5 Things to Know Before Redesigning Your Blog
Calling all bloggers – do you want to redesign your blog? After a year of seriously blogging, I set out to redesign my blog. As you can see, now it looks great. But it was a serious undertaking, even though I wasn’t the one who redesigned it.
Here’s five things to know before redesigning your blog.
1. Talk to a lot of designers before committing.
Web designers are like husbands. Contact a lot of them before you put a ring on one. I fell in love with the first web designer I met. Looking back, while I still think she is supremely talented, I really should have looked around more. Supremely talented people are expensive. Very expensive. I paid a LOT more than I set out to, simply because I fell in love with the first design/vision that was presented to me. By shopping around, you can see multiple visions for your blog, AND there will be a cheaper one. Hey, we’re bloggers, not businesses that are going to make back the money in a hot minute. Meet with someone that understands that. You can always go back to the first person you met if you don’t find another one you love.
2. Have a timeline.
Talk about a due date or date you’d like to see your project finished. In total, my project took several months longer than I thought it would, about six in total.
3. Be aware that your Google Analytics may get deleted.
My Google Analytics got deleted and I didn’t notice it for a month (who obsessively checks GA? Not me!). That really sucks. Make sure when your site is being developed that your developer knows they need to maintain your Google Analytics Tracking Code.
4. Make sure your design team plans space for ads and blogger badges.
Bloggers make money through ads. I went more than a week with no ad space. This means I went more than a week with no money from my blog. No matter how small the cash is, it sucks when you miss out on making money, simply because there’s design space for your ads. I also had to manually add in my blogger badges, which took a lot of time and maneuvering around WordPress. The entire Widget function was disabled on my blog, and emails back and forth took a lot of time. I never met my web developer in person, so my frantic emails may have seemed a bit crazy. Let’s be honest, our blogs are our babies. When they have a deformity, we’re seriously concerned (ha!). Unfortunately, despite this being something I decided on with my web designer, my web developer charged me extra for it. Transparency is KEY.
5. This is your blog. Have a voice.
I never met my web developer in person. I truly wish I had, but only maintained a relationship with the web designer who handled everything. I’m not sure if the web developer thought I was a crazy for emailing him at all times of day, frantically asking about blog errors (sorry, dude). It would have been nice to be able to talk through these situations on a phone call, but I was never given that opportunity. When you pick a web designer, make sure you can talk to your developer if you need to. This is your blog. You should have say over what happens on it. If your final invoice ends up being more than the initial estimate, reach out. This happened to me, and I did get it lowered, but I still paid more than the estimate. Of course, these are just estimates. Unless you sign a contract, the designer and developer can charge you as much as they want to. Which brings me back to #1 again – talk to lots of designers before you dive into this project.
I’m definitely happy I redesigned my blog. But to say it didn’t give me extreme anxiety and stress would be a lie. Communication is immensely important, so as long as you survey the field, and then chat up the key player – you’ll have great blog design. Good luck!