Redesigning Your Website? Here are 11 Things to Consider.
Posted by Tom Whittaker on April 11, 2017
From functionality and appearance to navigation and coding integrity, a lot goes into redesigning an eye-catching, user-friendly website. It doesn’t end there, either. Web developers and designers must collaborate to produce websites that can be easily found by search engines, engage customers, and stimulate conversions.
Planning a website redesign? The following tips will guide you through some things to consider before you get started.
1. Decide on your KPIs.
It may seem easy to simply declare that your site needs a redesign. While that may be true, it is important your team is aligned on the purpose of the redesign and your KPIs for measuring success. Is it to refresh your look and feel? Is it to better align to your brand? Are you looking to simplify navigation? Are you looking to improve conversion? Has your target audience changed since the creation of your current site?
2. Think about internal goals.
A redesign is an opportunity to help your organization increase its efficiency and effectiveness by selecting the right platform, or changing how you use your existing platform to help solve internal issues that are causing your organization to struggle. What do you wish you could do differently in your platform? What systems do you wish it integrated? Do you want to reduce redundant content entry? Do you need to streamline you marketing workflows? Do editorial approvals bog down your current process?
3. Ensure you are thinking responsively.
The trend of searching and web browsing on mobile devices continues to climb. If your website is not mobile-friendly and responsive to mobile devices, not only will you start to be penalized by search engines like Google, but you'll increasingly hinder how your users can navigate, interact and/or convert.
4. Make sure you are ready to commit.
A redesign takes more than money, it takes time. As the business stakeholders, you need to be the product owners and invest the time to ensure a successful redesign. To achieve success, your technology partner will need you to be available, as nobody knows your business and goals better than you.
5. Look beyond the horizon.
Many redesign efforts fix on a point in time. You launch a new site, you sit on it as it grows increasingly outdated, and then take up a full new redesign. If possible, plan for a more iterative approach. Choose a platform and a planning/budgeting model that doesn’t consider the launch date as an endpoint, but rather a beginning that allows you to grow, add features, and adapt to the changing digital landscape.
6. Content is still king.
It sounds a bit cliché, but only because it's true: it really is critical that the content you present is relevant, engaging, and shareable. Is that still the case? Don’t forget to reevaluate your content strategy when redesigning. Do you need to update content? Should you remove pages that are not viewed or no longer relevant to your business or goals? Good content will help your audience in a multitude of ways - driving traffic to your site, improving your search ranking, improving conversion. Yet many businesses often neglect the maintenance of quality content during a redesign.
7. The back end matters too.
When redesigning, also consider ensuring that your hosting environment is optimized for your website. Factors like site up-time and site speed matter to search engines. Are your backups adequate? Do you have load balancing? What is your disaster recovery plan? A solid back end infrastructure is something businesses don’t give enough consideration to until there is a website failure at a critical moment. Additionally, as your site traffic and use evolve, a hosting environment audit may help you save money.
8. Review your analytics.
When redesigning, analytics to help you determine how users are currently engaging with your site. What are the primary paths they take? What does drop-off look like on key pages? Are your users doing what you would expect? This data can help shape a redesign. Additionally, take time to consider what you want reported post-redesign launch. Is there additional information you wish you could see in your analytics that should be tagged in the redesign?
9. Make it SEO-friendlier.
Whether you are redesigning or re-platforming, it’s critical to not only ensure you have clean, SEO-friendly code, but to use it as an opportunity to make it even friendlier. Search engines are always changing their algorithms, so if you put the effort in to improve your site’s code, you'll increase your overall return on investment. SEO-friendly code acts as a guide for search engine spiders by providing a clear picture of your site’s content.
10. Confirm your security.
With the evolution of technology, newer and more advanced security risks threaten to compromise your website’s integrity. From malware and viruses to malicious apps and the threat of hackers, websites must prevent security breaches on both the front ends and back ends. Websites built to conduct online transactions, such as ecommerce sites, require additional security measures to protect customer information. A redesign is a great time to review the security features included in your site’s framework and design.
11. Don't bite off more than you can chew.
A redesign may feel overwhelming, but if you identify a skilled technology partner to assist you with the process, it will provide a much smoother journey towards achieving your website goals Look for a technology agency, such as BlueModus, that has extensive experience and well-defined best practices that will lead to client success.
At BlueModus, we offer a variety of engagement models to help in redesigns, from up-front planning and implementation, to assisting with audits for security, SEO and infrastructure. If you're ready to talk redesign, contact us today, we'd love to discuss how we might help you!
Tom Whittaker brings over 15 years of marketing and interactive agency experience and leadership to the BlueModus team. He has personally managed large websites and webstores for Fortune 500 companies, as well as managed large software implementation teams. Tom and his teams have served their clients with exceptional results across his career through his passion for driving strong user experience and projects with a positive return on investment. His clients have ranged from start-ups to mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies in the retail, transportation, education, healthcare, not-for-profit, and financial services verticals.