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Pop quiz. Which of these do you agree with when you think of designing your website?
- I need to hire a graphic designer, cuz man, I suck at art.
- I need to spend lots of money to build a website.
If you chose these three, you’re going to need to change that mindset, honey.
What if I said that every blogger thinks the same thing?
Better yet, what if I showed you how I designed my website without doing any coding + spending more than $200 for it.
Do bloggers need to hire web developers, or graphic designers to design their blog?
If you want an inexpensive, customized website where you can call as your own sista. Then this is the right post for you. But if you don’t have time to tweak and design your website, then it’s best to hire a web developer and a graphic designer for your website. Cuz I’m going to show you my secret how I designed my website without coding.
In this post, I’m going to show you my secret how I designed my website without coding.
But first, let’s start with my story:
In 2013, I started to design my blog on Wix.com for my artist portfolios.
My dream is to have my very own customization site and domain.
Without any money, I would search for free blog themes on the net, and when I get the chance, I would tweak on the HTML codes.
But the result had placed me in a nest of stress and intense labor. And since I don’t have any money to buy Wix’s domain, I let go and moved to Blogspot to grow a blog.
The process was the same. I searched for free blog themes, tweak the codes. I made my own customization sidebar buttons, graphics and whatever you name it. Again, it took me a lot of time and effort.
Compared to Blogspot, Wix’s a total hunk for simple drag and drop builder options. But I never published my posts. Never put my portfolio, or call it my website.
I left it to sit back into the browser for years. Never to bring it up again.
6 years later, I bought myself a domain and a host and started on WordPress.
It was 2015 that time and I wasn’t still sure if I wanted to continue blogging as my sideline.
I had so many ideas back then; I wanted to write about J-pop, anime, art, love diaries, wedding diaries. Stuff like that.
But I was still working on my novel entry for publication. Every day, I would write about 5k words every day to create my novel entry. Focus on getting agents for my novel. Fulfill my dream as a NY-Best selling author.
So I canceled my Bluehost account and wasted $30. It was also traumatizing because I can’t customize WordPress even if I was using free themes.
It was so complicated and it gave me a lot of headaches. So much pain that I turned my back against WordPress, and swore never to come back again.
But you know what? I decided to try again.
I love DIY websites without using coding stuff. I hate coding. The number signs and symbols turn my head dizzy, and it gives me a lot of headaches in the end.
On February 2017, after being unhappy doing my wedding invitations business, I got depressed and didn’t know what I should do with my life. I wanted to graduate with a career at hand. I wanted to prove my dad that I can make a living on my own. I wanted to be independent and have my own passion career.
That’s where I discover the blogging resources in Pinterest. At first, I thought those “how to make money with blogging” pins were a joke. But as I discover more resources, I realized they were all true.
Slowly, I got curious about turning blogging into a passionate career.
It never occurred to me that you could make money out of it. I was struggling on which site I should use: Blogspot, or WordPress?
I was comfortable with Blogspot, I can customize my own site–I was frugal, you can say that.
I never wanted to spend my money on anything. But somehow there’s a voice in my head that says, “Invest in your business, or else, you won’t get something in return.”
So I decided to try WordPress and bought myself another domain & host. Luckily, I was able to buy a $5 dollar theme on Etsy, but now they’ve increased to $8 dollars this year. Awww.
On April 2017, I design my own website graphics from scratch. I wanted my blog to be more on graphics than text.
It took me 2 months to design my website.
It was a lot of trial and error. More on labor than promoting or creating content for my blog. I didn’t know what I was doing. All I wanted is to promote my art to people and make everything visualize.
I asked feedback to my fellow bloggers on what they think of my website. They told me they can’t read the text on my logo, and it takes a lot of time for my pictures to load. It was true.
So I changed my website look using a free WordPress plugin I found on Youtube.
Elementor has been my life-saving software ever since I customized my WordPress app. It’s a free app where you drag and drop options. Did I mention you can also make your website responsive like other professional sites?
