Close up of female hands drawing out a user interface for a mobile responsive website.

Website Redesign: A Comprehensive Guide

When was the last time you completed a website redesign project? If it has been a while, then now might be the perfect time for a redesign project. Over time, websites can become outdated and not show off your latest services or products in an effective way. With this guide, we will walk you through the most important aspects of designing a fresh new site that is optimized for conversion!

 

How Often Do You Need To Redesign Your Website?

There isn’t necessarily a specific time you should redesign your site; however, if it has been a while since your initial design, it is probably worth considering an update. Web design is a fast-moving industry, often catering to the latest trends and design standards. If your website hasn’t had a major update in three years or more, it might be time for some new visual elements, colors, fonts, photos, and text on your site.

Depending on exactly how old your existing website is, it might not be up-to-date with the current website design and SEO standards. These outdated development practices can put the security of your existing website at greater risk. In addition, poor website SEO can make it difficult to rank for search terms on Google.

Long story short, if it has been several years since your initial design it might be time to start the website redesign process. If you aren’t sure if the age of your website could be affecting performance, contact 608 Media. Our team can review your website and determine if you would benefit from redesigning your website.

Common Reasons to Redesign Your Website:

There are tons of reasons why website owners want to redesign their websites. Some of the more common examples include:

Get a Fresh Look

Website designs can get outdated over time. If your page layouts are outdated, your visitors might not trust your website or find it appealing. Poor user experience or ux design is often one of the reasons visitors leave a website.

To Improve Conversion Rate

Your website design can have a big impact on how well your website is converting visitors into customers. If you are interested in improving the number of people who purchase products from your website, then starting a website redesign project may be just what you need to take your brand to the next level.

Simplify the Customer Experience

If your website is too complicated to navigate, then your current site will irritate your customers. Improving your navigation will help decrease your bounce rate. A good website redesign can help simplify and organize your pages in a way that makes more sense for users – which should always be at the forefront of any website development decision!

To Add Functionality

As web design standards continue to evolve, more and more website owners are adding new functionality to their sites. A good example of this is would be eCommerce or offering online courses. In the past, these would be extremely difficult and expensive functions to add. However, with open-source solutions such as Woocommerce, website owners can add these functionalities to their websites for relatively cheap.

For SEO Benefits

Animated clip art dispalying images related to search engine optimization.

Many site owners are working toward an “inbound marketing strategy,” which involves attracting website visitors from organic searches by producing content that people want to view. A large part of implementing this strategy is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. According to HubSpot, website owners should be aware that web design can have a big impact on their SEO efforts.

The good news is updating your website’s design probably won’t require extensive technical changes and the results will not take long to see! If you are trying to build an inbound marketing channel, website redesign can be important depending on how your company website was built.

To know if your SEO marketing efforts can benefit from redesign, ask yourself the following questions. Is my current content management system easy to navigate and manage? Can I add simple SEO details such as meta descriptions without assistance? Does my current site allow me to display my brand the way I want to? If you answered no to any of those questions, your marketing strategy would likely benefit from a website redesign.

Mobile Responsive Design

A computer, tablet, & mobile device that each benefit from mobile responsive designs.

A website that is mobile responsive means your pages will display cleanly and clearly on any device. This ensures no one has to pinch-and-zoom their way around the website – whether they are browsing with a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer! Mobile responsiveness should be at the forefront of every website redesign strategy because it is so important for increasing your traffic. The majority of internet traffic is now on mobile devices. So if your content isn’t made for mobile display you are missing out on a massive amount of traffic and need a website redesign.

To Create an Effective Call to Action

For website owners who are focused on converting visitors into customers, it is important to provide an effective call to action. A good website redesign can help you accomplish this goal by highlighting your CTA in a way that encourages each user to take the next step! If your visitors are confused it will decrease your conversion rate.

Be sure to think about your value proposition and target audience when planning each page. Create a call to action that fits the specific action you want your target audience to take on that page.

To Add New Content

If you are constantly adding new website content, then you should make sure the page layout is helping to showcase this content in a meaningful way. A website redesign can help you improve your site’s organic search rankings by reorganizing your pages in a way that highlights the most up-to-date information on each page. Search engines keep track of new content and how often you post, so having the ability to add new marketing content is important.

Redesigning Your Website From Start to Finish

After deciding to redesign your website, you get to start the actual process. There are several steps to the redesign process. Depending on your background, you may or may not feel comfortable handling each of the steps. If you aren’t a website designer, then it is probably best to seek out the help of experts when you are unsure.


Ready to start your redesign?


