November 9, 2015

Want a website-like design for your blog? Think before you leap!

You have a Blogger (or free blog and now feel that you should rather have a traditional website, right? 

You have two options,
  • to convert the blog itself into a normal website 
  • to create a new website and take your blog’s resources there.
In the present post, we’d tell you how to convert the blog into a normal, simple, website that does not look like a blog. The procedure to redirect the blog to a new website is dealt with in this earlier post: Independent domain name, webhost and migration.

Before we tell you how to convert the blog into a website, let’s spend a few minutes on why (or why not) make a blog look like a normal website.


This blog has a simple page as the standalone homepage. A custom redirect (Settings>Search Preferences...) makes it the homepage.

There are some real and some perceived advantages of having a normal website rather than a blog. The main ones are:
  • A website has URL that is different from stacked URLs given by Blogger and other free blog platforms. It looks independent and important.
  • Some visitors might find a website look more professional and feel that the owner of a website is more well-established than that of a free blog. 
  • Websites are generally taken as more reputed than blogs, especially as compared to free blogs which have domain names ending in,, etc.
  • A static webpage gives the feel of being stable as compared to the blog look in which posts keep changing as these are updated.
  • You want some specific information to be seen by visitors first, and then they be taken to sections, not like blogs in which you have menus, widgets etc all on the home page.
  • Websites can be much more clutter-free, clean and bold than blogs (especially those on free platforms).

Having said that, let’s make it clear that all blogs are websites. (You may like to visit this post on blog vs website.) 


There are highly reputed website owners, including big organizations, who have full-fledged websites that look like blogs, with a purpose. The blog like look has its own advantages:
  • At least some visitors are equally, if not more, comfortable with blog-like arrangement.
  • Many websites update their stuff regularly. Blog like style suits them much better than a static page.
Add to these, the most important advantage of having a blog on a free platform: it does not demand anything from you (money, technical skill, botheration of maintaining it...) other than putting resources (articles, photos, videos, etc). It saves time, energy and money.


    A blogger need not go to one extreme. He has the choice to get the best of both the worlds, look how:

    • Many free Wordpress themes and Blogger templates give the blog the looks of a normal website, yet they retain the functionalities of the blog. 
    • Blogger's dynamic views feature can make the same blog have a number of looks, some very non-bloggy. 
    • In addition, if you like the blogger look but think (rightly) that you need to have an independent identity, keep the blog look but have an independent domain name.

    These two free platforms, especially Blogger, are so customizable that you can remove almost all bloggy elements from the blog to convert it into a proper website with or without domain name change. In the next section, we'll see how to hide or remove such elements from a Blogger blog.  


    Go for as many of the following changes that you want to make on the blog:

    • Change template if you find one that suits your blog and is like a website.
    • If you don't find a fitting template, put a big photo which fills up the top and margins but is transparent or white in the text area of the screen. Similarly you can place a photo on top with title written on it on one side (to break the symmetry).
    • Turn off the NavBar (Blogger's inbuilt navigation bar at the top of the blog) and remove the space left by it.
    • Show only 1 post on the home page.
    • Hide bloggy attributes such as Date & time, Posted by, Comments, Links to this post, Labels, email ID, and Reactions from the post. For this, go to Layout>Posts>Edit.
    • Remove the Attribution gadget at the bottom of the Layout screen. (Don't bother too much if it does not allow deletion.)
    • Remove Subscribe to posts.
    • Do not keep gadgets that are bloggy in feel, such as Archive, Labels, Popular posts, Blogroll, unless you can make them look different.
    • Some gadgets such as Menu bar or Text/ HTML gadgets can still be placed on top or bottom of the blog (preferably not in the sidebar).
    • Customize gadgets wherever you need to keep them, with unusual fonts and colors, differently-sized text boxes etc.  
    • Have one page (not a post) as the homepage and give links to other posts / pages from that page.
    • Have only pages (not posts) on the blog. You can have upto 10 standalone pages on the blog whose URL also is not like 2015/03/bloggingfundas (blog-like).
    • Remove the Older posts / Home / Newer posts links from the bottom of the blog.
    • Remove sidebar(s) or keep them too narrow to be visible.

    For converting this blog to website design (which took about ten minutes), we chose the simple template from Blogger itself, removed bloggy widgets, kept some social buttons. We put a menu bar under the title.
    Finally, if you are not apologetic about being a blogger, you need not take the unnecessary botheration to even think of doing away with gadgets etc. However, having an independent domain name has its own advantages, even with full bloggy looks, as shows. In fact, keeping a page as the homepage or removing sidebars and gadgets reduces the functionalities of the blog. Some other tweaks may even hurt the searchability (SEO) of the blog.

    So, think before you leap!