Website Redesign Guide: Tips to Spruce Up Your Site
All websites will inevitably need a face–lift every now and again. But what does that entail? Let’s learn all about website redesign!
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Websites are one of the most important assets for any company or brand. If social media is your brand’s calling card, then a website is your brand’s home. So, a website redesign becomes a necessity after a time. You may ask yourself how to redesign a website? That’s why we’re here. Let’s learn all about the website redesign process.
Keeping your website fresh and in step with the current times and your company’s growth is imperative. As you develop your services, products, and brand identity, you must make sure the website reflects that.
In this article, we look at the overall process, as well as some of the most important web design elements to consider when you tackle your redesign.
How often should you redesign a website?
As we’ve already said, a website needs to be in harmony with the branding. While there are many reasons why brands should redesign their websites, there is no strict timeline for it. However, it is reported that the average website goes through a redesign every 1.5 to 2.5 years.
Does this mean you must redesign your site as soon as you hit the 2 year mark? Definitely not. Let’s go over some of the main reasons why businesses redesign sites in the first place.
Changes in the business or marketing strategy
Although it is the be-all and end-all of your online presence, a business website always fits a larger framework.
Are you trying to reach new target audiences? Do you have new business goals, such as a launch of a new product, a brand partnership, or a lead generation campaign?
Think about how your brand goals and image might have evolved and changed up to that point. Ask yourself does your website still reflect those goals and values? Mind you, this doesn’t mean that you have to go through the entire process of rebranding. However, something as simple as changing the value proposition and hero image on your homepage or a landing page can help you connect with potential clients more effectively.
The site feels dated
No matter how pleased you are with your website design, you should always keep an eye out for the competition. Of course, you want your website to be unique and stand out, but this doesn’t mean dated.
If a website isn’t up to scratch with the current web design trends in the industry, it might be time for a change.
An old-looking site doesn’t just present an aesthetic obstacle. Many customers steer clear of sites that don’t look up to date because they look abandoned, and in some cases even scammy.
A site should run as smoothly and quickly as possible. If that’s no longer the case, you should definitely look into redesign.
On the other hand, you might notice that your site doesn’t perform as well on mobile devices. In this case, you should definitely consider developing a responsive website to help you boost your performance across all devices.
Finally, you might want to add further functionalities to your site, such as ecommerce options or add interactive elements and web pages to increase engagement and reduce bounce rates. These are all valid reasons to seek professional website redesign services.
How to redesign a website?
What does the website redesign process entail? Whatever your reason for redesigning a website is, you mustn’t go in blind. Take stock of every potential weak spot in the design of your current site (this can apply both to UX and UI elements) and brainstorm how you can make it more accessible, appealing, and trendier.
1. Track your current website traffic
Make sure you know what your starting position is. Identify how many website visitors you have and for how long they stay on it. Google Analytics is your most trustworthy source of information. Although you can also use other tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs, to conduct qualitative research (e.g. keywords).
You can even take your social media into account here, seeing as it serves as a conductor of traffic to your main site.
Establish your averages and identify the intervals and times your website has most traffic. This will allow you to adjust and make sure you stimulate traffic as much as you can.
Find out where your weak spots are and think about how you can improve them. For this you might want to use a site heatmap, which shows you the parts of your site users interact with the most and the least.
This can help you understand potential issues in usability or visual elements that should be part of your redesigning project.
2. Establish goals
You need to know what you want to accomplish regarding your website. You must set clear parameters as to what your site should accomplish. Some possible goals might be:
- Increase the click through rate – The more people actually click on your ads on other sites, the more traffic your website will garner. Something as simple as changing the CTA button color or text can significantly impact click-through rates.
- Increase the number of visitors on your site – This point is self-explanatory. More visitors equals more potential customers. A user-friendly, fast-loading website will rank higher in search enging results, gaining you more visitors.
- Increase time spent on your site – The average time most people spend on a website is about 53 seconds. If you want to turn visitors into potential customers, You must entice them to stay longer. Details like creative motion graphics or infographics can be a great way to keep visitors around longer.
- Enhance your SEO rankings for important keywords – Your SEO rankings are incredibly important. They determine how fast a potential customer can find your site while browsing, as well as your site’s position in the results page. But don’t think it just comes down to keywords and content. The design of your website absolutely has an impact on SEO.
- Increase your overall sales – In the end, having a website often boils down to making as many sales as possible. A smartly designed website will not only be easy to use for your customers, it will encourage sales and returns.
Your goals should be your touchstone throughout the entire website redesign process. They will help in making decisions and keeping the project on track.
3. Have a clear vision of the new look
Companies go through rebranding all the time. It’s a way to stay relevant, as well as showcase the company’s growth and keep in touch with the trends. Web redesign often goes in tandem with a rebrand.
If this is the case, you should make sure that whoever is providing website redesign services knows all about the rebrand, and stays on topic. Ideally, the design team working on the branding aspect will work together with the designers handling the website.
When tackling the website redesign process, you should do what you do for every design project. You should create color schemes, try out different fonts, select the imagery, and brainstorm the most effective website strategy and layout for attracting visitors..