Create a Website Strategy

As with any website project, it is important to build a website strategy before you get started. Consider the ideal customer journey on your company website from start to finish. Use it to plan goals and objectives to measure your team success. Your website strategy should help you manage those goals as your move through the redesign process.

Determine Your Needs

First, it is important to determine the new features that your website needs. If you are seeking a website redesign to add ecommerce functionality, then your site will look different than a more simple blog site. If you aren’t sure of your specific technical needs, list your business goals and run them by your website designer.

Set a Budget

Someone budgeting with a light blue calculator, cash, & a list of bills.

Once you know the website features that you need to add, determine your budget. It is important to stay in line with your website redesign needs and what website designers are charging for similar services. Don’t overspend on fancy unnecessary features if your budget won’t allow it! Just keep in mind, nothing is free so if you want a feature you will have to be willing to pay for it.

Find a Website Designer

Now it’s time to find website designers! If you haven’t worked with a designer before, the best website redesign advice we can offer is to start small. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on your first project and not be happy with the results. Best sure to hire a team with clear pricing and website samples that you can review.

Some web designers don’t offer clear pricing and it can complicate the entire project. If you are looking for website designers offering transparent website redesign pricing, then check out 608 Media’s web design page. We offer affordable mobile responsive website redesigns starting at $1500. Our team will guide you through every step of redesigning your website.

Establish a Timeline and Project Milestones

Before hiring your website designer, be sure to establish the timeline and project milestones together. You both will need to agree upon deadlines so you can stay organized throughout the project. Oftentimes the redesign process gets drawn out by unclear expectations and deadlines.

A blank website design contract with a black pen.

Create a Scope of Work

It is important to clearly define the scope of work that each party plans on completing. For example, you may want a website redesign but don’t know anything about HTML and CSS coding languages. So, what exactly do you expect your website designer to create for you? In addition, list what your company will be responsible for such as the brand design elements or providing media.

The Scope of Work should be broken down into smaller parts such as wireframing, web design & development, website testing, and website launch. Make sure to have a clear understanding of what each party expects from the other before starting work!

Design Meeting

Web designer meeting with their clients to show them initial design concepts.

After you’ve hired your web designer, often a design meeting will be scheduled to start the project. At this time, website designers should consult with you to find out more about your website needs and expectations. Your website designer should review the website strategy you created, then discuss how they plan to tackle each goal on your list. Your website designer needs to walk you through each section of their proposed website redesign including content hierarchy, page layout & even color palette usage guidelines.

Wireframing

Following the initial design meeting, website designers may offer website wireframing services. Wireframing is creating page mockups or site layouts before creating the actual site code. This allows you and your website designer to visualize what changes will be made, making it easier for everyone involved in the project!

Often your website designer will want you to commit to a certain website structure at this point.  If website wireframing has been completed and you are satisfied with the design, then it’s time to move on to website development.

Website Development

In this phase of the redesign process, website designers will start to create your new website. Each designer’s development process may vary. Some designers build all of their projects completely from scratch, others utilize templates to create websites. Be sure to discuss the Content Management System or CMS your website designer plans to use. There are numerous options, but the most popular is WordPress. In our team’s experience, WordPress is the most user-friendly and easy to manage after the redesign is complete.

Website Testing

After development is complete, testing should be scheduled. The developer will need to test their work thoroughly before launching your site online. They may also create a website test plan for you so that you can perform quality control checks on the website yourself at this time! This way if any issues are found during website testing, they can easily be fixed before going live.

Launch and Maintenance

Finally, your website designer will launch your site and send you the login information. Determine your plan for site maintenance before launching your site. Some designers may offer site maintenance services while others do not. If site maintenance is something you need, make sure to discuss this with your website designer at the beginning of the project so there are no surprises!

Features to Consider Adding During Your Redesign

Now that we’ve covered the basic design phase, let’s discuss some of the great features you could consider adding while redesigning your website.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short, is an open-source project website created by Google. It optimizes website load speeds on all mobile device platforms, including iOS and Android. Utilizing AMPs will make your website more mobile friendly and help boost your traffic.

eCommerce

Graphic image of a mobile device being used to purchase goods online.

Ecommerce functionality is another great feature to consider adding during your website redesign. Websites with eCommerce options allow anyone visiting the site to purchase products online directly from the site itself. Most website designers will be able to eCommerce to your website.

Appointment Booking

If your company utilizes appointments, consider adding that feature directly to your site. There are numerous options that you can choose from. If you already utilize a booking service such as Square, your website designer should be able to integrate your existing service with your site. Improve the user experience by preventing the need to book on a separate platform.

Website Analytics

Magnifying glass zoomed in on the word "Analytics."

