Websites are the foundation of any business organization’s online presence. They are an essential asset to companies and they need to be updated and refurbished every couple of years. In most cases, business organizations redesign their websites because they simply don’t look that appealing anymore. Businesses need to maintain their brand presence online and the best way to do this is through a memorable website, meaning that it should be redesigned in regular intervals.
On the other hand, there are businesses that want to change their business strategy and make it comprehensive by taking everything into account, including their websites. They want to adjust their website to their new strategy and this is why they perform a website redesign. By doing these things, businesses expect that they will be able to improve their brand influence online, and improve their bottom line, while making their website more functional overall.
However, if you are to achieve these things, you must learn to perform a redesign properly. If you make any mistakes during a website redesign you could end up with worse results than you had before and fixing this will cost you even more money and downtime. In order to help you do this properly, I have gathered a list of 10 biggest mistakes you should look to avoid if you want to do a redesign with the best results possible.
Not setting the right goals for your redesign
Naturally, before you start fixing a problem, you need to find out what the problems are and see what is causing them. Without the right analysis and plan you won’t know where to start, what to solve, and how you want your website to end up after you redesigned it. Setting goals is essential towards creating your whole plan of redesign, what measures you will take and to what you will pay the most attention.
If all of these things seem too complicated to you than it’s generally a good idea to find a website that looks something like you would want for your own, and through it, try to explain your web designer/develop what you want to accomplish.
Emphasizing on aesthetics instead of functionality
The general attitude you should be having is to redesign your website in a way so that it looks better and works better as well after your redesign has been completed. However, the reality is that these two will sometimes overlap and you will have to choose one or the other. Good looks are simply no substitute for smart layouts and easy navigability.
You should always make sure that your website is functional above everything, that it has good search, and that it is created to make it easy on visitors so that they can easily find what they are looking for.
Not analyzing your website
It is impossible to determine goals and results you want to achieve without previously analyzing your website for crucial metrics. When you audit your website for analytics data and KPIs you will be able to understand all of your problems, missed opportunities, things that are working and things that aren’t. These things are quite valuable and they must be considered when creating a new design or structure of a website.
You should also make sure to monitor these benchmarks once you’ve relaunched your site so that you immediately caught on and fix any new problems that might appear. With this information you can also see how your redesign has improved your site, so make sure that you ask for these metrics from whoever is redesigning your site.
Setting a small budget
If you already done a website redesign 4 years ago, you shouldn’t expect that you will get away with the same budget as you did that time. Especially if you are expecting a lot from your redesign. In the past things like online brochures were everything a website needed, but today there so many businesses that compete with each other and all of them try to deliver consumers amazing web applications and websites which have custom and advanced functionality.
With some advanced functions such as content management systems and responsive design which are essential to providing great user experience and exceptional website functionality you simply cannot expect to pay the same amount as you did couple years ago. Modern websites need to be custom in order to be attractive, it’s simply a standard.
Setting unrealistic deadlines
It takes time to do a proper website redesign. There are multiple phases you must go through and they are usually: research, wire framing, content creation, changing design, development, and last but not list testing and reviewing your website. This can take up to three months, depending how wide your redesign is and you cannot afford to rush things.
People usually want to speed up the whole process because they are scared that they will lose their current clients. This is a total mistake, as it means you will have to cut corners, which will ultimately lead to subpar results your clients will not appreciate. This brings us to the next mistake.
Not taking care of your clients during the redesign
It is important that you let your customers know that they came to the right place, and that you are simply in the process of redesigning. If not, they might think you moved away somewhere or that your business shut down completely. The first-time visitors that come to your website during your redesign period will probably never come back, even if you notify them about what’s going on. Even after your redesign has finished you must let your visitors know that this is the right place and that you simply made some changes and added new things in order to improve their experience. This is how you will show them that you care.
Selecting the wrong people to do your redesign
It’s a simple fact that your brand new website will be as good as the company you partner up with to perform your redesign. Your website is probably one of the most important marketing assets your business can have online and this is why you cannot hire someone who doesn’t have quality technical and design abilities. Your partner needs to have marketing prowess and relevant industry knowledge or you could have a catastrophic end result.
Working on your design, but neglecting content strategy
A good design and excellent functionality is only half of the work. There is no use having an appealing website if it gets tossed back at the end of the search results, am I right? If you want to remain high in searches, you will have to enhance your design with a brand new, fresh content strategy that takes into account all of the stages of your customer’s buying process.
With the metrics you previously analyzed, you can recognize patterns based on how people behave on your website, see where they interact with your content, and also determine exactly where they decided to leave. Write valuable and relevant content that will include useful news, industry information, and interviews your customers will like. It is important that people like your content and that it is properly optimized for search engines. Google likes relevant content and with it you will be ranked higher.
Neglecting the importance of mobile users
If you are planning to perform a website redesign sometime soon, and you haven’t done this for more than 5 years, then one of your top priorities should be to design your new website for mobile users as well. The majority of web searches today come from mobile users, and the number of mobile users is expected to grow even further in the future.
This means that your mobile website visitors are probably going to account for a majority of visits to your website, which is why you must tell your web developers/designers to make sure that your website is also optimized for mobile users. Make sure that they have the same experience as any desktop visitor or they will leave your website as soon as they enter it.
Stopping all of your efforts once you’ve launched your website
Most people think that they should redesign their website every three years or so. They don’t do anything in between or make small content updates and expect to generate sales, leads and new customers. This is simply impossible. You should employ a periodical redesign after you’ve launched your site.
This means that you should adjust all of the same things on a smaller level in order to seize all the opportunities for sales, engagement and improving conversion rates. This is a growth-driven design and it is powered by relevant data that can show you the direction in which you should move to improve your site.
A website redesign can be a great investment in terms of both time and money, and this is why it must be done with caution and with a plan. If you avoid making these mistakes, I guarantee you that your website will become an important force that drives your business growth. There are other mistakes people make, but I chose these because I think that they are the most costly ones and that they carry the most significance.