Websites are not supposed to look the same forever.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Apple website way back in 1996:
And the website now:
Hard to believe that’s the same company, isn’t it?
Like Apple, you’re going to have to redesign your website at some point. To do that effectively, you need to follow a process strictly. I’ve put together a website redesign checklist to help you.
Why do you need to redesign your website, you ask? Here are some reasons.
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Some Reasons to Redesign Your Website
There are many reasons brands redesign their websites. If a website looks outdated, companies will need to redesign to prevent website visitors from leaving. It’s simple: If your website looks old, website visitors assume the content is old, too. No one likes old content.
Some companies decide to undertake a website refresh because their site is not bringing in the desired conversions. Jeremy Abel, the chief strategist at rDialogue, described these websites as cars with no wheels. They “will take you nowhere,” he said.
Here are a few other reasons to redesign a website:
- To remove design inconsistencies and offer a good user experience. Design inconsistencies such as image files of different sizes or clashing colors worsen the user experience.
- To undertake a brand refresh or a rebrand. You might want small changes to the company logo or an overhaul of everything associated with the company.
- To drive more traffic to the website. The more website visitors you have, the more leads you’ll generate.
- To add functionality. You might want to add live chat to your website for an improved user experience, for instance.
In other words, companies are motivated to undertake a website redesign for a mixture of financial and aesthetic reasons. The company website is usually the first thing leads see. If it doesn’t look the part, the company will be losing out on potential sales.
7 Steps Website Redesign Checklist
Now that you know the reasons for undertaking a website refresh, let’s look at the steps you need to follow. This website redesign checklist will help ensure your website redesign gives you the results you want. It doesn’t matter if you’re after increased conversions or a website that provides a better user experience. Following these seven steps will get you there:
1. Identify Problems With the Current Website
This is the first step on this website redesign checklist for a reason: if you don’t identify your website’s problems, you won’t know the problems your website redesign should address. Remember, a website redesign costs money. The prudent thing to do, then, is to get all those problems fixed in the website redesign so you can get more bang for your buck.
When identifying your website’s problems, don’t just focus on the aesthetics. Check out how the website performs, too (more on this later). This might be a web design-related problem.
For example, if the website is loading too slowly, you might want to look at the images during the website redesign. The file sizes might be too big. Anything above 1 megabyte is likely to slow your site down. Consider changing the images’ format also. Instead of using the GIF or PNG format, use the JPEG format. JPEG images are much smaller in size.
2. Check Website Metrics
To get an accurate picture of how your website is performing, don’t just rely on what you see on the site itself. You have to look at what the data is telling you, too. Raw data will tell you how your website visitors are behaving. You’ll also know where exactly you’re losing them.
There are many tools you can use to check your web metrics. For instance, Pagespeed Insights can tell you what your page speed is. All you need to do is type the URL to get a performance score or the weighted average of all metric scores. The best part is the tool even tells you what you can do to get your speed up!
Apart from the page speed, you should look at the bounce rate. The bounce rate is the number of people who go to a page on your website but leave without going anywhere else. A bounce rate of over 70% is bad. That means your content may not be sufficiently appealing to your website visitors. A high bounce rate may also be due to slow page loading time.
Looking at the amount of time people spend on your website helps, too. If your website visitors are spending less time on a particular page, your checkout page, for example, that might mean it’s too complicated or it’s loading slowly.
3. Make A List Of Elements That Need Revamp
Once you’ve identified your website’s problems, make a list of what exactly is or may be causing them. For example, if your page speed is slow, you might have to add “image size” to your list. If your website visitors spend less time on your blog, you might have to include “content quality.” If there are low conversions, you might have to include “call-to-action” on your list. And so on.
Identifying the elements that need to be changed to improve website performance shouldn’t be based on guesswork. This is where the web metrics come in. The results of A/B testing can tell you a lot as well. With A/B testing, for example, you can know which CTA gives you the most conversions. You can also determine which checkout form is the best. A small change can make a big impact.
