What to Consider When Redesigning Your Website

You know that lovely, shiny, cutting edge website you paid someone to build you in 2001? Well by now, it’s probably a bit rubbish. I bet the other websites are calling it names and your poor little has-been of a website cries itself to sleep every night. But there is an answer. Just like your aunty with the moustache who’s let herself go a bit, all your site needs is a bit of a makeover. And so to the subject of this article – website redesign and what to consider before you take that magic wand to your frumpy site and bellow “You will go to the ball!”.

The 5 Approaches

There are 5 different ways to approach your website redesign and each have their benefits depending on what you want from the project. Have a look at the options below and decide which one would suit your needs best.

This is the simplest and most straightforward approach. A redesign is merely tarting up the face of your site whilst keeping the structure the same. It’s basically like botox – you look a bit younger but deep down your still a shallow, insecure human being with too much money, oh and you can’t make any facial expressions (ok so it’s not really like botox). This is perfect for those who are happy with the way their website runs but feels it just needs a makeover to keep it looking fresh.

This is the opposite of a redesign. It consists of keeping the appearance the same but making changes to the structure and flow of your site. To put it romantically, this is one for the “don’t judge a book by its cover” types or in other words, the desperate ones.

This is a little more radical than the previous two approaches and it involves rethinking and remembering the purpose of your site, and then changing the design and structure accordingly. This is kind of like a useful and rewarding mid-life crisis, not like those guys you see growing a ponytail and driving a rubbish sports car.

This is one for the creative types. A rebranding means completely redesigning every little part of your design, including your logo, website, business cards etc. It’s like when Opal Fruits became Starburst but a lot, lot better.

Pick & Mix
Continuing with the sweets theme, this is potentially the most useful approach. Very rarely does a one-size-fits-all approach work when redesigning your website, so picking the most relevant parts of each approach could be the answer. The idea is, you evaluate what’s working and what’s not and redesign as you see fit – basically, say you don’t like chocolate Brazil nuts, just pop in a fizzy cola bottle instead, if you’re bored of pink shrimps give a strawberry lace a try… anyway, you get the point.

So you’ve done the hard bit and chosen your approach, but before you get started there are a few more things you need to consider:

Have a single vision and stick to it
A single vision is much better than design by numbers. By all means take advice, but remember what that bloke who had the hump with camels said…
“A camel is a horse designed by a committee”

Know your audience
Just like you should consider your original goal when redesigning your website, you should also remember the most integral part to your business – the client. Build a website that your users like, not what those suits in the boardroom think your users will like - you rebel, you.

Don’t forget about SEO
A redesign is the perfect opportunity to improve your SEO, so don’t forget to consider your search engine rankings when making any structural changes. All the usual rules apply, make sure the page titles are search engine friendly, compile a sitemap and make sure your keywords are relevant. Basically, if you build a lovely new site without any SEO, you’re an idiot.

Choose the right web design company
Finally, once you’ve decided what you want, the next step is to choose the people to implement it. This can be difficult but all you need to do is ask them a few questions (you know, just like the ones in Blind Date):

Do you have experience in my industry?

Have you built similar websites to the one I want?

Do you have a portfolio of work that I like?

Do you use a tried and tested process?

If you were a fruit, which fruit would you be? (Sorry that’s Blind Date)

If they tick all the right boxes and they’re not complete weirdos, then you’ve probably found the right partner in crime. Now all there is to do is get redesigning that website of yours!