Website Redesign Checklist | Is Your Website Dead or Just Sleeping? A Vital Six-Point Checklist for Your Site
Website Redesign Checklist | It happens to every business. One day you wake up and notice that your company’s website needs a major refresh. There are many good reasons for a website redesign, whether it’s a rebranding, the site is getting lackluster results or it looks like it was built in 2005. The planning of a website’s redesign depends on two thought processes: the creative side (led by the designer) and the business perspective (led by the business owner). It’s important to keep both thought processes aligned to create a website that not only looks beautiful, but also succeeds in functionality.
There are some major differences between the design process of a new site versus a redesign. A new design has an advantage of starting on a clean slate, and although it’s often a bigger project, a website redesign is a chance to fix what didn’t work the first time around. This means there’s more pressure to do it right. Whether you’re rebranding your business, or just updating the look and feel of your website, several things must be taken into consideration before you begin. It’s a daunting process that can be made easier with a website redesign checklist. And we have one for you.
Review Your Current Site | Website Redesign Checklist
Take a look at your website and create a list of all the things you love about it. In a redesign, the best part is that you don’t have to change everything. If you like something, keep it. No reason to fix something that’s not broken. You should also track traffic, or the number of visits, the bounce rate, conversion, performance ranking, the time visitors spend on your website, SEO ranking, and sales.
If you have a Google Analytics account (and if you don’t – you should!), check what’s already working and what’s failing. Use Google Webmaster Tools to find site errors and broken links. These are great analytics to go over with your web designer so you can discuss how to improve your website.
Clarify Your Goals | Website Redesign Checklist
Even if you’re doing a redesign “just because,” you should still have some solid performance goals for your website. After all, you want your site to perform just as well, or even better than its current version. Once you determine your goals, make them measurable. e.g., increase conversions by 25%. If nothing else, make a note of your current website metrics and make it a goal to meet or exceed them.
Optimize Your Site For Search | Website Redesign Checklist
It’s important that web designers become aware of the importance of SEO in the structure of a website. Page elements like titles, pictures, and even video can contribute to or harm a website’s place in search engine rankings. The problem is that most people do not know what “search engine-friendly” means. When redesigning a website, take inventory of your old site’s most valuable pages in terms of SEO: the pages with the most traffic, the most inbound links, and with the highest keyword rankings.
Keep Layouts Simple | Website Redesign Checklist
Flat design has been made popular by Windows 8 and iOS 7, and is praised by designers for its ability to create an intuitive, easy-to-navigate experience for users. Large, crystal-clear “hero shots” of your product or service, coupled with an attention-getting headline, and easy to spot call-to-action buttons make taking action on a page straightforward and simple. Every sentence, and every word has a task. Cut out any excess fluff that doesn’t somehow lend itself to your original paragraph thought – your visitors won’t believe it anyway.
Also, make sure to avoid misleading UI controls. If users click on what they believes to be a link, but it isn’t (or if the link is broken), your website loses credibility. Your UI controls need to be consistent: When the user clicks, the action created should be what the user expected.
Content Should Tell A Story | Website Redesign Checklist
Create a scrolling story. Content-wise, there’s an ongoing trend to compact and simplify. Forget the grandiose descriptions and whack-a-mole portfolios; content is all about putting your services and products on the table, and letting the users decide.
Tell your potential clients what you have to offer, how much it costs and how they can get it. Use clean, crisp pictures and vivid call-to-action buttons. Lead visitors through your story as they scroll to share the benefits of your product or service in a way that’s meaningful to them. Show them what kind of results they can expect and how it works.
Don’t Forget The Extras! | Website Redesign Checklist
If you run a blog or website of any kind, chances are you’re always trying to encourage more people to talk about and share your pages and posts through a variety of channels, including social media and e-mail. For many sites, adding social sharing buttons is a simple and effective way to quickly boost pageviews and sharing stats. These days, social sharing has gone beyond “like our post”. People know what likes are, and how to give them – now, the real measure of an article’s worth is in the numbers. Make it easy for people to share your content. Add social media sharing buttons and links to all your pages.