Your website serves as your company’s online image and the basis of your digital identity. And if you’re reading this, it means that you’ve just finished an overhaul or updated your product.
Whichever the case, a redesign can be a great success, leading to conversion rate improvement — or a complete failure. It may also be a time-consuming and complicated process, which is why every redesign must begin with a clear vision and/or challenge to tackle.
A website is divided into two parts: the backend and the frontend. The backend, or code, is what drives the website and its functionalities. Though, the frontend is what determines how your site looks. A website redesign is a complete revamp of either or both of these two components.
Every redesign begins with a backstory. The reasons for redesigning a website may vary. But, what every website redesign project has in common is an obvious problem and an action plan to its solution.
This article goes through the strategies, methods, action plans, and tools required for your website redesign process. But before jumping into the process let’s consider some key points.
4 Key Points to Consider before Website Redesign
Before beginning the redesign process, thoroughly examine the following stages. There are four crucial steps involved in the website redesign process.
1- Website Goals
Determine your website goals to specify your objectives, milestones, and KPIs for the redesign. Also, identify the metrics that help you accomplish your goals.
2- Website Performance Audit
Running a SWOT analysis, for example, maybe good to assess the overall efficacy of your website. Relatively, conduct an industry benchmark to understand the performance of your competitors, identify best practices, and trends.
3- Finding the Gaps
To detect any gaps in website infrastructure, create a checklist that covers people, procedures, and technology. By improving the UX you can discover particular components of the web page that may be a barrier. For example, a misplaced CTA button, a shady web form, or anything else that is distracting or confusing the visitors.
4- Making a Road Map
Determine the actions and technologies required to bridge the gaps. For example, you may A/B test problematic components and fix them in the new wireframe design.
If you have a clear understanding of the site’s goals, the redesign process has the potential to enhance website performance. The procedure includes technical issues such as finalizing a color scheme, logo design, other design components, button colors, positioning, etc. Comparatively, from the programming perspective, deciding on a content management system, coding language, and similar things are critical.
When Do you Need a Website Redesign?
A website’s typical lifetime, according to Business 2 Community, is 1.5 to 2.5 years. Because design trends evolve and technology develops. So, this is the typical time for a design to be fresh and competitive. However, that period is just a guideline; you must decide what works best for your company.
Companies run website redesign project plans for a variety of reasons. Some of the causes are explored in-depth here:
- Your plans and goals change
- The industry changes
- Your brand identity is not clear
- A decreasing conversion rate (CR)
- Improving the SEO
- The website is outdated and low performing
- You want to add new features and functions
Website Redesign Strategy
A website redesign, regardless of the size of your company, is a huge project. A deep study and good planning can help your redesign be a great success without distressing you.
Let’s have a look at the stages to developing an effective website redesign strategy:
0- Website Redesign Project Plan
Before doing anything else, decide on the budget you want to allocate to the website redesign process. Also, consider if the redesign project is necessary and better than making a brand new website. Analyze your existing website to find out what problems you are going to solve by redesigning the website. And how effective it is expected to be.
1- Define your Objectives and Priorities
After the assessment, you’ll have a good sense of where you are with your website. Knowing the main issues that are impeding your conversion rates or even your brand image may help prioritize your redesign.
Analyze what you want from your new site. It helps you focus your efforts and decide if you need to revamp it. Prepare a list of precise and concrete goals, such as boosting web traffic, reducing bounce rates, increasing conversion, etc. Defining the goals that you want to accomplish with your website redesign keeps you focused and committed.
2- Create a User-centric design
A website’s success depends completely on its users. They are the ones who may make or destroy it. As a result, designing a website considering the visitors and their requirements can make a big difference. A user-centric design has always prioritized understanding the website visitors. So, knowing their needs, values, skills, and limits provides you with a redesign insight.
One of such needs is the users’ preferred device when browsing websites. According to Statista, mobile devices account for more than half of all online traffic. So, you should ensure that your website is mobile-friendly to prevent a high mobile device bounce rate. Mobile-friendliness means that you make sure your website is responsive and can adapt to different screen sizes.
3- Redesign your UI
If you think of UX design as a car, UI design is the steering wheel. Simply, review your current website doing an interface assessment. You just need to analyze the components of your website user interface. It comprises your colors, fonts, and content (text, pictures, logos). This way you can study the user interface elements within a thorough framework.
The user interface (UI) should never be complex. It should point visitors in the right direction to complete their tasks (micro-conversions) on your website.
For example, your website’s onboarding experience should be creative and tailored for your website revamping plan. You may choose how user-friendly your registration or sign-up form is. Also, you can redesign your home page or landing page to nudge people to stay longer on your website.
4- Optimize the Information Architecture (IA)
Successful information architectures make enable understanding of the visitors. The process of optimizing IA begins with an examination of your website’s content and structure. You may, for example, do a card sorting exercise for your complex website components that cause the users to leave. Combined with other user-centric design approaches, an evolved process can help you go a long way in your redesigning initiatives.
Following a content audit, you can do a card sorting exercise. Then, you can run A/B tests to determine what’s best for your website.
5- Redesign the Wireframes
A wireframe is a website blueprint that cross-functional teams use for redesign projects. As soon as you have a rough draft, you can begin usability testing your mockup ideas. Then, you can discover unexpected findings that may be incorporated into your redesigning plan.
