Now More Than Ever: 50 More Excellent Blog Designs

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Designing blogs is easy. Designing blogs in a unique way is hard. Whatever blog engine you are using, there are literally thousands of templates available which you can apply directly, without any significant code modifications. That’s efficient, but it’s not creative, because using a default blog-template you risk to end up with some wide-spread look which has actually nothing to do with you. To convey your personality effectively, you need a design which reflects who you are and what you are doing. That’s why important is not just what you post, but also how you post it.

In fact, beyond the template-design-culture exists a field of creative, individual and impressive blog designs. And the good thing about it is that this field has been rapidly growing over the last years. To celebrate the creativity of blog designers we regularly present reviews of excellent blog designs we have stumbled upon recently. This post is no exception. Below you’ll find 50 further examples of excellent, unique and impressive blog designs.

Apart from “usual” minimal designs, one can observe more rather complex graphic works. If earlier only blog headers had striking visual elements, now whole web-layouts seem to have become more vibrant: paper clips, mp3-players, coffee cups and further objects are used extensively. Apparently, they are used as metaphors for the environment of site designers. Such designs are just impossible to copy and they unite the visual design with the author’s content in a unique and very personal layout.

You can also have a look at our previous showcases:

Excellent Blog Designs

Narfstuff
Perfect integration of visual elements in a standard 2-column blog structure. Artwork.

Blog Showcase - Narfstuff

Viget Labs
A pretty, clean, light and fresh blog design.

Blog Showcase -  Viget Labs

Dollarshort
Informal yet looking professional, with moderate use of white space and light colors.

Blog Showcase - Dollarshort

coda.coza
The sixth version of Damien du Toit’s blog. Grid in use.

Blog Showcase - blog - coda.coza

Brad Frost’s Blog
A truly creative blog design. This blog contains “words that would otherwise be coming out of designer’s mouth”. Literally.

Blog Showcase - Brad Frost's Blog

Missy
Trendy stripes gone wild. The colors just fit together.

Blog Showcase - Blog | Missy

Popstalin.com
Beautiful visual composition which includes date stamps with a bird, search box with a bird and a navigation with birds. The RSS-bird is orange, of course.

Blog Showcase - Popstalin

Nzrn.com
Sometimes less colors is more. A very nice grid-based site layout which is easy to scan and to read.

Blog Showcase - Nzrn

tehCpeng
Wood, coffee, ear phones. This blog reflects the habits of its owner.

Blog Showcase - tehCpeng.net

Antiphrasis.com
A blog with a very intuitive structure; nothing can really confuse a visitor and the date stamps are pretty sweet!

Blog Showcase - Nzrn

Lucy Blackmore
An artistic blog design for a blogger-artist.

Blog Showcase - Lucy Blackmore

Design Reviver
A magazine style blog with its own way of presenting the overview of recent articles.

Blog Showcase - Design Reviver

Clemente
Blog design meets vintage style. If you will ever need to design a blog in the vintage style, here is how you could do it.

Blog Showcase - Clemente

Viget Labs
Sometimes background image is everything you really need for a distinctive design. However, this blog offers more. Notice how well design elements are executed — e.g. article headings.

Blog Showcase - Viget Labs

Freelenz
Achieving an intuitive design in complex layout isn’t easy. Ewald Natter manages to get it right. Although the layout isn’t simple, it manages to remain scannable and readable.

Blog Showcase - Freelenz ~ Grafikdesign und Webentwicklung

Bits and Pixels
Vivid colors on dark background look sexy. Can you find a space invader?

Blog Showcase - Bits and Pixels

creative briefing
Simplicity at its best. This design emphasizes the importance of typography. Visual elements aren’t really necessary.

Blog Showcase - creative briefing | marketing, design and entrepreneurship blog

Ollie Kavanagh
Here the content seems to “hang” in the air which is unusual and attractive. The design is remarkable.

Blog Showcase - olliekav.com

The Superest
A blog doesn’t have to contain posts. Kevin Cornell and Matthew Sutter present their illustrations in their blog.

Blog Showcase - The Superest: Who is the superest hero of them all?

Distortion
The level of detail in this design is remarkable. Every single detail is taken care of. The layout may seem a little bit complex, but it is not. Very impressive.

