When Is It Time for a Website Redesign?
There are more than 1.5 billion websites, but only 200 million of them are “active.” Are you neglecting your business’ website? While it can be tough to find the time to keep it updated, it can truly make or break your business.
Here’s a look at the main reasons you should redesign your website:
To maintain a competitive edge and meet the ever-changing needs of your customers, your business must evolve over time. In other words, you should regularly change your branding and messaging, and those changes should be reflected on your website.
Statistics show that professionals in every industry conduct online research before buying a product or committing to a partnership. Your messaging must be accurate.
Businesses can’t afford to underestimate the importance of visuals and design. In fact, 46% of consumers base their decisions about the credibility of a website on its visual appeal and aesthetics.
It’s critical that your website looks fresh and feels great. It must also follow the latest design trends. Remember, your users spend more time off your website than on it, so your site must abide by established design conventions.
Research from Google shows that 53% of mobile users will abandon sites that take over 3 seconds to load. So lag time can damage your bottom line and SEO performance.
Poor technical foundations must be updated. These updates can make your website more performant, and help you retain users and experience significant boosts to your organic SEO performance.
Your visitors expect a fast, seamless experience. So their feedback can help you know when it’s time to conduct a website redesign. Perhaps your customers complain they can’t find your website, or that it performs poorly on mobile devices.
You can use feedback from your users to hone in on key redesign objectives. This practice can make your redesign faster and more productive.
Studies show that 38% of visitors will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. If your website doesn’t pack a punch, you may find that you send potential customers directly to your competitors.
With so many websites out there, your website must boast a great design and excellent performance to remain competitive.
The Steps for Revamping a Website
Time for a redesign? Let’s take a look at exactly what a website revamp means.
Step 1: Website and Audience Audit
Before you dive into the process of making changes, it’s important that you take stock of your website and its current condition. By getting a clear picture here, you can create a strong plan going forward.
When performing your audit, you should focus on a few key areas:
Design and Content
Remember, it’s very helpful to receive feedback about the design of your website and the content on it. Ideally, this feedback should come from your target customers, but it can also come from your team members.
Audience and Usability
If you dive into your Google Analytics data, it will help you see who visits your website, and how those people use it. Specifically, find out which pages have the highest bounce rates and the lowest time-on-page statistics.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to benchmark the speed of your website and receive actionable suggestions about how to improve it.
An example of the results you can expect to receive is below. (The Guardian is a popular news website in the UK.)
Step 2: Forming Goals for Your Redesign
Now that you have a better idea of the issues you’re hoping to solve, it will be easy to create actionable and quantifiable goals. Let’s look at some examples:
Solution: Reduce load times to a maximum of 3 seconds on all mobile devices.
Solution: Increase the time-on-page results by 3x.
Always try to tie each action to an outcome, and make sure your website revamp has quantifiable impacts on your business.
Use the outcomes from this stage to create a redesign brief that can be shared internally or externally. You should use this brief to clearly articulate your needs, especially the reasons why the project will take place.
Step 3: Redesign Action Plan
After you’re equipped with your goals, it’s time to create a plan that will make help you execute your revamp with as few issues as possible.
First, consider all of the actions you identified in the previous stage. Take the time to elaborate on each of them, and identify all of the related actions. For example, let’s take the first bullet point from above, and find out which actions need to be completed:
Repeat this process for each action. Then ask your project managers to execute a plan (or execute it yourself). It can be tough to create a detailed project plan, but you should make sure that your project is realistic from every perspective.
Step 4: Inspiration Phase
Before you execute your plan, you’ll want to take a look at the best sites in your industry. By creating a catalogue of inspiration, you can make sure that you aim as high as possible. So whether you’re seeking inspirations for your design or tactics for improving your performance, check out the best.
If you want to find contemporary website designs that will help you succeed, be sure to check out awwwards.com. Here, you’ll find some breathtaking inspiration that will help you make a great first impression on your visitors.
An example of a project page is below. You can see that the community votes on each website, and ranks it in a variety of categories:
Also, be sure to check out our post on the best website designs for 2019.
Make sure that you work with quality developers who are capable of implementing the features that lead to blazingly fast speeds. For inspiration, create a list of the websites in your niche that impress you (both desktop and mobile).
Which brand do you love? How do its attitude, style, copy, and general mood draw you in? Share these pieces of inspiration with your designs and copywriters. Those professionals can channel this inspiration into your new digital content.
Step 5: Build Wireframes
In the past, the relationship between copy and design was considered to be a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. However, most website revamps now begin with design. So your designers should be tasked with creating wireframes that will bring everything together.
Why wireframes? They’re perfect for planning out the content and functionality of a page, and they take the needs and journey of the user into consideration. Wireframes are the skeletons of your website; they provide the basic structure. Then you’ll build a beautiful exterior around the framework of these wireframes.
Keep adjusting the wireframes until you’re happy with the UI and UX. At that point, it’s time to start creating the content. Here’s an example from Wirify of what wireframes look like:
Step 6: Write Content
Now you have a better idea of the content that you need. By providing your copywriters and brand strategists with your word and character counts, it will be easier for your copywriters to hit the mark with their first draft.
That being said, it can take a long time to create excellent copy. Don’t be concerned if you find that a few rounds of revisions are needed until you find the best phrasing in some areas. Thanks to your patience, the final result will be better!
Step 7: Create Mockups and Prototypes
At this point, things start getting very real! Now that you’ve prepared your early designs and content, your web developers can start working on creating mockups and working prototypes.
It’s fun to see your work come to life. But depending on the developers you work with, this process can be expensive. So be sure to work with a trusted website design team like Lectron.
Step 8: Launch New Design
You should take the time to iron out any issues with your prototypes before you give your team the green light to launch the new design. When you’re ready, give the go-ahead to your web development team.
Congratulations! Your revamped website is now live. You should definitely capitalize on this exciting moment, and use it as a marketing event. And moving forward, be sure to carefully monitor the impact of your changes.
Intimidated by the prospect of conducting a website revamp? It doesn’t have to be scary. Our team is ready and waiting to receive your brief and create a website that is beautiful, performs well, and puts you ahead of the competition. If you have any questions about working with Lectron, it would be our pleasure to speak with you.