Having a modern and professional website became incredibly important in the past two decades. No matter whether you're a small company or a big corporation, it's what potential customers are going to see after looking you up in search engines. It's a direct representation of what you stand for as a company and what you have to offer.
If you feel like your current website is lacking, a website redesign might be in order. It could be the reason why your digital marketing efforts aren't paying off and why your conversion rate is low, among other things. But what should the process of redesigning your website look like? Where do you even start?
If you want to know the answer to these questions, read on! Below, you're going to find a website redesign checklist. With it, revamping your existing site should become a whole lot easier.
Why should you launch a website redesign project?
What's so important about a website redesign? Why is it worth the hassle? Firstly, if done right, it's bound to result in increased user engagement, conversion rates, and profits. If a website is intuitive and pleasant to use, it's bound to make a larger number of visitors convert.
Secondly, it ensures that you're caught up with competition and that you appear professional and trustworthy. It's particularly important if you're in a highly competitive industry. You don't want your web page to look old and boring in comparison to competitor websites, right?
Thirdly, it guarantees that you're using only the latest technologies. As a result, you're unlikely to end up dealing with any serious website security threats. It also decreases the likelihood of you encountering frustrating technical issues.
Still not convinced? Read our article about 20 good reasons to redesign your website.
Website redesign strategy - what should you remember about?
Whether you're designing a new website from scratch or just changing up the design of your current site, it's important to focus on several key things. In our opinion, the said things include the people you're attempting to reach, user experience, and search engine optimization. Aside from that, you should put time and effort into the website's responsiveness and accessibility, among other things. We're going expand upon the things listed here and more in the website redesign checklist down below!
#1 - Target audience
When redesigning a website, you should first determine who you're targeting. Is your ideal customer an elderly woman, or a young university student? Next, think about how you want to be perceived by your target audience. Do you want to come across as open and friendly, or more distant and professional?
Pondering such things might seem like a waste of time. Nevertheless, it's going to help you decide on a number of important things, from the website's color scheme to the pictures and icons you're going to put on the main page. Ultimately, you want to appeal to your potential and existing customers. You're not going to do that if your new site doesn't suit their expectations.
#2 - Inspiration
Remember to gather inspiration before you start redesigning your website. To put it simply, take a look at what your competitors' websites look like. While doing so, write down what you like about them and what you dislike. You don't need to use technical jargon to describe specific things if you don't want to. What matters here is that you can more or less explain what you're after when it comes to your own website.
To give an example, it might be that you're envious of your competitor's brand image. They're using a particular color scheme that you really like. What's more, the visual elements of their website are sleek and modern. You could bookmark their website, and use it as a source of inspiration for yourself or for a web design agency that you're going to task with redesigning your website.
Keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to stick to just your competitors' websites. You could also refer to other websites that you really like. You don't have to like the entirety of a website to use it as a source of inspiration, either. Instead, you could focus on just one or two elements, such as its form submissions page or the way it looks on mobile devices.
#3 - Consistent branding
If you want your website redesign to be a huge success, come up with consistent branding guidelines. Be clear about what your value proposition is, pick the colors that you're going to be using, and figure out what your tone of voice should be. Having made such decisions ahead of time, you will be able to ensure consistent branding across the entirety of your website.
Sure, it might seem insignificant at first glance. Still, it's undeniable that the colors you're using and the way you're phrasing what your professional services or products are about has a huge impact on your conversion rates. It's what makes your website visitors trust you, connect with you, and believe in your company's offering and vision. If your entire website is chaotic and fails to get your message across, it's simply not going to convert.
Learn more about why your business needs consistent branding.
#4 - Website audit
Conducting a thorough website audit should be one of the first things you do before a website overhaul. But what's a website audit, you might ask? As the name suggests, it's a process during which someone examines a wide range of things that impact a website's quality in order to identify areas for improvement. These things can range from its design and usability to its status in search engines and loading speed.
Once the audit is over, you're going to have a general idea of what you should focus on when drafting your website redesign strategy. For instance, it might be that your website's navigation structure is confusing and chaotic, but its performance is just fine. In such a scenario, you're going to focus on user experience design instead of spending hours perfecting your website's performance.
In addition, an audit is bound to help you figure out how much redesigning your website is going to cost you. The more problems you find during the audit, the more expensive designing a new site will probably be.