Blog Showcase - distortion

Mike Poss’ Rock Guitar
Simple, clean and stylish.

Blog Showcase - Mike Poss' Rock Guitar Blog

Mancub
“Thin” blog design. The navigation menu at the top is pretty funky.

Blog Showcase -  Blog  Mancub

woork
Antonio Lupetti impresses with a very clean design and keen attention to details. Calm, clean and very user-friendly.

Blog Showcase - woork

Four Labs
A 3-column-based blog design which is really distinctive from usual blog designs.

Blog Showcase - Four Labs

Sketchblog
Interesting combination of illustrations and navigation in a blog design.

Blog Showcase - Sketchblog

Spadewerk
Unusual blog design solution: both the left and the right column of the blog have the same width. This looks unusual but somehow attractive.

Blog Showcase - Spadewerk

Internet Zillionaire
Creative blog design in the old-magazine-look.

Blog Showcase - Internet Zillionaire

davor peic.gavran
A blog design in which everything perfectly fits together. Don’t miss the nice Flash-based language switcher at the top of the page.

Blog Showcase - davor peic.gavran {new media designer}

Kristin Ascoop
A blog design with feminine touch from Holland.

Blog Showcase - Kristin Ascoop | Freelance vertalen, tolken, lessen Zweeds en Nederlands

Kohette Design Web
Quite unusual, rather experimental solution. The RSS-feed-icon at the top of the site is animated.

Blog Showcase - Kohette Design Web

Guifx
Light and fresh design. The calendar seems to serve as the primary navigation.

Blog Showcase - Guifx Blog

Home Design Find
Photos, rulers and paper clips in use.

Blog Showcase - Home Design Find

Jeux de Maux

Blog Showcase - Jeux de Maux

yo vivo en vigo
This header is really hard to forget.

Blog Showcase - yo vivo en Vigo

GlassHills – Web Design by Jackson Howell
A blog design with many curves, swirls, clouds, sun and a rising RSS-feed-icon.

Blog Showcase - GlassHills - Web Design by Jackson Howell

Caty’s Blog
Apparently, Caty likes cats and small colorful illustrations.

Blog Showcase - Caty's Blog

Vectips
Simplicity meets white space meets fresh colors.

Blog Showcase - Vectips

Revota
Maybe, there is a little bit too much noise on the page, but the way blog posts are presented is quite unusual.

Blog Showcase - revota

I Am Neato
We don’t know who Neato is, but he seems to be really happy. Emilio Cavazos combines portfolio and blog on one page.

Blog Showcase - I Am Neato - The Online Portfolio of Emilio Cavazos

Susay
A vertical navigation menu in use.

Blog Showcase - SUSAY.de

Neweracaptalk
Instead of displaying excerpts of the latest posts, this blog first presents the titles of the posts and the latest forum posts.

Blog Showcase - Neweracaptalk - Online fitted hat community

Lisa Bettany
What does Lisa like? Right, photography and music. And where does she come from? Right, Canada. You see it immediately. That’s an effective use of visuals.

Blog Showcase - Lisa Bettany. Canada's Sexy Geek Blog

Moderno Prometeo
Similar ideas as in the previous design.

Blog Showcase - Moderno Prometeo, escrito por Rolando Hernandez

Pop Culture Tees
A t-shirt-blog in a pop-art-style.

Blog Showcase - Pop Culture Tees

Phil’s Proof
Ok, that’s probably too many details at once. But Phil doesn’t care. A really different blog design.

Blog Showcase - Phil's Proof

Alyssa Tucker
Summer colors for the summer mood. Can you find the swimming duck in the layout?

Blog Showcase - Alyssa Tucker

Catalyst Studios
A group-weblog with dozens of hand-drawn elements.

Blog Showcase - Catalyst Studios v.3

Dandelion Path
Sweet site navigation and sections labeling. All sections of the site are visible at one glance.

Blog Showcase - Dandelion Path

Nimbupani Designs

Blog Showcase - Nimbupani Designs | standards based web design

I Menestrelli

Blog Showcase - Blog : Musica e impegno sociale

Stitchify
A unique blog design with a personal note.

Blog Showcase - Stitchify - Daily craft and fiber art inspiration

↑ Back to top

Co-Founder of Smashing Magazine. Former writer, web designer, freelancer and webworker. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories.

