinking that once I add a nice header to my blog, I might just revert to a solid wallpaper.
      Thanks for the feedback. Hope your summer is going well.

    3. If you install a 1920 wide wallpaper, not tiled, I'll show you what happens, in case your monitor isn't big enough.

      I don't understand why you're having trouble putting a large number of pixel image into a file that's under 300k. I just found a 3200 x 1200 pixel image and if I choose just under medium compression, it's just under 300k. If I create as small a file as I can, it's in the 135k range, depending if I choose baseline jpg compression, optimized compresseion or progressive (which is for when the image kind of appears in stages, if I remember correctly). If I choose a large file size, it ends up in the 2m range. What are you using to save your files? When you choose an image, if you have to compress it a lot, just have a look at what results on the blog and see if the compression artifacts are annoying. It may be fine. It all depends on what the image is portraying. If it's a simple image, clouds in the sky for example, I don't think you'd notice anything with a hefty compression.