Every company that has an online presence will inevitably face the need for a website redesign sooner or later. There can be one or many reasons leading to a website overhaul decision: outdated visuals, poor user experience, insufficient conversions or leads, poor speed performance… the list goes on and on.
For a complete checklist on website redesign reasons, check our article 5 reasons to redesign your website.
Redesigning a website is a comprehensive project that must be planned accordingly. Regardless of the website size, certain key factors are critical for a successful redesign. This article presents a list of the most important aspects to be considered for a stress-free redesign process.
1. Know your assets and keep what works
Start by assessing what is the current state of your website: Does it have great images? Highly accessed pages? Certain posts have a lot of social traction? Excellent! Set these elements aside and make sure they are part of the final product.
2. Design for your users
An optimal user experience (UX) is the cornerstone of your website performance. The goal is for users to find what they are looking for intuitively and with ease. They should be engaged by the way content is presented. Collecting research on your primary users is critical – Who are they? What are they looking for? Where are they coming from? Why are they / should they choose your product or service? When redesigning, every design decision should take your targeted users into account.
3. Ensure branding is consistent
The goal is to produce a fresh look and feel that expands from the website across all marketing channels and collaterals so the company is easily identifiable. Consistent branding gains user trust and ensures that existing customers will recognize your company and remain loyal.
4. Optimize to win
Enforce the use of latest technology and best practices: optimize image sizes, combine scripts and styles, set a Content Distribution Network(CDN), make use of cache, setup required redirects. The sum of these efforts will result in a better speed performance and user experience. Optimization will also improve your search engine ranking.
5. Reserve time for testing
When determining the project timeline, make sure to reserve time for quality assurance before and after launch. This will ensure that all items are addressed, providing a stress-free experience. Prior to your website premiere, put aside time to test usability and functionality. Make sure that content is readable and free of dummy text, navigation and inner links are fully functional, all actions can be completed, device and browser compatibility is verified. After launch, check for access and real analytics data.
6. Plan for growth
A successful redesign process will result in a sensation of completeness when your new website launches. However, websites are dynamic beings and they grow very fast. For that reason, it is wise to build an architecture that allows business growth and technical updates without a major overhaul. Additionally, plan for periodic reviews of conversion performance and scheduled maintenance.
Summing it up
Following these 6 steps will help you transform your website into an instrument that drives traffic and converts visitors into customers.