How To: Website RedesignJuly 03, 2017
Is your business in need of a website overhaul? Whether you’re replacing an aging site or creating a new one to better reach customers, there are a few elements that always require careful thought. 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 always 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.
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. Gain insights from those outside of the business. This is where an outside marketing agency can really play a key role in defining who you are, and what you’re trying to accomplish.
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 goals are 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. This is generally where you need some outside help, but some DIYers are capable of doing this on their own.
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. Talk with your agency before moving forward.
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.
Once you’ve had a change 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 website 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 you prepared you are before engaging in the website redesign process, the more successful the entire project will be.