Blogger How-To: Block Quotes and Custom Designs

Bloggers come together to get stuff done!

Bloggiesta is drawing to a close today and I wanted to share two last things I was working on.

Thanks to the patience, expertise and just plain niceness of my blogger friend Arianne I now can do this on my blog...

I can make block quotes. Like this!!!! I am so excited. I had to edit my template, but it was really easy. Arianne is going to do a post on it, and when she does, I'll link to it. 

Next, I did some research on custom blog design. This is something I'm not going to dive into right away. Even though my design is a standard Blogger one, I like it. It loads fast. Maybe by the next Bloggiesta in the fall I will pay someone to come up with some new ideas for me.

But, in case you're interested, here are what my blogger friends say about their custom designs.

Here are comments from Cristina from The Princess of Storyland:

"For me, it was very simple. I think the biggest part of it is finding a designer that you like and trust. I spent quite a few months checking out other blogs and whenever I saw a design I liked, I would immediately scroll to the bottom of the blog to see who the designer was. Every single blog I liked, was designed by Lori from Imagination Blog Designs. I spoke to many of her clients who had nothing but incredible things to say about her. And her incredibly reasonable prices were all that I needed to finally move forward and do it!

The process itself was very, very easy! Lori had me look through several graphics and choose which ones I liked. That was the hardest part for me! There were so many options and it took me a while to settle on a package, but at the end of the day I felt this one would really convey a rich storyland world that books can create. Once that was done, Lori had me choose some fonts I liked to compliment the graphics. I mostly gave her free range to do what she liked. I have never seen a design that Lori has done that I didn't like, and I trusted her implicitly!

Lori started the design on a Friday. And as she went along, she would always check with me to make sure I liked it, before she went any further.  She was so incredible and spot on with my vision! By Sunday morning my blog design was complete and it was uploaded on Monday. The entire process was so seamless and easy. There was never any downtime or issues.

I feel like she completely understood the idea and concept beyond my blog and she did an amazing job creating my design. It turned out a million times better than I had ever envisioned!"

Here's what Arianne had to say about her blog redesign:

"The process of getting a custom template is numerous. You can either pay for a template and installation, find someone who would do it for free, or do it yourself using a template somewhere. I tried to do it myself countless times but I just end up getting frustrated because the CSS codes are too advanced for me. When I was browsing some of the blogs that I follow, I came across Jude from In Between Reading and Writing.

She did a post of a before and after of someone's blog that she designed. I looked at it and saw at the bottom of the post that she does it for free! She uses templates that are pre-made and then she designs it the way you want it to look - like fonts, colors, etc. She also does the installation so you have to give her your password temporarily. After she installed mine, there were things that I wanted more of or that didn't come with her design so I went to Google and found ways to customize my blog more to fit my liking."

Thanks, guys, for sharing your experiences!


  1. Aww you edited my novel down beautifully! hehe I still highly recommend a custom design! THey can be really simply, and not as elaborate as maybe mine. Just depends on the blogger's preferance! Also certain graphics take longer to load, etc. So just ask the designer, they'll know all about it! And Jude is AMAZING! She's super sweet! Although I think if I ever had her do something for me I'd send her a nice gift card for her troubles! ;)

    1. I know -- I can't believe that she does it for free!! I see her around on Goodreads and she seems like the nicest person ever :)

  2. I went Imagination Designs website and I love her work ! The Shiver inspired layout is so pretty. I see she also designed a layout for my favorite food blogs

    I have a basic blogger layout like you Jen but I was able to make my own banner. There are so many great custom layouts I'm glad people are having good experiences.

    1. Her work is beautiful, I agree!
      Love your banner. I think as long as a blog has some personality, you're all good :)

  3. I really want a custom blog design, but seeing as I have no job, and money is tight, I can't really get one. Hopefully I can get a job soon and be able to do more with my blog. :)

    1. I hear you ! I'm always trying to weigh my blog expenses and figure out what I should pay for now and what I should wait on.

      I love your blog -- it looks great and to me, content is the most important thing anyway!

  4. Yey I'm so excited you figured out how to do the blockquotes! I will email Jude to give her a heads up that u mentioned her in this post. I will probably get the tutorial post sometime in this coming week.

    1. No one could be more excited than I am!!!!
      For some reason your comment posted three times so I deleted the extras. Blogger is acting weird the last couple of days..

    2. It must have been coz I was using my phone? Sorry about that! :)

  5. Way to go! It took me awhile to figure out the blockquote thing, but once you do it's so fun. Once you get the hang of it you can add background colors to it and borders. I love it!

    Also, good luck on the blog design. I like the look now, but I could see wanting to change it next time around (I need to change mine up!).

    Hopefully you can continue to revisit the challenges on your own and still keep learning. Enjoy and thanks so much for participating in Bloggiesta! We'll see you again in September!

  6. I love blockquotes, though sometimes my background highlight goes wonky, haha...It's a fun trick to learn though :oD

    The idea of custom blog design is a great one, and I toy with it every now and then...but like you, my existing Blogger design loads fast and is quirky/etc...I'm not even sure where I'd start coming up with a new design.


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