Master your next web redesign with these simple tips
Most businesses need to redo their website at some point to refine their message, reach a new audience, or make the site easier to use. Developing and launching a new site has a lot in common with remodeling your physical business. In both cases, your goal is to create the best possible space for doing business. That requires careful planning and ongoing communication with the agency handling your site redesign. Here are eight best practices we recommend, based on our experiences helping clients make the most of their websites.
- Set your goals before you begin and refer to them as you go. Your agency will base the redesign on these goals, so spend as much time as you need goal-setting with your company’s decisionmakers and your agency before you move ahead. When questions arise during the design process, use the goals to guide your answers.
- Focus on what your audience wants. In most cases, this means refocusing your site content on customer benefits, with technical features taking a supporting role. Businesses sometimes struggle with this step, especially those that offer technical or complex services and products. Remember, potential customers visit your site to learn what your business can do for them. After you show that you have what they need, they’ll be ready to check out your technical specs.
- Think about how your audience will use your site. Will most visitors browse your site on desktops at work or on their smartphones while they’re on the go? Review your existing site’s visitor analytics and let the data inform your design decisions. No matter what device your audience prefers, focus on keeping site navigation simple and intuitive.
- Choose a point of contact to communicate with the agency. Do this ahead of time and you’ll save everyone’s time when questions arise.
- You might want to consider updating your website hosting service when starting this process. Do your research to find what works best for all your website and traffic needs.
- Make time for the redesign process. Give your point person room in his or her schedule to work with your agency, loop other employees in as needed, and find the answers to questions that come up as the process moves forward.
- Decide what to keep. Some elements of your existing website may work on the new site. For example, if your current logo fits with your redesign goals, there’s no need to spend time and money on a new version. High-quality product images, videos, and resource materials like user guides that help your audience are examples of other elements to keep. If you already have professional headshots of your team for your “About Us” page, consider keeping them, too.
- Decide what to get rid of. Some examples of things to leave off of the new site include:
- Decorative graphics that don’t directly support the goals of your site
- Long blocks of text that you can replace with easier-to-scan summaries
- Multiple calls to action on the same page
- Confusing navigation instructions
- Color schemes and design elements that look dated
- Test the new site and then test it again. Once the new design is ready to launch, make sure you and your agency view it on a variety of devices and browsers to make sure it displays properly. Now is also the time to fix any broken links, make sure contact information is up to date, and fix any typos.
Once your new site is live, track your visitor analytics to ensure that the new design does what you intend it to do. Make any needed adjustments and then enjoy the results of your project planning and communication with your agency.
To learn more about making the most of your company’s website, contact us at email@example.com.