How to Redesign a Website: 13-Step Checklist & Practical Tips

How to Redesign a Website: Examples, Tips, and 13-Step Checklist

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Redesigning a website is the process of making big changes to how a site looks and works, to make it better in performance, user experience, or visual appeal. This includes updating the layout, design, and content.

In this guide, we will explore how to redesign your website step by step. Whether you have a personal page to share your hobbies or you are an entrepreneur who wants to improve your digital results, you will learn how to identify if your website needs to be redesigned, its benefits, and its costs.

  • Before a website redesign, it is necessary to analyze existing site performance metrics
  • Create a sitemap that outlines the website’s structure
  • The average lifespan of a website design is around 2 to 3 years
  • The cost of redesigning a website can range from $3,000 to $30,000 or more
  • Maintain consistent brand colors, logos, and messaging during the website redesign
  • Use a project plan to organize tasks, set deadlines, and assign responsibilities

How to Redesign Your Current Website: Step-by-Step Checklist

Redesigning a website requires these 13 steps:

Step 1: Analyze Current Website Performance Metrics

Before starting a website redesign, it’s essential to consider the current state of your website.

Start by reviewing key performance metrics, such as:

  • Traffic metrics: Analyze website traffic and link value using tools like Google Analytics. Identify which website pages receive the most visits, bounce rates, and user engagement.
  • Conversion metrics: Check conversion rates for essential actions, such as sign-ups, downloads, or purchases.
  • User behavior: Understand how users navigate your site, including popular entry and exit pages, time spent on each page, and click-through rates.

For example, if you find that a good part of your website’s traffic comes from mobile devices and experiences high bounce rates, it’s an indication that your site may need a mobile-friendly website redesign.

Step 2: Research the Competition

Research your industry competitors and analyze their websites.

Identify what works well for them and areas where they fall short.

Key aspects to observe include:

  • Design elements: Check the visual elements, color palettes, and layout used by competitors.
  • Content strategy: Identify the types of content they offer, such as blog posts, videos, etc.
  • User experience: Assess how easy it is for users to navigate their websites and find information.

For example, if your competitors are successfully using video tutorials to engage their audience, you might consider including video content to your website redesign strategy.

Step 3: Create a Website Redesign Project

Documenting a successful website redesign strategy is an important part of making your project effective and productive.

To create your plan, start by clearly writing down your objectives for the website redesign.

Goals might include improving user engagement, increasing conversion rates, or making your visual more appealing.

Develop a website redesign plan that also outlines:

  • Scope: Define what aspects of the website will be redesigned, such as layout, content, or functionality.
  • Timeline: Develop a realistic timeline for the website redesign process.
  • Resources: Identify the team members or professionals needed for the project, such as a web designer or web developer. Remember they will have to communicate a lot with each other during the process, so select your team carefully.

For example, if your goal is to boost eCommerce sales, your strategy may involve optimizing the product pages, simplifying the checkout process, and implementing persuasive calls to action (CTAs).

Step 4: Define Your Branding

Website redesign is an opportunity to refine your branding and messaging. Guarantee consistency in:

  • Brand Colors: Use consistent brand colors on your website to reinforce your brand identity.
  • Logo: Update or refine your logo if necessary.
  • Messaging: Clearly communicate your value proposition, mission, and unique selling points (USPs).

For example, if your brand is known for eco-friendly products, incorporate green and sustainable imagery and messaging on the site.

Step 4: Define Your Buyer Personas

Identify your ideal customers or buyer personas. Understand the pain points, needs, and preferences of that target audience.

Craft your website content and design to address these personas effectively.

If one of your buyer personas is a busy working parent, for example, consider featuring time-saving solutions on the site.

Also, conduct market research to identify:

  • Demographics: Know the age, gender, location, and interests of your target audience.
  • User needs: Understand what problems your website can solve for users.
  • Trends: Stay updated on industry trends and add relevant innovations to your website redesign.

For example, if your target audience includes tech-savvy millennials interested in sustainability, you may want to emphasize your innovative eco-friendly practices in your website redesign.

Step 6: Choose the Right Software

Selecting the right website design software is important, including hosting services and domain registrars.

