Website redesigning is inevitable. Let’s agree on this first.
If there’s one thing that we can all be sure of is that your website competes against those not just in your niche or market segment but against every single major website, application or business on the internet. From video streaming services and social media channels to eCommerce solutions, everyone is working on captivating and sustaining the interests of your target audience.
And if you’ve been complacent on a website that was developed a decade ago, it’s time to reevaluate your decisions because you are losing traffic and conversions by the minute. Not just a 10-year-old website, even the one that was developed without any data-driven strategies in mind could be leading your business or services towards losses.
That’s why regardless of what your circumstance is, your digital platform like website or mobile application redesigning is inevitable. So, if you’ve been thinking of redesigning your website for more visitors, traffic, conversions, engagement and more, this extensive post is just what you need.
We will explore everything there is on website redesigning – from its basic definition to developing an effective website redesign strategy– so you future-proof your website and your digital marketing campaigns.
Let’s get started!
What Is Website Redesign?
In simple words, website redesigning is the process of giving your website a complete overhaul – a makeover – to meet specific demands or goals you have with your business. To refine the process further, let’s understand that website redesign process could be one or all of the following three:
- Upgrading just the UI of your website to give its aesthetics and usability a boost
- Working on the backend of your website to improve its overall functionalities
- A complete redesign that could also involve migrating to a newer CMS, deployment of new codes or modules and more
So, When Do You Know Your Website Needs A Redesign?
Website redesigning is an evolutionary process. As your business grows, its circumstances dictate whether the time is right for you to redesign your website. This could be because of changing consumer behavior and viewership habits, pressure from competition, arrival of an advanced technology, existing designs becoming obsolete and more.
Apart from these reasons, there are scenarios which require you to redesign your website for optimized performance. Let’s check out what they are.
When You’re Rebranding
Now, rebranding is a vague term. It encompasses diverse aspects of changes within an organization into one word. When you’re rebranding, you are either pivoting or changing your business to a different version that probably has a new name, messaging, color scheme, tone, market segment, language and more. To make your website be consistent with your new outlook, you need to redesign your website to your rebranded guidelines.
When You’re Launching New Products Or Services
Information on newly-launched products or services have to reflect on your website. And if it’s a flagship release, the entire website’s focus should be to put the product or service on a higher pedestal over everything else. In times like these, website redesigning becomes unavoidable. For instance, check out Apple’s website that undergoes a massive change everytime a new iteration of the iPhone gets launched.
When You’re Updating Your SEO Strategies
Apart from market and brand demands, website redesigning is also required when you intend to implement new SEO strategies. And these changes could be as simple as removing unnecessary plugins to speed up your website or completely changing design hierarchy.
When You’re Revamping Your Website For Responsiveness
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets account for around 70% of the overall traffic. When you realize this, you would know that you’ve been missing out on a major chunk of traffic (and business) by having a desktop only website. So, when you intend to make it responsive for all screen sizes, you have to redesign your website for responsiveness.
When You’re Including Additional Features In A Website
Everytime you come up with a new feature that would make the life of your visitors simple, you have to initiate website redesigning processes. This includes deploying newer modules and codes to testing them and modifying content and CTAs.
When You’re Implementing New UX
Today, user experience is all that matters. With visitors judging your website and all the efforts you put in to develop it in less than a second, the UX of your website plays a predominant role in turning your visitors into leads and ultimately customers. So, if you’re aiming for more conversions and insights, you need website redesign.
The 6 Phases Of Your Website Redesign Plan
Website redesigning is a very systematic procedure. It requires meticulous planning and preparation. That’s why it comprises six distinct phases that focus on different aspects of the process. What are they? Let’s find out.
Before you get thinking on huge steps and procedures to implement, you need to have some fundamentals in hand. And this phase tells you the essentials you need. These include:
- Company collaterals such as logos and banners
- Contact information of your website host
- All verification codes of your webmaster tools
- Your branding guidelines (in-house) and collaterals
- Analytics codes
This phase is all about brainstorming some crucial pieces of business-specific information that will make your website redesigning process more meaningful. These include:
- Color scheme
- Your new objectives and goals with your website
- Buyer or consumer personas
- Website features and functionalities
- Call to actions
- Website layout and design hierarchy
#3. The Design Phase
This is where all your abstract ideas, insights from analytics and more would start taking a tangible shape. In this phase, you would:
- Develop a visual sitemap of your new website design
- Work on navigation information
- Determine color schemes
- Develop design preferences and wireframes
#4. Content and Optimization
One of the most crucial phases of your website or mobile app redesign project is content and optimization. This is because visitors are not looking for pleasing colors and seamless online experiences. They are here to solve their problems and content is the way that could help them do that. So, in this phase, you focus on:
- Creating a repository of keywords to be incorporated in copies, banners and website content
- Defining the language, tone and messaging of your content
- Assigning the right talent to work on website content
- Testing copy or content variants to check maximum impact
#5. The Development Phase
This is where the actual development phase begins. From this moment, the agency that is offering you website redesign services will start giving you updates on progress, implement 301 redirects, arrange for site demos and do more to keep you informed.
