You have probably heard the saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it“. This simple piece of advice is often difficult to follow and abide by. It can apply to anything from layout and design, to page titles, seo, your database, etc. And, it also applies to most things in your everyday life.
Why do some websites seem to change frequently? From a minor addition of something in a side column/bar, to a complete layout and design change. Sometimes it’s something small or subtle. Other times so much has changed I am not even sure if I am on the right website.
Is it a technology/upgrade thing? Are new features and programing being added? Or did the site owner just get a wild idea and thought change would be good?
I have no idea why someone decides to change their website. I can usually handle the small little things and additions. It’s the ones that change dramatically that get to me sometimes. I really don’t mind if it happens occasionally, but every week or month is a bit much. I just get used to a website and next thing I know it changes and I have to figure out where everything is again. If it is a website that I really like, then I might be willing to do some exploring and relearning where things are and how to do them. If it is a website that I can live without, then I might just give up and move along to another. It’s not like it’s difficult to find something similar out there in most cases.
Maybe people think making changes will bring more visitors and traffic. Maybe we just live in a world that expects change and frequent upgrades more often than we used to a few years ago.
I have made a few changes to various websites over the years. I try to keep it as simple as possible. For the ones that I have done what I would consider major changes I personally do not like to do so until at least 1+ year/years has gone by.
Major changes can oftentimes bring on major problems too. Things sometimes break and don’t work like they are supposed to anymore. Remember: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
I have been to a few websites that don’t seem to know what they are doing for some reason because rather than try to fix a problem they are very quick to just dump the database and started over. OK fine nobody is perfect right? But, when 2, 3, or more of these events happen in a short amount of time then forget it. I am not going to keep participating at any website if they keep losing my data. How long do they expect anyone to stick around! The good thing is this doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.
A few tips to keep in mind:
1. Try to keep upgrades/updates to only those absolutely necessary such as security updates and patches.
2. Keep the layout/design changes to a minimum. Don’t perform a complete layout and design change often or just for the fun of it.
3. If you do make changes be sure to have a backup plan should something go wrong or unexpected.
4. Let your visitors and viewers know what you are doing or that you have made changes. Especially if they include a major layout or design change.
5. Lastly, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”! You might be telling yourself I wish I had just left things the way they were.