Almost every website live on the internet goes through some changes at least once in its lifetime, whether it is to redesign the site aesthetically, or whether to upgrade business info. There are a few things to be kept in mind while re-designing, which I will try to help you out with here:
(A) Analyze you current site thoroughly:
Understand exactly what you wish to accomplish through redesigning your website, whether it’s certain functions on your website, or the way it looks, or maybe because you wish to improve its search engine rankings, or whether the focus of your business has shifted. Make a list of the factors to consider before going through with the re-designing process, which will help guide you through it, and help you stay focused on the end goal.
(B)Work within your budget:
Try to ascertain what kind of changes need to be made, and fit them into your budget. Your logo should be updated, and in case there is a change in shift of your corporate philosophy, you will need major re-working on the site. But you won’t need a complete overhauling for just a small change in content or visuals. Work with your website developer to strike a balance while going forward with your needs.
(C) Find out what works and what doesn’t:
Identify elements in your website that work very well, and the ones that don’t work at all. You are sure to have both these elements present, for e.g., extremely long, boring content, or sales page that is user-unfriendly. Don’t forget to take a look at how users too are currently interacting with your site. This will help you identify great content and problem areas Compare how these factors affect your end goal, and depending upon that, either upgrade them or weed them out.
(D) Study re-launch practices and choose your preferred option:
After your new website is ready, think through the way of how and when you want to re-launch it. A slow and steady roll-out of the site may not generate the most traffic towards your website instantly, but should still be able to meet goals of site performance. On the other hand, a re-launch just before the holidays with announcements of the same will generate a lot more viewer interest and can help draw much more traffic.
(E) Make a smooth transaction:
Your new site should be similar to your existing website, especially if your current site already receives a lot of repeat traffic. A completely new layout may put off some regular users. Also, you wouldn’t want this shift to hurt search engine rankings and suddenly destroy the backlinks that you have gathered over the years. Give your users etc either a blog post, or a news announcement or even individual emails announcing the change. All your moved content should be correctly redirected via 301 redirects, and error pages should contain helpful information about the page that users were trying to access. There’s nothing worse than a frustrated user not finding the information he or she is looking for, and the potential damage of losing valuable customers.
All this and more should give you the basic strategies to think about when going in for a website re-designing process. I hope you find this information helpful.