Your blog theme can quickly help people learn to find what they’re looking for. But every now and then, I get an itch to make a change.
When’s the last time you changed your blog theme?
I purchased my current design in April 2014, so it was probably about that time that I switched to it. (I don’t think it required a great deal of prep work behind the scenes before I could make the switch.)
What I initially liked about the design was that it was color-coded. That can make a big difference to readers when you do a multi-topic blog like mine: color serves as an additional cue to help people find the topics they’re interested in and avoid topics they may not be.
At some point into this theme’s life, the developer released an all-new version. It kept most things the same.
It removed the color coding.
For the life of me, I don’t know why they’d take that option away. It wasn’t like bloggers were required to color-code everything. It was a nice option to have while it lasted. It still bugs me that they would remove the option, without any explanation.
Overall, I still like my current theme a lot. Even without the color coding. But there are times I wish it was a little different. (And was still color-coded.)
There’s a danger in changing your blog theme too often.
Every time you introduce a new theme, there’s an adjustment period. But that adjustment isn’t just for you: it’s also an adjustment for your readers: they have to figure out where everything moved. The flow, invariably, will be different in some ways, and the improvement you feel you just made might be exactly what turns your reader off.
Even if you get people to “test drive” your new blog layout (assuming that’s even an option), there’ll be someone who’ll be turned off by what’s new no matter how much your test audience might have raved over it.
There’s always the custom blog design option, which requires finding a designer to whip up something amazing instead of buying a template that other websites will also be using. The problem I have is probably the problem most bloggers have: I don’t happen to have an extra $1,500 sitting around to pay someone to create some custom theme that no one else will have. (And frankly, if I did, I’d have to get a design that really did something amazing for that kind of money.)
When it comes to shopping for an alternate theme, the problem is a simple one: I can’t find one that does everything I want it to do and that I like better than what I have.
I guess that’s a pretty good sign that I should stick with what I have, even when it feels like a change might not be the worst thing I could do.
So for now, we’ll stick with the status quo…until I find something that knocks my socks off.
What do you wish your blog design would do that it currently doesn’t do? How often do you contemplate changing your blog’s look?
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.