Depending on the quality of your current website, you may or may not have the ability to view your website traffic analytics. Google Analytics can provide powerful insights into website traffic, but web designers will need to integrate this service with your site. There are other analytics platforms available for you to choose from as well. However, Google Analytics is fairly easy to learn and free.

Landing Pages

An Apple laptop with a landing page open on the browser.

Landing pages are a page layout option that can help boost your conversions. A landing page is typically designed to convert website visitors into subscribers. It can be as simple as a site landing page with an email sign-up form or link, or it could include additional marketing information about your company brand and its products/services.

Landing pages are often the pages advertisements will redirect users to in order to collect their information. They often include a value proposition and call to action to drive conversions. Some landing pages

Event Calendar/Tickets

Someone using a red pen and event calendar to plan marketing efforts.

If your business hosts special events, add an event calendar to help keep your customers informed.  If you host regular events consider adding ticket sales too. One of 608 Media’s customers added online ticket sales to avoid third-party platform fees. They now save around $200 per month in service fees!

Frequently Asked Questions About Website Redesign

When you redesign a website, it is the perfect time to ask questions to your website designer. If you don’t have a lot of experience in this area, you might feel like you don’t even know the right question to ask. Thankfully, we have included a list of frequently asked questions about redesigning a website.

Will Changing My Website Design Cost Me Traffic?

A cascade of mouse pointers going towards a laptop to represent website visitors.

This is a question website designers hear all the time and it has an easy answer: no! Changing your website design does not affect site traffic. Changing your site can even help improve your traffic. If the website redesign improves the user experience, it can boost your conversion rate.

What Happens to The Old Website Links?

The word links seen below a removed puzzle piece

When you redesign a website, not every page or posts url will be the same as before. Your website designer will make sure that website links are updated to point to the correct pages. Make sure your website designer is going to redirect your traffic! Broken links can hurt your SEO efforts and cost your traffic.

What website layout options are available?

There are a variety of layout options available for a business website. It is possible to find a website template that will work perfectly with your brand and help keep some of the additional costs down. If you can’t find a template that works, you can always consider getting a completely customized website created.

How Long Will it Take? What Can I Expect During This Period?

Your website designer should be able to provide a project timeline. However, project delays do occur. Both parties can work to reduce delays with early and clear communication. You can expect your website designer to need access to your website content, and to have meetings with you between once a week and once a month.

Do I Need to Keep My Current Hosting Provider?

 

Server room from a hosting service that a new website would use.No, you don’t need to keep your current hosting provider.  Website designers will often utilize their own hosting company to provide the best website speed and performance. You should however check with your website designer about the specifics of the services they offer.

For example, 608 Media offers three managed hosting options to our clients ranging from $25/mo to $100/mo. Our managed WordPress hosting includes free daily backups, a dedicated security team, free SSL, and free website migrations! If you would like to learn more about our hosting service please contact us.

What Happens if I Don’t Like My Website Design?

A blonde women in a white pant suit in conflict with another business person.This will depend on your specific website designer’s terms and conditions.  Most website designers will offer at least one revision of your website. Some website designers only offer revisions for an additional cost, so be sure to discuss this before signing any contracts.

Who Owns The Website?

You should own the website, not the website designer.  If you don’t own the website, you won’t be able to change website designers without completely rebuilding the site. If you don’t own your website’s intellectual property, this could interrupt your business and cost you potential customers.

How much does website redesigning cost?

A blonde women in a white pant suit in conflict with another business person.

A website redesign project can range in cost significantly. This is due to a number of reasons including website complexity, website hosting requirements, website designer experience, and more.

Although there are numerous cheap freelancers on websites such as Fiverr and Upwork, they often provide subpar work for a number of reasons. Often they don’t have an end-to-end process worked out. This makes them liable to miss important steps. In addition, they are typically less experienced and you will get lower quality work. That’s not to say freelancers aren’t right for anyone, but they typically don’t provide the same thorough design process and customer service that a dedicated business can.

To answer the initial question, website redesigns can cost from $100 to $30,000+.  Business websites tend to be the most expensive due to their size and complexity.

Which CMS should I use?

Graphic representation of a CMS or Content Management System that can be used for a new site.

At 608 Media, we utilize WordPress for several reasons. WordPress is open-source and free to use. It is the most popular CMS in the world and supports around 40% of all websites. Not only is it incredibly user friendly, but with the availability of plugins the functionality is nearly limitless.

Although we use WordPress, there are a variety of other viable CMS options. Just to name a few: Drupal, HubSpot CMS, and Magento.

How important is website security?

Graphic representation of a CMS or Content Management System that can be used for a new site.

