Is it Time to Redesign Your Blog?

What is the current state of your blog’s design? Is it looking a bit old? Is your template full of junk you’ve added over the months? No matter how good a design is, it will age over time and possibly become stuffed full of cool widgets you found. That’s when redesigning comes in, whether it’s a drastic revamp or a simple clean-up of your existing design.

It might be time for a redesign if:

  1. It’s been a long time since your last redesign. People get bored if you have the same look too long, and as your blog evolves your design should too. You make small (and often necessary) tweaks to your template over time, but they make matters worse. As you add new widgets, reposition your RSS icons, and optimize your AdSense blocks, your design’s overall look changes and eventually starts to degrade. As you bolt-on new features, the patchwork theme loses its structure. Don’t go too long without a redesign, but don’t go and put-out a new layout only three months after a prior redesign! Want an example? Here’s what ProBlogger.net looked like before its redesign this summer, and here it is back in 2005. Then head over to ProBlogger and see what it looks like after the recent redesign.
  2. You decide to branch-out and be more than a blog. If you decide to add a forum, a podcast, and other features, then you may want a less “blog-like” look.
  3. Technology progresses. As more and more people adopt new technology (e.g. higher screen resolutions, newer browsers) you can take advantage of the new technologies, and drop support for older ones that few people use.
  4. Everyone’s complaining about your rotten design. If your readers don’t like your design, then it’s probably a good idea to change it.
  5. You want to do something that your current template prohibits. Need more room in your sidebar or content are? Are you rethinking your ad placement, but you can’t quite fit that ad unit into the spot after your post titles? If you create a whole new design, you can finally implement all those changes you’ve been wanting to make, but couldn’t.