One great website redesign example to learn from is Instagram. When creating a new look of your site, don’t be afraid to go for a more minimalist design. Instagram ditched the dated blue background and intricate logo and replaced it with a clean white background, and a much simpler logo that will stay relevant for years to come.
However, in the 2018 redesign they still kept all the same commands and functionalities, so as not to harm the user experience.
4. Assemble the right team
Unless you’re an impressive one-person show, chances are you have to have someone provide you with website redesign services. Web design is, at its core, a collaborative process. Several people make a team dedicated to this task, including:
- A developer who comes up with the initial idea for the new concept of the website
- X/UI designers, who handle the functionality and look of the website
- A marketing manager, who works on the marketing and branding aspect of the redesign
- A content writer, who will provide the texts containing all the necessary and additional information to the user
- A project manager, to oversee the entire process and help with coordinating the rest of the team
Once you’ve selected the right people, it’s a matter of teamwork and good communication between the collaborators.
5. Define your ideal buyer persona
Having lots of traffic on your website is good, but quality matters over quantity when it comes to conversions. What good is having all those visitors if none of them actually buy your product or services?
In order to appeal to the people most likely to make a purchase, it’s necessary to create an ideal buyer persona. As the name suggests, it’s the imaginary person most likely to need/buy whatever your company is selling.
When creating your buyer persona, you should think about all of their characteristics. How old are they? What’s their job or career, what are their goals. What do they like? How do they spend their free time? What might some of their other interests be?
However, you should also have a firm grasp on who your clientele really is. It sometimes happens that a brand’s target demographic turns out to be completely different from their actual customers.
If you’re looking to redesign your website, a bit of market research wouldn’t go amiss. It would allow you to pivot to serving the customers who really buy your products.
Here’s a website redesign concept for Polish State Railways. It includes a buyer persona section along with the biggest challenges which users might face on the current website.
6. Find inspiration and research the competition
No matter what field you’re in, you’ll always have competition. Researching the competition will give you valuable insight into what features might be missing from your own website, as well as give you ideas on what your competitors have possibly missed.
This is especially important if you want to stay on the cutting edge and be counted as a leader in your industry. There’s a wealth of untapped potential, and you must be savvy to see that. If you can’t glean that from your own reviews, read your competitors’ reviews, as it could give you an idea what your shared audience would like to see.
You should also think about what sets you apart from your competitors. Try and adjust your website so that it becomes more convenient, affordable or simply more appealing than your competitors.
One famous website redesign example to learn from is MailChimp. In 2018 the company had a perfectly decent website. Still, compared to a number of email automation solutions that were around by that time (Zoho, Hubspot, Omnisend, etc.) the veteran company’s website design seemed a bit dull.
So, they went all out with a bright yellow color palette, and fun illustrations. Not only did the site look a lot more modern, it also got a unique look that immediately distinguished itself from the competition.
But, you don’t have to draw inspiration just from your direct competitors. Inspiration for the new look of your website can come from all sorts of different places. For example, your homepage redesign could be taken to a whole new level thanks to a clever animation you saw, or font combo used in an antique book.
Think about the tone in which you’d like to present your brand and maybe find other companies that use a similar tone. The tone can be vastly different for an outdoor sporting goods brand and a B2B company. You want to strike the perfect balance between approachable and professional.
7. Test your final design
No one likes being unpleasantly surprised by a project malfunctioning after it’s been unveiled. Before you organize your new website relaunch, you should make sure that it’s running as smoothly as possible.
This doesn’t just mean making sure the site isn’t buggy, or otherwise malfunctioning. It also means that it should be pleasant and intuitive for use. This is where the UI design comes into the spotlight.
You don’t notice intuitive web design when it’s there, but when it’s not, its lack is glaringly obvious. Intuitive design is all about making the site usable even for people who have not visited it before.
Of course, once you have finalized all the visual elements, make sure to check the page loading speed. Big file sizes can sometimes slow down your site, which is one of the most common reasons why people will abandon the website and increase your bounce rates.
You can test it yourself, but it’s often best to get a fresh, unbiased opinion. Get some willing participants to try out the new website before you launch it live, so you can get all the necessary feedback and make adjustments where needed.
How often you should redesign a website often depends on several different factors. Make sure you keep all the elements that work and improve functionality, while also changing what doesn’t work.
Our team has tons of experience in all kinds of design, and we’ll be happy to help you update the look of your website.
But, with a ManyPixels subscription, you get so much more. All your design needs, whether that’s web design, branding, social media, or graphic design can be met in one place.
Our various subscription plans can fit a number of budgets and design needs. Even with the most affordable plan, you will get a first draft within 1-2 business days.
Curious to know more? We’d love to chat with you. Book a live demo, and let us show you all the possibilities.
I hold two degrees in history, and am currently working on a project of creating a digital library of Medieval manuscripts. I still like to have a foot in the 21st century though, so I write freelance about my other big passion, art and design. All Lord of the Rings references and puns I make are intentional.