  1. 1

    Joseph Maguire

    May 8, 2008 6:05 am

    I like the NZRN.com site and Mostly lisa i was familiar with. She’s pretty damned ballsy and a funny person to chat with too. I am mixed on a few of the more complicated ones. Some are too hard to read and too busy, but overall nice stuff.

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  2. 2
  3. 3

    i love the Superest. i like the simpler ones, less colours, better.

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  4. 4

    Hmmm … NRZN.com claims to be published by TextPattern … Need we check all ?

    As for the rest : I know taste is very personal, but I find most of these heavy on design & low on substance. Is there a relation between the two ?

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  5. 5

    nice list

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  6. 6

    Marcelo F. S.

    May 8, 2008 6:38 am

    Awesome tips! One of the best lists from Smashing!

    1
  7. 7

    now more than ever, blog design posts on smashingmagazine

    1
  8. 8

    Thank you very much for featuring my site!
    It’s great to feel appreciated and I feel honored to be along side some fantastic designs.

    Jack (GlassHills)

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  9. 9

    Santiago Martinez

    May 8, 2008 7:59 am

    cool!!
    I believe that our blog can belong to the list, what do you thinks?

    thanks!

    1
  10. 10

    sad ..mine not in the list …

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  11. 11

    Drupal Museum

    May 8, 2008 8:30 am

    Beautiful designs! I really like Kristin Ascoop. I added it to Drupal Museum.

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  12. 12

    Alejandro Urrutia

    May 8, 2008 8:48 am

    Thanks to Smashing Magazine for considering yovivoenvigo as an excellent blog design!

    Maybe you can take a look to my other blog: Asian Trip… I miss China a lot :’(

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  13. 13

    Wow, really fascinating! Inspiration en mass. Thank you for this!

    1
  14. 14

    Great Post….. Excellent

    1
  15. 15

    André Gärtner

    May 8, 2008 9:56 am

    Great designs, maybe my blog is on this site soon, too ;-)

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  16. 16

    I’m thrilled to see you’ve finally included a couple of Blogger powered designs in this showcase :)

    Woork is excellent, but I was amazed to notice that Sketchblog is powered by Blogger! This is truly the best Blogger powered design I’ve ever seen (and I do go hunting for them!).

    Thank you guys (and please include some more in your next showcase to inspire those of us who do host with Blogspot!).

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  17. 17

    I think I’m already sick of the table top grunge look…

    1
  18. 18

    Very good selection!! some of the blogs are very very good designed with awesome content!!

    thanx for including me!

    davor

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  19. 19

    Sam Valiquette

    May 8, 2008 11:54 am

    Very interesting! Perhaps The Big Noob should be included?

    much love,
    sam

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  20. 20

    Inspire me to think out of the box again. Some of them are really cool!

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  21. 21

    Ollie Kavanagh

    May 8, 2008 2:08 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for the addition and being mentioned amongst all those great designs is an honor. I understand people’s opinion on ‘grunge’ being the in thing (or outdated already). I didn’t design it with grunge in mind, just a personal interest in graffiti and street art stemming from my print work.

    Great post.

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  22. 22

    Amazing list as usual, my favorite personal is carlosleopoldo.com

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  23. 23

    Im so sick of that played out “sky and grass header then dirt for the body” ive seen so many sites like that its not funny.

    otherwise some cool designs but there are some awful ones…

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  24. 24

    Basically the majority of the designs shown are complete crap. They are unreadable, don’t support accessibility standards and break all the rules of good design. They might make good static art printed and hung on the wall, if thats the way your aesthetics go, but as designs for websites the majority of them suck.

    Most of them waste far too much space at the top of the page with static art and non-useful text and graphics, and also waste all the space round the edges. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of them are also poorly and inefficiently implemented, though that’s a whole other gripe.

    And many are not very original. Four Labs, for instance is only a minor modification to the default Drupal scheme.

    Whats the betting most of those sites were produced by the sponsors you list on this page, annoyingly taking up most of the width of it? I can tell you i’m very unlike to commission any of those sponsors in case they are responsible for this rubbish

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  25. 25

    Wow, honored to be included in the list!

