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Should You Redesign Your Blog?

Blog RedesignIn working with one of my consulting clients last week, I found myself asking her a number of questions with respect to the revamp she asked me to help her with.  Mostly, they were why rather than what or how questions.

Before undertaking any project, it makes sense to ask what is the result that is expected at the end of the project.  In other words, why does this project matter? Why should you do it? Why should it be a priority amongst all the other items vying for your attention, time and resources?

All pretty obvious, right?

Yet, I continue to come across “I want to redesign my blog” conversations all the time, and these conversations are not always associated with a change in direction, new targets, or even have goals in them.

I wrote about what are not good reasons for changing your theme.  Today I want to look at some evaluation criteria in helping you decide whether it’s time to bite the bullet, and embark on a redesign adventure.

Your Site Doesn’t Work In All Major Browsers

The January 2013 statistics for browsers  (courtesy of W3Schools) shows that Internet Explorer (14%), Firefox (30%) and Chrome (48%) are the most popular choices.  You therefore must make sure that your blog behaves as you expect it to on each of those browsers.

Yes, it does mean that you will need to install those browsers on your computer, and test your site.  Alternatively, you can go to this site to test out different options, or, if you’re on Windows, use spoon.net.

You Have No Engagement Mechanism

In this day where traffic votes with likes and follows, it’s imperative that your blog has some way for your visitor to interact with your content.  A discussion mechanism via comments is a great way of promoting engagement.

And of course, it goes without saying, please make it easy for a visitor to share your content.  Rather than just slapping a sharing plugin on your blog, test it and make sure it works properly.

Your On-Page SEO Is Non-Existent

In plain English, if your content is, ahem, rubbish, spammy, out of date or otherwise unsuitable, it’s a great time to rethink a re-design and restructure.

It’s also possible that your individual articles are of high quality, informative, unique and engaging, but that your navigation, category structure and tagging is not quite what you’d like.  Have a look at this post on SEO for some guidance on this.

One last thing before you start a re-design project: write down the metrics that you will look at, and what a successful re-design would mean for you –  that is, beyond finishing the redesign project and fixing the holes.

Are you expecting more traffic? More engagement per post? A better grade?

Make sure you make a note of where you stand on the three considerations above, as well as the outcomes you expect.

Remember, activities and general busy-ness don’t mean squat.  Output does.

With that in mind, do you think you will be embarking on a re-design in the near future?

 

 

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