Your website is your digital storefront. It’s where most of your customers will end up, whether they interact with you first in the real world or find you through a search. When your website stops working for you, it’s time to think about redesigning and relaunching. The easiest way to tackle the website redesign process is to break it up into manageable steps. Organizing the process lowers the chances of you missing something important that will hurt your chances of a successful relaunch.
In our experience, the process can be broken down into five broad steps. Rather than jumping right into the actual website design, these steps are designed to slow down your process to make sure it’s done right the first time. No one wants to do two website redesigns in one year, but that’s the risk you run if you start with the website design.
These steps help you see your website through your customers’ eyes, articulate what your goals for your website are, and create a solid design that enhances user experience, and improves your outcomes.
5 Steps to Website Redesign & Relaunch
Develop a Buyer’s Journey
A buyer’s journey is the process your customers go through to become aware of, consider, and decide to purchase your product or service. How complicated is it for your website visitors to complete a transaction with you? Walking through the buyer’s journey on your website will give you a clear vision of what works, and what doesn’t. It’s also helpful to talk to current and past customers to get feedback on their experience using your website. This process can get you valuable feedback on what language resonates with your customers and what motivates them to purchase your products or services.
Set Goals and Priorities
You decided to redesign your website for a specific reason. Maybe it wasn’t generating enough leads. Maybe you want to generate more traffic. Additionally, understanding your customers and their buyer’s journey will allow you to accurately pinpoint any other problems in your current website design. Using all of this information, you can develop a design strategy and desired outcomes for your new site. This goal-setting process will help you streamline developing wireframes and gives you the ability to track your progress and tweak where needed.
Design and Build Your Dream Site
Now comes the fun part. Now is when you get to dream up all the things you want your new website to look like and do. One process that is helpful here is to go through your current website and make a list of all the things you like and don’t like about it’s design and functionality. Another process that is helpful is to take a spin around the internet and find sites that you love. List what elements from these sites you would like to incorporate in your new one. After you have your list of what to keep, what to change, and what to add, it’s time to build out your site for testing.
This step is incredibly important from a user experience standpoint. Skipping this step means you risk losing customers to glitchy website experiences, an outcome that is 100% preventable. Once your website is built, you and your team need to go over it with a fine-tooth comb to see if there are any bugs, any plug-ins that aren’t working, and to copy edit your content. Don’t forget to test your website out on a variety of browsers to ensure that all your customers have a seamless experience. This will be an ongoing process and should not have a hard end date. As thorough as you may be, there will always be something that needs tweaking or a bug no one found.
Get Ready for Launch
This can be tricky. You want to be strategic in setting your launch date. While you are working through Step 4, you may never feel ready to launch your site to the public but that day will come. You want to choose a day that generally has lower traffic, to give your support team enough time to deal with any issues that crop up one by one. You also want to choose a day when your support team is able to be all-hands-on-deck in case the worst happens. Tuesdays and Thursdays are popular days for website launches, generally being days with lower traffic and far enough from the weekend that you’ll have support teams able to be on call for a few days after launch.
Redesigning and relaunching your website is a process that can seem very daunting for small- to middle- sized businesses who may not have a dedicated design team up to the task. One step that many businesses like to add to this process is hiring outside help. An outside team can add a valuable third-party viewpoint, as well as being able to bring a level of expertise in website design that your team may not have. An improved website can improve your engagement, increase leads, and boost your conversions. No matter what, when done correctly, redesigning your website is a worthy endeavor that can transform your business.