Have you ever wondered what’s in a blog facelift? Or if you need one?
Why even think about updating your blog when it’s functioning just fine, right?
- It’s to complicated
- Takes to much time
- How do I do it
Well there are a few reasons for a blog facelift. First consider how long have you had the same blog theme? This matters because years pass and technology changes.
So do website designs and what they offer. Yes. Depending on your website theme it can have limited features. If you own your website (which I highly recommend) and host it through a trustworthy hosting company, their support team can add features for you.
Alright, Let’s discuss this more with an example and share some website, facelift tips.
Now this website has been the same for years (I’m guessing). I believe this because it’s unorganized, cluttered, and screams “old school ” in website themes. There are other factors too.
The author wants every viewer to know what they know – because all their interests are listed on the menu. Now I know we all want to share what we know, yes? But what is the VIEWER interested in and seeking to know?
Years ago there wasn’t a focus on viewers and what interests they had on the internet or how to attract them. Simply because the internet was new and figuring out how, what , and where – the direction of information was going.
Today as I write this, there is MAJOR focus on the core of website design which is the USER – you and me. When you and I, go on a tour of websites for any particular reason (usually seeking something specific) we are immediately hit with visuals that we like or dislike in a nano second.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]First impressions count! Not only in physically meeting someone for the first time but on websites as well.[/tweet_box]
My First Impression of This Website: Needs Help
First, let’s start with the header:
The website header is an introduction to your online “real Estate” . Yes, it’s considered real estate because it’s your home online. And like all physical homes and businesses, you want to attract people to look at what you have to offer or selling, right? Because the internet is a visual experience, you want to design a website header that is clean, with a clear message of what the website is about, with properly adjusted, professional images.
- No clear message to viewers
- Blurred and tiny images ( Never copy and paste images from Google or from other search sites) Go to pexels.com for free images for example.
- Cluttered header, visually busy background
- Sloppy header layout
The bar that runs across the top of this website is the Menu. It’s PACKED with all the topics / categories the author writes about. It’s great he’s knowledgeable about many topics. But it’s visually confusing to the viewer . Any thing that is visually confusing to a viewer will instantly click off the website. The core principle of website design is for the user (the visitor) not the author of the website.
Categories are simply a way of organizing content that is similar to a specific topic. I like to use the word Topics because I think it’s easier to understand. So topics and categories are are the same thing.
I recommend for this website to create topics in a dropdown menu as shown above. This makes the menu more organized, less visually confusing, and a cleaner navigation. Many times there can be similar posts that relate to one topic. So it’s good practice to review posts and collect them into one topic.
- Clean up the menu
- Use a dropdown menu to organize content and create more space to list Contact, Privacy Statement, etc.
As you scroll down this website, there are sidebars on the left and right side. First thing to be aware of is something called – sidebar blindness.
On the right side of the website there’s a list of archived articles dating back to 2010. It’s a long list and eats up the space on the side. Better to have a dropdown archive widget to display the articles. My question would be – who’s going to peruse such a long list to see what the articles are about – it’s time consuming. This is all about the user experience and whose attention span is that of a goldfish
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]
I also think it’s a good idea to go through old archived articles and update them! It’s instant content and publish it as a current post.[/tweet_box]
I recommend using side bars on the homepage if you have a theme that offers that feature. They are good for Ads, promoting a product. But keeping it simple is best. On blog posts there should be no sidebars because content is what you want your viewers to read and pay attention to.
If your theme offers customized sidebars, you can use them to create a course and using the plugin – Learn Press.!
- Use the article archive widget on WordPress to consolidate posts and creat more room on the sidebar. This also cleans-up a cluttered website
- Avoid similar widgets: Blogroll shows current posts and WordPres’s Recent Posts are pretty much the same.
Content:[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Content is the most important aspect of having a website/blog.[/tweet_ ox]
When viewers do a search online, they are looking to answer a question, solve a problem, or want to buy something. Content presentation should be easy to read, easy to find, and offer solutions.
Viewers want to know who they buy from, what the website’s mission is, and is it a website they’ll invest their time in revisiting. The more you feed your users with valuable content they can use, the more interested in the website and will come back.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Again, it’s worth repeating -website content is for the user not the author.[/tweet_box]
- Increase the amount of space for content
- Enlarge the text size to make it easer to read
- Remove a sidebar, have just one
- If you can, remove sidebars on posts so content is the only thing viewers see
When it comes to updating a website there’s lots to consider. The kind of theme you choose will in some ways dictate what changes you can make. So investigate the theme’s features and go from there.