#5 - User experience
A user experience audit should also be a part of the process of redesigning a website. It could be conducted during a general website audit. It could also be its own thing. It depends on who you're tasking with designing your new website. Not every web designer is going to be able to conduct a user experience audit. On the other hand, a user experience specialist is unlikely to have the skills needed to evaluate a website from a more technical point of view.
During a user experience audit, a user experience specialist is going to analyze your website structure, determine how a potential user is likely to use it, and figure out how to make it user-friendly. They will do so with the help of a wide range of research methods, such as user testing, card sorting, and split testing, to name a few.
Read about how UX research can make a good product great.
Finding out such things helps ensure that your new site is intuitive and that it provides its visitors with a high-quality website experience. Specific products and services are going to be easy to find. The same goes for specific pieces of information, such as company address or contact form. This, in turn, should result in higher conversion rates, lower your bounce rate, and help you beat your competitors.
#6 - Competitor analysis
Speaking of competition, if you want your website redesign plan to succeed, you should determine what your competitors are doing right by performing a competitor analysis. It's a more detailed process that goes beyond just gathering inspiration and identifying what you like about your competitors' online presence. It's likely to involve a detailed examination of their keyword rankings, website content creation efforts, and their website's navigation structure, among other things.
Based on this information, you will be able to make smart decisions related to what features your new site needs to be equipped with to bring you more traffic. It's also going to help you determine how to make your new website stand out from the crowd. Being unique and grabbing potential customers' attention is key to improving your marketing results and total sales generated.
#7 - Page speed
It's important that your new website loads in a timely manner. The longer it loads, the lower your conversion rate is going to be. So, if you want your website redesign to result in the creation of the best website out there, ensuring that it loads as quickly as possible is going to be in your best interest.
If you feel like your website isn't as fast as it needs to be, there are many reasons why that might be the case. It could be that the code that makes it run isn't optimized. Imagine that it was written by several different developers over a longer period of time. If each one of them left certain redundant bits of code in there, reaching optimal loading speeds might prove to be difficult.
Of course, that's just one of many possible causes of poor website loading speed. In case you'd like to learn more about page speed and what you can do to improve it, be sure to check out our website optimization e-book. It's filled with useful insights that are guaranteed to help you unlock your website's potential.
#8 - Search engine optimization
If you want to show up in search engine rankings and improve domain authority, put in the time and resources to optimize your website for SEO. For starters, check whether it's connected to Google Analytics. Next, make sure that each asset that's present on your website, whether it be a photograph or an icon, isn't too large when it comes to its file size. The larger it is, the longer it will take to load, which is bad for SEO.
Afterwards, it's important that you come up with engaging meta descriptions and titles for your website pages. You should also check whether there are any broken links on your website and whether it has already been indexed by Google. If it's not indexed, it's not going to show up on any search engine results pages.
It's also recommended that you come up with a solid content marketing strategy. What does that mean? Well, it's about planning out what you're going to write about on your company blog. The best way to do so is to conduct keyword research.
Having done so, decide what important keywords you're going to be targeting, and create a content marketing strategy based on these keywords. Other than that, you could look at the content that you've already published and that's performing well and use it as a template for writing future content.
If you'd like to learn more about some of the things we described in this section, check out our article about how to prepare a website for SEO.
#9 - Content Management System (CMS)
Many companies that decide to invest in a website redesign have websites that run on technology that they're not satisfied with. For example, their website might be based on a content management system that simply doesn't meet their needs. So, while you're at it, you might as well evaluate your current content management system's performance.
In case it's not satisfactory, you could address this issue in a few different ways. The easiest one would be to stick with your current content management system and do whatever you can to make it fit your business and marketing goals. Sometimes, it's a matter of installing a few additional plug-ins.
Alternatively, you could opt for a smooth transition to a different CMS. You could also have a web design agency design a bespoke content management solution just for you. That way, you're guaranteed to end up with a tool that fits your needs perfectly. Just keep in mind that the more customized system you're going for is, the more you will have to pay for it.
#10 - Responsiveness
Is your website responsive? If not, you might be losing plenty of potential clients. Mobile usage isn't something that you should be ignoring. In the first half of 2023, about 55% of website traffic came from mobile devices. With that in mind, make sure to not only work on the desktop version of your site, but to also polish up its mobile version. Doing so should be an essential part of every website redesign checklist out there.
