For Quadmama: Blog Makeovers

>> Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quadmama asked: How do I go about finding someone to create a cool blog page for me without charging me an arm and a leg? And what's a fair rate for said design (say layout, header and "borders"?)

Well, for the first question, I'd have to recommend word of mouth. Bloggers love to tell you where they got stuff. If you see a pretty blog, don't hesitate to ask where they got it. Lola's Diner, for example, just got a facelift - and she'll be happy to tell you where. Or you might have been admiring my beautiful blog. Well, I got a facelift from Lady Java (thanks to the word of mouth from flit) who has done three of flit's blogs, both flit's daughter's blogs, exiles, Dark Novels and a number of other exiles' blogs. She charged me $35 (she advertises $35-50 and that seems typical) and used the same template (but tweaked the colors) in my other blog. I gave her a little extra for her trouble, but she didn't ask for it.

Personally, I'm very satisfied and have nothing but praise for the end results, the responsiveness of Lady Java and the speed of the switch. However, ask around. Don't settle for the first one you see (unless it's JUST the look you're going for), or feel pressured to use someone a friend recommends. And, if you have tech-savvy friends, they might be able to set you up even cheaper because there are a great many free blog templates out there.

I'd say, for what you're looking for, expect to pay ~$35. Having a blog makeover done is quick and relatively speaking a no brainer and, if you get a good developer, they'll fix little issues if you ask them soon after the initial installation. That's the easy way.

Go looking for templates and ask forums and you might find a way to do it for free, but it will be more internet "legwork" and might not glean you exactly what you had in mind. But the price is right.

By the way, here are some tips before a blog makeover. Good advice.


  • Quadmama

    Thanks for a starting point, Stephanie. I want to get away from the "standard" Blogger look so I think your advice will help.

  • JD at I Do Things

    Quadmama: are you willing to move to Wordpress? There are hundreds and hundreds of really cool templates -- FREE! Most are very easy to customize, and the creators are pretty amenable to helping you customize it. As for a banner, mine was done by a very reasonable and talented graphic designer named Eileen Schmidtke. You can see my banner and find her contact information in this post:

    Good luck!

  • Lola

    I am extremely happy with my blog Make-Over from Harriet at Click on the "where" in Stephanie's post to go to her site. I did win my blog makeover, but since I wanted a very specific kind of header, Harriet pointed me to some stock photo sites and I purchased something for the header which she modified for me. I also purchased a couple of other stock photos from the same place for my site. I can't tell you how much I LOVE MY MAKE-OVER.

    If you want to try your chance at winning a blog makover, Diane at is having a blog Make-Over Contest. She is also a contributor at one of Harriets other sites, and Diane's contest is also listed there.

  • Laura


    Lady Java completely madeover my Living Frugal blog, including adding some needed functionality to my blog roll widgets. She also madeover my Children's books blog, with the exception of the header (although she did help me on that by adding my tagline to it.)

    She was so easy to work with and so responsive. I seriously was amazed at how fast she completed both blogs for me.

    I'd been trying to do it on my own, not wanting to spend money, but was growing more and more frustrated due to not finding what I wanted, or not being able to get things to work right. It was worth every single penny.

    Here's a post I wrote about her on my Living Frugal blog: Lady Java, A Frugal Way To a Blog Makeover

  • flit

    I was extremely happy with all of the makeovers lady java did for me...

    one thing to remember though ... after you get your blog the way you want it SAVE THE TEMPLATE .... never hurts to have a backup just in case

  • Stephanie B

    Hey, flit, how do you save the template?

  • Laura


    I'm not flit (obviously) but to save the template all you do is go into "Layout" and then click on "Edit HTML" and finally, click on "Download Template." It will ask you where you want to save it to on your computer. I'd suggest changing the name to something you'll recognize later if you need it. :)

  • Stephanie B

    Thanks, Laura, I really appreciate it.

  • Laura

    No problem. :)

  • Quadmama

    Thanks everyone for your input. For now I found a free template to use while I figure out exactly what I would want from a custom template and who to turn to. You're all awesome... thanks!

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Blog Makeover by LadyJava Creations