How To Change Your Blog’s Design Without Alienating Your Visitors

As your site grows older, you have learned a lot of things (at least I hope you have.) In that time you should have played with ideas on what you would like to change in order to improve your website. However, I am sure that you probably think that if you change certain parts of your website, that you might alienate your visitors.

PSST— In a lot of cases, you probably will not alienate your blog visitors unless your site is hard to navigate, your content starts to suck, or your whole brand changes (the design of your site, logo, and even yourself.)

Ease your visitors into the idea of the change.

1. Let them know of your upcoming plans to change your site. You can make this sound like something exciting for your visitors to keep checking the site. You can let them know with a blog post, or perhaps a tweet, through your site’s newsletter, or maybe a message on your Fan page or a message on any other social network you have.

2. As the time comes to unveil the new design, inform your guests of the changes. Involve them with the change by asking them to contribute their opinion or to tell you if they catch any minor design issues.

3. Unveil the site and again, ask for feedback and even ask your visitors to spread the word, especially if they like the new site design.

4. Try to make the re-brand of your new site’s design consistent with your social network handles, like your Twitter background, Youtube channel, or Facebook page.

Now, the above are suggestions that can be used for total blog and website revamps or partial changes. Including your visitors in on the process allows them to feel like they have helped and that you really do like to listen to their feedback.

Comments

  1. Theresa Torres says

    Hi Nile,
    Great suggestions! This is what I've seen other bloggers do. They announce if they are planning some changes to their website's design or even when they're planning to move to a new host. I agree that it's important to inform our readers, followers or visitors about these changes to make the transition easier and exciting.
    Feedback is also important. It would help us to know if the changes are for the better and if they are working properly.
    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day!
    My recent post Establishing Business Credit: 5 Tips

  2. Danny says

    This is a very informative post and deserves a thumbs up! You are truly right that some may feel that changing their website will alienate their visitors. I recently changed the theme on my blog and I notice that I'm actually getting a better conversion rate since the change. Thanks for sharing this…

  3. says

    Totally agree, changing to fast can sometimes make people believe they have gone to the wrong site. We did this and suffered for it. So yes, ease them into it and ask for feedback, you may find regular visitors don`t want any changes.
    My recent post undefined

  4. says

    Well, I did not have many visitors so I just re-designed my website over a day, and instead of loosing visitors I actually got more. So re-designing helps if it is in the good direction.

  5. says

    I was a victim of this. I changed the design of my blog and lost a lot of traffic from it. This article gave me some great information.thanks

  6. says

    It's interesting what you say. I recently went through a redesign and did exactly that … notified my users of the pending changes.

    The feedback I got and the responses both before and after were great. The readers appreciated it so much!

  7. Jenson Watts says

    Letting your visitors know of your upcoming website changes can also be exciting if you include some teasers. Just like what TV channels do. I don't mind if the theme would change as long as it won't be hard to navigate or the designs won't hurt my eyes,hehe, and that the niche would not change – the reason why i'm hooked on my favorite sites.
    My recent post The Secret Formula for Succesful Dating (Men)

  8. says

    Hi Nile,
    Great post. Sometimes we forget just how comfortable we have made people and then just how uncomfortable we are making them. These are good ideas to soothe even the most panicked follower. The last major change we made, we warned early and then told them it was an experiment and they were involved. It did work for most, but we had a few unhappy. Thanks so much for sharing.
    My recent post How To Get Out Of Debt – Carnival of Personal Finance

  9. says

    LOL… I would hope that when unveiling a new site design that you've worked very hard on, that it wouldn't freak out your regular readers! That sounds like a nightmare. I guess I've actually seen this happen in real-time on a certain blog that shall remain unnamed…..

  10. says

    You are so dead on this. When you inform your visitors of what is going on with your business or blog and ask them for their advice, the will be more appreciative of the change.

  11. says

    I typically don't unveil the changes because I often do it on a whim and just do it. I try to make it transparent to people instead of pointing it out. But letting your readers know and getting feedback is probably a better way to go!! Especially of it will be down for a while.
    My recent post Happy Friday! Chicago Bike Ride

  12. Jason says

    This is a very informative post and deserves a thumbs up! You are truly right that some may feel that changing their website will alienate their visitors. I recently changed the theme on my blog and I notice that I'm actually getting a better conversion rate since the change. Thanks for sharing this…
    My recent post firestone oil change coupon

  13. says

    Letting everyone know about your plans on your website is also another form of respect to your readers. :) In that way, they will be guided thoroughly if there will be changes that will happen. :)

  14. Stephan Hilson says

    It is true that blog design is essential as a website grows older. When I changed my design, I make sure that the design is not too different from the former design. It is nice idea to make the blog visitors feel at ease with the recent changes of the blog. Maybe I should apply your interesting tips as soon as possible.

    My recent post Forfaits mobiles

  15. says

    I am completely agreed with you. Engaging the visitors for sharing design Ideas may encourage them to come back to the blog. I have a computer support related site. And I am planning to change its design. I will keep these ideas in mind.This is a very useful topic you have discussed. Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a great time..

  16. says

    love your humor, nice intro.lolz! Anyways thanks for the information about the feedbacks from your readers, i never really thought that feedbacks can really help you layout or design your site much better. I guess that's gonna be my 1st post is abll about after i change my new layout,,Thanks
    My recent post Thanks For Visiting!

  17. says

    Yes, I guess being creative would mean a lot in helping them get excited in looking forward to something new to your site.. thanks for the post!

  18. says

    hi nile
    allthought need a big effort in publishing plans of making change in blog but it worth a lot. this is becaming refference to me if i am having plans to make big change in my pc- mediaboc.com. thanks for sharing..

  19. says

    I think that Sanjay is right. Sneak peek is a really good idea. However, personally, I'd never go with some dramatic changes. I'm all for improvements and touch ups as long as they freshen up the site. I don't thin that changing it so that it doesn't even resemble the previous version is a good thing. If you are about to do it, I suggest doing it in several steps.
    My recent post Cómo Hacer Un Ensayo De Causa-Efecto

  20. says

    I think that prior to a change in web site design, it could conduct a survey with possible changes they would like to users, and even having made the decision to implement change, it could leave the user’s choice to stay with the old design.
    Raul Rojas recently posted..┬┐Que es un ensayo?My Profile

  21. says

    Conducting a survey sounds like a good idea to me too after all the users will also be affected by the change. Users get drawn to a blog for many reasons, while some search only for contents some take into account the design of the blog itself so keeping in mind the interests of the readers is a good advise.

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