6- Pay Attention to the Content
You want to help your visitors in finding information and completing activities. So, make sure you have up-to-date content providing valuable and useful information. The revised material should be user-centric and include a clear message that guides your visitors to the intended action.
7- Check Website Layout Adaptability
During the redesign process, prioritize your website’s flexibility. It should allow you to make the necessary changes as needed to keep everything operating smoothly. Having a versatile website layout can save you a lot of time and money.
8- Launch your Redesigned Website
When launching the redesign, prepare and execute a checklist, and conduct quality checks on the work you’ve done. You shouldn’t launch the new website design if you are not sure about any of your on-page functions or redirects. Use your website as a marketing tool, interact with your community, to promote the new design of your website.
9- Create a Post-launch Plan
Have a well-thought-out strategy in place for your website redesign project. The website should not only allow for modification but also let your team analyze the data gained from the redesign. Moreover, it should help you with your digital marketing efforts.
Essential Tools for Website Redesign
Website redesign includes several stages from analyzing, wireframing, and starting the new design. So, for different stages of this challenging process, you will need different tools.
Your website redesign should not just focus on appearance and keeping the website up-to-date. It should also include new technology to help things operate more smoothly and effectively.
One of the most important stages in a website redesign is analyzing the existing one. For this purpose, webmasters and digital marketers use analytics, heatmaps, session replays, scrollmaps, etc. So, let’s delve deeper into website analysis and how it helps the redesign process:
To understand which pages need improvement you just need to take a glance at the web analytics. It’s easy to find pages with the highest exit rates. So, you can check which pages are disappointing your visitors and make them leave.
Another great way is to analyze the website pages with a heatmap tool. Using this tool you can see which areas get most of the attention from your users.
This tool is great if your want to log user activity on your website. Session recordings help you get a better idea of your website’s pitfalls and roadblocks.
To access this practical tool, simply register on Watch Them Live. Then, follow these steps to get started with your session replays.
Aside from the conventional paper and pen, you may use tools like MockFlow, OmniGraffle, and Mockingbird to update your wireframes.
When you finally detect the issues on your website, there are several options available to implement the new design idea. You may have an in-house team or hire and outsource the work to an agency. But, if you want to do it yourself, Strikingly is a good choice. Using this tool, you don’t need coding knowledge to redesign your website.
It’s critical to get web forms correctly. If you don’t optimize them, you may lose on several things, including leads, feedback, contest participation, and inquiries.
Jotform is a good tool that handles all of the tough codings for you. So, you can simply focus on the front end. You may start with a blank form and drag and drop fields to create a custom form. Also, you can use a template, or import all of your previous forms so you have everything in one place.
6 Top Website Redesign Tips
After going through the website redesign process strategies and tools, let’s take a look at some of the best practices. So, the following tips can help you effectively developing an appealing design for your audience.
1- Use Contrasting Colors
Contrasting colors on a website not only leave a good feeling on visitors’ mind but also increases the conversion. For instance, when you use a contrasting color for your eCommerce store’s add-to-cart button, there is a higher chance for conversion. Use contrasting colors to make your website makeover stand out. Highlight the important parts of your website that you want visitors to notice using a color that isn’t used anywhere else on the page.
2- Use Attractive Visual Elements
Eye-catching visual elements are crucial to a website’s success. People are more receptive to images, drawings, and videos than they are to mere text. Instead of stock photos, consider using custom imagery.
3- Emphasize your Brand Identity
Work on your brand identity when redesigning your website. Consider how you connect with your audience, e.g. the tone and voice of your blog articles or social media postings.
Use colors, fonts, and images that are consistent with your brand’s identity. Always write in a consistent voice so that your audience is not confused.
4- Add a Blog to your Website
If you don’t have a blog on your website you’re missing out on connecting and converting your customers. Content marketing is one of the most efficient methods to attract visitors to your website. A blog is one of the simplest and least expensive methods to distribute information. To attract organic search traffic and social shares, write about subjects that assist people to solve issues regularly. So, when redesigning your website consider adding a blog.
5- Add Optimized Landing Pages
Consider developing new landing pages as part of your website revamp. Concentrate on converting visitors to a particular offer on each page. For example, a discount on your most popular product or a lead magnet for your email list.
Run website optimization reports after the redesign process to keep an eye on user behavior. Change your design depending on how the pages perform using the information from visitor activity reports on each page.
6- Optimize your New Website for SEO
Make sure that visitors can discover your material via organic search, from your landing pages to your blog. Use relevant keywords, add alt texts, write unique meta descriptions and long-form content to help Google understand your purpose.
Moreover, think about optimizing your new website for voice search. People usually tell their phones what to look for, rather than typing a query while they’re on the move. Optimize your website for voice to make it easier for users to discover you.
Consider ranking for keywords like “near me,” “nearby,” and “closest” if you operate a local company. For instance, if you sell home decoration items, try ranking for the phrase “home decoration store near me.”
When done properly, redesigning a website can increase conversion and thus revenue. Begin with data collection and analysis. So, you can better understand your current online traffic patterns, conversion rates, bounce rates, time on page, and other metrics.
Don’t forget to do research. Knowing what your rivals are doing may assist you in designing a more effective website that your visitors like. Make a rough sketch of your new site using wireframes and mockups, then start designing it piece by piece.