Many years ago, having a website was something only big companies could afford. It was a whole process of creating the template from scratch and adding styles and custom elements to make it look attractive. That’s why HTML and CSS are the basics of building a website.
What is happening today?
We have so many template engines available, and we can customize them as needed. So many web builders support the simple drag-and-drop function, so you can assemble a website alone.
But what to do when you need to redesign the website?
Even the simplest designs require much attention, especially if you already have published content. Things go even more difficult if you own an eCommerce site full of products.
Are there any rules you need to follow, no matter if you do it yourself or with an online marketing agency?
Here are some things you must know.
1. There are no Rules
Some people say it’s pretty easy to launch a new website design, and others don’t even think about it before they are fully prepared. The rule is that there are no rules.
Every business has different goals and requirements. Sometimes, some adjustments are enough, but in other cases, you must put all your effort into creating a better user experience.
So, how to determine what you really need?
If your site has problems loading, crashes often, or makes the user experience poor and complicated, surely you need improvement. Sometimes, businesses want to redesign their sites just for aesthetics and fail to protect the published data.
2. Define Your Goals
When you plan a website, you need to clearly know why you do that. What are your goals? Do you think the new design will improve your conversion rates or provide usability? You need to consider these details before working on your website redesign strategy.
Additionally, you can consider engagement rates essential and leave the aesthetics behind. For websites, functionality comes first, and then you see how to implement it with your aesthetic aspirations.
3. Redesign or Refresh?
There is a clear distinction between redesigning and refreshing your website. We can compare it to your living room. If you ditch the furniture and repaint the walls, place new furniture, and do a room redesign.
But if you keep the current installment but add some decor details, you are refreshing the looks.
It’s the same with your website. If you need to adjust some CTA buttons or change the color palette, that’s a refreshment. But changing the menus, categories, and the whole look is a complete redesign.
4. What to Keep?
Before you start anything, ensure you have a backup of your website. Once you have the file, you need to define which pages are most important and which ones don’t give any value. In general, you need to follow these rules:
Pages with high traffic and high conversions
Keep a backup, and make a copy if needed. Redesign with care.
Pages with high traffic and low conversions
Detect the issues, and see why they won’t forget. Improve the design, and consider adding relevant CTAs.
Low traffic but high conversion pages
Be very careful with these ones. See if you really need to increase the traffic or if the current conversions are just enough.
Low traffic and low conversion pages
Consider removing them, especially if they don’t offer any value to you or the customers.
When done, think about how to fill the gaps and how significant the change would be. If you have a hard time detecting these details, ensure you always have an expert by your side.
5. When to Completely Rebuild Your Website?
In some particular cases, you need a complete redesign of your website. That means you need to start building it from scratch because the current version affects the conversion rates and overall traffic.
When your website is not responsive, you risk lower traffic. Those who embrace the mobile-first approach will take over your place on the market and rank better on Google.
If you use outdated technologies, plugins, and extensions to make the site work, consider changing those things. You need to be able to control your website completely, especially when it comes to publishing content. If you have to use separate extensions just to make things look right, your site must be outdated, and you have to rebuild it from scratch.
And finally, if the estimated redesign cost is higher than the rebuilding cost, then the solution is obvious. Sometimes it costs a lot to improve some things, which makes rebuilding them more affordable. We can also compare it to real-life situations. If your stovetop stops working, reserve parts may cost a lot to order. Sometimes, when put together, it’s much more expensive than buying a new one. It’s the same about the websites.
6. Would it Affect Your Current Search Engine Ranking?
Website redesign and SEO go handy, especially when you’ve invested a lot in organic ranking. Your site’s new design may affect SEO for many reasons, including the different use of meta tags and converting file names into a generic combination of characters. Also, pay attention to how your new site generates the URLs.
So, ensure you have all these things backed up. Sometimes, if the new design affects the SEO implementation, you will have to work on it over and over again or make significant adjustments. The point is not to ignore the SEO elements but to make them even stronger with the new version of your website.
In general, if you know what to do, you can redesign the website yourself. But, if you already have a lot of data and content, we suggest leaving the whole thing to professionals. That way, you can be sure you get a quality job done, and your site will be completely functional when you get it back.
The only exception is if you really know what steps to take and how to make changes without risking losing any traffic or ranking.