How to Approach a Blog Redesign

How to Approach a Blog Redesign

Bored of your blog design? It’s understandable. There are so many new developments when it comes to functionality and it’s important to make sure your interface doesn’t get stale. A redesign is a great way to freshen things up and make sure your mission statement is being communicated visually.

It can also be overwhelming, with so many templates, interfaces, and different routes to go down. Here are six key points to consider if you’re planning on making the change.

1. Establish your reasons
The most important thing is to really consider why you want to do a redesign. You may start off just wanting to tweak a few things or move to a different platform, but it’s so useful to think more deeply about your reasons for an overhaul. Do you want to take your blog in a different direction or just make things more cohesive? Here are examples of questions that will help you think in a broader sense:

  • What is the aim of your blog?
  • What do you want to communicate?
  • Describe your blog in three words.
  • How do you see your blog compared to its competitors?
  • What are your goals over the next 12 months?

2. Research
This is probably the most exciting part of the process. Gather anything you find inspiring, whether it’s colours, fonts, exhibition leaflets, or even vintage labels. You never know when they may come in handy and don’t be afraid to steer away from blogs. Make a note of any website that keeps your attention and the features that allow you to navigate it easily. It’s a good idea to keep everything on a secret Pinterest board, since it’s flexible and allows you to spot any recurring themes easily.

3. Prioritise
The costs of a redesign can vary depending on what you want your end result to be. Is a new brand identity or improved functionality more important? If you’re tempted to do everything yourself, then the book ‘How To Style Your Brand’ is a great starting point. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be explaining how to work with a separate graphic designer and web developer. Outsourcing gives you a bit of distance from the process and allows you to focus on the tasks that you’re best at.

4. Set a budget
Rates will vary depending on experience, so expect to spend anything from £300 for an up and coming designer to thousands for a big studio. When it comes to web development, you can either buy an inexpensive template (Pipdig, Kotryna Bass and Pinkpot have options for less than £50) or invest a full custom design, which you will own the rights to. Work out what budget you’re comfortable with and allow for a bit of contingency, just in case you need any other assets. If your funds are limited then look at Artsthread for graduate work or scour Behance to find the next big thing. Ask for an itemised quote and see if any elements can be removed.

5. Manage expectations
The most important thing is to establish a timeline with any contractors so that you know what will be delivered and when. A graphic designer may just create the brand identity or be able to give you a full web mockup. Follow their process and be honest with any feedback. You don’t want to ignore any doubts and end up paying for a design you’re not happy with. Make a note of how many revisions are included and when you may need to supply certain information like hosting details. It’s important to be timely with feedback but also expect things to take longer. There’s only so much planning you can do and some things may become apparent later in the process.

6. The final touches
Planning to launch in time for summer? Be prepared for a delay. You’ll need some time to test the design in all formats and get used to how everything works. Make sure you ask your developer how to update certain elements (such as sidebar widgets) and get any major tweaks sorted before the contract ends. Anything after this point will usually incur additional fees. Once your new blog is ready, shout it from the rooftops!  Come up with a social plan to attract people to the site and prepare a post about what the new identity means. It’s important to drum up a bit of buzz and get people excited.

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