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Is It Time To Change Your Blog Design?

Is It Time To Change Your Blog Design?

I’ve been kind of sick of my blog design recently, and am considering changing it. Most of the reason for this, in my case, has to do with functionality: when I started this blog, I did not need it to do a whole lot other than just publish posts and create and RSS feed, maybe throw up a picture now and then. Since then, though, I’ve added various features that require a little bit more advanced coding, and all along my site has suffered the burden of indulging my learning curve when it comes to learning how to code. But a redesign can often involve a lot of work and other factors, so I’ve created a list to help me decide whether it’s worth it to chuck everything and start over (see below).

1. Ask yourself: is my site a mess of sloppy coding that really should just be redone altogether?

I am a huge advocate of learning how to code on your own site and using your WordPress template as a guinea pig for these experiments. It’s a big advantage to know enough about HTML and CSS (and maybe even a little php) when you are running your own site, because you can save hours of time (and tons of money) from dealing with tech support. The downside is, these experiments tend to lead to sloppy code that can slow your site down and possibly not work in all browsers. After a few years of experiments, it might be more time saving to just scrap the code you’ve got now and start over, especially if you’ve got a better working knowledge of code now than when you first began.

2. Ask yourself: does my design look like a lot of other people’s designs?

Regardless of which blogging platform you use, finding new themes to use is easy and relatively pain-free. The problem is, niches tend to have common looks that get overused, and if your template is very similar (or identical) to others in your niche, this is going to be one more problem in differentiating yourself from the masses. You want your site to fit in, but looking exactly the same as everyone else is a mistake.

3. Ask yourself: is my design so 2006?

It kind of sucks, but web design is subject to fashion trends just like anything else. What was popular in websites circa 2006 is likely to look very dated in 2011. Maybe it’s time to get rid of the glossy Web 2.0 buttons or the badges that say you were speaking at BlogHer 2008? You don’t necessarily have to be a trendsetter, but keeping your site abreast of current trends in design is going to put you ahead of many other people with whom you are competing.

What do you guys think, is it time to change ABDPBT?

Comments (4)

  1. Jan 31, 2011

    I like it, but I’m not exactly cutting edge, either in fashion or in blog design.

  2. Jan 31, 2011

    I think your blog looks professional and current… still. Even when I Google “award winning websites” I’m underwhelmed. So many spaces are *noisy*. I need to redecorate my blog, but I’m not doing anything heavy over there. It’s just a toy. : )

  3. Jan 31, 2011

    If I were you, I’d stick with the bones of what you have, but a refresh could be nice. There is a LOT you have going on!

  4. Jan 31, 2011

    I feel like you wrote this post for me. Because I’m self-absorbed like that! As you know, I’ve been considering doing the same thing, but the thought of it is so overwhelming. I’ve been clicking around checking out what everyone is doing and see so many sites that look too similar. Mine included. Nailing down an original idea is almost as hard (for me) as actually building it out. I did buy a Thesis template this weekend. Now I just have to figure out what the hell to do with it.

    I think you have good bones here—but freshening things up once a year is never a bad idea.

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