Website Redesign Guide and Checklist – Step-by-Step Instructions
The first thing that catches your eye after opening a website is the way it looks, that is, its design. The visuals make a direct impact on whether a person will choose to look through the site and read the information it contains or continue searching on a different website, with much better representation.
It is crucial to redesign your site at least once every five years and keep up with modern tendencies to keep people enjoy using your service. Moreover, website redesign has proven to be a step forward to gaining more traffic and leads.
7 Steps for a Successful Website Redesign Process
If for any reason, you are under the impression that a website redesign is about a change of its visuals only, you are completely wrong. It is a thorough and complicated process that involves a lot of analysis and numerous functional changes.
The main reason why we wanted to put together this checklist is to make this process less stressful for you. However, this is not a detailed and thorough website redesign process description.
These guidelines are just a brief portrayal of the actions that need to be taken to set your website for success. Read on to get familiarized with how to redesign a website, and if at any step you feel like you need expert help with the site redesign, be sure to contact us.
Step 1. Analyze, Analyze, and Analyze
Before creating your website redesign project plan and imagining how your finished site will look, it is necessary first to examine your site at the current stage. Think whether the amount of the existing pages is enough, or whether you need to add more, and how many.
Try to understand what exactly people like about your website, what pages are most often visited, and what elements attract traffic. For a better idea, you can analyze the existing auditory preferences with your marketing team or ask your customers directly.
This analysis will give an understanding of what should be changed and what should be left as it is. Everything must be taken into account, including content, domain authority, SEO rankings, navigation, amount of new leads, and the design itself.
Also, it is recommended to check on the websites of your competitors. It’ll allow you to see the existing design features used and find a possibility to stand out among other websites that provide similar services.
This analysis will give you insight into the trends that are popular nowadays in your niche. But keep in mind that chasing trends is not always a good idea. There were a lot of cases when a very popular website made some crucial changes in design to keep up with the trends. Still, the functionality that users loved the most about their website has been changed, and the site quickly lost its popularity.
Step 2. Write a Website Redesign Project Plan
Come up with a list of the goals that you plan to reach in the near future. After, it is important to think about how your redesigned website can help you to achieve those goals. Try to be as specific as possible. Think about all essential performance ratings and give concrete answers to the following questions:
- How much traffic do you want to attract?
- What will the key features of the website be?
- What is your needed conversion rate?
After analyzing your website and your competitors’ sites, you must highlight what features you want to add to your website, and which ones need to be removed.
Here are some features that most e-commerce websites find helpful, so think whether your website needs them and in what way they can help in improving your business results:
- Videos of goods and services provided
- Integration with social media accounts
- Security features
- Additional landing pages
- Sign-up forms
Any of those features can be more specific. For example, allow clients to add discount coupons to their shopping carts. But remember, don’t overload your site with such features, as it tends to affect the website’s KPIs in a very negative way.
Step 3. Consider Making Changes in Your Brand Style
Sometimes, the main reason why people decide to redesign their sites is to change or update their style. If it is on your list, it is best to carry out the rebranding and redesigning simultaneously. You can update the logo, typography, work on infographics and images, and many more.
Make sure not to forget to implement the same visual changes in your offline settings, as it is necessary to maintain the same style both on the internet and in real life. Among the things to consider are:
- Is the style outdated?
- What fonts suit the visuals of the future site?
- Are they easy to read?
When you have all of these aspects sorted out, decide on the time frame in which the website redesign must be completed.
Step 4. Set a Budget
After you got everything mapped out, it is the best time to set a budget to reach those goals and fulfill your plan. A complete website redesign cost can vary greatly, so take into consideration these points and think over how much exactly you plan on spending:
- Who will carry out the redesigning process of your website?
Here, you have two options: you can rely on yourself and do it on your own, or hire web experts to take care of this project.
- How big is your site?
The more pages it has, the higher the cost of the redesign will be. Also, if your website contains pages of different types, each of the types might need a separate design that will influence the cost, as well.
- Do you have to hire an expert to build an app for your goods and services?
It could be any kind of application, based on the products and services you provide. For instance, if you are a big eCommerce company, you most certainly require an app.
Step 5. Prepare New Content
The most popular mistake that many people make is writing new content after finishing to redesign your site, but it is the wrong way of doing it. The right way is to prepare content before doing everything else. When you have new content ready, your updated design can become very helpful in making that main message easy to understand and consume.
To carry out the full redesign, you’ll need to prepare new content for updating the existing pages, or for filling the new ones. Remember that outdated images from stock websites, plagiarized text, and irrelevant content can ruin the reputation of your company.
For attracting as much traffic as possible in a natural way, your site must contain good content. The content should answer customers’ questions and inform the visitors about the company in the right way. Writing articles, preparing videos, and any other interactive content is a stage that directly affects the redesigning outcome.
Step 6. Gradually Introduce New Features
The main word during this step is “gradually.” Take some time to see how users react to the updates. Add new features one by one, so as not to put the users in an uncomfortable position. Stick to your website redesign project plan and don’t rush things, as it may lead to a huge drop in sales.
It is recommended to begin with making changes to the most popular pages first. For instance, you can add a new banner. Remember always to monitor how users react. If you see that something went wrong, you’ll know right away which update caused it.
Step 7. Maintain the Upgraded Website
Even though this last one of the essential tasks you need to go through, many people choose to skip it. Thorough website maintenance is crucial for the long-term success and revenue of the website.
Just like being a house owner, your upgraded website will need constant maintenance. Among the crucial actions are the following:
- Security updates
- Plugin changes
Although some of the tasks can be taken care of by an automated service, it is recommended to take care of all aspects by yourself. Thus, you’ll be up-to-date with the performance of your upgraded website and can make the necessary changes in case you notice any problem.
Website Redesign – Final Remarks
Now you know how to redesign a website, and you are ready to do it. The website redesign steps mentioned above can help you during this process and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. However, not everyone finds it easy to redesign a site by themselves, and many businesses choose a less stressful way out of this situation and hire experts to complete this important task.
Remember that any website redesign process requires time and effort. Do not hurry through the steps and don’t skip them, as the outcome depends heavily on the way you complete each point of the redesign plan. Every minute of your hard work will be appreciated and assist you in driving new traffic and generating more leads. You’ll be surprised by how a site redesign can affect your business performance!