So you've reached that point: You can no longer stand your current website and something must change. It's redesign time. Redesigning a website is no small undertaking, and there's a number of things to consider throughout the process.
Here are eight things to keep the top of mind as you embark upon your website redesign journey.
1. Identify Your Pain Points
Before you begin, it's important to make sure you have a clear understanding of exactly what needs to be fixed on your website. What are your sticking points? Is it the design? Copy? Ease of use? While you will certainly have your own opinions about it, don't stop there. I recommend asking people outside your organization — perhaps even your customers — what they think. You could even hold a focus group to get more detailed feedback.
2. Check Out Your Competition
It's always wise to size up your competitors, and website redesigns are no different. Take a look at their websites and take note of what they're doing well — and even where they're falling behind. This will help you establish even further the things you want to incorporate and the pitfalls you want to avoid.
3. Know that Facelifts Aren't Always Possible
I've heard people say, "Oh, my website doesn't need to be completely redesigned — it just needs a facelift." But often, even if your desired changes seem small, they may actually require a lot of work (especially if your site is built on old web standards). And at some point, it just makes sense to redo the entire website.
4. Choose Your Partners Wisely
When deciding on what outside vendors and consultants to use, first make sure they're a good fit for your needs. It's not just about coding abilities – you want a website that not only looks fantastic but provides an outstanding user experience and really sells your company. Finding an agency that understands front-end code, information architecture, and content strategy will give you a competitive edge. And remember: You get what you pay for. If you want your website to far surpass your competitors, you have to decide what that's worth to you and budget accordingly.
5. Trust the Experts
Now that you've chosen an agency or designer, you have to trust them. You will have a ton of visions and ideas bouncing around in your head about how your website should be — and it's always easy to micromanage and overthink the advice you're given. But resist the urge to completely ignore and waiver with what the experts say. They're experts for a reason and only have your best interests at heart.
6. Focus on User Experience
It's imperative that your website visitors have an easy, seamless experience. Any annoyance or stumbling block may cause them to abandon your site and perhaps never return. It could be anything — from difficulty viewing content on their mobile device to being unable to quickly find what they're looking for — that could chase away your customers. Consider these tips when you're redesigning your site.
7. Good Things Take Time
Your current website may be driving you crazy, but try not to rush the process. Depending on how large and complex your new website will be, a redesign could take up to six months (but every situation is different). If you want it done quickly, it may not be done right. We assure you that taking the time to do a redesign right will pay off with leads and sales in the long run.
8. Test It Out
Just as you asked for feedback before your redesign, it's a good idea to do the same before you launch your new one. Consider putting together a select group of customers and having them navigate around the new site. If there are any tweaks you can make based on their feedback, go ahead and do it.
At the end of the day, your website is a vital part of your company's branding, growth, and ongoing sales. Make sure you take the time to do it right and get the end result you really want.
Considering a website redesign and need some help? Get in touch!