Over at Digital Photography School this week we launched a complete overhaul of our site design. It was a massive job that took over 6 months of planning and implementation to pull off – but we finally got there without too many hiccups.
We’ll post about the process and some of the features we’ve implemented in the coming weeks but I thought it might be an interesting discussion question to ask readers how often they’ve done redesigns on their blogs?
dPS started in over 7 years ago and in that time we’ve had 3 redesigns – so are averaging every 2nd year for a complete overhaul. Of course in between designs there have always been tweaks and evolutions – but because the site is so big now and not only had a blog but forums, many sales pages and numerous social media accounts to update each time we redesign it’s not a quick process to do an overhaul.
How often do you redesign your blog? Is it an annual event or are you doing it less frequency or perhaps constantly evolving it?
I’m relatively new at having my own blog but I’ve found that I do something different to it every few days! I’m sure this will change once I get into the flow of things. Until then I’ll just call it my ever changing blog.
haha :D I agree totally with u!!!
I kept changing themes nd background every few days :D Every few days one color :p Past one week only, I didn’t meddle with the design,let’s see what happens in a few days :)
I checked out the redesigned DPS last night and I love what you’ve done with it. The old one looked a little dull (sorry!) but the redesign has certainly brightened things up and is much more functional.
To answer the question, I tend to redesign when I find that most of my sites have expanded so much that the current design can’t cope with additional menus, page layouts, content etc. I also like to incorporate new features. As these two elements coincide with each other, I’d say I make minimal adjustments every 3-6 months with an entire overhaul around 12-18 months, depending if my sites need it or not.
I hope this helps anyone thinking about deciding their blog soon.
I redesign about every two years or so to try and keep current with the latest design trends.
I think every two or three years make sense. Styles change. I would guess most people have to work on ignoring their urge to redesign their blog every few months.
We used to make major changes every six months. It was insane! then we switched back to a change every year or so, much healthier rate I guess.
The more a blog ages the more the content increases and hence the need of redesigning. I believe an annual redesign will be fine.
I think blog and website re-design is essential every few years to adapt to changing trends. Making a site mobile friendly is one of the most essential reasons for a re-design at present given the growing trend of mobile searches.
I change or redesign my blog look whenever I feel I need to do it. Or when I find something that I think will make my blog look better or looks more…ME.
If the present design is good and take less time to load then i cannot change that design.If readers are suggest any changes which are take my blog level up then only i change my blog design.
Like some of the other comments here, I don’t really have an answer for frequency of blog redesign simply because, well, I’m fairly new to blogging. Though I’m no stranger to writing content online for our venues and forums, I haven’t actually had my own blog for long enough to give any kind of intelligible answer to how often blogs should be redesigned. Logically, to me, any type of redesign should probably only follow the identification of a true need for it. It doesn’t really make sense to make an investment in blog redesign—and, I imagine that Digital Photography School may have had at least some price tag associated with it–if you can’t really justify the expense.
If there were serious deficiencies behind the placement of key elements of my blog, along with issues with elements like monetization, then I’d definitely consider it. I do feel like doing something that could be a fairly drastic action should only be reserved for concrete identified benefits, rather than just because of something like “I just want a new blog design….”….
Thanks for posting this Darren. My website is in desperate need of an overhaul.
I’ve always been tentative about any big changes thinking that the overhaul look and feel should remain relatively similar. Now it seems that it happens a lot more frequently than I realised. I haven’t done a major overhaul (only tweaks here and there) in the two years I’ve had my site, but I can see it is ready for a major one now. Looking forward to following how you chose to use different new features!
I do a complete overhaul every couple of years, and I am always making minor tweaks too. Because I run a few sites it seems as though I’m always making some change or other!
I redesign my blog whenever I feel bored of its look. Till date I redesigned it atleast 5 times and this time I’m planning to go with Flat UI.
