July 7, 2018

Is it time to refresh your blog?


About once a year, I go over all the premade Blogger templates that I sell in my Etsy shop to 'refresh' them. I decide if I want to continue selling a particular template and if it stays in the shop I make small alterations to the template to keep it up to date. Digital and electronic products change so fast these days, and while we mostly think of our smart phones, tablets and TVs, it is a good idea to check every now and then if our blogs and websites are still meeting our needs and today's requirements.

The fact that things change became pretty obvious a couple of months ago when I got quite a few emails from people that bought a template from me (or from other designers) several years ago and now bumped into a problem. Back then I was using completely different templates than I do now and in that time it was very common for designers to use third party hosting platforms to store template images on. So for example: if I wanted to use social icons in the sidebar I made the icon images and then stored it on Photobucket. The platform created a link for each icon image that I could then incorporate in my template. That way, every time a client installed that template, that icon image would appear automatically. Pretty clever, right? 

Well, times change. Photobucket was a always a free service, but recently they decided that people should pay for that storage & linking service. What that meant was that all designers that ever used that method got an email from Photobucket to sign up for the paid service. If they did not sign up, Photobucket did no longer display their images. Instead they put their logo in place. You can imagine that quite a few bloggers all of a sudden got Photobucket logos all over their blog. Not a pretty sight. 

I have of course helped out the clients that bought their template from me back then, but it just goes to show that nothing will ever stay the same. Therefore it is a good thing to evaluate from time to time if your blog/website is still performing in a way that it meets your needs.

And I have to do the same with the templates I sell. I evaluate whether they meet (most) of my clients requirements. Of course it is impossible to please everyone, but when I get multiple requests for something that is an indication that maybe my templates need an adjustment. An example of this is the drop down menu bar. My first ever templates did not have this kind of menu bar. But over time it was hard to deny the request from clients. They needed drop down menus to make their blogs look more organized and professional. So I incorporated drop down menus in the template design.

This time I adjusted small things to each template, most of them were styling adjustments like a better display of the 'related post' feature for example. I also made adjustments to the instruction website. This website helps my clients to set up their blogs and learns them how to work with their blog and Blogger in general. I added two extra sections to the website to accommodate the clients that want to know more about certain subjects.

I recently got a lot of requests from clients to show them how they could make an even more professional & personalized drop down menu bar for their blog. So I created a new tutorial to show them how to do this. And I created a section about color palettes & fonts where clients can look up the color palette of their template and the fonts that I used on it. They get the color codes and a link to where they can download/purchase the fonts. With this information they are able to create other graphic products/designs to fit their brand (they can do this themselves with graphic design software or hire a designer to create stuff for them with the same colors and fonts).

So if you are the proud owner of a blog or website it might be a good idea to check if it is still working for you. Do you still like it style wise? Are all parts working flawlessly? And if it does, make a habit of asking yourself that question at least once a year. 

Should you come to the conclusion that your blog can use an update, then feel free to check out my premade Blogger template collection on Etsy. If you decide to purchase on of my templates, I would love to give you a discount of 15%. Please use coupon code SUMMERBLOG during the checkout process.

*** PLEASE NOTE - the discount can only be used for the premade Blogger templates and the coupon code will stay active till August 31, 2018. So make sure to purchase in time.




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