Customers make opinions about your business based on the website’s design. In fact, 94% of first impressions are related to how your website looks and 75% of website credibility comes from its design.
Your website represents your business, your brand and your values by its design – colors, elements, information structure, images. Would you spend time on a website that is not attractive? Or a website that is not optimized for your mobile device?
If you are wondering if your website needs a redesign and which are the steps to follow you are in the right place.
We’ve outlined the general steps you should go through while redesigning your website. This way you can monitor if you are on the right track.
When Is It Time to Redesign Your Website?
It’s important to note that redesign is a complex process that can be tackled in various approaches. One of them is a gradual update of landing pages with focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO), another is a complete overhaul. Depending on the budget and your goals, you should choose what suits you best.
If you are considering website redesign the first question is how do you know your website needs a redesign? If your website meets most of the criteria below, this means the time for website redesign has come.
Your Goals and Business Strategy Have Changed
It has been years since you’ve launched your website. Your business has probably changed and grown which means that your marketing goals have too. Your website should reflect your new strategy.
Your Website Looks Outdated
Design trends evolve on a yearly basis. Early on, developers didn’t bother with design too much. Now design is very important because it represents your business.
If your website design is old people might think your business doesn’t follow the latest trends. They might even question whether they can trust you or your products.
Your Website Doesn’t Drive You Revenue
If your website doesn’t bring in the sales as before you definitely need a redesign. This is crucial, especially for online shops. The products and services on your website should go hand in hand with an outstanding user experience.
Your Website Loads Slowly
83% of people expect a website to load in 3 seconds or less. The lower your website speed is the higher your bounce rate will be and this reflects on your conversion rate. A slow page can result in a 97% mobile shopping cart abandonment.
In addition, a couple of years ago Google included website speed as one of the factors that algorithms use to rank pages.
A design on its own has no impact on speed. But more often than not, an agency or a freelancer can improve a website’s speed when they develop the site from the ground up.
Your Visitors Don’t Stay on Your Website Anymore
Guests visit your website, but they don’t spend much time on it or take any action. The reasons for that might vary, but you should consider your website design. If your website is unattractive your visitors won’t have reason to stay and interact with it.
Your Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly
If your website hasn’t been redesigned lately it’s quite normal to have problems on mobile. In 2020, this is unthinkable. In the US, 63% of Google’s visits are from mobile devices.
To think mobile-first is no longer a choice. It’s a must. In terms of eCommerce sales, the data shows that 40% of users will go to a competitor after a bad experience with your mobile site.
12-Step Website Redesign Checklist
If your website needs a redesign you might wonder what to do next. Fortunately, we have prepared a checklist below, which will guide you throughout the whole process of the website redesign.
1. Audit Your Current Website
Before you start with the actual website redesign you need to analyze your current website. This way you can plan effectively what needs to be done. Think about the following questions:
- Which pages perform well?
- Which pages perform badly?
- What pages can be removed completely?
- What content should stay? Do you have any content that needs to be updated?
- What pages need to be optimized? Check for broken links, call to action buttons that don’t work or outdated info.
Check your Google analytics key indicators. Focus on the following data:
- Bounce rate
- Conversion rate
- Shopping cart abandonment if you own an online shop
- Returning visitors
- New visitors
- Related article: How to Increase the Time Visitors Spend on Your WordPress Website
2. Don’t Exclude the SEO
The website redesign process is a great opportunity to optimize your content for SEO and search for better keywords that you can rank for. SEO optimization is something you should perform on a regular basis, but in case you’ve neglected it, you now have the chance to improve it.
In terms of the technical aspect of SEO you can:
- Optimize your meta descriptions, title tags and H elements
- Add alt text to your images
- Clear duplicate content
- Use local SEO keywords if your business has a physical location
- Improve your link building and fix the broken links
- Consider voice search, since the trend keeps growing
- Related article: How to Create the Perfect WordPress Structure for SEO
3. Set Your Goals
A new online business strategy requires new goals. After your website audit, you will be able to make data-driven decisions on what you want to achieve and determine your new goals.
- Related article: How Website Redesign Will Boost Your Audience Engagement
4. Communicate Your Value Proposition
Your business has grown since you have started it. You probably offer a wide range of products or services now. This means your unique value proposition has changed and you should communicate this clearly.
