How To Give Your Blog A Makeover

This week a few of my favourite blogger pals have been taking the plunge into going self-hosted and re-vamping their websites. They have all done an amazing job! As I looked at their new sites, with fresh new plugins and widgets, it made me look at mine too and I realised that there were a few things I needed to look at. These thoughts had been niggling in the back of my mind for a while, but I struggled to get it to work with my current theme and sort of brushed that aside. But now I felt it was time for a change!

So I began to set to work on getting a new theme that reflected my blog – my old theme was a bit cluttered and I wanted something more slick and streamlined. Here’s my top tips for giving your blog a makeover…


-Consider going self-hosted

I didn’t go self-hosted from the start and always regret it as I lost a bit of work in the transfer. I would highly recommend it, as you get so much more control over your blog and how it looks – though I’ve been told that on the Blogger platform, there is more scope on altering the look as it is HTML. Before making the move, I read endless blogs but the two posts that really helped me were by Island Living 365 and A Mum Track Mind, definitely worth a look as they made it so straightforward!

-Have a look at your favourite blogs

It’s a fine line as you never want to copy someone else’s theme but if there are aspects about someone else’s blog that you love, maybe the company will have a similar theme that will work for you. This time, I chose a theme that didn’t require a Genesis framework and was ready to go in 15 minutes…much easier!

-A new header can go a long way

There are many different headers you can go for but I think a strong header really sets the tone for a new reader and is a lovely introduction before they have even begun reading. I decided to get an illustration done but have also seen great headers made in Canva and Pic Monkey too, so it just depends on the style you’d like.

-The homepage slider

I think this one is just personal preference but I love a homepage slider; I think it’s a great way to get your older posts seen that don’t appear on the front page. I’ve wanted one for a while and played around with plugins on my last theme – I know lots of people love the Soliloquy plugin – but it didn’t work for my images and they appeared very grainy. So I love that the my theme came with a fabulous slider as one of the main features.

-A plugin for everything

My preference has always been the WordPress platform and after going self-hosted, I discovered that there is quite literally a plugin for everything! The only downside is that I can get so carried away with adding them to my site so have to stop myself from it escalating to plugins everywhere you look. My favourites are Askimet to filter spam comments (so useful), Yoast for SEO and the Simple Social Icons to link up your social media accounts to your sidebar. I also recently downloaded follow buttons for my Twitter and YouTube accounts and have seen a little increase in followers since then.

Hope you enjoyed my little round up and would love to know what you think of the look of my new theme! Let me know in the comments below 🙂


Pink Pear Bear
My Random Musings
My Petit Canard


  1. July 11, 2016 / 10:24 am

    These are great tips and I LOVE your header! #MarvMondays

  2. July 11, 2016 / 11:54 am

    These are some really useful tips! I’m just getting started with blogging and have been surprised at how technical it can be! I am going to check out the links you mentioned. Thanks! #AnythingGoes

  3. July 11, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    Ooh thanks for this. I’ve not taken the plunge to go self hosted yet but it’ s something I do want to do so I will check out those links you mention. Some good advice re headers and previous posts too. Thanks! #BigPinkLink
    Cheryl recently posted…The Ongoing School DebacleMy Profile

  4. July 11, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Great tips! I’m always so unsure about whether to switch from Blogger to word press…the plugins sound so much better on wordpress but blogger is all I’ve ever known and I’m scared to change! #anythinggoes
    Hayley McLean recently posted…Ways I’m Like A KardashianMy Profile

  5. July 11, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    Great tips there and the illustration you have as a header is just fab. I’m only blogging less than 2 month so I have so much to learn. It’s posts like this that really help newbies like me! #MarvMondays

  6. July 11, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    I love your header! Illustrations are so cute! I definitely look at other blogs and think about what I like about them before tackling any changes to my own – it makes sure that you think of things from your readers’ experience. #marvmondays

  7. July 11, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    Great tips here. I love your blog header! #MarvMondays