#6. The Launch
Once all the new features or changes are implemented and the entire website is tested for bugs, errors and redirects, the redesigned website is finally launched for visitors. All analytics codes and webmaster tools are also verified for indexing in this phase.
The Ultimate Site Redesign Checklist
The website redesigning process is only as effective as your planning and implementation. To make the best of this phase of your business evolution, we offer you a time-tested checklist on website redesigning you need to follow.
These factors will help you get a more extensive idea of your requirements and their complementary solutions. Let’s individually explore each.
Define Clear Goals And KPIs
One of the common mistakes stakeholders and marketeers do is not have a clear goal or vision for the entire process. An equally grave mistake is having a vague or a generic goal. For instance, increasing conversions or traffic is a bad goal because you cannot quantify it or attach numbers to compare progress.
On the other hand, an ideal goal is what tells you precisely what needs to be done or where your business needs to be. For instance, decrease bounce rates by 1% or increase website leads by 10% are goals that are achievable, challenging and quantifiable at the same time. In six months time, you will have a chart that visualizes your growth and progress, showing you if your website redesigning initiatives were successful or not.
Put Users First
The primary reason your website is about to be redesigned is to fix all the loopholes and shortcomings in your website and make it more user-friendly. That’s why it is important to eliminate all assumptions on user behavior, biases, suggestions or pieces of advice that are not data-backed out of the brainstorming process.
Instead, you should implement concepts like designing thinking that emphasizes resolving user-specific behaviour and problems for your new website. Your website is for your visitors and users. Your design should be, too.
An Effective Website Architecture
All your details and insights from Google analytics, heat maps, bounce rates, time spent on websites and more should be compiled and implemented to come up with the most ideal website architecture. An architecture determines the flow or route your website visitors would go through to achieve a goal or result.
This could be a simple form-fill, callback requests, newsletter signups or direct checkouts. No matter what their intentions are, your website architecture must allow them to experience a flow that is seamless.
A Brand New Wireframe
Wireframes are more advanced than your sitemaps. They are blueprints to your website’s appearance and functionalities. So, develop and test your wireframe consistently to determine which works best and which doesn’t.
Also, you should remove all your dummy and placeholder content with original copies and website content at this stage to evaluate real impact and website performance. The only few elements not part of wireframes are colors, typographies and other graphics.
Pay Attention To Your Content
The role of content on websites is gradually getting the attention and importance it deserves. Like we mentioned before, your visitors are on your website to get probable solutions to their problems and not to look at pleasing aesthetics. That’s why you should have the most crisp, concise and clear content on your website to make your visitors feel captivated and empowered at the same time.
Pro tip: personalize content wherever possible and give away useful resources to your visitors for free to add brand value.
Make Website Layout Responsive
Considering the fact 74% of your website visitors are more likely to return to your website if it is mobile-friendly, making your layout responsive to different screen sizes is fundamental. With changing user behavior, you never know if your next sale is from a person holding a smartphone, tablet or a smartphone.
Test By Launching A Staging Website
In simplest terms, a staging website is a replica of your redesigned website that you can take live to test its features, functionalities, UI, UX and overall experience. This is convenient because it allows developers and designers to identify and eliminate all errors and bugs from the final version that will be developed after this stage.
Test And Deploy
You’re just one step away from breathing a sigh of relief. Once the staging website is developed and all changes are implemented based on feedback and test results, you develop the actual redesigned website and test again.
But this time, the testing process is not as you might have already fixed major loopholes and concerns in the previous stages. Once the final design is good to go, you take it live and guess what, you test it again for a last round of errors and bugs. With everything set, you begin your digital marketing campaigns for traffic.
What appears as a daunting task is actually worth it when your analytics show boosts in numbers and sales. However, the fruition of all your efforts also depends on the web development company you are associated with. If you work with the best, results and optimum RoI are guaranteed.
About the Author!
Patrick R, A techno-commercial leader heading Intuz as Director of Growth With over 12 years of experience in the field of Information Technology. His experience and expertise will entice developers and business entrepreneurs with rich content on the latest technology stack.