I went through a phase where I made radical design changes to my site 3 times in as many months. I was new to coding, and each change was a great improvement in looks and function over the last. Overall, I’d say my 4 year old blog has been redesigned about a dozen times. I’m very happy with it now though, having recently switched from Thesis to Genesis.
dPS looks great…I’m a photographer and frequent the site. Now you just need to overhaul the forums to match the site!
I had subscribed to DPS but never visited the site after the first experience. It was horrible! And, you wrote photography tips! It was like visiting a blog with a crap design that ironically talks about designing.
The current design is very appealing! I am not a designer, by the way.
Note: The image slider isn’t working for me though I refreshed my page many times. I can view just the headlocked image of a boy and a girl laughing.
I think for a start, young blogger may redesign their blogs almost every week. For me I redesign my blog whenever I get tired of the old design.
I don’t know what your niche is, but would changing things around too often too much be confusing to your readers? And what about your brand? Would it make your brand image inconsistent?
Having gotten back into blogging within the past fortnight, I’ve been tinkering day in and day out. It’s very difficult to settle on a design, especially if you’re not skilled enough to tweak existing templates.
I think for more commercial blogs or those that maintain a large following / membership, it’s best to limit changes in order to build a brand etc.
I really like the new DPS design. I think with a visual topic like photography, finding a balance between text and imagery is tough and you handled it well.
It’s a true refresh in the sense that it looks more “modern” now.
I just did a refresh of my own blog design so I know what you go through. I think this is my fifth redesign in eight years, so pretty close to your rate of change Darren.
I’ll only redesign my blog when it’s absolutely essential – as I’m not too hot on the techie side of things, redesigning it is fraught with danger!
We have done two total redesigns since the first custom site went up in Spring 2011. We’re always trying to provide timely content more simply while enhancing user interaction. It’s still not as simple as I would like but our latest design is new this year. We’ll need new inspiration before tweaking again. At least I think we finally have the right foundation (premium WP platform) so won’t have to start from scratch again. The first WP premium theme caused more trouble than it was worth. So far we’re ahead this time.
I usually do it once or twice a year. The sites I have are mostly personal projects and hence I do not waste that much time on them. Lately though I’ve started building sites using the WP platform and saw that it is rather easy to change the appearance.
Nice to see the changes in DPS. Site is loading fast, and best part i liked about the Typography.
I am also planing for Redesigning by blog. Actally I always try to celebrate my blog’s birth day with a new design :)
Very much eager to see your next post in this topic.
I don’t have certain period to do an overhaul, I have several blogs but for my most active one I do it about twice every year. I always want to do a redesign but I know that will slow down my blogging, because I will do that myself I love to code to sometimes :)
At about 8 months running and considering the first major redesign… I’m scurred!
I redesigned a couple of times the first six-nine months I kept the blog, but then I chose the basic 2012 default theme and have stuck with it since. At some point I might upgrade to a paid theme, but only when traffic increases to a level that lends to advertising, too.
For me it’s subtle changes in content that is more common. I am creative, a songwriter, a poet, a novelist, and I like to experiment. I also constantly work to find the niche that will bring more traffic. It’s a balancing act. It’s fun. I don’t try too hard.
I started with my newest site in January and I’m already taking notes for a redesign. As you use the site and as you see how your readers utilize the site, you get a better idea of what is working and what needs to go.
I think it is natural to change the design a bit every now and then.
I finally found a design that I like every time I look at it. It took a few years though :-)
Check it out,
I used to constantly be switching themes and adding and removing widgets.. changing the home page layout.. etc. But lately I’ve started investing that times towards networking with fellow bloggers and writing and pitching guest posts. Because design isn’t my specialty, I like to leave it simple and clean and just focus on the writing… correct me if I’m wrong!
New dps theme? I can only comment that this theme is very cool, makes it easy for customers to read all the posts and buy a book or camera.
