The best practices for web design and development technologies evolve constantly. From style to function, it’s necessary to revisit your website every few years and evaluate where it stands.
Sometimes, you may decide it makes sense to redesign your site entirely. But before doing so, make sure you have a plan.
Five Tips for Your Redesign
Few projects begin with better intentions than a website redesign. You have an idea of exactly what you want and are convinced that it’ll be the best thing for your business.
That could be, but the truth is that most businesses feel this same way, yet end up losing traffic and conversions as a result of their facelift. So if you’re going to invest in a website redesign, you need a plan.
A failure to develop a concrete plan with specific action steps could place your website in great peril. Not sure where to start? The following tips will help:
- Set Clear Goals and Timelines
Start the redesign process with a clear set of objectives. What are the two or three most important outcomes of this redesign?
Are you looking to increase traffic? Improve conversion rates? Sell a particular product? Convey a new core value of your brand? Whatever it may be, setting goals will provide some clarity as you move forward.
It’s also worthwhile to have a timeline that lists specific, action-oriented tasks. One suggestion is to use a bullet journal, which enables you to track daily, monthly, and future goals.
- Purge These Bad Elements
A website redesign offers a great opportunity to cut poor facets from your site. If you have any of the following, you’ll want to strip them out: complicated animations, stock photos, keyword-stuffed content, intricate menus, etc.
- Look Beyond Aesthetics
The concept of a “redesign” can be a bit of a misnomer. There’s definitely a visual component to a redesign, but your entire focus shouldn’t be on color schemes, logos, layouts, and graphics.
“These are brand-facing sentiments that originate from wanting to get visitors to perceive the brand of the web property differently,” web designer Tyler Bishop writes. “There is nothing wrong with this, but if this is the entire premise of the redesign, you may be in for some tough sledding.”
Functionality is far more important than aesthetics. A better way of saying this is that sharp aesthetics are useless without superb functionality. Keep that in mind and make sure your priorities stay in the right place.
- Think Mobile-First
Most business owners have been aware of the desirability of designing for mobile users, but this is no longer optional if you expect your site to be competitive. Google has started applying mobile-first indexing processes to its algorithms, which means your site’s mobile components will be given more weight than the desktop components.
As long as you’re using responsive web design, you should be fine.
- Get Ready to Split Test
Given the time and energy you will put into redesigning your site, it would be a waste not to track and learn from the results. Split testing enables you to improve on your results incrementally, long after the redesign has concluded.
“Basically, split tests allow you to conduct experiments on your website so you could make changes that improve your conversions, sales, or other metrics,” entrepreneur Celine Roque explains. “If you’ve never conducted split tests on your site before, your new design could be the best opportunity to start.”
Putting It Together
A website redesign can go one of two ways. It can be a disaster (it waters down your brand image and hurts your traffic numbers), or massively rewarding (it improves user experience and increases conversions).
To ensure your redesign achieves the latter, develop a plan and stick to it. Discipline plays a key role in ultimate success.
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