Is your business in need of a website redesign? Whether you’re replacing a dated site or creating a new one to meet demand, there are a few elements that always require careful consideration. A complete website redesign demands a lot of upfront preparation, but once the new site is launched the effort is well worth the work.
Contrary to what you may think, choosing a website development firm or website designer is not the first step. You need to lay some groundwork first. A qualified web development agency can certainly assist you in laying the groundwork for success if you encounter issues early on.
As is true when starting any web design project, the first step is to make sure you know your brand inside and out. Having a strong identity is key to establishing a compelling online presence.
1.) Brand: Who are you…really? How do your clients, prospects and competitors currently perceive you? How would you like to be perceived? Is your perception of your brand represented in your logo, or does your logo need to be updated prior to a website redesign?
2.) Competition: Where do you stand in relation to your direct and indirect competitors? How will you differentiate yourself? What will make prospects, leads, and customers choose you over your competitors?
3.) Target: Who is your target market? Look beyond the industry and try to define the person. Are they male or female? How old are they? Where do they live? What brands do they like? What are their buying patterns and behaviors?
After examining the identity of your business you’ll need to define the goals of your organization.
- First, determine what your is for creating a new website.
- Second, decide what is it your website visitors want to experience when they visit your website.
- Third, create a system for tracking and measuring your success.
The almighty dollar. A project budget will help you to determine what size firm you will be able to work with and which elements of functionality your website can include. It’s important to remember that most projects around website redesign run into unforeseen issues that may require a budget increase or rearrange.
The next step is to determine what you’d like your website to accomplish. This is where the user experience conversation begins. A discussion with a website development firm would be helpful here, but the more you’ve thought out your user experience, the better.
Examples of common functionality:
- Content Management System (CMS): a database driven site that allows you to edit and maintain website content easily from any Internet-connected system.
- News Module
- Contact Forms
- Mobile Versioning
Once you’ve had a chance to define all of the information above, it’s time to find a web design and development agency.
Throughout the course of your website redesign, content should be at the forefront of your decision making process. The user experience information you’ve already settled on will help you choose the best home page and main navigation elements for your new website. As you create your subpage content, keep in mind which pages will require greater design attention, and what calls-to-action would best on which pages. While it’s not absolutely mandatory, it’s preferable to have all of your web site content complete before you launch your site. You’ll want to start well in advance of the website redesign process.
Last but not least, you’ll need to register your domain as soon as possible to begin establishing SEO credibility. Store your usernames and passwords associated with your domain registration, hosting, and email in the same place. This will make it easy for your web developer to access all the information they need before the new website redesign launches.
The more prepared you are before engaging in the website redesign process, the more successful the entire project will be.
Considering a web design or redesign?
The effort needed to conduct a successful website redesign poses many questions:
- What will make my site better and more effective?
- What do I absolutely need to take into account for my end users?
- Are there serious SEO issues or new search engine rules that I should watch out for?
The following free eBook answers the most critical questions related to a successful web redesign project:
- Key elements and features “must-haves” for your homepage.
- Critical steps to protect your SEO and content during a site redesign.
- Steps you can take to improve your site right now while the redesign project is underway.
Have you recently engaged in a website redesign project? What tips do you have for someone thinking of starting a new website project and what would you do differently?