Redesigning An Outdated Website: Do's & Don'ts
Your website is the face of your business, your brand, your employees, your products, services and what you want the world to know you stand for. It’s your virtual storefront, first impression and often first line of interaction with would-be customers.
Your website is how you showcase quality, care and experience. However, a website can either be your greatest asset or a digital relic. Over time, aesthetics and web technologies evolve - as does your business - leaving your website perhaps unaligned to your evolving business and what you stand for.
Perhaps it’s time to redesign your website.
To harness the power of the web and stay relevant, businesses and individuals alike often embark on the exhilarating journey of website redesign. Yet, this endeavour is no mere cosmetic makeover; it's a strategic overhaul that demands careful planning and precision. In this article, we will dive deep into the essential "do's" of a successful website redesign — the pivotal guidelines that will not only revitalize your online presence but also ensure that your digital transformation resonates with your audience and achieves your desired goals.
Redesigning your website: what you should do
Do set clear objectives for your website redesign
Start your website redesign process by identifying your goals. What do you want to achieve with the redesign? Whether it's increasing website traffic, improving user experience, or boosting conversion rates, having clear objectives will guide your decisions throughout the process. Objectives should be focused on business outcomes; how can your website be an extension of your
Do research and understand your audience
Understand your target audience's preferences and needs. Conduct surveys, analyse user data, and gather feedback to ensure your redesign aligns with the expectations and interests of your users.
Do prioritise user experience (UX) prior to any website redesign
A user-friendly website is essential. Invest in responsive design, intuitive navigation, and fast loading times. Prioritise mobile responsiveness as a significant portion of your audience may be accessing your site from smartphones or tablets. Leverage customer first thinking and define key user journeys your customers will take, and think through what the experience should look like. What do you want your users to think, feel, do?
Do improve your search engine optimisation as part of the website redesign
A website redesign is an excellent opportunity to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Update meta tags, optimize images, and ensure your content aligns with relevant keywords to boost your site's visibility on search engines. If you’re going to lift the metaphorical bonnet of your website, ensure that when it relaunches it will do so with a bang, with improved SEO.
Do keep your brand top of mind and stay consistent
Maintain brand consistency throughout your redesign. Ensure your logo, colour scheme, and typography align with your brand identity to create a cohesive and memorable user experience. To create trust with customers, it’s critical that you define strong brand guidelines and then adhere to them. Consistency will make users love you.
Do test your redesigned website thoroughly
Before launching your redesigned website, conduct extensive testing. Check for broken links, test forms and contact methods, and review the site on different devices and browsers to ensure compatibility. Allow me to say it again - TEST YOUR CONTACT FORMS!
Do utilise empathy-driven website thinking
As we’ve stated before, you are not the user. Think like your users, not as the business owner you are. Every decision you make in the website redesign process should be asking “will this be good for my customers?”.
Redesigning your website: what you should not do
Don’t rush the process of redesigning your website
A rushed website redesign is a recipe for disaster. Take the time to plan, design, and develop your new website carefully. Rushing can lead to mistakes, overlooked details, and a subpar user experience. At The Product Agency, we do this planning in Sprint Zero.
Don’t neglect content or consider it after the website is redesigned
While focusing on design and functionality, don't forget about the content. Outdated or irrelevant content can deter visitors. Review and update your content to reflect your current messaging and goals. Furthermore, if you’re essentially starting from scratch with the website redesign, craft your content before you craft the design - ideally the aesthetics and user experience should be crafted around your content needs, not the other way round.
Don’t ignore what Google Analytics can tell you
Data is your friend. Regularly monitor your website's analytics, both before and after the redesign. This will help you track the impact of your changes and make necessary adjustments.
Don’t neglect mobile users
Mobile traffic continues to grow, and ignoring it is a costly mistake. Ensure that your website is fully optimised for mobile devices, providing a seamless experience for all users. In fact, most websites are now predominantly visited via mobile devices - so become a mobile first website.
Don’t overcomplicate your website redesign
While a fresh look is essential, don't overcomplicate your website's design. Cluttered layouts and excessive animations can overwhelm users. Keep it simple, elegant, and focused on usability. Less is more when it comes to professional website redesigns.
Don’t forget to build your website securely and show trust signals
Security is paramount. During the redesign, implement robust security measures to protect your website and user data. Regularly update plugins, software, SSL certificates, etc. Furthermore, look at embedding trust signals on your page; privacy policies, terms of service, call out how you secure user data etc.
Don’t pay your web developer to put a little Santa hat on your logo at Christmas
Perhaps I am simply The Grinch, but can we stop with the Santa hats on corporate logos in December? This web professional is tired of seeing little Santa hats into February the following year.
Final thoughts on redesigning your website
Redesigning a website can be an exciting and transformative process, but it requires careful planning and execution. By adhering to the do's and don'ts outlined in this article, you can ensure that your website redesign is a success. Remember, it's not just about aesthetics; it's about creating an engaging and user-friendly online experience that aligns with your objectives and resonates with your audience. So, take your time, do your research, and embark on your website redesign journey with confidence.
Or just call us.