Click Here To Download John Chow's Newest eBook - The Ultimate Online Profit Model
 

4 Early Warning Signs That Your Blog Needs a Redesign

written by Guest Blogger on January 31, 2013

The Ultimate Online Profit Model

As technology consistently evolves, there are always new developments and new releases every other day of the week. Whether it’s for the latest iPhone app update or the latest web design application that forces us to update constantly, we have to consistently learn to adapt.

This is no different in regards to the design of your blog. Like most things in life, your blog requires maintenance every now and again. Sometimes your blog needs a complete overhaul whether it’s for personal or business reasons. Even if some readers may not know much about design, you could be at risk of losing them due to the outdated look of your blog.

There are many reasons to redesign your blog. Some reasons might be because of changing and advancing technology, your business and services are moving in a new direction or just because you feel the need for change.

Here are some things to look for when trying to decide if the time is right for you to start redesigning your blog, which includes bad design, out of date information, new identity and services and a loss of visitors.

scrolltest

Bad Blog Design

Does your blog look like it was designed in 2001? If your answer to this question is “Yes”, then there is no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to redesign your blog and you need to start now.

There is nothing more off putting to a web designer than an ugly website design which means if a designer hates it then the visitors are definitely going to hate your site.

The look of your site is the initial thing that gets visitors to stay and look around for a little while. There are many things that make for a bad blog design. If your background is an unbecoming color, a color that makes reading the text so hard that your eyes start watering, then you need to take care of this.

Some ideas to fix this are to use blurred background, a large photo or a simple textured background with low opacity so that it looks natural.

Crowded and small text is not only hard to read but also illegible, try to use a standard font instead of the more fancy based typography.

Pixilated graphics and graphics that take too long to load or are seemingly out of place are also good indicators that you need to change your blog’s design.

Out of Date

You’ll probably need to go check out your blog to tell if it’s out of date in regards to the design but generally if you can’t remember when the last time your blog had an overhaul or even a slight modification then that’s a red flag something needs to be done.

Your blog could currently be using out of date plugins that constantly crash and cause your site to load slowly.

Other areas that need to be checked include everything from graphics to your content. Sometimes there are factors that keep you from updating your blog but if your business is undergoing major changes then your blog’s current information needs to reflect that.

It’s quite easy to see for the most part what is out of date in regards to your blog. Read through “contact information”, “online resumes”, “about me” sections and all your other pages to make sure that the content as well as the grammar is correct.

Make sure to be on the lookout for any pages that may be appearing funny or not at all i.e., 404 pages. You’ll need to go through the navigation menu as well to check the content there, if you don’t have a navigation menu you need to get one.
Features and functions that you no longer use or have need for should be removed to reduce clutter and confusion for both yourself and your visitors. Also if you find that you’re having a hard time updating your blog and managing your content, you should consider looking into a good CMS program.

This will allow you to easily maintain and manage the content on your blog. Another big thing to look at is the copyright footer; make sure that it reflects the current year.

Changed Services and Identity

Whether you’re using your blog for personal use or for your business, you’ll have inevitably changed a few things that could be new branding materials or even new services. Unless you make those changes to your blog no one is going to know about them.
A changed service is generally content-based issue but also includes the growth of your business. If your business is introducing new products, you’ll want your blog to reflect that. Redesigning your site can easily make the new brand become more noticeable. Any form of rebranding should definitely yield a new website design.

Loss of Visitors

Having an out of date and visually unappealing blog can and most often at times correlate to the amount or rather lack of visitors that your site is generating.

This isn’t always the case but generally when you see a lack of visitors it tends to be one of two things, poor marketing or a badly designed site. If you have access to analyzing data which will show you the number of visitors to your site and see that you are getting visitors but they aren’t staying then you clearly have a high bounce rate.

High bounce rates occur when a visitor comes to your site and quickly leaves it. Lack of functionality, unappealing design and even a confusing setup can be the cause of all this. If you see that you’re getting high bounce rates, changing the design of your blog may be able to fix that.