5. Redesign Your Website for Your Target Audience
When redesigning your website you need to follow one simple principle – redesign for your customers, not for you. When people open your website they should have a clear understanding of what is in it for them and how you will resolve their pain points.
- Related article: Infographic: How to Develop User-Centered WordPress Concepts
6. Analyze Your Competitors
Examine your competitors and check if they’ve invested in redesign. Think about the following points:
- What are the design trends they are following?
- What technologies have they been introduced to?
- What new features or functionalities have they applied to their websites?
- What do you think you can do better? This is the most important question that you should work towards.
7. List Your Design Options and Brainstorm Ideas
The next step of the redesign process is to check the latest design trends. You can review the most trending colors, fonts and website styles. Research keywords, so you can optimize your navigation menus.
Investigate what will impress your target audience. Collect all your ideas and discuss them with your team.
- Related article: 8 eCommerce Web Design Trends to Follow in 2020
8. Find a Proper Team That Will Realize Your Redesign Ideas
This is a really important point because you need to trust the professionals you hire. You need to describe your business to them in a clear and concise way so that they can get to the crux of a matter.
To find the right specialists you need to have a clear idea of the different design and developer professions. If your website generates millions of views and your project is quite complex you might need to hire a WordPress agency.
If your website needs small changes you might need a web designer and developer or a WordPress freelancer.
For a better understanding of what would be the right choice for your project, you can check this article which will help you to find out what is the difference between a web designer and a web developer.
9. Use a Staging Environment
Before performing any changes on your website you should be sure you won’t damage your existing website. That is why you should create a staging environment, then copy your existing website to it and start working on your redesign. When you are ready, you can migrate the code and even Database from the working environment to the public one.
A bonus tip is to exclude the temporary URL so it can be indexed by Google’s crawling bots since this could be considered as duplicate content.
10. Optimize Your Website for User Experience (UX)
Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a design that you like, but your customers won’t.
In regards to the user experience you should consider the following details:
- CTA buttons are the most important part of your website. They should be clear and make users want to click and follow the respective action.
- Navigation should be simple. Don’t make your users waste time searching for information that should be displayed right away.
- Create landing pages or optimize your existing ones.
If you own an online shop this tutorial on how to create an eCommerce landing page that sells might be useful when planning your marketing campaigns and designing a landing page.
11. Mobile-Friendly Design Is a Must
Your website should run smoothly on any device. Having a mobile-friendly design creates a positive customer experience.
Keep in mind that the mobile-first strategy helps your website rank higher in Google which introduced the mobile-first factor for indexing a few years ago.
- Related article: 4 Steps for Conducting a Mobile WordPress SEO Audit
12. Test Your Redesigned Website
The final step is the quality assurance tests. You need to test absolutely everything and make sure your newly redesigned website works perfectly.
Once your website goes live you have the opportunity to analyze the user’s behavior. The most important components are the call to action buttons. You need to monitor if guests click on them or they need additional optimization.
Make sure the technical team you rely on is available to fix any bugs so your website can work flawlessly.
- Related article: How to Develop a Quality Assurance Plan for Your WordPress Site
Five Examples of Websites Redesign to Inspire You
Let’s check five examples of famous brands that did their website redesign well.
Before – only one call to action button on the landing page, not very stylish and an unclear value proposition in the headline.
After – cheerful colors, several call to action buttons, creative graphics, and a clear value proposition.
Before – not a very attractive landing page. It doesn’t catch the attention of visitors.
After – vivid colors and a clear value proposition where customers understand what’s in for them.
Before – no colors and an abstract landing page that is not well organized.
After – optimistic colors and optimized texts.
Before – not a very trendy design, too much information.
After – optimized according to the latest blogging design trend. It has a very clear call to action button that can’t be missed.
Before – a vague value proposition and not very cheerful colors used.
After – a clear value proposition and an optimized call to action, bright colors.
Download the Complete Website Redesign Checklist
In this article we have covered the basic 12 steps in website redesign.
Moreover, we have prepared a full website redesign checklist for you to download for free. All you need to do is sign-up here to receive an email with the link.
The website redesign is not an easy process, but it is a must. Your website’s design can’t stay as it is forever. Trends, technologies and users behaviors change, so you should adapt to those changes and be even one step ahead.
How should you proceed? Start by analyzing your website, go over your competitors’ and see what you can implement, but better. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and redesign a website for them.