It might seem that a website redesign using a pre-fabricated template is a straightforward process. Although templates in many cases simplify the web design process it still is a complex undertaking. Therefore, it is smart to approach this process with some level of planning.
When you finally decide to go with a HubSpot template rather than custom web design approach, there are certain steps that you should take to avoid pitfalls. You can divide the process into three phases.
Before you begin doing any work, start with creating a plan that will be a roadmap leading you towards your final goal. When creating a plan start with defining goals of your redesign (same as you would with a custom web design approach). This step is often overlooked, but in my opinion is crucial in order to ensure the whole process will run flawlessly. A great resource that helps to map out this process is a “Redesign Your WebSite” HubSpot Guide Series no. 2 along with three worksheets and guides that can be downloaded.
2. Choosing the right template pack
It is important to choose a template pack, which in its’ basic structure covers your essential needs, outlined in the planning phase. Now that you have mapped out the whole process and know your requirements go to the HubSpot marketplace and find a template pack that in the most part corresponds to your needs. Remember all your goals, needs and baseline metrics are in the three worksheets completed in the first step. With this information in place, you can make a choice that not only resembles your aesthetical preferences along with your brand color guidelines but also takes into account real data. This can include the type of site page templates needed like for example one, two, three or multi-column website pages. Or maybe to facilitate all your existing content you need all of the variations mentioned above. Maybe you have a lot of existing downloadable content in the form of PDF or e-Books that require a special dedicated site like resources page? In that case look for a template package that has a dedicated resource page included. The same applies to landing pages, email template (think of the number of different emails you want to send like newsletter, nurturing campaign emails and so on).
3. Defining the scope of customization needed
In a few words “One size fits all” does not work in the web design world and there will be some level of customization required for your template to fulfill all requirements. The scope of customization can be something very simple like changing the colors of headers and footers or adding the company logo to things more elaborate like creating dedicated custom modules. If you have followed my instructions and purchased a template that corresponds to the requirements defined during the planning phase, the scope of customization can be minimum and mainly came down to adding company logo, fonts, and adjusting colors. You don’t have to be an expert to write a quality scope. If you have mapped out your goals and requirements and purchased a template the in its primary structure covers the essential requirements, producing a quality scope comes down to creating a high-level outline of what you’re looking to accomplish and what supporting elements are required.
While there are additional factors to planning your web project using a template, they are all referring to stakeholder and audience objectives. The best way to success is to map out where you want to end up and what’s necessary to get there. This simple process will put you light years ahead of the average website.