Technologies are constantly changing, and any website that used to look modern, relevant, and user-friendly several years ago may become outdated now and require a redesign.
Website redesign is a comprehensive effort aimed not just at changes in resource appearance. You can also fix technical errors, implement new features, improve content quality, enhance usability, and upgrade many other things.
You can update your website either partially or quite substantially. Everything depends on each specific case. Sometimes, you can even transfer your website to another CMS during the redesign process.
Since you are reading this article, you have probably found this kind of activity necessary already. A high-quality website redesign project can solve lots of problems and benefit your business, but if done incorrectly, this endeavor can cause multiple problems as well.
We wrote this article to help you do the work efficiently and successfully.
How do You Know Your Website Needs a Redesign?
Each website owner has their own reasons for redesigning their resource. However, the efforts expended are not always justified. Here are some situations when it is really necessary:
- your current website design is clearly outdated;
- your website experiences serious technical problems and drawbacks, for example, low download speed, poor mobile-friendliness, and outdated technologies are still in use on it;
- your business needs some important additional services, which are difficult to implement on the current website version;
- your visitors or customers complain they feel uncomfortable working with your website;
- your company is conducting a visual rebranding, and the website should match the corporate style;
- your website currently uses a ready-made template design;
- your competitors’ websites look more attractive and seem more user-friendly.
Even if you answer just one of these questions affirmatively, you should get started on such a project.
8 Steps to Launch Your Website Redesign
Serious tasks require a serious approach to implementation. Here is a clear step-by-step algorithm to help you get everything right.
1. Analyze Your Current Website
First of all, you should study the existing website to comprehend which elements you have to change, which ones can remain, and which things you can remove with no problem. This way, you can preserve strong points and remove weaknesses by implementing new solutions during the redesign.
When analyzing your website, you have to pay attention to the following issues:
- which pages are the most valuable (traffic and conversions);
- which pages, elements, and functionality work well, and which need improvement;
- what technical problems your website has, for instance, slow loading speed, issues with its mobile version, etc.
- what other sections and pages you need, and what you can get rid of.
You can continue the list of things to analyze, but in general, it will be peculiar for each of the projects.
2. Identify Your Priorities and Set Clear Goals
Define specific goals you want to achieve through the changes on your website and make a clear list of them. For example, they could be:
- increase conversion and sales;
- migrate to a new CMS;
- increase operation speed;
- remove technical errors;
- modify the design to make it in line with a single corporate style;
- improve structure and navigation;
- expand functionality, etc.
Based on understanding the goals you want to achieve, you can already build a strategy for future work, select the most suitable solutions, and estimate your project cost.
3. Start Building the Website Redesign Plan
At this stage, the work similar to new website development commences. You should draw up a requirements document and describe a list of planned changes spread out across all stages of the work. Based on clearly defined goals and requirements, you can develop a strategy to achieve these goals.
It does not matter whether you plan to redesign your website yourself or hire a professional team to outsource this work. In both cases, you need a rough project schedule or timeline. Having a roadmap ready, the work will be a lot easier.
4. Needs Assessment
Any changes require certain resources. Besides the budget to pay designers, developers, and other specialists, you may also need additional content (texts, images, videos, and audios), CMS license, and other things. You should assess such needs in advance to understand if the opportunities available are sufficient and what you have to do to get all the rest.
5. Make Wireframes (Prototyping)
That is the very stage when you can finally shape up your ideas. You might get tempted to proceed straight into the final design, but there is no point to rush. It is best to start with wireframes, which allow getting quick feedback from customers or the team and make changes to the project with minimal effort.
Wireframes and black-and-white prototypes require much less time to be implemented. To take advantage of them, you can resort to specialized web services. You can read about them in more detail in our article: “5 Excellent Wireframing Tools for Mobile Apps.”
6. Start Designing
Now that you have the final page layouts approved, and it is clear what elements will be available on your website’s final version, how they will look, and where they will be located, the designer can start creating the final appearance of your new website version.
The time necessary for this task depends on the complexity of your future project, the number of unique pages to be drawn, and the designer’s professionalism.
7. Develop Your Website
Website development is commonly the penultimate and, oftentimes, the last stage of any redesign project. At this stage, the development team starts transferring the design layout to web layout and programming languages.
Developers have to carry out that process on a test subdomain not to disrupt the main website’s operation, as this may affect the company’s profit.
By the time the development process starts, you should already have the final content ready to fill the pages and all other components to make them available on your website after the new version is released.
8. Testing and Delivery
After your website’s appearance and functionality undergo major changes, some technical failures and incorrect operation of its separate elements are possible. To avoid getting negative reactions from visitors and customers, you should check and test everything before the release.
It is best to conduct a detailed technical audit and testing of the new website version, and only then, you can start transferring the new website version from the test server and officially launch it.
A good website redesign does not just change its appearance. It also makes it better in many ways, turning it into a valuable and efficient sales tool for your business.
The success of this work considerably depends on how well you prepare and plan everything. The eight-step checklist in this article will help you get things done well and achieve your goals.
If you need a reliable technology partner to help you carry out a high-quality redesign for your company’s website, the Lvivity team is always ready to help you. Contact us, and let us discuss the details.