İ think you’ve just started your own blog (congratulations) or your current site needs a facelift, creating your own blog header for the first time can seem daunting if you’re not already a PhotoShop expert.
it has been said that designing a blog is easy, a-no brainer. Pick a template from the myriads out there all readily available on any platform and you’ll be good to go, right?
But popping images and text into an existing template will likely translate into another generic looking blog. today’s growing blogging industry, being just another sheep in the herd won’t do much for your traffic.
Creating a stunning blog does not necessarily mean building your own layout from scratch. You can take advantage of a template. Use them to set the mood and visually communicate what your blog is all about. They don’t have to be terribly complex, just tailored to fit your blog beautifully.
Before designing, you’ll need to find out your blog’s header dimensions. The dimensions can vary depending on your heme. There are a couple of ways to find out your header’s dimensions, I’ll explain /outline them below. One of these methods should work for you:
1) Check if the header dimensions are listed in your website’s admin area or layout customiser area.
2) Load up your website and right click the current header. Save the image to your computer. Right click the image and choose “ properties ” (Windows) or “ get info” (Mac). The dimensions should be listed.
3) If you’re still struggling, use your browser’s developer tool to grab the image dimensions in your browser. If you use Google Chrome, there’s a great tutorial for bloggers here. (Internet Explorer, FireFox all have similar tools available too).
So you want to make your header awesome, but you don’t have Photoshop or money to hire a designer. No worries – you can make one for free…today! Depending on your platform and theme, headers can be anywhere from 800-1200 pixels wide and 100-400 pixels tall. (A good reference is 1140 x 300px).
Even if you know what size you would like, it’s important to check and see if your WordPress theme can handle it. On Blogger, you can manually adjust the size to whatever you wish — on WordPress, the header size is constrained by the theme you’ve chosen (there are plenty of themes though that give you complete control over your header size). To check what size you need for your WP theme, go to APPEARANCE > HEADER and look at the number suggestion under the photo or image/title. Some themes will allow you to crop and/or stretch an image, but for the best look – go with the exact size.
If you need a free theme that gives you a fair amount of control over your headerwithout code, grab Weaver. Otherwise– go with prophoto ot genesis. These are the only two themes I use!
For Blogger – You can create the header whatever size you want (because the platform allows you to adjust the width manually). A good size is 1140 x 300. To adjust the size, you must go into your template designer and click customize. Then choose “adjust widths.”
Get ready to design
You’ve seen some examples of great blog headers, but what do you do next? To get going on your own blog header, you’ll need to gather some design tools and image size information.
The essential design tools for making your own custom blog header don’t have to be hard to use or expensive. Try a few out and see what you’re comfortable with, then go for it! Don’t worry if they feel awkward at first — you’ll get better the more you use them. Here are a few you can start exploring, in order from easiest to most difficult.
Canva. This is probably the easiest one on the market, and it’s free! There is a paid version called Canva for Work if you want to dive deeper, but the free version is really fun and easy to learn. It’s a web-based design tool, so you just log in to the website and use it right in your browser.
PicMonkey. If you’re really into editing photos and playing with filters, then PicMonkey is worth trying. There are many fun effects built in. Like Canva, PicMonkey is web-based and has a free version plus a paid one with additional functionality.
Photoshop. You can’t mention design software and not bring up Photoshop! It’s a powerhouse of a program and can do way more than just make a blog header, but it’s definitely great for that. It’s an application you download, and you’ll pay by monthly subscription (a free trial is also available).
Pro tip: if you pick up the photography plan from Adobe, you can get Photoshop + Lightroom for a pretty low monthly cost. Not too shabby.
WordSwag. If you like making graphics on your phone, this is for you. This mobile application isn’t free, but is only a few dollars and has an iOS and Android version. Plus, it’s hooked up to a free creative commons stock photo site, so you are never at a loss for image choices in your blog header. It has all sorts of colors, textures and fonts to choose from. All you need to do is save your final graphic to “the cloud” or hook it up to your computer so you can upload it to your site.
Pixel dimensions. Sizes are usually listed as some number wide by some number tall and in pixel dimensions. For example: 1000×400 (or 1000px x 400px) means your image is 1000 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall.
Resolution. For the internet, your resolution is easy — it’s always 72! Higher resolutions like 300, 600 or more, are for printing. Screen resolutions for monitors are always just 72. So using our example dimensions from above, your final image would be 1000px wide by 400px tall, 72 dpi (or ppi).
File type. PNG files never lose quality no matter how many times you save them, but are larger in MB (megabyte) size. JPG (jpeg) files can be saved to different levels of quality so you can keep file size (MB) small, but each time you save them, they lose a little bit of