Redesigning your website can be a major investment, not only in terms of money but also of time. You want to make sure that the final product is worth it. Follow these simple steps and you should be on track for a successful redesign.
Have clear goals for your redesign.
Before you start redesigning your website, take some time to evaluate your current website. What is it about it that isn’t working? Set yourself some clear goals. Are you trying to make the site look better? Is your aim to make it easier to navigate? Do you need to simplify the purchasing process? Whatever it was that prompted you to start a redesign process, you should use the opportunity to evaluate the whole of your website. Decide what’s working so you know to keep it. Be clear on what needs to improve so that it can get address during the process. Use Google Analytics in order to evaluate the visitor journey and all these key facts.
Gather feedback from your users.
No one knows what the problems with your current site are better than the people who are using it. Your users are your experts when it comes to your website so ask them for feedback. They may identify issues that you weren’t even aware of. If you’re lucky they may suggest solutions as well. You don’t have to act on every suggestion but it would be a waste to not even consider asking for their input.
Don’t change too much, too fast.
When you release your new design, it still needs to look like it’s your website. If you change absolutely everything you run the risk of alienating your existing users. People like the familiar, and are often resistant to change, even if it is positive change. By ensuring that some of your original branding remains the same you will ease the process for your users. If you need to change a huge amount then consider doing it in a few smaller steps.
Remember to Consider the Mobile Experience.
More than half of all website views are from mobile devices now. You may want to check the analytics of your own site to see if there is something different about your site, but to be frank even if most of your users are still on desktop machines you have nothing to lose by optimising your site for mobile users and potentially a lot to lose if you don’t. Google offer a mobile website tool for checking compatibility.
Having an easy to use site it more important than creating a work of art.
Since you are redesigning your site, I’m sure that the appearance of it is important to you, however don’t lose sight of the fact that if your site is hard to navigate you will turn users off, they will leave you in droves. Yes, first impressions matter but not as much as usability.
Test it before you release it.
I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but I’m going to anyway. Test your site on all the devices it might be viewed on. So, play with it on mobile and desktop make sure that every link works, be systematic about it, because if there is a bug in there your users will find it and they will not be forgiving.
A lot of people forget that if they change their website structure or swap their content management system that the urls will probably change. When this happens, it can leave lots of broken links and litter Google’s index which can result in serious dips in traffic. An easy way to combat this is to setup a series of 301 redirects which will ‘trap’ old urls and repoint them to your new pages.
Agencies such as 123 Internet Group launch many websites each month so it’s worth reaching out and asking the experts…a coffee, a bit of cake and a chat can sometimes help you focus your goals and avoid any unforeseen problems. Please feel free to reach out and connect to our team if you are thinking of a re-design in the near future.