Blogging and Writing

Have You Ever Done a Major Blog Refresh?

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You may or may not do regular maintenance tinkering with your blog, but have you ever done a major refresh? It’s certainly not something you have to do or even consider doing, but it can be a way to liven things up a bit.

A basic reason to give things an overhaul would be if you start feeling bored with your blog, whether that’s the look or the overall approach or what have you. A little variety could be just what’s needed to get your blogging mojo back.

Another situation where a refresh might be a good idea is if you’re changing the direction or purpose for your blog. I know some people would delete their old site and start a new on in this situation, but I think there’s something to be said for keeping the same site unless you’re doing a complete 180º. Starting over, you’re starting with nothing. No followers, no momentum, nothing. Why not keep what you’ve got and do a refresh? Change the look, delete your old posts that aren’t relevant, get a different domain name, and boom, you’ve got yourself a new blog without losing all of what you’ve built up.

A refresh can also be a good idea if you’ve accumulated older content that just isn’t serving your site any longer. Paula at Light Motifs II took a blogging time out recently to clean house, accompanied by narrowing her focus moving forward. I’ve done a more gradual cleaning house over the last six months, deleting a few hundred older posts that were no longer contributing anything to the site overall. It wasn’t that there was necessarily anything wrong with the posts I deleted, but some things just don’t stay relevant for all that long after they’re posted. I also went back and changed up the graphics for most of my old posts to give things a facelift.

One of the things I like about having done a mostly behind the scenes refresh is the pared down aspect. Fewer posts, fewer images, fewer tags, fewer categories… Simpler is better in my world.

Changing themes makes for a more overt refresh, either for visual or functional purposes. Caramel did a theme change for functional reasons to be able to display the books she’s written. I sort of considered a theme change recently, but then decided I couldn’t be bothered trying to fuss around and find one I wanted.

So, there are some of my thoughts. Have you either done or considered doing a refresh? What did/might that involve?

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51 thoughts on “Have You Ever Done a Major Blog Refresh?”

  1. I like things clean and simple, so finding a theme that allows me to have a custom header and background and one column took some futzing. My blog pleases ME just the way it is tho my penchant for change and re-decorating is somewhat stymied because I like my blog the way it is SO much, I can’t think what I might change it to…

      1. You know what I love about you – your sense of humor (a lot like mine) and that you remember stuff. I still love my curtains and just this morning I was thinking of using the shorthand tag ‘curtains’ to indicate a fluff post – something you came up with. But only you and I would know that was about.

  2. Huh. I’ve never done a refresh of the appearance because it’s complicated to set that up! If I get it done righ the first time, it’s like, amen, I got it! I’m still impressed with how well I did my primary author site! I doubt I could redo it from scratch if it were to disappear. So doing a different theme isn’t something I’d ever want to mess around with. Too complex. Hmm… Sonya’s obsessed with always getting new, better book covers for her books. And she’s often redoing her author page too. I swear her author page looks professionally done. It’s at sonyalano.com. She did all that herself! Amazing, huh? I told her she looks like the woman in the banner image, but she doesn’t believe me. 😀

  3. I have but I didn’t do a lot. I moved to a new blog and my technique is a bit different.
    I ALWAYS appreciate likes and follows but lately I have found a lot of solace and stability in reminding myself to write and adding a photo.
    I have MS – my brain is everywhere…I read what it’s published and I publish back.
    😉

    1. It’s definitely an adjustment. My Google Pagespeed Insights scores are consistently crap on mobile, which is presumably related to my theme, but I’m reluctant to change because I know it will be a pain in the ass.

  4. I’ve never done a complete change of my blog but I have changed little things. At some point I do plan to do a complete overhaul but I’m still learning how to manage my blog.

  5. Thanks for the shoutout! I’m well pleased with my refresh and how my blog is now much more focused on topics that please me, rather than plopping down pics to color themes or replying to repetitive prompts. I also decided to do all posts in the block editor so things would look consistent. I didn’t change my structural theme because it suits me with minimal clutter and widgets. It definitely required some work to deal with cleaning house!

  6. I did one a while back when I rebranded. The front page is changing as I pivot my attention more to coaching. Hopefully next week or two. Will likely stuck with sand template.

  7. 🙂 I did a refresh more than once; in my case, they were subtle refreshes. I used some clean-looking themes because I want all of the focus to be on my writing.