  8. July 11, 2016 / 5:47 pm

    I’m happy to see others wanting to take the plunge and go self-hosted. I think your new blog design is lovely and as you know, I adore your header! #TribalLove
    Sarah – Mum & Mor recently posted…A’s Naming PartyMy Profile

  9. July 11, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    I recently went self-hosted and I really regret not doing it ages ago, as it caused a few problems that wouldn’t have beeb a big deal if I’d done it from the get-go. I’m still getting to grips with all of the different plug-ins, but I’m adding to the site slowly but surely. I’m considering a slider too, but I’ll need to see how it looks on my theme. I agree that a good header is important – I’m so happy that I was able to get my cousin (who is also a very talented graphic artist) to design one for me. #bigpinklink
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…A letter to my nursing brasMy Profile

  10. July 11, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    This is kind of why I started a blog in the first place which is unusual I think for a blogger. Most people start because they love writing but I’m a graphic designer so I love building websites, haha. The plus side is I already knew most of the stuff before I started but it’s the writing I’ve had to try and get better at. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  11. July 11, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    Really helpful. Only started blogging a few weeks ago and won’t be self hosting yet but lots to think about! Thank you 🙂 #anythinggoes

  12. July 11, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    Oh it looks great! I love pipdig themes, I updated mine last week at about midnight and something went wrong and I ended up having to hastily change it all. I actually quite like what I’ve done with it now. It can make a blog feel fresher. x #marvmondays
    Ky @ recently posted…How to Beat a Blogging BlockMy Profile

  13. July 12, 2016 / 7:45 am

    This looks beautiful Bridie – well done on taking the self-hosted step – am very envious – don’t think i’ll ever be brave enough but let’s see! Love your clean new site though and the very cool slider – I have slider envy now! xx
    justsayingmum recently posted…Social Media: Safety Versus PrivacyMy Profile

  14. July 12, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Aww I love your new look Bridie! (Not that I didn’t love the old look – I totally did!) I’m still having to mess around with mine, there’s a part of me that still thinks it looks like a child has done it and some of my widgets don’t want to play ball with my theme…Grrr! Lucy xx #triballove
    ohlucy recently posted…Reasons I’m Jealous of My 1yr OldMy Profile

  15. July 12, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    Great tips! I’m trying to soak up all info as I consider the self hosting route too! #marvmondays thank you!

  16. July 12, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    It’s always fun to tweak your blog so its more to your taste. There’s also lots to learn and it can all seem a bit daunting at times. #AnythingGoes
    Helena recently posted…Living Arrows: Feeding TimeMy Profile

  17. July 13, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    I love tinkering with my blog. I went self hosted a few months back it was scary but totally worth new designs and plug ins are great. Some great tips here lovey xx #marvmondays

  18. July 14, 2016 / 9:13 am

    It definitely takes a good whack of time a decent effort but I’m glad I’ve done it now! Some good tips on here so thanks for the post and good luck to anyone who is thinking of self hosting! #marvmondays
    James Hopes recently posted…Filth I Tell You!!My Profile

  19. July 14, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Your site looks great! Great post, thanks for the plugin tips. I have been looking for a good social share plugin.
    Kim recently posted…I Love Toddler Moments Like ThisMy Profile

  20. July 14, 2016 / 5:26 pm

    Thanks for the tips – I have a domain name but too scared to do anything with it at the moment ! #stayclassy

  21. July 15, 2016 / 12:40 am

    Thanks for this post; we can really use these ideas. #StayClassyMama

  22. July 15, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Well, it really does look like I need to bit the bullet and go self-hosted but I still feel so unqualified to know what I’m doing. Thank you for some great tips! #stayclassymama

  23. July 15, 2016 / 9:39 am

    I recently go a new blog theme too and was so happy with the features I got with it. One of my favourite bloggers had also purchased the same theme before me but it wasn’t live so we coincidentally have the same blog layout now (hers looks so much better than mine too!). I think yours looks great and it’s always good to freshen up isn’t it! #bigpinklink
    Tracey Bowden recently posted…Subscription Box WishlistMy Profile

  24. July 17, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    Great tips- I love your header image it’s lovely and is everything your blog is about! #StayClassyMama

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