Are there any faults with the design of your blog?

Check out your blog and see if it could do with a few modifications, if not a complete overhaul, you might be surprised at what you find out.

Are there any other “signs” that we might need to look out for? Please let us know in the comments below.

Rahat Bashar is a Graphic Designer who writes awesome articles that make you take action. Be sure to visit his Design Blog and say hello.

Did you enjoy this post? Get John Chow Dot Com updates via email...

Stay up to date with all of John Chow’s tips for making money online and blog posts by subscribing via email. Your email will be kept private and never shared with anyone.

{ 16 comments }

Dario Petkovic January 31, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Great tips. I’d add that seeing it is a blog and blogs main purpose is a good content – make it look like there is lot of content available and it is not ‘just another wordpress blog’. Make it look busy without being over crowded. Best is to look at some of the leading blogs, such is this one :)

Rahat Bashar February 1, 2013 at 12:20 am

Yep, without good content in the first place, people are less likely to visit your blog. It’s good to first get the content sorted before you go for a redesign of your blog.

RH January 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Thanks for the article, I agree that there are things you have to analyze every six months to make sure your website does not look outdated. I also think that the mobile aspects of your website have to be carefully fine tuned. I look at some blogs on my iphone and I don’t see their advertisers, which I am sure if views are increasing from mobile and the site is not optimized to show advertising spots that the site is not providing the true value promised.

I try not to tweak my overall look once I find something I like because I am afraid I can somethimes over tweak. Focusing on the look and changing looks for just one thing I don’t like.

Thanks for the tips

Hugh Kimura January 31, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Another thing to think about is if you don’t have a mobile version or your site isn’t responsive, it might be a good time to think about doing a redesign.

Rahat Bashar February 1, 2013 at 12:29 am

You’re absolutely right Hugh, these days a lot of people are using mobile devices to view articles online. It’d be a bad idea not to take advantage of it. Wordpress plugins such as “WPtouch” make it easier for bloggers to transform and make their blog suitable for mobile devices.

Sieubay February 1, 2013 at 2:09 am

i like post

Angela Lea February 1, 2013 at 3:13 am

Thanks for posting such a great article. We must be aware of such points in our early age of blogging because its the only ways we can just make these signs to ever come on.

Eric February 1, 2013 at 5:57 am

Those are some good and hard questions to really be searching within our designs.

Great information, and it would be nice to maybe have a follow up article talking about mobile web design.

faisal February 1, 2013 at 8:30 am

Its when you too get bored of your design.

Vaibhav February 1, 2013 at 9:44 am

Wow, a really nice and helpful article as i’ve recently started to blog. It will be helpful in the coming future.

Clark Famador February 1, 2013 at 10:21 am

Hi John,

You just keeping me amaze about your blog and article .

Thanks

AJ Lau February 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm

In terms of blog functionality and structure, I struggled with WordPress at first, but I’ve been using ThemeForest for some time and it’s worked out well. HOWEVER, you have to be very choosy in terms of the WordPress Themes is out there. Do they have support and how well built are they, reviews on the theme, etc.? I’ve found Jason Bobich to be one of the best in this realm. I’ve used the Aleyska Theme for both http://www.pghmannerchor.com and http://www.ultimatedefensivedriving.us. Both have worked out fantastically and have driven great organic search results.

Rahat Bashar February 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm

You’re right about choosing the right theme. I personally use http://www.themezilla.com. They have a “support” page where you can ask any question you want about your theme and they are guaranteed to answer it.

Ryan February 2, 2013 at 12:39 am

Nice piece Chow! Your experience in blogging speaks volumes of excellence.

PS: Please add the following code to the bottom of the style.css in your theme editor to remove the html tags at the bottom of this form:
————
.form-allowed-tags {
display: none;
}
————

shc February 15, 2013 at 3:07 am

correct!
that why i think my blog needs to redesign the theme!

Chandan Sanwal February 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Thanks Rahat for this great article on Redesign website.i think my blog also need a new design.