Determining the elements that need to be changed to improve the way a website looks can, on the other hand, be subjective. You may want to change the website font just because you think it doesn’t look as appealing. Or you may opt to go for the color blue as well just because it is your favorite color.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you can no longer base your decisions on data. For example, you may decide to change your website background to blue because psychologists found it has a soothing effect. Or you might choose to ditch the orange font because, according to a study reported by Neil Patel, both men and women report disliking the color.
4. Hire The Right Person & Get Started
If you have experience in web redesign then, by all means, do it yourself. But if you don’t, then it’s best to tap the experts. You have two options: hire a freelancer or a web design agency.
There are pros and cons to each option. For example, freelancers tend to charge less because they don’t have employees to pay or a physical office to rent. When considering website design cost, a freelancer can charge from $2000 to $5000 for a simple web redesign. For a redesign of websites with more custom design features, they can charge upwards of $10,000 to $15,000.
It can be risky to hire the cheapest freelancer you can find, though. There’s a chance the work won’t be up to standard. The key here is to hire a web designer who has a proven track record. Check out client testimonials and their previous work to make sure you’re hiring the right person.
Although a web design agency will definitely deliver, it will cost you more. A simple website redesign can cost from $15,000 to $20,000. Complex web redesigns can cost a whopping $20,000 to $40,000!
The option you choose will ultimately depend on your budget and your preference. Don’t forget to ask the right questions to your web designer before hiring them!
5. Redesign Your Content & SEO Elements
A website redesign is still an opportunity to improve the content, even if you think there are no problems. By redesigning content, I don’t just mean updating old data in articles. I also mean improving the content structure to ensure better navigation and user experience. With an improved user experience, you can expect fewer people to leave your page. You may enjoy better SEO results, too.
When Google indexes a website, it creates a map by following your site links. If your website has a poor structure, some content may not appear in search engine results.
Here’s what you can get with a good website architecture:
To improve your website architecture, you can optimize the website menu, review the web footer links, and change page links during the web redesign.
You can also further optimize your content for improved SEO. Before you do this, check out your competitors’ websites and the keywords they’re ranking for. Don’t dismiss SEO website design. That’s important to your business, too. Strong search engine results are essential for good digital marketing results.
6. Prioritize Mobile Experience
You should make sure your newly-redesigned website is mobile-friendly. Just look at the statistics. According to Techjury, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users globally in 2020. That’s not all. In the second quarter of 2020, Statista said mobile generated 51.53% of global website traffic!
In other words, you have to consider the possibility that visitors will access your website via their cell phones. That means you should optimize it for the mobile screen, too. That means your font and button sizes should be large enough, your images should load quickly, and there should be no text-blocking ads or pop-ups. You have to make information easier to find, too. Responsive web design – a design that automatically reconfigures to fit the user’s screen – is a necessity in 2020.
Keep the website design simple and don’t include too many elements. Your website visitors will most likely leave if they see a cluttered page on their small screen.
7. Ask For Feedback
Don’t forget to ask for feedback on your newly-redesigned website. You can do this by sending a short feedback form to your subscribers.
Pro tip: verify email address before you add a new subscriber to your list. If you don’t, you might bring your sender score down and harm your brand new website.
Don’t be content with the feedback forms alone. Make sure you conduct user testing, too. That means you have to look at your website metrics once again and A/B test select elements. Your website shouldn’t just look better after the website redesign. It should perform better so you can get as many website visitors as possible to take your desired action.
For your website redesign to be successful, you need to follow a process. Don’t just dump all the work on the web designer. Be involved. After all, no-one knows your business and your vision better than you! Base your web redesign decisions not only on your preferences. Look at hard data, too.
I’ve outlined all the things you need to do on this website redesign checklist. Now it’s over to you. If you do your part, your website designer or agency will surely make you a beautiful website that reflects your business or brand. The site will help you achieve all your website goals, too!
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