How to Plan for a Successful Website Redesign

A Redesign Checklist for You

Remember when you had your first website designed? You were excited, happy, and proud to have a digital representation of your brand. Now some time has passed and you are rebranding your company. That means you need to have a website redesign. There can be many reasons as why you need to update the look and feel of your website. This article will examine the process of starting a website redesign. But first, let’s take a look at some of those reasons that can force you to consider a redesign.

Why Redesign a Website?

Many instances that would call for a web redesign. The brand could be changing or expanding, different leadership, digital trends, or other external factors. This process can be used to help enhance the user experience, just by providing a more responsive design.

You may notice your website is a bit outdated or not properly optimized for mobile. A user’s mobile experience is very important as it accounts for over 69% of traffic on major sites. This can be an important statistic for designers to understand when planning a redesign and can help with conversion optimization.

Any reason is good enough to support the need for a web overhaul, but making sure the research and planning stages of the design are executed properly, can be helpful toward completion.

What do you need?

Before you start the redesign, there needs to be an assessment of goals that are important to the company. Are you looking to improve user experience on mobile? Is there a need for conversion optimization? Do you want to increase design responsiveness for a smoother experience? These are some questions that can help you identify some goals of your site.

With a plan and strategy, the redesign process can be succinct and manageable. When designers operate without an understanding of what the client is trying to achieve with a redesign, things can go wrong. Some vital parts of a website’s data include:

• Website traffic information
• Web performance
• Buyer behavior and heat mapping
• Sales process

Having an understanding of your build limitations can also help solidify what you can accomplish in the redesign. Once your goals, user patterns, and traffic info are identified, you can begin the process.

The Process

Once you have done the research for your client, you have to start the actual process of recreation. Many clients want to have an estimate on price and time before the process and this can become frustrating; to deal with this a launch plan can help. This plan describes 13 steps essential to the success of the updated design and can help keep things “in-the-know” for clients.

Research 

The analysis of the behaviors users while navigating a website can be done by examining the sitemaps. Sitemaps show how a user responds on a website, where they click and the process that is taken for them to buy or abandon the site.

The next step is to find out which designs can closely match the needs of your client. An important aspect of this part to consider is the landing page. This page is said to have the most impact on the bounce rate of a website, so you will need to make sure the design is clean, user-friendly and responsive.

The strategy is the part of a redesign that focuses on the user. Keyword research, page speed, and analytics can help explain the story of which strategies need to be implemented to achieve success. Generally, this point gives a better idea to development teams of the 2 hows questions (how long and how much) all clients want to know.

Content and Design  

Getting together the content would be the next step, for the website. Creating rich content is akin to the heartbeat of the website. Before looking for a sale, offering users valuable information is key to a great website. The content is something to keep users interested, informed, and coming back for more.

The design and testing stage come next and are tantamount for nailing the right look on the website. Redesigning the website and accounting for global areas such as headers and footers are important as well. Making sure sliders, social media links, and responsiveness are up to par is an important part of the testing stage. There may be a QA check before launch to make sure no bugs or coding errors are identified.

Lastly, the launch of the site. This is where you get to sit back and look at all the hard work that went into the website redesign. Using the launch plan, discussed earlier, can ensure that everything is done accurately, to prevent any unwanted issues when it’s time to go live.

Conclusion 

Website redesigns are sometimes a necessity for a company looking to enhance its web presence. There are a lot of steps to account for when planning out the redesigning process:

• Web Data (Research)
• Sitemaps
• Strategy
• Deign
• QA
• Launch

These processes help to compile a comprehensive approach to redesign. This article was to serve as a guide to help both designers and managers understand the important parts of redesigning. While there can be many things that arise, sticking to the plan, can help maintain a focused approach to completion.

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Author: Kim Figor

Kim Figor has over 13 years’ experience in a plethora of marketing disciplines that encompass SEO & Paid Search Online Marketing, Loyalty Marketing, Marketing Communications, and Project Management. Her educational background includes a BABM and MBA in Marketing as well as Certifications in AdCenter, Adwords and Market Motive (Paid Search, Display, SEO, and Conversions). In addition to working at Google, where she assisted thousands of companies succeed online, Kim has been a key player in the start-up and growth of several technology and marketing companies. Kim’s exceptional analytical skills relating to online marketing has proven to be instrumental in the success of online campaigns for companies in all industries and sizes.