Design Your Own Blog at Sour Apple Studio

October 16, 2012 By BDN Administrator

Sour Apple Studio has developed a brilliant way to design your own blog with just a few clicks!

As a blogger, have you ever wished to have full control of how your design looks?  Choose your background, header, fonts, and more with this handy tool that lets YOU perfect your design.

Here is what Lindsay, the owner of Sour Apple Studio had to say about this amazing new tool:

I could not be more excited to offer bloggers the ability to design their own blog! For so many, the blogosphere has become a place to express passions and share memories, to relax and rejuvenate, and to connect with friends all over the world. Blogs are truly an extension of personalities, interests and creativity!My passion for web design originated back in 2007 with my desperate desire to make my family blog “pretty”. I was not at all thrilled with the standard templates available, but did not have the budget to hire a custom blog designer. My decision was to become a blog designer myself! Now, I want to make sure that all bloggers have the opportunity to make their blog pretty!The DIY blog designer system gives you a custom, stylish, modern blog design without the custom design price tag. Choose your header and background graphics, select all of your colors and fonts, and watch your blog transform from average to amazing! Our graphic selections will be continuously updated and will even change with the seasons and holidays.The design combinations are truly endless and the blog design DIY system will give you the ability to make your precious space on the web “pretty”. I hope you enjoy your DIY experience and are pleased with a blog design that is a reflection of you in every way!

Lynne, of Visual Serendipity developed the code that allows you to tweak and edit to your hearts’ content.  Many blog and web developers admire Lynne’s innate ability to make their lofty ideas possible.    Here is what she had to say about the process:

This was one of the most exciting projects I have worked on. Lindsey contacted me with an idea that just seemed out of this world. Was there a way to create a web app that let the users pick colors, font and images to create their own design?

She wanted a list of headers you could pick from, and the ability to incorporate Google Web Fonts throughout the blog.  She wanted users to have the option of choosing a color for their background, while also being able to choose an image overlay with transparency to show that color. Color changes for the nav bars, sidebars and footer were also important to her.

So, I got to work and created a sliding “form” that was essentially one form with multiple submits.  This would create session variables to be used in multiple pages throughout the system.  I developed the system in its own folder (on top of a WordPress installation) that incorporated the Genesis Framework but used a dynamic stylesheet to override the default values – without changing core code or using a child theme. This allowed the page to change in front of the user’s eyes without really changing WordPress at all!

She provided feedback and came up with some more ideas, and we changed the background images and header images to allow the users to check the radio boxes for choices without scrolling down the length of the page. We used a few color pickers to allow users to change everything from the background to the nav bar overlays, hover, and text colors. Color choices were added for the sidebars as well.

In the end, we also added system fonts for the body text, and the Google Fonts were reserved for the title, tagline, sidebars, post titles, page titles and links.

We worked together on a daily basis and what should have only taken about a month took a few more because as we both tested the system, we each had ideas on how to make it more user friendly and just easier to navigate.

Now, you can order your design and Lindsey gets a custom email that lists all of the session variables (things chosen) that she can plug right into her child theme and deliver the full zipped product. She also uses this information for Blogger.

We have already started discussions and plans on phase 2 where we would like to take this a step further and provide an auto download of your choice that will be a Genesis child theme, as well as a custom WordPress theme for sites not using Genesis!  Keep checking – updates and changes are coming!

With Lindsey’s future thinking – we have brought this system to life and I have to say that not only was this the most exciting project I have ever worked on, but Lindsey’s ideas really blow me away! Working with her has been such a great experience and I truly look forward to our updates and other great ideas that may be borne from this mixture of vision and genius!

If you’d like to start designing your own blog, and tweaking your layout until it’s perfect – check out Sour Apple Studio DIY.  Lindsey and Lynne would love your feedback as well, so share with your friends and other bloggers who would like to have control over how their blog looks!  You can also comment here and tell us what you think!

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