How to Redesign a Website In 9 Steps
Organizations more frequently want to know how to redesign a website to help their business. Get it right, and you can improve your website’s performance, increasing leads and conversions.
The importance of having a well-functioning site has been something that’s grown in recent years, and perhaps this year more than ever. More emphasis is being placed on the user experience that a site can offer, and in fact in May 2021 Google is rolling out a new algorithm which will actively punish websites that offer poor site experiences.
This has naturally bumped up site rebrands and redesigns to a top priority.
But where do you start? What should you change? And who can help you? The good news is we’ve compiled a list of 9 steps for a smooth old to new makeover.
Follow them and learn how to redesign a website.
1. Know Why You’re Rebranding
Rebranding your website takes valuable resources, so before you invest, be sure you’re redesigning for the right reasons. Consider the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when accessing your website’s rebranding needs. And base your decisions on analytics, not just your gut instinct.
The main reason a website requires rebranding is a breakdown in communicating your brand’s message or a lack of a positive user experience, resulting in falling traffic and conversions. But to fix the problem, you first have to know what it is.
You find that out through analytical research and by asking questions like:
- Is my site mobile optimized?
- How is the UX (user experience) performing?
- Are the plugins functioning correctly?
- Is it loading fast enough?
- Is our branding fulfilling our user’s intent?
- Have we changed our goals since launching?
- Is our branding up-to-date?
If you answered yes to any questions 1 to 4 – you need a technical update. 5 to 7 – It’s time for a rebrand. 1 to 7 – You need both.
2. Set Your Branding Team In Place
To ensure a smooth transition from old to new branding, you need a team with the right skillsets and experience. Otherwise, what should be an exciting time could quickly become a stressful undertaking that fails to achieve the required results.
You have three team options:
- In-house: If you have an in-house team up to the job, they’ll know your brand’s DNA and personality better than anyone
- Brand agency: While they won’t know your brand as intimately as an in-house team, they’ll have highly skilled and experienced professionals, know the latest design trends, and offer an unbiased perspective.
- Freelancers: However, if you only require help with specific design elements or your budget doesn’t stretch to employing a brand agency, a freelance designer is a viable option.
3. Audit Your Branding
An audit’s an in-depth review of all the working parts of your website and provides crucial insights into what’s presently performing and what’s not.
While site analytical data will identify low performing pages and determine where visitors are “bouncing”, your audit aims to tell you why.
Once completed, you’ll know which elements require your attention. However, you can’t change one design element of your branding without considering the implications it might have on another.
Brands are crafted with intention, with every element connected to and supporting each other, creating a working harmony that communicates your message in a way that engages your target audience. Before you implement change, arrange your steps, so they take your brand’s new design forward in unison.
4. Assess Your Users’ Journey
If your users get lost or frustrated while making the journey from landing page to purchase, they’re going to up and leave to a competitor, and no amount of rebranding will stop it from happening.
One of the most important aspects of learning how to redesign a website is discovering what your users are doing and what they aren’t doing that you want to be doing.
You must fully understand every action and emotion your users feel at each stage of their journey to ensure it’s as comfortable and seamless as possible.
You achieve that by understanding what they’re looking for at each point, pre-empting any questions they might have, and where they’ll look for the answer during the buying process.
Your goal is to pre-load the journey for them. And you can do that by:
- Asking previous users questions about their experience
- Discovering where users bounce during the journey and why
- Assessing which areas your visitors interact with most
- Determining whether the site is optimized for multiple platforms
5. Clarify Your Brand’s Message
Maybe you think you only need a new logo or a change of color palette. But before you start tinkering with your visual identity, ensure that it’s following your new branding message.
For your new branding to work, it’s essential you first articulate the message you’re trying to convey.
And infuse it into:
- All of your brand’s messaging pillars: (mission, values, purpose, positioning, look and feel)
- Your brand’s essence: (personality, voice, and tone)
- Your Tagline
- And your value proposition.
6. Review and update your brand’s Style Guide
The purpose of a style guide when you’re assessing how to redesign a website is to ensure the message you want to convey matches that with what’s being said. It provides your content and visuals a set-criteria to follow, so when viewers see your logo or think of your company, they immediately connect it to your brand.
It’s why you must review and update your style guide before rebranding your website.
The two main elements of your style guide are:
Visual style guide
Containing every visual, you’re using in your branding, such as:
- Color palette
- Logo usage
At this stage, you should ensure the images you’re using are relevant to your marketplace and target audience, and a logo maker is an ideal tool for seeing the latest branding trends.
Content style guide
Generally including elements like:
- Brand personality and traits
- Brand-specific content copy rules and preferences
- Brand editorial rules – tone of voice, style, and grammar
7. Complete a Competitive Analysis
Your aim with rebranding is to maximize how well it communicates your overall message to your target audience; for that, you need to know what to say and how to present it.
An excellent way of knowing how relative your current branding is, and finding out if and how you should update it, is by looking at the leading brands in your market, and that’s where a competitive analysis will help you.
Your analysis will highlight any similarities you and your competitors have. But it can also tell you what you need to do differently to stand out from the crowd. This is a key aspect businesses must know when assessing how to redesign a website.
8. Get Designing
Before you jump into the design, it’s advisable to create a wireframe.
A wireframe is a basic outline of a website’s layout; you can create it using simple black and white designs. Its purpose is to give you an easy-to-follow blueprint of each page so you can start planning your rebranding process without getting side-tracked by the numerous design elements involved.
It’ll keep you focused and ensure you’re laying your new branding out in a way that creates an optimal user experience.
Once you have the basics in place, you can start creating full pages. Starting by designing the main elements for your high-impact pages first, such as your home page, moving onto category pages, and including CTAs as you proceed.
9. Start Developing Your Site
Once you’ve finished designing, you can begin developing.
You’ve done the hard work; now you need to take it slow. Ensure you give every element of your rebranded website the attention it requires, such as coding, SEO, industry best practices, and of course, your new branding design.
As you develop each page, ensure a consistent user experience by checking the cross-browser and mobile device functionality performance.
By doing so, you’ll be confident you have a fully functioning website, and it also enables you to catch any problems during the developing stage.
Want to Learn More About How to Redesign a Website?
To learn more about how Impact can help you rebrand your website, visit our Website Design & Development offering. Subscribe to our blog to receive more insights into business technology and stay up to date with marketing, cybersecurity, and other tech news and trends (don’t worry, we won’t pester you).