How to choose a good Background for your Blog #1

{Read in Italian...}
how to choose a good background for your blog 1
Today I'm glad to introduce a topic that is very important to me: blog design!
I'll start with some theorical advices to choose a nice background. The background of a blog (or a generic website) is that color or pattern that sits behind its content.

Choosing our background thoughtfully is important for three reasons:
  1. it defines the personality of out blog (we'd never choose black skulls as a background if we talk about shabby chic interior design!);
  2. the legibility of our content might be impaired by the wrong background;
  3. it might impact your page load time on slow connections (like 3G connections from mobile devices).
That's why it is so important to stop and think before choosing our background, instead of just considering if we like that image.
Let's see what possibilities we can have.

SOLID COLOR
I'll say from the beginning that if you choose a solid color you can't go wrong; also, you will meet the current web design hype.
A simple total white background can give you a lot of space to choose colors and shapes for other graphic elements in your design. Think of it like it was an outfit: you'd hardly wear a heavy, fancy necklace over a colorful, printed blouse!

PATTERN (generated by a small image that repeats itself horizontally and vertically)
how to choose a good background for your blog 1
Tine the Lazy's background. 
My content, anyway,
has a simple, total white background.



So, what if we want to use a pattern? Of course, it's not forbidden, just try to choose it wisely!
First of all, it mustn't be distractive: our followers come to us for our content, not to be blinded by a strong background. Make sure that your pattern suits your topics and the other colors in your blog.

Another problem we can have with patterns is the legibility of our text: try to avoid having the content right over a pattern or your followers will go crazy trying to read!
You can make up for this by having a solid color as a secondary background for your content.
I often see blogs with a bold background that try to make their text more legible by wrapping it in a sort of 'marker effect'.
Let me give you an advice straight from my heart: no, don't do this! This is one of those things that yell 'old website', it is not graphically appealing. There are lots of better solutions to make your text legible!

how to choose a good background for your blog 1
Try also to keep the size of your file as tiny as possible (without a relevant quality loss, of course): try to stay under 100 Kb. You don't want to make things difficult (and expensive) for your readers with  slow connections, the risk is to lose more than a few potential followers!

There is also a third option for a nice background: a full-sized picture. To make things properly, anyway, you need to write some CSS and have a nicely optimized image. We'll see this option in depth another time!

That's enough for today! Let's sum it up:
  • a solid color background is effective, lightweight and trendy and gives us more possibilities with graphic customization;
  • if we decide to use a pattern, we must avoid heavy, distractive ones. Instead, we should choose one that fits the style of our blog, without overwhelming it;
  • we should avoid to have a pattern right under our content, in order to avoid legibility issues.
Next time we'll face the dangers that can be hidden behind some solid colors and some pattern images. Once we finish talking about theory, we'll see how to implement everything with Blogger interface and/or some simple HTML/CSS.

Meanwhile, why don't you let me know your very own background preferences when you visit a blog or a website?

More:
2. Solid colors and pattern dos and don'ts.
3. How to use a full-sized image as background.
4. Implementation.

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