Does your website need a redesign? You have probably already browsed the websites of competitors and realized that you can no longer keep up and that a professional website relaunch is urgently needed in the near future.
If that applies to you, you have come to the right place. With this guide, our goal is to provide more clarity and highlight the aspects you should consider when redesigning a website to be successful and user-friendly.
A professional website relaunch is much more complex and time-consuming than you might initially think. Unlike a completely new website, there is already a domain and, ideally, a lot of visitors are visiting the website on a daily basis.
So it’s not just about what the new website should look like, but also how to maintain existing Google rankings and make the transition to the new website as smooth as possible while avoiding dangerous pitfalls.
What is a website redesign?
A redesign aims to present a website’s existing content in a more attractive, modern, or targeted way.
When the website is redesigned, all content (e.g. text, images, videos, etc.) remains essentially the same, while the way in which they are presented is altered.
How often is a website redesign necessary?
If your website has not been updated for more than five years and is not responsive to smartphones, a redesign is probably long overdue and should preferably have been completed as soon as possible.
Most companies should redesign their website every few years i.e., within a period of about 2-5 years.
Hubspot asked over 6,000 businesses how long it takes them to redesign their website. Most of them (57%) indicated that they plan to renew their website within two years.
The reason for this frequent change in one’s website is the rapid technological pace at which companies and their customers are changing today (especially on the Internet).
Corporate websites should follow current trends in order to remain competitive and achieve the desired business goals.
In order for the redesign to be successful, a checklist to take into consideration during the process:
1. Clearly define your goals
Why is the redesign of your existing website necessary, and which goals should be achieved in the short, medium, and long term?
Make sure that these goals are specific, measurable, realistic, relevant to your company’s success, and limited in time (SMART principle).
2. Proper preparation
The following questions will help you:
How do you imagine the result?
Is content still missing, such as text or images that need to be created or purchased, and who is responsible for this?
What do the websites of successful competitors look like, and to what extent can you use them as a guide?
Which CMS makes the most sense in your case?
When should the new website go live, and what is its budget?
3. Set a time frame
Set a time frame within which the website redesign should be completed.
In addition, all steps of the relaunch process should be crystal clear for both parties right from the start.
To ensure that everything runs smoothly, you should respond to your partner’s questions promptly, provide detailed feedback and address any deficiencies or ambiguities at an early stage so that they can be resolved promptly and at the right point in the project process.
4. SEO and legal issues
Make sure that you are familiar with the terminology of “SEO”, “301 redirects”, “website hosting”, “GDPR”, “Cookie Opt-In,” and “CMS”.
It needs to be clear how and where the website will be hosted, what CMS will be used to manage content easily, what the legal framework of the website is in your case, and what measures will be taken to make the website SEO friendly.
It is essential not to jeopardize existing rankings through a redesign (e.g. because URLs of the old website are not forwarded to new URLs using 301 redirects).
5. Important measures immediately after the redesign
After the relaunch, it is very important that you check the new website on different devices (PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.) and check all the functions.
This should also be done with different browsers (especially Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox) in order to locate and fix any errors directly.
In addition, the website must be submitted to Google for indexing as soon as possible (using an XML sitemap) to ensure rapid inclusion in the index and to identify indexing errors as early as possible.
Last but not least, all tools provided for tracking the performance of your website (e.g. Google Analytics) should be set up and their functionality checked.
Finally, you should post the completed redesign inside and outside the company and draw people’s attention to it (e.g. through social media postings, a blog post, in the email newsletter, etc.).
With solid preparation and a competent partner at your side, a professionally implemented website redesign can ensure that you outperform competitors and constantly gain new customers.