Website security is incredibly important to consider. Websites can get hacked for various reasons and the damage from website hacks can be incredibly costly. In addition, website security is a matter of trust and reliability to your website’s visitors.

To avoid website hacking and maintain website security, you should ensure that all online access credentials are stored in the most secure way possible. Be sure to talk to your website designer about specific security concerns you have.

One common reason websites get hacked is due to using outdated website themes and plugins. If you didn’t follow industry best practices when building your company site, it could put you at risk of being hacked. WordPress websites are especially prone to this problem because the website version (i.e., WordPress, Joomla, etc.) needs to match up with your website theme’s requirements. This can leave you open for hackers who exploit vulnerabilities in older versions

608 Media offers WordPress and Plugin updates for customers to keep their websites secure. Keeping your website up-to-date will prevent hackers from taking advantage of known exploits and keep your data safe.

Do website designers write the page copy?

Some website designers offer copywriting services in addition to their development costs. Not every website designer offers this service though. If you are considering hiring your web designer for copywriting too, be sure to sample their work.

At 608 Media, we offer comprehensive website redesign support services including copywriting, photography (including stock options), header video production, animations, and live stream support. Not only can we build your website’s framework, but we can help you populate your site with high-quality, affordable marketing media. If you need a website redesign you can reach our team using the button below.

How often should you redesign your website?

In general, websites should be redesigned every few years to keep up with current design trends and user expectations. In addition, website coding standards and best practices change over time, which could make your site outdated if it isn’t updated frequently enough.

If you occasionally add new features or have your website designer update specific elements, you can likely hold off on a complete redesign for longer.

Will I be trained to use my website?

Web designer training her clients to use their new website.

Good website designers will train you to operate your website. That doesn’t mean you will never need their help, but basic operations should be able to be self-managed. You should be able to post articles, add products, or respond to comments without needing the help of your website designer.

The Best Reasons to Redesign Your Website in 2021

If you are considering a website redesign, let us provide several great reasons to start this year.

Digital Marketing is Growing

Web designer training her clients to use their new website.

Digital marketing is a massive and rapidly growing industry. 2021 has been a huge year for online businesses. The younger generations are digital natives and they navigate the business landscape online. Not only are more people shopping online, but more people than ever rely on localized search results to find local businesses. Every business can benefit from having an online marketing presence to reach customers.

Coronavirus Pandemic

Business people sitting with masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic is another great reason for businesses to redesign their websites. The pandemic has only exacerbated the transition to the digital age. Millions of people are working from home every day in the United States. Those people are no longer commuting past retail stores to conveniently run errands anymore. Many consumers are shifting their purchasing habits to fit this new lifestyle.

Expand Your Capacity

Your website gives you the ability to deliver content to users at any time. This allows customers to interact with your brand when it is convenient for them. This not only increases customer satisfaction but prevents your competition from capturing your customers.

Small businesses have to compete with incredibly convenient solutions such as Amazon, but investing in your website can help level the playing field. Don’t miss out on customers just because they prefer to shop online.

Website Speed

Hourglass cursor that displays for slow loading web pages.

User attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter due to the massive amount of content they view each day. This means users are impatient and get irritated by slow website speeds.  Every website designer knows how important website speed is to the user experience and SEO.

In 2021, website design standard have only become more demanding of website speed and performance because there are no signs that users’ attention spans or expectations will change in the next few years. Look into getting a website redesign if your site takes too long to load.

Maximize ROI

Hour glass cursor that displays for slow loading web pages.

An outdated website can be a drag on your business goals. Poor design leads to decreased user satisfaction and lower conversion rates. A moderate investment in improving your website will help you maximize your online earnings. Don’t leave money on the table this year, be sure your website is ready to perform for your needs.

Improve Your Business Workflow

Business man in suit demonstrates a workflow process.

In recent years, business software has improved a great deal. Some of the best improvements have come from software integration. For example, it is now more simple than ever before to integrate your website with your accounting and customer relationship management software. This can help simplify organizational data management and improve your workflow. Automate the menial repetitive tasks to reduce your workload and overhead.


Website Design Checklist

Business man in suit demonstrates a workflow process.

Looking for an easy checklist to help you create a new site? Check out the free tools below. From user experience to lead generation planning, our website redesign checklist will help you plan every aspect of your website redesign strategy.


Looking for an affordable and easy website redesign?

608 Media can help make your website more functional, improve its SEO and give it a fresh look. We can even provide hosting for the website so that all of your data stays protected in one place.

608 Media is located in Madison, Wisconsin where we offer affordable website design services to clients across the United States. Unlike many website design agencies, we never outsource our work! Our team is proud to create American jobs and build our community impact one project at a time.


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