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Matching your blog's design to the company website

by Brian Brown (follow me on Twitter): February 14, 2007

Marcia Brubeck contacted me a couple of nights ago with an interesting problem. While she has been blogging for nearly eight months now, her blog design has been somewhat of a challenge. We featured her blog as the Small Business Blog of the Day back in August, and since we featured the blog, I have noticed that everything I suggested was taken to heart as Marcia made every small change I mentioned.

Furthermore, when Marcia decided to get some help with the design of the blog, she thought of me (Ya!).

Basically, Marcia wanted her blog to match her main website. Here is what her main website looks like (click for larger view):

Brubecksiteoriginal

Her blog looked something like this:

Brubecksiteold_1

So I changed the design to look like this:

Brubecksitenew

Keep in mind that the first photo and the third photo are entirely different. One is Marcia's main website, and the other is her new blog.

Other than basic design, which is pretty intense with Typepad since you can customize so much out of the box, I met with some unique challenges to Marcia's blog.

First, the standard width of a Typepad blog did not match the width of Marcia's main website. This meant I had to alter the width of the blog and each column in the blog to get these things to match. This can only be done in the Advanced Templates of Typepad (you must have a "Pro" account to edit the Advanced Templates).

Second, Marcia has a patterned background for her left sidebar on her main website. I was able to duplicate this by inserting a background in the Typepad blog, again utilizing the Advanced Templates.

Figuring out these little tricks takes some experience, research, and experimenting. I was able to completely match Marcia's original website design on her blog in about 2 hours.

Marcia was pretty happy. Here's what she had to say:

It looks great!...I am just thrilled that you managed to do this so fast. Thank you so much!

Learning all the ins and outs of Typepad's design structure is not for everyone. If you would like some assistance, let me know and I'll be happy to help. I've been designing websites for over six years now, and designing exclusively with Typepad for nearly a year. Just let me know if I can help you. I'd be happy to.

Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.


Comments

Very nice work! Matching blog design isn't very easy to do most of the time. This seemed to work out great and not cause you to pull your hair out!

Thanks Gabe!

Yeah, blog platforms are tricky. I think I've worked with Typepad long enough now that I look forward to the challenges of matching a design, rather than dreading it.

I used to work with a Content Management System called Geeklog which is a nightmare from a designer's point of view. Compared to that, Typepad is a piece of cake.

I switched from Typepad to using wordpress because I was tired of paying the monthly fees. I really enjoy wordpress, but there are some limitations that I feel other blogging resources are providing that just isn't as available through wordpress.
Many of my friends are migrating to blogger with some of their new services.
I guess the point is using something that you're comfortable in and that will give you the results you desire. But when offering it to clients, usability is key. When I managed the web department of a marketing firm,if our clients weren't using the blogs we setup for them, it was either because they didn't give the time or they couldn't figure it out. And if they couldn' figure it out then I it was my fault that the blog was not a success.
Thanks for allowing me to comment, I Enjoy reading your blog.

Thanks again Gabe.

See my post today called "Writing a blog is as easy as writing an email."

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