    0
  26. 26

    While all of the sites are visually attractive, in the end, most of them are hard to read. Style over substance.

    -1
  27. 27

    Thanks for featuring Pop Culture Tees! Thrilled to be included next to some really great designs.

    But also surprised at the level of lash-back against some pretty outstanding designs. If these were business sites then I could understand it, but the majority of these are personal, non-commercial ventures. Where else can you experiment and really push the boundaries of the status quo? I didn’t find too many of them hard to read, or unusable. And some of the best advances in web design have come from breaking old rules.

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  28. 28

    Dez Blanchfield

    May 8, 2008 7:07 pm

    It is just me or are 99% of these designs so busy they break every fundamental design rule of what is essentially a print media? I’m all for snazzy design, but seriously, not one of these falls into what I’d call “readable” content or design. I feel a head ache coming on just looking at them, and I’ve had a decade or more of reading insanity like WIRED magazine!

    Honestly, can we go back to the basics of print design and create readable content that doesn’t make me feel like I need to jump up and run screaming for the hills for fear my cranium is about to explode? Ten points on all fronts for nifty graphical design, no question there, but print / content design, bzzzt.. nadda!

    Cheers,

    Dez


    Dez Blanchfield

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  29. 29

    kohette.com is amazing. Very attractive.

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  30. 30

    Uh-huh, 3 Viget blogs were listed.

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  31. 31

    Hey, i like some of this blog designs. I allready knew some before.

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  32. 32

    Thank you very much for mentionning my website !

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  33. 33

    Nice design… makes me want to redesign. Thanks for the ideas!

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  34. 34

    OK, all these designs are great. BUT. These cant compare to those you listed from several months ago.

    -1
  35. 35

    I really liked Brad Frost’s Blog, it’s very different. All of these designs make my default themed blog look really nasty though : (

    Thanks :D

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  36. 36

    Davy Van Den Bremt

    May 9, 2008 1:23 am

    Cool to find one of my sites in the list :

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  37. 37

    i really like the ok one!

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  38. 38

    Wow, some great designs there! It’s nice to see designers that do a good job of incorporating the background with the foreground in templates. Something I need to do!

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  39. 39

    I went to coda.coza with firefox 2.0, and his site doesn’t display the same as it does in Internet Explorer. Everything kinda goes to 1 column instead of the 3.

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  40. 40

    Borne Bornesson

    May 9, 2008 4:19 am

    I am the only one who thinks personal blags are a waste of bandwidth/hdd space/time/life?
    Blags are the new version of Geocities/Angelfire webpages of the 90′s.

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  41. 41

    I love coda.coza. I like simple (to look at), I like dark, and I like grids. And I love his home page. Very nice list. Thank you

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  42. 42

    Hello! Very proud to see my site (narfstuff) featured on the list alongside so many unique and creative designs, what an honour!
    I do see where valid criticism lies in terms of the overcomplicated nature of some designs (my own included), and the fact that the grunge/distressed look is getting to be a little dated. Having said that though, It’s great to see the intent in the community to breathe some imagination and individuality into their work!
    Cheers,
    Fran

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  43. 43

    Narfstuff and Lucy Blackmore are complete rip offs of http://www.webdesignerwall.com/

    Same visual ID and matching Header styles and tabs….come on people let not just copy

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  44. 44

    tehCpeng.net

    You wrote: “Wood, coffee, ear phones. This blog reflects the habits of its owner.”

    That drink at the top of the blog is a form of Iced Milk Tea, specifically a very interesting blend; you can read about tehCpeng here. I would have thought that Smashing would have read the blog a little before commenting on it. :/

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  45. 45

    I’m sorry to say you have some very nasty readers here. Yet I notice none have the courage to post their own site URLs, which smacks of jealousy. Pathetic really.
    It’s another good selection of designers who are not afraid to be different.

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  46. 46

    Thanks for featuring me amongst all these uber designs. nice butt shot screen grab! my mum was not impressed.

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  47. 47

    I admit, I actually liked the earlier showcases more, because some of these just don’t seem to be as cool when it comes to functionality. Most just have pretty cool ideas for how to integrate layout graphics into their blogs. But not really innovative in some cases.

    I was wondering if y’all would ever do other blog site layouts – like on livejournal, blogspot, myspace:
    Just a suggestion!

