An 11-Item Website Redesign Checklist For Business Owners
Every business will take on a website redesign, this 11-point website redesign checklist will break it down to help business owners streamline the process.
Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash
All business websites, whether small or big, require redesigning or updating from time to time to stay relevant and productive. Any business website without fresh content, a new layout, and enhanced SEO strategies can remain stagnant. This can result in them trailing behind competitors receiving more visits, and obtaining more customers and better engagement rates.
However, before redesigning your site, evaluate your original goals and see whether you’ve accomplished them. Then, assess those you’ve yet to attain. Reviewing your website metrics will help you accurately and precisely analyze what sections need improvements.
There are a lot of components in a redesign and a website redesign checklist is indispensable. Here’s a Website Redesign Checklist to keep in mind and vital steps you need to implement to ensure it’s up-to-date and ready for triumph:
1. Create A Task Force
Before you discuss anything about the redesign project, you need to create a task force that’ll supervise the entire process. They can help hasten progress and avoid mistakes. Ideally, the team should be a multidisciplinary group of at most five people. Consider hiring an expert web design and development professional from a reputable digital marketing company. You should also select a project leader.
2. Analyze And Audit Your Existing Website
As any website grows, no matter how good the website is, it will develop some weaknesses. Checking your website’s performance indicators will help you identify areas that need improvement or upgrade.
Your website redesign checklist will largely be shaped by understanding the strengths and weaknesses in the site’s performance. At the same time, work to enhance the other areas that have a lower impact on overall activity. For instance, you need to determine whether your existing website navigation affects the engagement rates or the number of visits. Doing an audit will give you a clear insight into what’s working or performing well and what’s not. After that, you can decide on the most significant revisions or upgrades you ought to make.
3. Back-Up The Important Assets
Ensure you back up your website’s most crucial data so they can be accessible even after the redesign process. Besides, backing up the whole website is crucial, even though you might only reuse some of its contents.
Additionally, you’d want to ensure that your current website operates without any hitch as it’s being revamped. You can copy it to a temporary URL and then redesign it there. Once the process has been completed, copy it back to your original domain to replace the old site. However, hiring a professional would be a good idea to ensure you don’t make any mistakes and lose crucial data.
4. Determine Your Target Audience
The next step is to set your target audience. This is paramount, particularly if you didn’t consider this for the existing website. If your business provides its services or products to different audiences, if necessary, separate design pages focusing on the various types of customers to meet all their needs without leaving anyone behind.
5. Conduct A Competition Analysis And Look For Innovative Ideas
Remember to conduct a quick competition analysis of websites in your niche or industry. Focus on the following elements:
- Great ideas: Take note of the things that do well on competitor websites. Then, decide which components you’d wish to incorporate into your website. However, be careful not to copy things just as they are, like lifting images or texts directly. You’d want to avoid plagiarizing your competitors’ content.
- The general look of the site: Look at their websites’ colors, font styles, and images.
- Tricky sections: Look through the various menu tabs on their sites and take note of the things you think have issues. Also, assess if their pages take too much time to load and if it’s hard to find their services or products and pricing data. All these things are what you should improve on your website.
Once you’ve visited your competitors’ websites and done thorough research on your industry, you can obtain valuable insights. Also, you’ll uncover innovative features and ideas that’d strengthen your redesign plan.
6. Set Your Goals
A key component of any website redesign checklist is setting goals. These goals should take into consideration both your and your customer’s expectations.
Success is critical, considering the amount of effort, time, and money you’ll put into the redesign process. Depending on your findings after conducting a competitive analysis, you should have a good idea of what needs to be upgraded or improved. This is the right time to begin to set your goals.
Additionally, it’s also essential to get insights from your team members. For instance, sending a questionnaire or survey to the various team members or employees will be an excellent, streamlined method of getting more ideas or feedback. It’ll help you comprehend what you truly need to focus on during the redesigning process.
Irrespective of the goals you choose to set, you should communicate to the team about them so they can be at the top of their minds while the website is being upgraded.
7. Prepare A Cost Plan
Whether you intend to shell out a significant amount of money or be economical with the website redesign project, preparing a cost plan to manage your finances accordingly is necessary.
Here are a few steps you can take to develop your redesign cost plan:
- Resource planning: Start by determining your website needs regarding the skills, personnel, tools, and funds required. Doing so helps you envision the costs of each task and the overall project.
- Cost estimation: The estimated costs will be determined by the website’s needs identified during resource planning. Other factors include who will redesign the site, its size and complexity, and the content management system.
- Budgeting: Calculate all the estimated expenses to determine how much capital you need. Figure out how much funds will go where and for how long.
- Cost control: Compare the differences between your cost estimates and the actual expenses. This will help you make adjustments to keep your redesign project within budget.
Preparing a cost plan will help you to map out and estimate redesign costs and efficiently manage actual expenses to ensure you stay on budget throughout the process.
