Website Redesign: What You Need to Know!

Are you considering taking on a redesign of your current website? Are you feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? This guide will give you a good idea on the tasks you need to focus on and how to approach it.

Common reasons for wanting to redesign a website:

  • to create brand unity and be more visually aligned across the website
  • to improve overall website navigation and flow
  • to keep visitors from bouncing off your pages too quickly
  • to make the library of downloadable information more accessible
  • to improve on-site SEO

A website redesign project should be completed in phases. Below is an example of how to phase a project of this kind.

Phase 1

Document and investigate

  • Document the most visited pages, bounce rate, average time on page, 1st traffic source, 2nd traffic source and conversion rate
  • Draw up the current sitemap
  • Document the page content in a spreadsheet or an app such as Slickplan
  • Document all the videos used on your website pages and articles
  • All your blog post content
  • All your downloadable reports
  • White papers and articles

Track and analyse visitor behaviour with Hotjar which is an app that is installed on your current website. A tool such as Hotjar will help you understand the behaviour of visitors to your website. It will show you which areas of a page are most frequently interacted with. It displays this information by using a colour code where the warmest colours (red, orange, yellow) indicate the most interaction and the coolest colours (blue, green) indicate the least. This is called a heatmap which provides valuable insights into user behaviour, such as what content is most engaging, where users are clicking and scrolling, and where they may be encountering obstacles or experiencing confusion. This information can then be used to improve the design and user experience of a website.

If you have Google Analytics installed, you can run reports to help answer the following questions:

  • Which pages on your website are the most valuable currently?
  • Who is your current audience, and what are they doing when they visit your site?
  • Which pages are visitors landing on when they first encounter your website? – From your Google Analytics Dashboard: Go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages. This report will give you a good idea of which pages people land on and how they start their journey across your website.

Other questions that you need to try and answer are:

  • What specific, measurable customer-need isn’t being met by the current website?
  • Which pages and elements on your current website are working well?
  • How will you measure the success of the website redesign?

Keep in mind that website visitors may be coming to your site because they

  • Are curious to know something about your company or products.
  • Want to get in touch with you (e.g. finding a physical location they can go to).
  • Need to learn how to do a task with one of your products.
  • Are ready to buy a product from you.

Analyse the current website – Create a current sitemap.

We can use an online app like Slickplan or any mind mapping tool for your sitemap and to figure out

  • What to include.
  • What to exclude.

Create a new sitemap and flow

Phase 2

Content review and editing

  • Review and edit the content on all your most important, high traffic, converting pages.
  • Disregard pages with content that is outdated or no longer relevant.

Phase 3

Design and development

  • Review fonts, colours and images across the website.
  • Update page layouts.
  • Update visual images.
  • Improve the call-to-actions, colours and placements of the call-to-actions.
  • Input the revised content.
  • Reduce load times by optimising images and code for the website, getting rid of any unnecessary heavy scripts, widgets and plugins.
  • Make your redesigned website as accessible as possible. This refers to building a website that can be navigated by most people including those with disabilities such as colour-blindness, hearing and visual impairment. Designing with accessibility in mind will increase the potential audience of your website and user engagement with your content.

Phase 4

SEO backend

  • You will want to keep current traffic and not lose any when launching the re-designed website.
  • Ensure all pages have appropriate page titles and heading tags.
  • Ensure images have alt tags (alt tags describe the image to search engines).
  • Input meta descriptions on each page.
  • Optimise images for fast loading. Use an image compression tool to create smaller image file sizes. Do not upload the full high-res image directly from your camera.
  • Setup any relevant 301 redirects. If a page’s URL on your website has changed or is no longer available, redirect the old URL to the new URL.

Here are the tools that can help with a website redesign project:

Get in touch with Digital Creative Lab to assist you with your website redesign project. We’ve done several redesign projects over the years from small to large websites consisting of hundreds of pages.

Sherissa R

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