Site redesign... not

Lately I've been getting a lot of e-mail from folks who think I should redesign Leoville. They say it's old fashioned, stodgy, boring. It needs a little pizazz. That's no doubt true. I'm no graphics designer. I put Leoville up in 1994, messed with the design for a year or so, and haven't touched it since except to add content areas. I don't even use such new-fangled (and useful) tools as CSS and Javascript. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, I'm lazy. It ain't broke and I don't want to fix it. Many people have offered to re-design the place for me, but I think it's important that people know that everything on Leoville is done by me, not some high-priced designer. And, for better or for worse, that's pretty obvious when you look at it.

Second, I want to keep Leoville accessible to everyone, especially people with low-bandwidth connections, old browsers, and people with disabilities. Why add design flourishes that don't add to the content but do make it harder to read the content?

Finally, in my book content is king. Flashy web sites are usually a substitute for actual content. I try to make the content on my site easy to find, easy to get to, and easy to read. If there's something that doesn't work for you, let me know. That I'll redesign.

I know it would be fun to see a flashy new design with lots of pictures and animation. But isn't there something to be said for a simple old site that never changes (except in content)? Think of this as a friendly old general store, where the pot bellied stove and the cracker barrel haven't moved in decades, and the only thing that's changing is the amount of gray hair on the proprietor's head.

What do you think?