What Goes Into a Website Redesign?

Jessica is a Google Analytics certified Digital Video Analyst at WebFX. She has created over 100 videos for the WebFX YouTube channel (youtube.com/webfx) in the last two years. Jessica specializes in video marketing and also loves content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and many other aspects of digital marketing. When she's not creating videos, Jessica enjoys listening to music, reading, writing, and watching movies.

In this video, Jaci from the WebFX Interactive team shares how you can jump into a website redesign confidently.

Transcript: 

What goes into a website redesign? Three words.

Blood, sweat, and tears. I’m kidding. Maybe.

Redesigning a website is not a simple process. There are many steps between deciding you want a shiny new website and launching your design.

We’ve redesigned our fair share of websites here, so we’re going to cover some steps you can follow when working on your site. But first, let’s talk about the basics.

What is a website redesign?

A website redesign means you’re overhauling or revamping your website and updating basically everything that needs updating, from the core functionality to your content management system to the appearance of your pages.

Okay, you may not need to update every single thing on your website if something already works well. But that’s why we test. More on that in a bit.

A redesign is more than a simple refresh, which may entail updating the shape of your call-to-action buttons or swapping out some photos in your content. It’s the little things.

Your redesign will likely have you auditing, testing, and implementing major changes across your site.

If you were redoing your living room, a refresh would be painting the walls and maybe getting some new furniture. A redesign may include painting the walls and getting new furniture, but it also may require ripping out the old carpet, knocking down some walls, installing new lighting, and building a little bench to watch the squirrels run around outside your window. The bones of the room are still there, but you’re doing a lot to improve upon them.

How much does a website redesign cost?

If you handle a redesign on your own, the cost ultimately comes down to the value of your time, or your team’s time. But this can be a lot to handle.

If you outsource your redesign to a team of experts, you may pay anywhere from $3,000 to $65,000. The scope of the project ultimately determines your investment. For example, a business with a massive 500-page ecommerce site should expect a larger price tag than a business with a 50-page, lead-focused website.

When should you redesign your website?

Everyone else is redesigning their websites, so you need to redesign yours, right? Wrong.

If your website generally performs well and contributes to your business goals, you probably don’t need to make massive changes. You may be better off with a refresh, like new colors or updated text, to boost performance without a huge investment.

The biggest signal that you should start researching website redesign tips is that your website is not hitting your goals no matter what you try. Say you’ve run a bunch of tests trying to improve conversion rates across your pages, and nothing is working. This points to a deeper issue that a quick coat of paint won’t fix.

So, reason number one to redesign a website: it’s not contributing to your business growth. Other signs you should consider a redesign include:

  • Your design looks outdated or doesn’t reflect your brand
  • Your site doesn’t perform well on mobile devices
  • You get a lot of complaints about your website from leads, customers, and your team
  • Your analytics show that people don’t spend a lot of time on your website
  • Your site doesn’t function the way it should

Do you meet any of the criteria I just mentioned? Answering yes means you’ll benefit greatly from the next section of this video.

8 steps for redesigning a website

Just a quick side note. If you choose to outsource your redesign rather than handle it in-house, you’ll likely be paired with a project manager or designer who will walk you through each step of this process. Either way, it’s good to know how things work.

Before you even touch a design tool or hire a designer, you should know what you’ll redesign, and why.

1. Analyze your existing pages

Spend some time going through your site’s analytics, noting the highest- and lowest-performing pages.

You may not want to change much on the pages that consistently drive conversions, like contact form submissions or purchases. You can even use what works on your top pages to inform how you update the rest of your website.

For a deeper look at how people interact with your page elements, invest in a heatmap tool like Hotjar.

2. Figure out what you want to accomplish

After you’ve identified key areas in need of improvement, you can more easily nail down your goals. Don’t forget about your audience at this point. The redesign may feel like it’s for you, but it’s actually for them.

What goals can you set that benefit both you and your audience? Maybe you want to increase the time spent on your pages. Based on the analysis you did at the beginning of this process, what can you do to create a better user experience so people stick around longer? Fix your navigation? Automatically suggest related content? Update content faster?

Identify how to accurately communicate your brand and your style while still creating an unforgettable experience for your audience.

3. Map out your redesign

Goals mean nothing without a plan for reaching them. Ask yourself what needs to happen to hit your goals and write it all down in this step. Get as granular as you can.

Let’s work backwards. Your goal is to increase the number of pages each user visits. Your analysis showed that your main navigation menu needs help. You decide to reorganize the navigation and update its appearance. From there, you know you have to figure out a new link structure, and so on.

Oh! Don’t let your site’s search engine optimization fall through the cracks during your redesign. Many people find businesses using search engines, so designing with SEO in mind will save you a lot of time and benefit you in the long run.

This part of the process also ties in with your timeline.

4. Create a timeline

No project is complete without deadlines. After all, you don’t want your redesign to go on forever. That’s costly and frustrating.

You’ll want to set an official launch date so the world can see your fresh website. Using your launch date as a guide, break down the process into smaller milestones with separate due dates.

Say your launch date is September 1st. Working backwards and knowing the goals you need to hit, you figure that it will take 30 days to test everything. That means the previous step in your process needs to wrap up by the beginning of August. Create deadlines for each major task you mapped out in the last step.

5.  Create and review prototypes

You can’t have a website redesign without the actual designs. After you’ve made an action plan, you or your designers will create prototypes of your pages.

You may design a new homepage, update your inner pages, or work on different interactive elements throughout your site. Whatever you do depends on the goals and the action items you outlined in earlier steps of this process.

Analyze and tweak your prototypes until they meet your expectations. Don’t be afraid to test out your updates with users before making everything official.

And, just throwing out a gentle reminder to harness SEO.

6. Build out your site

Call yourself Dr. Frankenstein, because this step is all about bringing your prototypes to life.

When you’re satisfied with your prototypes and you’ve successfully completed user testing, you can prepare your designs for launch. This may require extensive code knowledge, depending on factors such as the content management system you use and the complexity of your site’s functionality.

7. Test everything

You may have noticed that I’ve mentioned testing throughout this list of website redesign tips. I repeat myself because testing is important.

Test your design with users throughout this process to ensure your changes won’t scare off potential customers.

Also test to make sure everything you’ve built out works properly. You’re human. I mean…we’re human. Everyone makes mistakes, so you should make an effort to look for problems before your redesign goes live.

Two different types of testing. Both equally important.

8. Launch your redesign

If you don’t have any major fixes to implement or changes to suggest, your redesigned website can go live. Celebrate all of the hard work that has gone into this big project.

Redesigning a website is no small feat

Truth be told, your website is never really complete. Continue to test different elements, optimize for search engines, and make adjustments to maximize the results you see from your redesign. Or hire a team of designers and developers to keep your site updated for you.

Just as a website is never complete, neither is your digital marketing skillset. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and our email newsletter, Revenue Weekly, to continue expanding your marketing knowledge with insights from the pros.

Best of luck with your redesign!

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