Traffic Drop After Site Redesign?

Last Update: September 19, 2015

Do you know that you can experience a significant traffic drop if you change your website theme? or even if you make some changes to your website navigation menu? I didn't know. Since August I've been experiencing a significant traffic drop and couldn't figure out what was the reason. Now I know. It's a total bummer. I know some members are experiencing it now too. My advice don't change your theme, navigation menu or internal linking if your site has good rankings and is getting traffic. If you type "traffic drop after redesign" in Google you will find a lot of material on this topic from reliable blogs including Quicksprout and Moz. Just I wanted all fellow members to know about it to avoid this really unpleasant experience.

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Kush1000 Premium
Yes, true. I noticed that too 1 month ago when I changed the theme. Thanks for sharing this.
rufat Premium
Google is always unpredictable
ThomasPaul Premium Plus
Interesting, I never would have occurred to me and I don't know if I would have ever connected a site design change to a drop in traffic. It does make some sense especially if the new theme uses different h tags than the original theme among other things.
rufat Premium
unfortunately this is a fact and we have to deal with it somehow
Judy-B Premium
Think I will keep my theme. Thanks for the information. :)
HoJo007 Premium
This can depend on a lot of different factors, which includes whether or not the framework of the new theme you have migrated to is optimized in a number of ways. It can also depend on site performance. Did you notice any sort of drop-off or significant changes in speed or mobile optimization?

There are so many different factors that can lead to a very positive or potentially negative result making these changes that its hard to know where to begin in discussing it.

I changed my theme and the entire feel of my site very recently. It may have been seen as risky to some because the site had already achieved very respectable success in a little over a year of being created. Enough so that I was able to earn a full-time living off of the one site, alone. However, I had larger goals and some of those goals would require an upgrade to my theme to something more premium that had a few more tools and capabilities that I was seeking. I was very fortunate to find that with a Thrive theme. However, I don't believe that theme alone will determine whether the change produces positive or negative results.

As I mentioned, the new theme and site design changes, as well as steps that I took along the way and continue to take to assure that it is running at optimal levels has actually produced positive results. However, I had a couple of scares and with a little bit of patience, time, and focus, I was able to get things running better than they were and more than justify the decision to switch. I am sure you can do the same.

I freaked out a little bit at first because I noticed a drop-off on some rankings, a dip in traffic and some other changes I was not ready for and I had feared I made a huge mistake.

However, another thing that may be worth your while if you are going to change the design and feel of your site is to outsource some of these tasks. I also did this to assure that I had some sort of support and someone on my "team" that I could turn to for advice to assure that we were not going to ruin a good thing. Outsourcing was definitely worth it, very reasonably priced and since I did some research to find someone that truly knew what they were doing and that I developed a relationship built on trust, it resulted in a very positive experience.

Ironically, I unexpectedly ended up outsourcing with someone who also got started here at WA and we continue to do business together on a number of projects.

This allowed me to build out the entire site behind the scenes on a sub-domain and work out any major issues before officially launching live to my readers. My readers continued to see the regular site that they normally would and it made the launch go much more smoothly.

After a few weeks of those ups and downs, everything is not only back to normal, but again, running better and changing themes and redesigning the site has opened up some new opportunities for the business.

This is NOT going to be the same experience for everyone and I think before anyone makes the decision to redesign their site or make significant changes to their layout, make sure that you prepare accordingly.

Take the time to research, potentially outsource some tasks and even if the process takes a little longer, you will find yourself in a much better position and a safer one to launch without losing your shirt.

Also, be sure to determine how big of a project this may be and how significant the results can be to you financially if there is a temporary drop. If you are really sweating it, I would wait until you are more comfortable or hit the next level of your goals.

Another thing to keep in mind is that I didn't even slightly consider such a significant change until I was very comfortable with what I was doing. Even more importantly, I didn't worry about these kinds of things until I achieved certain goals and reached a certain success level.

Be sure that you are generating income and have a firm grasp on building your business and the foundation of generating sales before considering a change to your theme or layout. However, there may come a time when you are ready and there are situations where it can certainly work to your benefit.

I am very sorry you had a bad experience with this process and can imagine it is frustrating, but try not to get discouraged, move forward, keep creating content and following the same blueprint you did from the jump and you will bounce back.

While, I can't imagine how frustrated you may be, I am absolutely certain that you can recover. Your site is not penalized, I assume. You may have hit a bump in the road, but it doesn't sound like it is impossible to recover and you may find that when you do, you bounce back stronger than ever.

This is a very interesting topic of conversation that I am sure has many perspectives. I could actually write a lot more about it, but need to get back to work and I am sure this novel is long enough :) All the best!
rufat Premium
Thank you for a great and super helpful addition to my post. I hope many will benefit from the info. No, I'm in no way frustrated and I continue creating my content and believe my site will recover soon. Thank you very much.
HoJo007 Premium
Awesome to hear and sorry for the rambling. I not only have a wicked case of ADHD, but an even worse case of sleep deprivation at the moment from working so much, lol. Keep at it and you'll no doubt do big things!
Pisquali Premium
Thanks Rufat. I guess the message is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.