Consider popular options like WordPress, which offers a wide range of themes and plugins for customization.

If you plan to add an online store to your website now, guarantee that your chosen software has a good reputation supporting e-commerce features.

Step 7: Create a Sitemap

Develop a sitemap that outlines the structure and hierarchy of your website.

It serves as a visual representation of the website pages even before the web development.

A sitemap might include a homepage, product pages, blog section, and contact page, all connected logically for user-friendly navigation.

Step 8:Apply Best Design Practices

When redesigning your website, apply the design best practices, including:

  • Hierarchy: Use a clear visual hierarchy to guide users through the content, emphasizing important elements.
  • Contrast: Create visual interest using contrasting colors, fonts, and elements.
  • Balance: Guarantee a balanced layout with well-distributed elements to avoid clutter.
  • Use of Imagery: Select high-quality images and graphics that align with your brand.
  • Typography: Choose readable fonts that improve the user experience.

Step 9: Update the Content on Your Current Website

Content plays a core role in a website redesign.

Review and update existing content to align it with your new strategy, considering the adoption of a content management system to simplify this process.

Also, pay attention to:

  • Tone of Voice: Maintain an appropriate tone considering your ideal customer.
  • Microcopy: Improve microcopy elements, such as button labels and form instructions.
  • Intent: Guarantee that each piece of content serves a clear purpose.

For example, if your website promotes a subscription service, review the content to highlight the benefits and emphasize the value of subscribing.

Step 10: Aim to Redesign the Website Without Losing Search Engine Optimization

Preserving your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) during the website redesign is essential.

Consider these elements for keeping your position in search engine results pages:

  • Use of Keywords: Guarantee that relevant keywords are added naturally into the new content.
  • Alt-Text: Update alt-text for images to maintain accessibility.
  • Page Meta Tags: Keep essential meta tags like title and description for SEO continuity.
  • Domain Name: If changing the domain, add redirects to avoid losing search engine rankings.

Step 11: Optimize the Mobile Version of the Website

In a mobile-centric internet, optimizing the mobile version of your website is necessary.

Focus on responsive design and test across different devices and screen sizes.

Step 12:Beta Testing

Before launching the redesigned website, have beta testing to get feedback from a select group of users.

This helps identify any quality issues that need addressing before the site goes live.

Check for any issues, broken links, or errors.

If the redesign introduces new features or functionalities for your users, provide training and support to guarantee that they can make the most of these changes.

For example, if you have added a customer portal for online services, provide training sessions or tutorials to help users navigate the new system.

Step 13: Review and Publish Your Website Redesign

Once you’re confident in its readiness, it’s time to publish the redesigned website.

How Do You Know If Your Website Needs a Redesign?

Determining if your website needs a redesign will be always relevant for keeping it competitive and aligned with your business goals. It doesn’t matter the industry.

The factors you should consider are:

1. Company updates, rebranding, or new business goal

A change in your company’s direction, rebranding, or new business goals may demand a website redesign.

You need to guarantee that your site reflects your current mission and vision.

2. Website performance

Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) like bounce rates, conversion rates, and load times.

A decline in performance may indicate a need for a website redesign to improve user experience and drive better results.

3. Budget increase or decrease

Changes in your budget can influence your website’s performance.

An increased budget might allow more advanced features, while a decreased budget may demand a low-cost design and maintenance.

4. Industry changes

Stay updated to industry trends and user preferences.

If your website lags behind competitors or doesn’t incorporate the latest innovations, it’s time for an update.

5. Time

Website design trends and technologies change fast.

If your site looks outdated or has not been refreshed in several years, it may benefit from a modern website redesign to keep it relevant.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Website Design?

The average lifespan of a website design is typically around 2 to 3 years.

However, this can vary based on industry trends, technological revolutions, and changes in your business goals.

What Does a Website Redesign Include?

Imagine your website as a digital storefront for your business.

Just like a physical store needs a makeover now and then, your website also needs a refresh from time to time.

