Planning for Your Website Redesign

Line graph analytics and pie chart on a laptop screen

Whether you launched your website four years ago or last year, there will come a time when you’ll consider a website redesign.

It might be due to business expansion, change in focus, move to a current technology, or because the existing site isn’t mobile-friendly.

Whatever the reason, you want to plan for the redesign so you can reach your goals and invest your time, effort, and money wisely.

Here are some first steps to consider:

  1. Identify your goals. Why do you need a redesign? Is it time to move to a current technology, improve usability, or increase conversions? Are you looking to make your site mobile-friendly?

    All are good reasons for a website redesign.

    For a recent client web redesign project, I updated the technology on their website and designed a new mobile-friendly site.

  2. Find out what’s currently working (and not working). Talk with your customers, or conduct customer surveys and in-person interviews to learn what’s working well on the website, and what’s frustrating website visitors.

    Don’t make website visitors angry by removing or drastically changing things that are working well.

    Are you a one-person shop? You’ll likely have stories from customers who emailed or called about website issues.

    If you have customer support staff or people working directly with customers, ask them what they’ve heard from customers about the website. You’ll be able to identify what customers like and what areas or pages are prime for change.

  3. Review website analytics and performance. What pages are customers visiting? What pages don’t have any visits? Analyze bounce rates and heat maps to learn more about customers’ behaviors on your site.

    Review your site’s performance. Is it slow? This could be a reflection of the technology, code used to create the pages, or the type of content (non-optimized images, videos) on the pages.

  4. Conduct a content audit. After a site is launched, it’s easy to forget about updating the content. A content audit lists all the text, images, video, and other content on the site.

    For each piece of content, document whether it can be used as is, repurposed or if it’s redundant, outdated, or trivial (ROT).

    A new client looking for a redesign had a home page photo showing an employee working with a customer, but the employee left three years ago. Why is her photo still on the home page?

  5. Determine your budget. Website redesigns are an investment of money, time, and effort. Knowing your budget for each will determine what your options are for a redesign, and what may need to be cut out.

    For example, changing technology for your site may mean you need a host with expanded hosting options. If you need new imagery and photos for your site, you’ll need to consider the costs for new graphic design and photography.

Having an updated and well-designed website that works well for your website visitors will drive more traffic to your business. Through careful planning, you can minimize unexpected and costly issues in the website redesign process.

If you’re looking for help with your website redesign, contact me by phone or email. I can answer your questions and help your business improve your website presence.

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About the Author

Deborah Edwards-Onoro helps small businesses, consultants, nonprofits, and higher ed with creative and distinctive websites. Deborah shares her expertise with web design, user experience, and accessibility on her blog, social media, and at meetup events. As organizer of Refresh Detroit, West Metro Detroit WordPress, and Metro Detroit WordPress, she encourages members to share their knowledge and experiences. In her free time, you'll find her birding, shooting photos, reading, or watching tennis.
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