Thinking about redesigning your current website or creating a new one?
This is not the easiest process and it probably can take some nerves, time but it is very worth it if you want to move your business to the next level, gain new clients or simply stay up to date.
Whether it’s redesigning your existing one or creating a completely new one there are some points to consider before starting, making it as smooth and painless process as possible.
We will cover all the below points in depth later at some point but here is the summary which should give you some understanding and starting point if you’re planning to redesign or create a new website for your yourself, your business or even if you are already doing it.
Read below these few useful website redesign tips and get well prepared.
KNOW WHY YOU REDESIGN – WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
If you plan to redesign your existing website you need to know why you are doing this. Is it only because you want to stay up to date with design trends even though everything else was spot on and you had more visitors than you could handle? This is very rarely the case.
That is why you need to analyse your existing website and decide what is it that worked well, what needs to be improved and what you need to get rid of.
You need to determine your goals. Sometimes you will notice that you don’t really need to start from scratch and some tweaking would do miracles.
So before you get super excited and rushed consider the above – only this way you can get the most out of your new website.
KNOW WHAT YOUR VISITORS AND WHAT YOU CAN GIVE THEM
You need to know your user, your potential client, someone you want to come to your website and there is more… You want that person to visit more than once and stay longer than few seconds.
That is why you need to find out what they are interested in and provide them with a quality content. You need to understand that they will not come back to read about you, your new dress or what colour you like, they want to know what YOU can give THEM and how they can benefit.
The first step is to create the ideal client avatar and describe his or her personality, needs and values as well as problems they face and concerns they might have. This way you will know what kind of information they will most likely be looking for as well as how they will look for it so you can prepare the most relevant content and quickly direct them to it.
DEFINE FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS
The functions you need will depend on the type of the website.
For example if you are a photographer, designer, hairdresser, chef or any other creative you will most likely want to show your work visually and have loads of images. These need to be well organized into galleries and may be in a form of slider etc.
Just talk to your designer/ developer and they will be able to advise what will work best with want you want to show to your visitors. Note that badly chosen slider may have the opposite effect.
You may also need branded contact form, PayPal payments, and membership areas for your subscribers, social media integration, blog or something else.
That is why planning is crucial to determine what is it that you need, your goals, to get the most out of your new website.
FIND A GOOD DESIGNER AND DEVELOPER
…and even better if you can find 2in1.
Not only should your site be professionally designed but also it needs to work well and be developed that way. Designers need to know what is possible, sadly they don’t teach that at college! Luckily there are some out there that can also develop and the best combination is when they can do it while designing. This way they know immediately what works or what will not.
MAKE SURE YOU GO FOR THE RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
Since 21st of April 2015 we need our websites be responsive not only because this means we stay up to date and we respect all our users but also because that day Google updated their mobile search algorithm that changed the order in which websites are ranked. Google started favoring mobile-friendly websites so having a responsive one is not something fancy ‘let’s leave it for later’ thing but it is crucial. It is not even longer a feature – it just must be!
And be careful as some agencies will call ‘adaptive’ responsive. Adaptive is when your website scales to the size of a device. You want to go for a fully responsive website, the one that Google will respect hence reward.
If your website isn’t mobile friendly yet, or you are unsure please contact me and I’ll be happy to help.
KEEP IT TO THE POINT
You have around 10 seconds to convince a visitor that he or she want to find our more ASDabout your page that is why you need to make the most out of that time.
Prepare your content before designing
For some reason many still design first and then insert content where it suits. The design is very important but it needs to work seamlessly with your story if you want to get your message across, so it’s best to have your content first.
Do not write essays on your promo website
Nobody likes reading too long text. Keep it short and to the point.
Plan your headings..
..so your visitors will understand your points without reading smaller copy and will read it only if it’s of their interest. Headings are like short summaries of what’s below them. People usually quickly scan websites first and you probably do that to.
Plan the story you want to tell..
..and use clear call to actions. This way they will know what is the next thing you want to show them and won’t feel lost.
PLAN THE (RE) LAUNCH
If it is redesign you may already have a long list of contacts but even then create a place to get new ones. Your website will be new probably with fresh ideas and this is a good opportunity to attract brand new visitors.
Make sure that you let people know about your new website and create a space that they will be able to easily subscribe to your mailing list. That way when you are ready to launch your website or after launching to inform about your new blog post, product or service or simply send a Christmas Card – you are prepared.
Check your content
Before going live proof read and make sure your text is to the point and easy for eyes. Check all the images for quality, click all those links and make sure everything is in order.
A good designer will check it all as well but we are just people, something could have been missed.
Market your site
People will not guess that you just launched your website, you need to tell them! So go out there, where your ideal readers hang out and let them know. Better – make them feel excited about your launch.
Publish quality content
If your website is more than just simple introductory one you can start with making your visitors engaged. If you have a blog make sure the first post is interesting, long enough and it gives your readers an actual knowledge. Do not make it about sales only as you will most probably scare them off.
Inform your visitors
You need to let people know what you did.
Inform you friends and family so they can share it with their friends and family.
Post on social media; make it interesting so others will share it too.
Send well designed, branded email newsletter to your subscribers with clear call to action.
Is there anything else important that I missed? Let me know and I am always up for revising. If there is anything more that you would like to know, just leave a comment and I will happily look into it.