What to Embrace with the Dreaded Website Redesign Process Part 1

Website Redesign Process Checklist

And it’s here again, the time to take on the project of your company’s website re-design, and you are so nominated for the task of overseeing the process.  The process of a website re-design is an important task.  This will be the part of the company some or most clients, vendors, suppliers might see before anything else, and it is important to make a good impression.  Because impressions are everything, and not just first impressions; the impression of a company on many levels.  From community involvements, to supporting organizations, fundraisers and sister companies the way you do business and the way you show it will make or break your companies image.

Here is an easy step by step to follow to get you started on your way.  At the end of this blog you should be able to layout your rough project outline, project timeline, new website sitemap, rough data and approximate launch date.

Research and Analyze

Step 1: The Team

Teamwork is key here.  The team should consist of many people with different roles and responsibilities.  Depending on how large your company and website is – this could range from 3-6 people or more if needed.

  • Develop the team that will have decision making abilities. Have a phased plan laid out with responsibilities and tasks.
  • Have a weekly meeting with progress and updates, the same time and day each week for consistency in scheduling.
  • Decide what is the objective for this project?  What do you want to accomplish and get out of the new website?
  • What will determine a successful project? Does this include leads and conversions or just traffic view and clicks?

Step 2: What is the budget?

The budget for your website can determine a lot about the project. This will set the tone for the project. This aspect will govern if you can expand the website this time around, and how much you can take on with the re-design.  Always set time aside to visit this before and during the project.  If something comes up during the midst of the project, you want the opportunity to discuss this more in depth and create a plan of action to address it.

  • What is the total budget for the project?  Who set’s that budget?
  • Are there any limits that should be discussed?
  • Is this the entire budget, or are there fund set aside for mishaps?
  • Is there a deadline for a launch date?

Step 3: Current Website

You can tell a lot about a person or company from their website.  Are they fun and laid back, or more conformed and by the books type of company and people?  The project aspects to consider before moving forward; do you like the current page layouts, is the amount of content you have and/or need to add in the budget.  This is the point where you can start to layout the pages of your new site into a sitemap. Click here for a step-by-step tutorial

Other things to consider when laying out plans for a website:

  • What features or design is liked about the current site?
  • What features or design isn’t liked about the current site?
  • What are the current site strengths?
  • What are the current site opportunities?
  • What are the current site weaknesses?
  • What features would you like to see on the new site?
  • Is your current site size up to date with standard screen resolutions of 1024 x 768?
  • Is your current site mobile friendly and have a mobile responsive design? Will your new site be?

Step 4: Competition & Strategy

You can see a lot from a competitor’s website.  While most say spying isn’t nice, the better phrase is to keep your friends close and your competition closer. It is definitely not a bad thing to keep an eye out on your competition, it allows you to see what’s going on in your market and improve where you see fit.

  • Look at your top 4 competitors and list their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, to see where your current site lies, and where you want to be. 
    1. Get inspiration for new marketing opportunities and marketing strategies.
    2. See what your market and competition are doing and if you can rise higher.
    3. Look under the hood of their search engine marketing and optimization and what you can use, especially if they are high on the search engines. Even if they have bad rankings, it might be something you are doing as well and need to stop.

While you’re scoping out the competition , utilize these free tools to see even more.

  • Alexa – Monitoring Traffic.
  • Google – Analytics & Search Console.
  • SEMRush – free tracking and analysis tool (the other tools are paid subscriptions).
  • BuzzSumo – great resource to understand what type of content is ranking well across the internet.

Step 5:  Changes & Additions

New additions and changes to your current site should be inevitable! Why? Because every business experiences changes, and hopefully growth as well. From new products and services, merging of a company, printed material, new or updated pdfs on your website, new and old employees and possibly a new image/brand such as a new logo and colors.  Everything affects your website, so be sure to look at other websites – they don’t have to be in your industry.  But you will be surprised to see what features you like on other sites that you might want incorporated into your website.

Other aspects to consider:

  • Is the logo good or do we need to update the look, colors, ect?
  • Do you have the vector files for your logo?
  • Do you know how certain colors affect clients in different regions and views? Click here to view related articles.
  • Are you going to use the current images on the new site or obtain new larger images? Learn how to use large images like a pro!

    website redesign sitemap
    Example Sitemap
  • What colors will you use on the website?
  • Are their approved company colors? Are they specific hex, RBG or CYMK?
  • What colors do you want to stay clear of?
  • Is there a specific size website you wanted? Discuss this with your designer.
  • Are you going to include videos in the website?
  • Is optimization of videos included?
  • What video platforms to utilize?
  • Have accounts been created or who is in charge of that?
  • New content for the website or utilize the old content and/or revise? Who will provide this ?
  • Decide how many pages and what pages you will need in the new design. The easiest way is to create a chart showing the pages and their relationships between them to see if your site layout if efficient. 
  • Try your hand at creating a sitemap for your project. Click here for a step-by-step tutorial
  • Ensure with your designer that the site will be mobile responsive for all devices.

To be continued….stay tuned for part 2 of this article: The Interview to Post Launch Checklist: The Race to the Finish Line!

Do you think you are on the right track? If you would like help with your project, Contact Us!