  8. I did a website overhaul in 2019 a few months after starting my business because I switched website service providers. I’ve deleted irrelevant posts periodically based on your guidance.

  9. Girrrrl, the only consistent thing about my blog is that I delete it every year. 😂 I’m glad you brought up tags, I really need to clean up mine as well as my categories. When I started my blog it was going to be one of those “I’M GONNA TELL EVERYONE HOW TO GET SOBER” blogs and that lasted about 2 months. I still have all those categories left over though. I don’t often use that post sidebar at all when composing but when I do I scroll through the list of categories and thing “jeez nothing fits” lol. That should have been a sign!

    I like your site design. I also like that people have to go to your blog to read the whole post although it makes it a bit more work to comment on my phone; for some reason, even though I have the WordPress app, it opens posts in Safari and I’m never logged in there. I’ve thought about doing this as well but definitely not until I actually do something with my site instead of using a totally unedited free template. Lol. 3.5 years of networking school with plenty of training in programming and web development and I have the most vanilla, banal site on the Internet 🤦‍♂️

    1. I had about 1500 tags at one point.

      I only show excerpts in the WP Reader because I often use media+text blocks, and they look really ugly in the Reader. I find I like to think that I’ve got more of a grasp on CSS than I actually do, and shit that I’ve spent hours wrestling with to get it styled the way I want on desktop looks like crap on mobile. Oh well, always learning.

      1. That’s another good point. I spend a lot of time formatting stuff lately and it doesn’t show up in the reader. I wonder how many views I get through the reader vs externally, though, because I get a lot of random views on old posts and I don’t think I have that many followers who are browsing my backlog lol

  10. It’s funny: I’m in the process. I’ve changed up the look and the “about” section and I’m not going through from the beginning, editing, changing, and removing. It’s a good project since I’m quite flat these days, plus, redesigns can be fun.

  11. Yes, my blog used to be called stay-at-home mom. I realized then that my posts were no longer parenting stories as they began. I started talking about a lot of things from self care to self improvement to poetry. Basically the ups and downs of my life. My blog has been gravitating more towards self improvement and poetry with some storytelling in between. That’s why I renamed it to my roller coaster journey. I also once in a while go back to old posts and fix them.

  12. I found myself doing this without even reading this blog. I just realized that my blog needed a refresh and a new type of content. It worked relatively well and I’m still continuing with its momentum. This post summed it up well!

  13. My blog is something of a conundrum. I sort of have two things going on: (1) I’m blogging because I enjoy blogging, meeting other bloggers, sharing thoughts, etc. & (2) I’m trying to produce a musical somehow and it somehow seems that the blog might help me produce the musical somehow. As far as the latter is concerned, it doesn’t seem to me that the blog really does a whole lot to highlight the musical, except for every now and then I talk about it, because it’s what’s happening in my life. Maybe I could readjust the page titles, categories, sub-pages, etc. IDK. Thanks for posting this. I feel like I should put more thought / effort into the blog’s appearance.

    1. It might make things easier to navigate if you picked a few main parent categories, like the musical, homelessness, etc., and then turn the other categories into subcategories.

  14. Yes l have – real shake ups this last year alone. You motivated some of that change also, not just you Ashley – so worry not – but a few direct comments in a good indirect way made me look very deeply into blogging – l looked at over the course of the first 3-4 months of this year and things started to shift. In the next six months, once the business blog launches, l will be changing the thrmes of Guy and 321 and whilst l love the Baskervilles l use l should actually say … they were right for me at the time of selection and very much so for the original GUY blog – 321 just copied for the lesser conflict – – but l am changing out of that phase and each month, or week and sometimes it is just days – l shudder at the changes l am undergoing – l really do – but soon, Guy/321 will have different themes.

  15. I started to do a refresh and then life got busy so I’m planning to take a blogging break in September to do a complete refresh.

  16. When changing from a payed WordPress plan to a self-hosted domain, I had to re-do parts of the design and tweak a bit here and there. Still not sure it’s exactly what I want it to be, but it will do for now 🙂

      1. I was a bit skeptical too, but then again my blog had only been active for a year (I moved it before the plan renewed). Having a self-hosted site let’s me tweak or add things that I couldn’t with my previous plan so I’m happy so far 😊

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