So let’s recap what I did to build and design my website:
Buying my host from Bluehost
When I first started my blog, I’ve seen a lot of bloggers recommending Bluehost. Then upgrade to SiteGround when they expand. Bluehost has a good service, but you have to wait for a long time to have someone respond to your chatbox. The site doesn’t crash much. Perfect for those who are starting out!
Buying my Theme on Etsy
I purchased Minty Theme on Etsty, because I can’t customize my site using a free WordPress theme. However, I discovered there’s a free WordPress theme called, Generate Press. You can check it out here. I personally like Minty Theme because they respond quickly to email, and it’s just $5. Before. Now their price is $7. They’ve increased it because of thousands of buyers buying their theme.
Finding References on Pinterest & Sketching my Website tabs.
Before I start building my website, I find some inspiration on Pinterest. Some of the bloggers I’ve been following from, like The House of Muses, and Melyssa Griffin. I use their websites as a reference when I’m building my site with Elementor. Sometimes I also follow a pattern to find the perfect About Me page & Service page.
Designing my graphics
As an artist & Photoshop user, creating my graphics on Photoshop gives me that personalize edge + amount of freedom to do whatever I want.
For bloggers who don’t know how to use Photoshop, Canva is the perfect option for you. Canva is an online design tool for creating templates, stunning graphics & more. When I’m out of the house, or in school where there’s internet, I use
Canva is an online design tool for creating templates, stunning graphics & more. When I’m out of the house, or in school where there’s internet, I use Canva to create my simple & easy graphics.
I would create a checklist of which graphics I need to make in Photoshop and schedule a time to batch them.
So let’s talk about Elementor
Ah yes. My ultimatum to this blog post. This free WordPress plugin saved me bucks & time.
It also stopped me from spending paid responsive themes & hiring a web designer. So if you want to customize your website, this is the big shot for you.
It took me a lot of time to figure out how Elementor works with a lot of trial and error.
It’s not easy to use for me because my Asus Vivobook Laptop is already 4 years old + google chrome hates me. So in other words, my web browser takes a very long time to react.
One of the easiest things that made me customize faster is using Elementor’s free templates. Elementor also has a lot of good paid-pre made templates if you want a more professional look and some sign-ups.
Elementor ranges from About Me page, Landing Page, Contact Page, and much more. I am still using Elementor’s free options. But if you wanted a professional business looking website, buy their lifetime service. I might buy one in the future if I wanted to upgrade my website design again.
Finding free stock photos & patterns.
I’ve got a blog post for 20+ websites on where you can get our free resources here.
The common sites I use are Vecteezy, Pixabay & Unsplash. I get my free patterns on Vecteezy for my blog graphics & tweak them in photoshop. If I’m too lazy to take photos, I use stock photos from Pixabay & Unsplash instead. If you’re creative, you can take these stock photos, edit them & post them on your Instagram. That’s how I create my brand theme style.
Making a filter with Adobe Lightroom/ & using Dropbox to store my files.
If you don’t have a DSLR cam, I recommend installing Lightroom & take pictures with it. I promise you, it’ll give you a professional high-quality feel.
The app is available on IOS & Android. Dropbox is my time-saver because it uploads real fast when I change computers. Google Drive takes a lot of time to load & download as well.
If you are hosting a photography blog or a food blog, I recommend buying a DSLR camera digital Camera. My DSLR is Nikon D200, it’s old, but I use it for my Photography class.
I downloaded free Adobe Lightroom filters here. I always try to filter my photos, so they would match with my website theme.
Adobe Lightroom is very easy to use. I’m a beginner but it’s fast to import your photos & sync your filters at once. Photoshop takes too much time to load. So I don’t recommend putting filters there unless you’re editing only one picture
And that’s how I designed my website from scratch. In the future, I’ll add some video tutorials, or make some blog posts that show my whole designing process. I hope these tips & tricks helped you, and I’m so excited for you to try Elementor!