Why You Need a Website Redesign Checklist
Redesigning a website is often a more involved process than it would first seem. There are a lot of things that can go wrong or get forgotten in the long process of evaluating an existing website and deciding upon a course of action. At Growth Labs, we have built and rebuilt a number of websites for clients big and small, with a variety of challenges. Most of the insecurity and issues that companies run into during their website design process can be avoided with proper planning and sticking to that plan.
Over the years, we have developed a website redesign checklist to ensure that our clients come into the process fully prepared in order to maximize both their time and money.
Let’s go through the checklist to make sure your company has all the information you should before building your new website.
#1: Company and Inventory
The importance of this section is to find the purpose of your website as a representative of your company. Go back to basics and determine what your goals are as a company and how your website will help you to achieve these them. By looking to the heart of your company’s mission, values, products, and/or services, you’ll ensure that your website is focused and comes off as authentic to the increasingly conscious-consumer.
Then, you’ll need to take stock of what you currently have to work with during your redesign before moving on to plan out the most important content on your website. Nothing is worse than having to go back and redo parts of your website because you forgot to include something important! Planning this out at the beginning is an easy way to ensure you are covering all your bases regarding what you want for your new site, retooling content or assets that you already have, and focusing your energy on what you still need for a comprehensive finished product.
Once again, it’s time to take inventory of any aspects of branding that your company uses online. Do you already have a logo design? What style guide do you use for your content? What fonts, colors, or graphics do customers associate with your company? When designing your first website or social media pages you might have thought of all of these or none of them. Either way, that’s ok!
Planning with the website redesign checklist is the time to take into account what branding you have and how your new website can communicate an even stronger, more cohesive brand identity. Pull all those JPG, PNG, and PDF files together and take the time to analyze if your existing brand guidelines are yielding results. If not, it is the perfect time for a brand makeover.
Of course your website should be unique and distinguish you from the competition in your field. However, that does not mean you should ignore the competition altogether when it comes to your redesign. In fact, we recommend that you spend some time perusing competitor websites and evaluating them: What sets your brand and product apart? What do they do well? Where to they provide value to their customers? Especially when working with a design agency, competitor websites are great to use as examples to showcase what you might want to add to your new website.
#4 Target Market
Analyzing your target market requires you to look at your current website and determine both who your target market is with demographic data and how they are arriving and using your site with Google Analytics or other platform statistics. By understanding where your website visitors are coming from, you can then hone your website design and also start to develop a promotion strategy when your new website is up and running. By understanding how your website visitors navigate your current site, you can then prioritize and enhance the pages where they spend the most time and refine your funnel that leads them to your payment page.
#5 Development and Maintenance
Before jumping into the more glamorous aspects of a website redesign, the checklist makes sure you have your nuts and bolts in order. Take a moment to make sure that your website hosting is up to par and that your market is responding well to your domain name. If you’re seeing a lot of user bounces or simply aren’t getting the traction you feel your product or service deserves, it might be time to look into your hosting and domain registration to determine if a faster and more market-tested option is available.
Although you might feel like this whole process will be a short-term effort,your website should always remain adaptable and editable based on user data. For example, the Growth Driven Design philosophy maintains that to be successful, you should constantly be revisiting your website, evaluating data, and making improvements. For a truly effective website, it needs to be continually updated and tweaked.
Before rebuilding, take a moment to consider what and how often you will be updating on your website. While your content is likely to always be changing no matter what your product or service is, businesses with online shops will need to account for updates to both products and inventory.
Now that you’re starting to get an idea of the purpose and logistics of your website, it’s time to apply this to your website design. This section is about determining what style of website would suit your brand best and the relevant design features that will be built into your website. Some of these features might include: a calendar, contact form, photo gallery, donation platform, or online shop.
Otherwise, head back to your big picture view to think about the purpose of your website with regards to the ultimate action you want your visitor to take. Is it simply to contact you for additional information about a service, sign up for a newsletter as you build your community, or to consider a product and then make a purchase? Each of these ultimate goals will call for a different design approach. Therefore, taking the time to clarify what your website’s purpose is can save a lot of time if done at the very beginning.
#7 Project Logistics
Finally, you can have all the big ideas in the world, but your redesign can be constrained by both your timeline and budget. Rather than diving into a huge overhaul and then coming up short and stressed, plan out at the beginning how much time and money you have to perfect your online presence. There’s nothing like a little foresight and planning when it comes to a smooth website redesign process!
By starting with the website redesign checklist, you are giving yourself and your team the time to think through the realities of your website, business, and future. Don’t cut corners during the planning stage! As a result, you’ll save time and money in the long run by building a new website that speaks to all the needs of your clientele and that will represent your company for the long-term.