Product Review: 17th Ave Designs

Saturday, October 10, 2015



Interested in starting a blog? After you have all of the logistics planned out (Blogger vs. Wordpress, name, purpose, etc.) you'll want to pick a template for your blog. A template keeps the pages on your site uniformed and is the first impression your readers get of your blog. Both Blogger and Wordpress offer free/ default templates, but I wanted something with some PIZAZZ!

I did a lot of research and found Kate with 17th Avenue Designs, a company that makes premade Blogger and Wordpress templates. Just the feel of their website immediately pulled me in. I bought a premade Blogger template from their Etsy shop and absolutely love it. I know it's only been a month and I'm still in the blogging honeymoon stage, but I love looking at my blog thanks to the template. It was so hard to choose just one template from their shop. Here are some of my other favorites -


Here are some of the design features that come with their premade blog templates:

  • Mobile responsiveness 
    • On a phone your blog comes up as a mobile site with the option to go to the web version
  • Built with latest HTML5 + CSS3 
    • Basically, from what I can gather as someone who needs Web Design for Dummies, it's the newest way web designers make web pages. But don't quote me on that.
  • SEO Optimized 
    • Search Engine Optimization - the process from getting "free", "organic", or "natural" search results on search engines. BIG DEAL for your blog.
  • Template is customizable
  • Multiple color scheme options to choose from
  • Social media icons with hover effect
  • Fixed customizable navigation menu with optional drop-downs
  • Stylized sidebar widgets
  • Multiple page layout options 
Premade blog templates run about $30-$45. Custom design work starts at $525 for Blogger and $1200 for Wordpress. I bought a premade Blogger template and was able to instantly download it from their Etsy shop. It came with instructions on how to install it, but that's SO not my thing. Luckily, they offer an installation service so I ordered that as well. I've also ordered a custom signature, custom favicon and some worked with Kate on some other custom work.

Pros:

  • Instant download from Etsy shop
  • Quick turnaround time for any custom work (about 3-5 business days)
  • Questions answered quickly
  • Competitive pricing compared to other premade blog templates
Cons:

  • Templates (unless custom ordered) are not one-of-a-kind. The template will be resold and other people will have it as well.
  • Installation wasn't easy for me. (User error, I'm sure) I had to buy the installation service which was another $20 
Kate has been absolutely wonderful to work with! I would totally recommend her and 17th Ave Designs to anyone who wants to start a blog or just needs some updates. Kate signed, sealed and delivered it. I'm in love with my blog thanks to her. 

For more information on starting a blog - check out my post Blogging 101: Top ten things I've learned in my first month of blogging.

{These opinions are my own. 17th Ave Designs did not ask me to do a review. I just wanted to share my experiences with new bloggers and/or people needing updates to their blog.}


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