8. Set An Estimated Timeline To Redesign
Now that you’ve set your budget and goals, you have to estimate a timeline for completing all website redesign projects. Setting an estimated timeline has many advantages. It helps you stick to a reasonable schedule and motivates you to keep working consistently. It’s also advantageous if you employ a professional and pay them by the hour. With an estimated timeline, everything will be ready to be tackled within the set schedule, helping you achieve your goals quickly.
9. Develop Your Site
At long last, it’s time to get into the real action. Whether you’ll be using a ready-made template, working with a website developer, or doing it yourself, here are a few areas you need to pay attention to:
- Branding: This refers to the overall feel and look of your website. Branding also helps customers tell you apart from your competitors regardless of how your businesses are similar.
- Marketing: Consider how the site communicates to your target customers and how it helps promote your products or services and your brand as a whole. Also, consider how the redesign will attract new customers.
- Sales: refers to the number of products or services your target audience purchases directly from the website. Therefore, you’ll be required to utilize your design to obtain high engagement, retain customers, and maximize orders.
- Technical: Typically, the technical factor depends more on the developer than the designer. This involves how properly your website runs, the particulars needed to run it, the applications, and the security.
How much attention you dedicate to these aspects depends entirely on your goals.
On the other hand, ensure that you keep all site aspects intact when redesigning. They should also join together ideally and eventually create a complete picture. You’d also want to create an incredible and optimized user experience. Go through your website and ensure that you have these essential components.
The following features or qualities are significant components of a website that customers expect and will leave a positive and lasting impression:
- Domain name: It refers to the unique name that comes after the ‘www.’ in a web address. Your domain name should be easy to remember to help your users find your site easily.
- Company name: Put the company name where it’s easily seen.
- Search bar: Include a search button on your homepage that allows visitors to take charge of their site experience.
- Logo: It should also appear on top of the homepage. Ensure that it’s small, eye-catching, and easy to remember.
- Description: It summarizes your services and who you are as a business or brand.
- Images: Attach a header image to your website to provide visitors with something to entice them visually.
- Testimonials: Consider incorporating positive feedback from previous clients or customers into your home page.
- Social media icons: To attract more traffic, include social media icons on the homepage or the footer.
Getting all these components right ensures your website runs as it should and gives visitors an excellent experience.
10. Optimize Your Website
Website optimization is a series of planned actions that help you enhance website performance and help it rank high on search engines. Its primary goals are to attract traffic to the site, improve user experience, increase conversion rates, and eventually boost revenue. Optimizing your website will help you connect with your prospects effectively and efficiently.
There’s no ideal solution to website optimization, but here are a few strategies you can use:
- Optimize content marketing strategy: It includes creating and publishing content that enlightens your customers about your products or services. Content marketing increases engagement, loyalty, brand awareness, and authority.
- Prioritize mobile-friendliness: A mobile-friendly website is accessible on any device, attracting more visitors.
- Improve user experience (UX): User experience focuses on insights into users, their needs, values, abilities, and limitations. Optimizing it during your redesign project will help increase conversion rates because site visitors are usually willing to spend more for a satisfying website experience.
- Technical SEO: This means improving your website structure to make it easier for search engines to find your content. This way, search engine bots can easily crawl and rank your website.
- Speed up your site: Page speed is one of Google’s primary ranking elements. Ideally, you need to ensure that your site’s load speed is under two seconds.
- Invest in link building: It involves getting other websites to link to your site, which is interpreted as a form of authority. It’s also one of the most vital Google ranking factors.
- Leverage customer feedback: Customer feedback shares ideas and information on improving products or services and general branding. It’s also a good way to apprehend user experience and determine what to keep or eliminate.
Additionally, ensure to monitor and measure your website performance after executing these strategies.
11. Test, Review, And Launch
Once you complete the web development process, let a few users test it. Businesses usually ignore this phase. But, having a website with no glitches is vital during launching. Testing and making revisions will help you focus on marketing on launch day rather than attending to the problems that may arise.
Request family members, friends, or employees to help you highlight areas with evident bugs during the initial stages. Doing so will help you generate feedback about the site’s overall aesthetic and functionality; however, focus on critiques concerning usability. You can also perform more comprehensive tests with the help of some of your willing customers. You could offer free giveaways or discounts in return for their feedback. However, don’t solely rely on feedback. It’s also a must to monitor the analytics, like page tagging, page visits, and conversion rate.
When you’re done with the tests and reviews, it’s time to launch your redesigned website.
However, before launch, ensure that you conduct a pre-launch review of the website to ensure everything is in order and good to go. Check for broken links and missing images, and ensure that the redirect links are working and the meta descriptions and page tags are correct.
Double-checking all these things will ensure a seamless transition for your customers from the old site to the new one and save you from future trouble.
Redesigns are challenging, but worth the effort. There are many reasons a business needs to take on a website redesign such as; boosting search engine ranking and conversion rate, improving aesthetics, and reduce bounce rate, and increasing website visits. The above Website Redesign Checklist can help you in the whole process. Enlist the expertise of a web designer or developer for better results.