Are you thinking about a website redesign?
There are a thousand resources out there that will tell you when is a good time to go through a rebrand. But the fact is, if you’re a business owner, you just know.
Maybe you don’t feel aligned with your website any more, or your website isn’t a reflection of where you see your business heading.
Either way, you have a vision for what you want your business to look like over the next few months or years, and you know it’s time to update your website to reflect that. Here’s a list of 5 things you can do to speed up your website redesign so that you’re back in action ASAP.
1. Decide what you want to keep from your existing website, and what you’re ready to toss
You might have spent a lot of time (or money) on the first rendition of your website. If there is existing content or images that you still identify with on your site, make sure you keep a note of that. Let your web developer know that there are elements of your site that you want to repurpose, and this can help save time and money when the redesign starts.
2. Define new goals
What do you want your new website to do differently? This step doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming – you can even write it on a sticky note, or in a brief email to your developer. Do you want to increase sales? Increase brand awareness? Promote your upcoming event? Check this article for the best website growth goals for 2020.
3. Have new content ready to go
Commit to finishing any new content for your new site before the design starts. If you have all your new text and images ready, your web developer can simply insert them. This reduces any delays that you might experience waiting for content. At SL Creative, we usually write all the copy and design all the graphics for our clients. This helps take a lot off your plate!
4. Put together a list of 2-3 websites that you admire
This will help your web developer see your vision for the new site immediately. Your web developer will be on the same page as you from the get-go, and you can be confident that they’ll put something together that is unique to your business.
5. Release the new website before it’s fully done
It’s a good practice to launch your new website when it’s around 75% complete. You’ll get your new website up and running quickly, instead of spending time going back and forth with smaller edits. Your internal team members can check out the site in advance and make sure everything is good to go before announcing the launch to the world. You can also get feedback from your audience and see if there is anything you can improve on before a full launch.
A Better Approach: Evolutionary Site Redesign
Continuous testing of a business’s website is critical to figuring out what will resonate best with your audience. The risk of making giant changes to your website all at once can confuse your audience.
The truth is, making dramatic, risky changes can have a negative effect on your business’s online reputation.
The approach that we take at SL Creative when it comes to redesigning a website is called Evolutionary Site Redesign (or ESR). ESR gives continuous results over a period of time, and a better user experience as the website “evolves”.
There are 2 major differences between an ESR approach, versus the traditional bulldoze and rebuild method.
1. It’s faster
A traditional website redesign is extremely time consuming and feels like a huge project to many business owners. This is why traditional website redesigns only happen every 3-5 years – it’s a headache! The ESR approach allows continuous improvement, or “quick wins”, so that your website is always leading the pack.
2. It’s evidence-based
Large website redesigns are often based off of gut feelings and opinions. Which aren’t always bad, but 1 wrong move and your website results can get hurt. With ESR, every change is measured and tested to ensure that your business goals are being met.
By adopting an Evolutionary Site Redesign approach, you can lower risk while dramatically improving your website every day. Your website will continuously keep up and surpass the success of your competitors.
Final Thoughts: A website redesign is an ongoing process
Customer preferences are always changing. So are browser technologies, design practices, and accessibility standards. What might have worked at the beginning of the redesign, might not work 12 months down the line. It’s important to keep track of what your customers want and need so that your business can cater to them all the time.
FAQs on Website Resdesign
Since customer needs are always changing, there’s no defined timeline for when you should refresh your website. Continuous analysis of your website will help you identify new opportunities for ongoing improvement.
Most business owners will consider a website refresh each year.
A poor website redesign can have a negative effect on your SEO. However, a well done redesign will only have minimal consequences. Here are some examples of the damage that a redesign can have on your site:
Changing your URL structure can create broken links and damage your site structure
Removing pages often means losing valuable backlinks
Too many 301 redirects can hurt your website’s loading speed
In order to reduce risk, a good web developer will focus on small but impactful changes that won’t cause any crazy damage to your site’s SEO.
A full website redesign can cost anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 depending on the number of pages, the functionality of the site, and if any unique features are required.
Whether you DIY your site or hire a web developer, be careful where you invest your money. If your website redesign is done well, you can save money and time in the long run.
Depending on your requirements, number of pages and the complexity of the site, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.