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  48. 48

    there’s so much grunge design on the list…

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  49. 49

    niiiice….

    0
  50. 50

    James Abney-Hastings

    May 10, 2008 9:11 am

    Hi,

    There are some exceptional sites here, thanks so much for including my site (mancub.net) in your list, I’m truly honoured to be amongst such great company!

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  51. 51

    Indeed, some great designs!
    ___________
    Kesepian.

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  52. 52

    philippine web designs

    May 11, 2008 7:59 pm

    I like the blog design that looks like a mouth, It’s just so hilarious

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  53. 53

    Rishat Muhametshin

    May 11, 2008 11:03 pm

    Why does Smashing Magazine cut screenshots and put ordinary text hyperlinks?

    0
  54. 54

    Fantastic List.

    I’d love to know how you find all these great sites.

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  55. 55

    Anton Shevchuk

    May 14, 2008 4:51 am

    Many Russian blogs have great design, please don’t forgot about it ;(

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  56. 56

    bloggersmosaic

    May 17, 2008 6:07 pm

    really kool collection

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  57. 57

    I like all of the designs here, but I’m not much of a designer. I eventually ended up building something with the pressbox theme (http://www.creativesynthesis.net/blog/projects/web-commodities/press-box/). It’s a premium theme but it has a free version to try as well. I like how simple and customizable it is. Adding complex design elements is difficult for me and I think that focusing on simplicity is a good design approach.

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  58. 58

    I have to say, Coda’s blog is freaking beautiful.

    0
  59. 59

    It takes time to design such exellent blogs. the collection is really kool!

    0
  60. 60

    Awesome tips and good suggestions for creating blogs.

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  61. 61

    Jehzeel Laurente

    August 29, 2008 4:05 am

    wow I hope I can create something like this some day… *astounded*

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  62. 62

    Did you forget webdesignerwall.com ?

    0
  63. 63

    i love this coda.coza templates so much, do this hv the xml free for download ?

    0
  64. 64

    arent those designs downloadable? argh

    0
  65. 65

    Huge collections! I love them all!

    0
  66. 66

    cool design

    0
  67. 67

    stimulate listening society beattie overlap statistical alway
    Berberados Lemesarios

    0
  68. 68
  69. 69

    Wow, some lovely templates featured here. I came across your site looking for a new template to suit me design. Thank you.

    Regards,
    David

    0
  70. 70

    Wow there are some very very good ones here, very creative and funny as well… Thank you very much :-)

    Nothing compared to my Blog, even though I think I’ve done quite well :-)

    0
  71. 71

    Mistyukevych Serge

    January 23, 2010 5:52 am

    Good examples of design!
    But I just wondering why some of those great design was not converted to more interesting flexible or adaptive layout. They all made boring fixed width. (Almost 95% of blogs are fixed width). It looks like they are all Templates just with nice design. As for me it’s unuseful usage of free space at user monitors (we all know that a lot of users use wide screen monitors with big resolution).

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  72. 72

    Artistic development is a thing of the past, sadly.

    0
  73. 73

    It looks like they are all Templates just with nice design. As for me it’s unuseful usage of free space at user monitors (we all know that a lot of users use wide screen monitors with big resolution).

    0
  74. 74

    > But I just wondering why some of those great design was
    > not converted to more interesting flexible or adaptive layout.
    > They all made boring fixed width.

    Bringhurst (of The Elements of Typographic Style) recommends 45-70 characters per line for optimum readability. This is the principal reason why I (and I would believe, many others) tied the blog design to a fixed width.

    Just because monitors are wider now doesn’t mean we like to read lines spanning all 19 inches or more. We don’t.

    Phil (of philsproof.com above)

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  75. 75

    Hey! My blog is not here! Damn…
    I’m a poor misfit.

    0
  76. 76

    Wow! great design.. but I like the Kristin Scoop design, the color very cool…

    0
  77. 77

    Hola, estoy muy interesada en crear un blog pero quisiera saber si me puede orientar para saber como crearlo y como decorarlo o diseñarlo, ademas de como subirle la info.

    Saludos

    1
  78. 78

    Wow! great design.. but I like the Kristin Kohette Design, the design very attractive…

    0

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