In the past, I’ve given in to redesigning whenever inspiration strikes — when I see a new font I want to implement, or a theme that gets me fired up, want to update my image/brand, or even just when I get bored with what I have. But I’ve slowly come to realize that it’s almost been like a crutch for me, and a stall tactic when I’m not sure what I want to say on or do with my blog next.
PS: The new DPS looks great!
About every two years for me. Just did a major one to be mobile responsive and switched to Genesis.
I launched my website and blog in late July this year, and I just redesigned the blog last week, as I realised the content area may be too wide and I narrowed it, and made the right side column area wider to fit two columns. Now I’m pretty happy.
I won’t redesign it too often because I need to keep it relatively consistent, and at the same time, I’m open to learn about good designs.
Awesome and interesting article thanks alot for sharing keep it up :)
It’s my assumption that readers want consistency but change is good from time to time. Now that I have a number of blog posts it’s too complicated to have big changes that I would have the time to do my self. I’d have to look for outside help. Not sure if it’s worth the hassle at this point.
I think it’s about once a year I do this. Since I’m the web designer too, it doesn’t cost me anything. I just spend some time tweaking and re-doing stuff, which helps me stay fresh, from a creativity stand-point, and also helps my readers see new improved looks from time to time.
Redesigning blog is even more important than redesigning your house. Redesigning always brings more visitors to the site and the old visitors also get something new apart from the old boring design.Thanks for sharing such great points and advice.
This totally cracked me up! I think I’ve had a customer that thought like each of these at one point over the years. I’ve considered creating a pillow headband. We’ve evolved to focusing on helping clients with Google Analytics implementation…. so the data speaks the truth and helps define what needs to be fixed. But as marketers know, most people prefer to spend money on what they WANT before what they NEED. Great post,
When I first started blogging over a year ago I redesigned my blog every week.Because I couldnt decide what fit.I would change everytime there was a new holiday to make it more festive.Then when I went through a lot of changes in my life I did a complete overhaul and changed the name and the design and its stayed the same ever since
My 6-month-old blog has gone through 2 major redesigns and countless tweaks. Honestly, I can’t say I’m satisfied with the look yet but it’s getting there.
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I initially applied a very crude free template on my blog and then bought a premium template that is giving great results. Now I fully believe if someone wants to do money blogging he must invest a few bucks to make a design and buy a few premium plugins otherwise he will simply be gambling with freebies
At first I often build a blog to change in order to reach tat design layout and also balance in my blog. It is important to make the visitor comfortable on my blog because sometimes the power of article just is not able to hold them in a long time.
My oldest website is 6 years old and I have redesigned it only once. Redesigning a website takes long time. A redesign every 2-3 years is OK, but redesigning a website frequently would defienetely be a tiring job.
Once a year, always right after summer break ;)
I would say that you should always consider the opportunity cost before redesigning your blog. Just because you’re bored of your blog design, I wouldn’t say that this calls for a complete redesign, as obviously you spend a lot of your time on your blog compared to your visitors so you are likely to get bored earlier! You could be wasting your precious resources, you may be better off spending time and money elsewhere.
I try to keep designs active for at least a year or more. I think changing the design once a year is a good thing though. Most recently, I launch surveys asking my readers about how they feel about the design and what colors they would like to see. That allows me to get more personal with the way the blog looks for them. To increase survey participants, I usually have a random name drawing at the end and the winner gets a free eBook or cash or something like that.
Constantly evolving with small changes that get readers used to them, and larger changes performed twice a year.
I do not have a specific timetable for redesigning my blog, I had fear because once when I redesigned my blog makes my blog visitors dropped dramatically. Is the blog redesign affects the number of visitors??
As a beauty blogger is very difficult not to design your blog every 5 minutes. There is always someone that has a better design than you with great photos. I’ve been blogging since 2009 and I’ve changed my design and logo at least 6 or 7 times much to my husband’s dismay. I’ve had my current design since January so I may go an entire year with this one!
No, there is not any specific time for redesign our site. But recently we have planned to redesign our website. Even we have started to implement it. Hope we could complete it within 2 months.