At some point, every website owner will eventually contemplate whether or not they need to upgrade, overhaul, update, rebuild, or makeover their existing site, otherwise known as a website redesign.
While a website redesign can be a fun and exciting project, it can also include a number of variables that range greatly in scope depending on your needs.
Redesigning means getting more than a new look. It’s about having an all-in-one solution that gives your website visitors exactly what they are asking for when they need it.
Redesigning your website isn’t all that different: before you start remodeling, you need a blueprint. A plan that will help you get the most out of your new online presence while, at the same time, ensuring you don’t lose any of the value inherent in your current site.
Let’s walk through the steps to get started with redesign.
- Be Clear on Your Goal: Nowadays, your online presence is the hub for all your lead generation efforts. When you decide it’s time for a site redesign, lead generation should be front of mind.
Start by thinking about your site redesign goals in the context of your overall business goals. Where do you want to be in the next 12 to 18 months? How can your online presence support these goals? Clearly define a set of goals associated with your new site.
- Project briefs: Before diving into the project, write a project brief. Update it as needed so it always reflects the current state of the project.
Some questions a project brief might answer:
- What are we trying to achieve?
- How will we know the project is a success?
- What do we need to do?
- Why do we need to do it?
- What are the must-haves?
- Who are we doing this for?
- How will they know about it?
- Who’s on the project team?
- What’s our deadline?
- Document everything that’s current: These documents will serve as a base that will help you prioritize your tasks and daily or weekly priorities when making your action plan tracking sheets.
Also back up the most recent version of your website before you start making changes so you don’t lose any of your back-end SEO work that can be transferred to the new design. Further, document each and every piece of content you have:
- Page text
- Blog posts
- Downloadable reports
- White papers etc.
These pieces of content have incredible value so you don’t have to re-do absolutely everything. And, even if one of your main goals is to rewrite a lot of it, it’s a valuable source to refer back to… whether for positive guidance or as an example of what not to do next time.
- Research and Discover: Up to this point you’ve focused on your business goals, site assets and your ideal customer. Now it’s time to get out there and see what the competition is doing.
Go through your competitors’ websites taking note of their site content, blogs, video, keywords and content offers. What marketing activities are they currently doing and what marketing assets do they have? How do they rank in search? What social media initiatives do they have going?
You need all of this information to make informed strategic decisions.
- Create a Plan: Once you’ve done all your research, put together all the information you’ve collected and capture it into a Website redesign plan. This will become the blueprint for your website redesign project.
- Wireframes: Use wireframes throughout the redesign to help think through problems and get approval for ideas.
An unexpected bonus of wireframes: they help you write content. Just writing in a document makes it tough to visualize how everything will fit together, but pasting content into wireframes gives you a clear sense of the flow of the page and how each piece of content relates to another.
- Early Content Creation: One of the elements often neglected during the site redesign process is to leave content creation until the end. Start creating content early, while you’re planning the new site design. You can even go as far as plugging content directly into your wireframes.
This way you’re generating all the content you need for the new site and testing it with the design. Making sure it fits into the buyer journey helping visitors flow through the website easily.
- Mockups and prototypes: Many people don’t pay attention to wireframes or web designs if they’re printed on paper. Showing a design on a screen is fine, but it’s always best to see a design through the eyes of your audience.
Start developing interactive mockups early on in the wireframing process. Share them with our customers and the team throughout the project until most of the site is coded.
Ask people to say their thoughts out loud as they browse so you know what they are thinking as they interact with the mockups. The feedback highlights problem areas and validates design choices so we could finalize the project.
- Make it happen: It’s easy to jump into the fun aspects of design, brainstorm ideas, hunt for examples of websites you like, and contemplate how awesome your new site is going to look once it’s finished. But if you take a little time to dig beneath the surface, you will be far more likely to end up with a site that is not only better-looking, but one that will actually meet your long-term needs, facilitate your goals, and produce measurable results. It’s well-worth the extra effort.
Hope these tips help you create a powerful new online presence and will support you in your successful website redesign!
Vebsense Media take pride in our work and our prices! To find out how we can help you improve your site give us a call. You have nothing to lose and only great benefits to gain. Call us today!