This is called a website redesign, and it includes:

  1. Visual Refresh: Updating the design, layout, and color scheme to create a more appealing and modern look.
  2. User Experience (UX): Improving navigation, accessibility, and overall usability for your website visitors. You should also focus on using User Interface (UI) knowledge here.
  1. Content: Reviewing and updating existing content, adding fresh material, and optimizing it for search engines.
  2. Functionality: Improving features, adding new plugins, and ensuring compatibility with different devices and browsers.
  3. SEO Optimization: Implementing SEO best practices to improve search engine rankings.
  4. Performance Optimization: Increasing website speed and performance for a better user experience.
  5. Mobile Responsiveness: Checking the site functions well on smartphones and tablets.
  6. Security Issues: Updating security measures to protect against threats and cyber attacks.
  7. Branding Consistency: Aligning the website with the company’s current branding and messaging.
  8. Quality testing: Check the redesigned site to identify and fix any issues before launch.

How Long Does a Website Redesign Process Take?

A website redesign process can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks, with larger projects potentially extending to 6 months or more, depending on the scale and complexity of the redesign.

How much does it cost to redesign an existing website?

The redesign cost typically ranges from $3,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the project.

The number of changes needed, and whether you hire a professional agency or do it in-house, can also interfere.

You can also do it for free, using templates and free platforms, but it will require more time, energy, and technical expertise of yours.

Website Redesign vs. Website Refresh

Deciding whether to redesign or refresh your website can be confusing.

Knowing the differences between these two methods to restructure your website will help you to make the right choice.

What is a website refresh?

Refreshing your website involves updating the look and feel of your existing website, similar to how you would revamp a room in your home.

However, it’s not just about aesthetics.

A website refresh involves making minor adjustments to the website’s appearance and fixing any issues that affect the website’s performance. It also includes:

  • Visual Renovation: Make small changes to how the website looks. This could include changing colors, updating images, or modernizing the user interface. The goal is to maintain the site’s current look while improving its appeal.
  • Content Updates: Review and update existing content to make sure it stays relevant and interesting. The aim is not to introduce entirely new content but to refresh what’s already there.
  • Issue Addressing: Identify specific issues that affect the website’s performance. This might mean fixing links that don’t work, making the site load faster, or ensuring it works on different devices.
  • SEO Maintenance: Instead of completely redoing the SEO, the website refresh keeps the current SEO work. It aims to keep the current search engine rankings effective.

One of the key advantages of a website refresh is its cost-effectiveness and quicker implementation.

Choosing a website refresh is ideal if your website’s structure and branding are still effective, and you want to keep it updated.

What is the difference between a website redesign and a website refresh?

The main difference between a website redesign and a website refresh is how much they change.

While a website redesign is like completely rebuilding a structure from the ground up, a website refresh maintains the structure and identity while improving some visuals, content, and performance aspects.

How to decide between a website redesign and a website refresh?

When you are deciding if you should redesign or refresh your website, think about your goals, budget, and the condition of your website.

Choose a website refresh if you want to keep your website’s structure, branding, and identity while making small improvements in appearance, content, and performance.

On the other hand, if you want to completely transform your online identity and revolutionize your user experience, choose a website redesign.

The same website can be refreshed and redesigned multiple times, depending on what the owner wants at the moment.

Final Word

As a website owner, rebranding your website is more than a matter of taste.

No doubt, it is essential to create a project to renovate your site from time to time and keep it relevant for your audience.

If improving your website is part of your priorities this year, consider exploring our curation of Best Website Builders.

This way, your website redesign will be done considering the ultimate providers, even migrating to them if necessary.

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About How to Build a StoryBrand Website

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to redesign a website?

You can legally redesign a website if you own it or have permission.

However, your website redesign strategy must respect copyright and content rights, and follow any relevant terms of service or agreements with web hosting providers.

What are the disadvantages of website redesign?

A website redesign can have disadvantages.

It can be expensive and time-consuming.

Besides that, changes may confuse website visitors, affecting user experience, and search engine rankings might drop temporarily.

Plus, it can be a challenge to keep up with evolving design and technology trends, requiring more updates in the future (which mean more costs).

However, if you follow the steps we have provided, the risks of doing your website redesign are almost zero.

Is it easy to redesign a website?

Developing a website redesign strategy is not always easy.

Small updates are simpler, but significant changes can be time-consuming and require technical skills.

You might need to hire specialized professionals for this, such as web designers and web developers.

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