You probably liked your website design when you first started. The colors, the layout, the images – everything fit together perfectly and beautifully. However, you know it’s starting to look dated and need to update the design to have a modern feel.
Just like everything else, you may need to update it. Just like you might change the same wall color in your dining room, or move your furniture around or you might have acquired a new certificate for a new skill for healing others, use of Feng Shui, etc. It needs to be updated to reflect the times. Plus, it’s fun to refresh our websites!
I’m here to tell you that with a little planning, you can easily (and even inexpensively) redesign your entire site – and you can even do it yourself.
Although it may seem like taking on a website makeover can be an overwhelming task, you may need to consider things such as:
- Your logo – will you have it redesigned or keep it?
- Your colors – will you be making a dramatic change?
- Your layout – will readers know where to find important information if you move it?
- Categories and tags – will you need new ones? What will that do for your SEO?
What’s the Plan?
The first thing you should do before you begin your blog website makeover is to sit down and plan things out. Take some time to think about the ‘why’ behind the makeover. Once you’re clear on why you want to make a change, it will be much easier to plan. While you’re still in the planning stage, consider the following:
SEO – You probably already had SEO in place on the old design of your site but now is the chance to reevaluate and step things up a notch. Or, if you hadn’t done any optimization with before, this is the perfect opportunity to start and do it right.
Research Keywords and Phrases – You’ll need to spend some time researching keywords and phrases to find ones that will be a good fit for your target audience and the purpose of your website. Use Google to start researching keywords, long or short tail keywords. Keep a list of words, keywords in a spreadsheet just for this website blog.
Layout – Think about how you want your site to look. Get a piece of paper and a pen and literally ‘map’ out how you want things to look. Draw and make notes of what you want to be above the fold and below the fold. How many sidebars do you want? Left or right sidebars or both?
Opt-in – Don’t forget to think about your opt-in box and where you’re going to put this. Are you going to create a landing page for it, put it on the sidebar of every page, or both? A good rule of thumb for an opt-in box is on the main page of your site whether it’s above the fold or in the right-hand sidebar.
Do Your Research – Take some time to look at several other websites or blogs. Take some notes of the things you like, as well as the things you don’t like. Here’s a little tip, if you notice something you like but aren’t sure what it is or how they did it, you can view the page source. More than likely with a little sleuthing on your part, you will find the information need. Once you have a list of things you like, try to incorporate them into your website makeover.
Color – Think about the color scheme for the makeover. One thing to keep in mind is you may want to stay away from dark backgrounds (like black) with light font colors (such as white). It’s a bit hard to look at and won’t work for most audiences. The exception to this is if your market is in the music or gaming industries. For most other markets, your best bet is to go with white background and black or dark gray text. Then pull colors into your site in the header, sidebar, headings, and graphics.
If you take the time to plan first, your website makeover will go smoother and it will be easier to stick to the goals of the site and what you want the makeover to accomplish.