Tuesday Tips #11: Change is Not Always Good

Change is Not Always Good

If you haven't visited Craigslist.org, you might want to take a look at this immensely successful community bulletin board service, which is organized around geographical locations and subject areas. The site is clean and easy to understand; it has black text with blue links on a white background, and it hasn't changed since its inception. The enduring quality of Craigslist.org is part of its appeal: you always know what to expect when you visit. The content may change, but the format does not.

Change, when it comes, may be disconcerting to your regular visitors.

If you already have a certain look-and-feel for your site and you want to change it around a little bit, consider retaining some of the major elements, such as your logo, tag line, and color palette.

If you do make a major change to your website design, navigation, logos, or functionality, your regular visitors may be taken aback or, even worse, may not know if they are on the correct site.

PayPal, Amazon, and Yahoo! have undergone design changes over the years, but the overall feel and functionality of these sites remain consistent over time.

For your website, it's expected that you'll constantly make updates.

However, if you're making major changes to the style of your site, find ways to retain the flavor and spirit of your original website over successive iterations.

➡️Announce any website changes in a prominent place like your news section or alert box.

➡️Make any outdated links redirect to the correct, new links so bookmarked pages still function.

➡️One way that some of our clients have retained their “old site” is to provide a link to an archived version of their original site. This archived version then lists the correct updated page, giving the website visitors an opportunity to update their bookmarks and visit your most recently edited page.

➡️Review analytics, fine-tune, and make changes to help drive your desired outcomes.