One question I got often was how to add those customized sidebar titles. Those sidebar buttons really do help to give your blog design a cohesive look, don’t they.
Well adding them to your blog is really easy. Let me show you how.
There are two ways of doing this, the first one is through Blogger itself.
Those sidebar graphics / buttons / titles are basically just small pictures, you can upload them in your Blogger design dashboard as a picture gadget. Move them above your designated sidebar item. Remove the title from said designated sidebar item. Done.
The second way is a bit more complicated. It is the way I did it. I am not even sure if my way actually has any benefits over the easy way, but in the day that is how all the designers told you how to do it, so it must have a function. Maybe it helps load your blog faster, or maybe it is just a matter of retaining control over your own images.
Updated: adding images by using the HTML code gives you more options for customizing, like centering, changing the size, or even changing them later by simply exchanging the URL.
Anyway for this method: once you have your side bar picture, you upload it to a photo hosting site. I use Photobucket, it is free until you grow too big and then it is still really cheap. It is also extremely reliable, never had a glitch.
Once I have uploaded my picture there I grab the HTML code of that particular picture.
It looks like this in my case:
Now go back to your blogger gadget menu and this time choose Add HTML/JAVA script gadget, paste the code in there. Voila.
OK you say, sounds easy enough, but how do I get images to use as sidebar titles.
Well that is easy too, you either make them or you let somebody else make them.
If you make them yourself
- Look around on your favorite blogs for inspiration on the look of the graphics.
- Keep them simple, our sidebars are usually cluttered enough as it is.
- Use a Photo editing program, like Picnik, Picasa or Photoshop (Elements), or a graphics design program like a digital scrapbooking software.
- Choose the colors and fonts, and graphics that ‘fit’ with your overall blog theme.
- Start with your longest title first, because that one determines the size of the graphics and fonts you can use.
- Save it in the correct size, which would be between 10 and 15 pixels smaller than the width of your sidebar.
- Save it in PNG format, because those are the fastest images to load on your blog and it is the perfect format for graphics.
If you want someone else to make them for you
- There are plenty of blog designers out there who will gladly design you a set of beautiful sidebar graphics if you pay them.
- There are also plenty of blog designers who provide you with free graphics that you can use and/or customize yourself. Here are a few examples by designers who offer plenty of freebies.
Pugly Pixel’s Ribbon collection
starsunflowerstudio Sidebar labels
- Google free sidebar titles or sidebar buttons and you’ll find plenty more.
Let me know if this was at all helpful to you, if I forgot any steps, if anything is unclear, or if you have any questions about this.
Any other DIY Design questions are welcome too.
I love to hear from you.