The 13 Phases of a Website Redesign

A website redesign can vary from graph adjustments to current trends and visual improvements to constructing a new, modern one from scratch. Updating your Internet presence is like keeping up with the trend by making brand-specific steps forward. The trends development is dynamic, so every site owner should periodically refresh the online appearance. Creating a webspace a few years ago may have cost you a lot of effort and money, but today what customers see falls into the retro world.

How to understand it is time for a redesign? 

  • Several summers have passed away. The fact that in the last four years your site has been serving the visitors’ desires well has been reaching the goals, does not mean it does not need a revitalization. Not talking just about the appearance, but also about optimizing the search engine, for example, to the current biases.
  • Decrease of visitors. A reduction in clicks and users means the machine no longer works properly. You need to strengthen online marketing, analyze weaknesses and develop a plan for a new approach.
  • Users do not stick around or return. A good website is designed with steady connections, leads people from one place to another, engages them and provoking them to come back. If that is missing, it is time for a redesign! 
  • A change in business strategy. If your corporate goals and plans have shifted in a different direction, apply the same pattern for your online presence. In case you diversify your audience or offer a new type of product or service, website optimization is more than necessary.
  • Good performance on all devices. If your site is not yet easy to use on a mobile phone and tablet, the user will log in, experience some difficulty, and never return. In addition, search engines will “punish” you and drop the website at the bottom of the results. An update is a must if you want to stay in any market.

Once you have made an informed decision for redesigning, follow these phases to preserve and improve the successful online presence.

1. Goals – Every change comes for a reason. What is your idea, why do you want the reform? Which of the above factors will be leading? Define your priorities. For example, do you want to achieve more sales? Or do you want to increase the number of visitors? Or the newsletter subscribers? Or you are just fed up with the current vision and need a more professional appearance.

2. Evaluation – Consider which of the pages should be kept, edited, or completely removed. Make a SWOT analysis and after defining the strengths and weaknesses of your online presence, study some analysis tools. Start with the simplest, for example, with Google Analytics.

3. Demands – What do your customers want? Outline the profile of the buying persona, their changing needs, or interests. Determine where these users live, what is their age is, their education, the means of information consumption and the decision making process.

4. Keywords – Their analysis is crucial for optimizing the presence of your website in search engines. In addition, through this analysis, you understand what your audience is looking for, what language is using, and this is a successful way to adapt the redesign to its needs and increase the chance for leading positions in search at the same time.

5. Content Audit and SEO – It is not obligatory to start all over again. There might be pages you will decide to keep and improve. The content has a direct connection to the design, its state-of-the-art and uniqueness are crucial not only to the overall impression but also for the search algorithms.

6. Style guide – In order to not start sailing in different waters and get lost between the options, set up style guidelines. All pages must correspond to each other. Define colour scheme, typography, and formats specifically for your digital presence, of course, based on your corporate identity and common brand design guidelines.

7. Planning – Create a strategy for implementing and uniting all the ideas. The steps must follow a natural course and the logic of the pages to be intuitive, especially for the target audience and easy-leading to the goal actions. 

8. The proper service provider – If you want a good outcome, choose carefully the team that fits your perception of rebranding. The shared understanding should cover the appearance and design, but also the way and means of working, the attitude toward performance accuracy.  It is important to work in harmony, even if you do not agree on everything. Otherwise, the operation will fail.

9. GDPR – Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union is not a matter of desire. You could come under serious fines if you fail to follow its rules and restrictions. More about the traps you may fall into with the GDPR, READ HERE.

10. Mobile device compatibility – Particularly if one of the reasons for rebranding is the lack of responsiveness, you cannot skip this phase. The modern online appearance has to fit both phone and tablet. It is important to be user-friendly, regardless of the device they browse on. You can choose between the lighter version of just implementing responsive design to the real mobile device content optimization.

11. Testing – You can take deploy this section including a QA tester, or if you can’t afford one, distribute a link to trusted people and ask them to check the website functions. It is advisable to clean the bugs as much as possible before launching the website.

12. Request for Google indexing – If search engines are unaware of your website’s existence, the chance of ranking on Google is almost unimaginable. Either way, it takes time for search engines to find the new website. Register to increase the probability of a recent “crawl”.

13. Promotion – Tell your audience that the website already has a new appearance. Demonstrate the contemporary functionalities and the advantages. Determine your communication channels for the redesign communication. Design advertising campaigns and analyze their effect.

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