Effective Website Redesign [CHECKLIST]
Written at 08 June 2016 15:04 by Stefan Materzynski
We, marketers, are always in a rush. Hundreds and thousands of tasks to do, people to call, campaigns to run, promotional material to print. It is virtually impossible to cover all the bases, especially if one of main tasks is website redesign. While your website is your most valuable marketing machine, the process of design may prove painful even if you decided to hire somebody to do it for you. You know - all those IT specialists asking strange questions, unforeseeable technical difficulties, unexpected delays, and, of course, the need to personally supervise everything…
It is difficult to survive all of this without going mad, and that’s why we are here to help you with our Busy Marketer’s Checklist for Effective Website Redesign. Redesign is a tiresome process. Checklist can make it a whole lot easier as it will lead you through the most important stages of your work. Because of it you can easily check which steps you have completed and see what lies ahead of you.
In order to make everything easier, the list is divided into three sections which feature the most important stages of your work: pre-launch, in-progress and launch.
No matter whether you work on your own or with a design agency - this checklist for effective website redesign will save you some headaches!
#1 Project goal - determining your purpose will give you and your designer an idea about what needs to be done. So decide what you want to achieve through redesign. You can choose between generating leads, engaging with your audience, boosting sales, reducing bounce rate, improving SEO and many others. Of course some of these goals correlate with each other - for example if you want to have more conversions you need to work on lowering bounce rate.
#2 Revise - go back to your old site and check what works and what needs changing. Preserve your current assets. If there are things that your customers especially liked about your site, change may mean losing them. Such a thing shouldn’t happen. Make a list of things and features you want to keep.
#3 Know you budget - money isn’t everything… but it helps. It’s great if you are ready to pay any amount of money for the desired changes. But if you have precisely defined budget you should be prepared that you may not be able to get everything you want. So decide which of the changes are a must and which can take a second place.
#4 Choose proper hosting - As soon as you know what you want and have money for it, think about hosting. Bad hosting may be the main cause of slow loading sites, so choose wisely. First and foremost take your content into account. If you want to have a lot of photos and videos you may need a really good (and expensive) web hosting service. It’s very important since it may have an immense influence on your sales. Users won’t stay on a site which has loading problems.
#5 Determine KPIs to the project - to evaluate the success of your website redesign you should define your Ke Performance Indicators. They will help you measure the Return on Investment (ROI) any time you need.
#7 Overall Design - try to determine the overall design of your site in order to let your design agency know what to strive for. What colors would you like to have? How many of them? Would you like to have any specific fonts? How should the layout look like? Do you need a lot of pictures and videos? Don’t forget that you should redesign your site around your buyer personas. Plan everything in a way that would appeal to them.
#6 Information Architecture - prepare at least a draft of how you would like to categorize, organize and label your content. Keep it simple and use the language of your customers.
#1 Send your design agency all the necessary information - ensure that you have sent your agency all the information so that they know what you expect. Give them the information about what you expect from the redesigned site, house style, logo of your company (unless a new one is to be created), images,videos, approved site map and texts you want to have on the website. If your company has designed fonts which are a part of the corporate identity provide the name of the font. If your design agency prepares also texts, remember to tell what kind of language you expect (formal, casual, authoritative, humorous, etc.).
#2 Agree on schedule - discuss what should be done and when. Create a schedule in which stages (especially for initial concepts, final versions and delivery) and dates for these stages are defined. Check the progress regularly. But don’t expect the agency to do everything within few days, good design (and redesign) takes time.
#3 Keep in touch - Check on your agency and be available. If you see an email read it and answer as soon as possible. This will help if any problem arises.
#1 Test - when all systems are finalized, test your website. Use services or real devices to check the website in various environments such as Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer etc. Do speed testing, check your links to see if they are not broken and ensure that website navigation works properly. Don’t forget about proofreading all content. Last but not least, prepare a good backup thanks to which you will be able to restore the website if anything bad happens. Hiring some of your target audience for testing is also a good idea.
#2 Evaluate - the work does not end with launching. Check whether you have achieved your major goals. Regularly measure the behavior performance of the website and test it with testing services. So once you see the results of your work don’t rest on your laurels. Always be on the lookout for improvement.
We reached the end of our website redesign checklist for busy marketers. You may now feel that website redesign is a lot of work, but do not despair. If you follow this checklist your work will be effective and easy!
Pine Cove Consulting