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I'm planning on selling website templates. My first thoughts were the development of my actual site. After thinking about it for a while, what if, instead of my site having one common theme, what if the page changed themes ever so often to those of my products. There would be a link saying what theme it was and it would bring them to a page to buy/demo it.

My question it, would this make it to complicated for my client? If the client saw an unrecognized theme on the page, would he/she leave? Would the difference in colors and menus (assuming that the layout it nearly the same, just different styles and animations, etc.) be too much for my clients?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Your better bet is to have different featured products, not changing the site. You need to identify a difference between the site and the features. The site is what will give users confidence ( in the brand name and everything that goes with it ), so you need to keep that brand confidence, which giving variation that suggests a range of products and keeping their fingers on the button.

So keep themes the same, but change content.

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+1, I agree that users are more accustomed to, and even have come to expect, a "featured product" area that changes frequently. – Joel Salisbury Oct 8 '11 at 16:17
I really do like the idea for the 'featured product' area. I guess that-that is a suitable replacement for my idea :) – Xander Lamkins Oct 8 '11 at 23:10

Generally speaking, frequent redesigns are a big no-no. Not only do they re-position all the UI elements, but your visitors may also think it's a different website from the one they wanted to visit. This is especially important in case of e-commerce websites and other services where money is involved.

This is true even if you don't drastically change the layout. Internet users make very fast decisions and a colour change can be enough for them to go back where they came from.

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It is a principle of branding that you should create something consistently recognizable. You want to be memorable and easy to understand, and having a consistent design is part of that. Every design has a learning curve, and once people learn where everything is on your site, they don't want to be challenged repeatedly to learn it again.

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