As we have already mentioned, this kind of approach to website design is called responsive design. It involves** designing a website in such a way that it looks great on both a large desktop computer and a small smartphone**. It's safe to say that it's the cornerstone of modern website design, so if you don't know how to make your website responsive, get in touch with an experienced developer as soon as possible.
#11 - Accessibility
If you're about to redesign your website, think about its accessibility. Would a person who is using a screen reader be able to browse your website without a hitch? What about someone who's only using a keyboard and can't use a mouse? It's important that you cater to the needs of such people. While they might make up a very small percentage of your website visitors, they will definitely appreciate it. As for the users who have no need for such amenities, they're going to value that you're inclusive.
In case that's not enough to convince you, remember that having an inaccessible website might get you sued. In 2020, more than 2,500 lawsuits were filed in federal court claiming specific websites weren't designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. So, if you'd like to avoid a costly lawsuit, improving your website's accessibility should be among your top priorities.
#12 - Business goals
Don't lose sight of your business goals. For instance, suppose that you're planning on looking into a different, clear conversion strategy and are eager to turn your website into a lead generation powerhouse.
You should explain your reasoning and vision to whoever is supporting you in your website redesign efforts. Whether it be a world-class web design agency or a team of trusted freelancers, make sure that they know what you're after.
If possible, keep a detailed log of your redesign project progress. Write important things down during meetings, ask questions if you don't understand something, and address your team's concerns whenever they arise. It's a surefire way to stay up to date with your project's progress and to make sure that it helps you reach your goals.
#13 - Quality assurance
Having finished redesigning your website, you should have a quality assurance specialist check whether your website works as intended. Does it look like you wanted it to? Do all of its sections load? Does the text on it look the way it's supposed to? Do different contact forms work?
These things are just a few essentials that a quality assurance specialist is going to check out. Obviously, you can take care of such things yourself. Just keep in mind that it's not going to be feasible if you own a website with a large number of pages. Doing everything by hand would take forever. In such a scenario, it would be best to have an experienced specialist employ some automatic testing methods. While it might cost you some money, it's going to be much more effective and less time-consuming.
#14 - Performance monitoring
Let's say that you've already launched your new website. What now? Well, ideally, you should keep on monitoring its performance. In addition, evaluate whether it's helping you achieve your goals, whether it be gaining clients through inbound marketing or getting you closer to achieving your content marketing goals.
There are plenty of tools that allow website owners to keep an eye on their website's performance. The most popular and important tools out of the bunch include Google Analytics, Hotjar, Pingdom, and Ahrefs. Some of them come in a few different versions, each one with different functionalities and pricing.
Before you opt for a specific piece of software, determine whether you really need the features it has to offer. You don't want to pay for something that you aren't going to be using.
#15 - Gathering user feedback
Last but not least, you should ask your site visitors for feedback. For starters, give them an easy way to send you their comments. It could come in the form of a small panel that shows up on the side of your website as someone's browsing it. That way, no matter which part of your website they're on, they will be able to tell you what's bothering them quickly and efficiently.
It's also important that you listen to what your customers have to say during face-to-face meetings. Have they mentioned that they hadn't been able to find something on your new website? Maybe they couldn't get it to load on a mobile device? Such comments are a clear sign that the work on your current website is clearly not over yet.
Aside from that, you could ask your current clients to fill out a survey about your website. The best way to do so would be by sending them an email. Better yet, promise to give them something for completing the survey, such as a small gift or a discount code.
The survey itself could touch upon your website's structure, the ease with which your customers can find what they're looking for while browsing it, and whether its design is up to their standards. By analyzing their answers, you should be able to find ways to attract more visitors and figure out how to receive the most traffic possible.
Website redesign process made easy
So, there you have it, a comprehensive website redesign checklist! It outlines the majority of things that should be taken into consideration before and during the design process, as well as in its aftermath. If you follow it to the letter, you should be able to transform your old website into something truly great.
In case you still feel like it's too much for you to handle, no worries - we're here to help! We are a world-class web design agency that has already designed and developed a number of different websites. It doesn't matter if you're planning an e-commerce store redesign or thinking about creating a new website from scratch. You can be sure that if we're taking care of it, the end result is going to be a top-quality digital product. So, get in touch with us today, and let's do something great together!