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The Insider’s Guide to Nailing Your Website Redesign

The Insider's Guide to Nailing Your Website Redesign

“If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less.”

General Eric Shinseki.

The speed of the internet is no doubt quick. What was modern a couple of years ago may seem clunky today. As you likely know, your website is the digital face of your brand, so if it’s not staying up to date with current times, then risk looking like it too.

However, redesigning a site should be more than just how sleek it looks. Your current website could be lacking when integrating systems properly, such as CRM or a marketing automation platform. And don’t get me started on difficult navigation that costs you leads and sales. Getting a fresh redesign can help you start fresh and ensure everything is in working order.

In this guide, we will break down all the most critical aspects you should consider when overhauling your website redesign. We have got you covered by finding the right team, nailing the planning process, and even measuring success after launch! Let’s jump right into it!

Assemble Your A-Team

How To Choos A Digital Pr Agency

Just like any big project, you'll need a rock star team to lead the charge for your website redesign. Here are the key players:

Project Manager

This person will own the overall timeline, budget and ensure all the moving parts stay on track. A seasoned PM is a must-have.

Designer(s)

Whether you go with an agency or keep it in-house, you'll need some serious UX/UI talent to create a site that wows in form and function.

Developer(s)

These code ninjas will turn those slick mock-ups into a living, breathing website. Full-stack devs who can handle front and back-end work are ideal.

Content Strategist

Every modern website requires a content strategy to guide the creation of clean, compelling copy that serves the user's needs.

SEO Specialist

You'll want SEO best practices baked into the redesign from day one to ensure you don't lose any hard-earned search rankings.

Depending on your internal resources and budget, you may hire outside contractors or agencies for some of these roles. Just be sure there's one lead point person, keeping everyone marching towards the same goal.

Define Your “Why” (And Let EVERYONE Know)

Before any visuals get mocked up or code gets written, your team must understand the key goals and drivers behind the redesign project. This will keep your efforts focused and aligned.

Your rebuild may involve integrating multiple product lines into one seamless experience, showcasing a rebranding with a bold, modernised look, or boosting conversions through more thoughtful UX and content strategy.

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Whatever your core objectives are, get everyone on the same page. I recommend drafting a simple “vision” doc that outlines:

  • The key challenges/pain points with the current site that need addressing (e.g. outdated tech stack, confusing navigation)
  • How the new site will solve those pain points and further your business goals
  • Any new features, functionality, or integrations that are must-haves
  • High-level timeline and budget parameters

Refer back to this “website redesign manifesto” throughout the process to keep the train from going off the rails.

Conduct a Full Content Audit

Business Growth Strategy Audit

Wait, content? But we haven't even designed anything yet!

Exactly. Many redesign projects treat content as an afterthought — a big mistake that creates headaches later on. By getting an early handle on your existing site content, you can:

  • Prioritise what pages/sections should get the most TLC in a redesign
  • Identify content gaps to fill
  • Weed out low-value pages to retire
  • See what's already winning with your audience to reuse/expand on
  • Pinpoint outdated content in need of refreshing

The content audit should inventory and evaluate every page, blog post, multimedia file, and other existing digital assets. Using a simple spreadsheet, capture critical metadata like:

  • Title/headline
  • URL
  • Content type
  • Word count
  • Author
  • Date last updated
  • Traffic stats (page views, search rankings, etc.)
  • Internal links
  • Any conversion stats (lead gen, purchases)

Armed with all that context, you can start mapping out how your site's information architecture may need restructuring.

Rethink Your Information Architecture

An excellent website redesign creates an intuitive, frictionless user experience. That requires a well-planned structure and navigation that funnels visitors towards your business goals.

During this phase, strive to remove unnecessary clicks or hoops for users to jump through. Use simple terminology for your labels and menu items. The paths to popular pages like “Pricing,” “Features”, or your blog should be easy to spot.

Consider bucketing your content into logical categories. For example, an ecommerce clothing site may sort product listings by gender, type of apparel, on-sale items, etc. Thoughtful use of menus, CTAs, and internal links will shepherd visitors towards what they want.

And, of course, make judicious use of metadata, Alt tags, schema markup and other optimisation under the hood for peak SEO.

If your website contains gated content (resources requiring lead form completions, login, etc.), map out a seamless experience for logged-in and logged-out users. Review any signup flows for unnecessary friction.

Sweating the Details = Better UX

You know the saying about the devil being in the details? That especially rings true for designing incredible user experiences.

For example, be intentional about things like:

  • Intuitive layouts and visual hierarchies to guide visitors' eyes
  • Ample white space and breathing room (don't cram too much on one page)
  • Consistent global navigation, page templates and branding elements
  • Clear calls-to-action tailored to where the user is in their journey
  • Fast page load times and mobile-responsiveness
  • Subtle micro-interactions like hovers and transition effects

If you're not a UX pro, partner with someone who lives and breathes this. The little things add up to either delight or frustrate visitors once your redesigned experience is live.

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Always Be Content (Planning)

Google Helpful Content Update

While the site architecture takes shape, your content strategy shouldn't idle. Use this phase to overhaul your messaging and create an editorial plan to fill any holes.

What is the guiding principle for any effective content strategy? Be generous. Focus not on ersatz sales pitches but on beneficial, audience-centric material.

If you sell marketing software, your content could include:

  • E-books, webinars, and video tutorials sharing expert tips and tactics
  • Stats, research findings and original data visualisations
  • Coverage of important industry events and trends
  • Thought-leadership blogs providing strategic advice
  • Case studies and customer success stories

The more educational, authoritative content you produce, the more you'll pull in high-quality traffic, generate leads, and build trust as a go-to resource. Those are big wins whether someone converts immediately or opts for your competitors.

Headline Formulas that Grab Eyeballs

No good content plan is complete without a guide for crafting can't-resist titles and headlines. After all, 8 out of 10 people will read a headline… but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.

My advice? Use the classic “4 U” formula to make your headlines:

  • Unique (avoids clichés and overused angles)
  • Ultra-specific (dives into granular detail to grab interest)
  • Helpful (provides solid value for the reader)
  • Urgent (conveys a pressing, time-bound need or opportunity)

For example:

Bad: “Blog Tips”

Good: “17 Counterintuitive Tactics to 10X Your Blog Traffic in 90 Days”

See how that second one is ultra-specific, promises usefulness, and hints at a deadline or window of opportunity. Headlines like that are pure catnip for click-throughs.

Establish a Keyword and Topic Map

With your new content strategy, brainstorm all the potential keyword themes and topics your site could cover. This “keyword universe” will guide your SEO strategy and how you organise information for users.

Start with a simple spreadsheet. One column for your core keyword targets (“social media marketing”, “email marketing software”, etc.) and another column listing any subtopic variations and long-tail keyword opportunities:

Example:

Core Keyword: website redesign

  • website redesign services
  • website redesign checklist
  • website redesign costs
  • law firm website redesign
  • professional website redesign
  • small business website redesign
  • WordPress website redesign
  • responsive website redesign
  • website redesign proposal

You get the idea. Aim for 10-20 comprehensive topic buckets to build content clusters.

Design with Conversions in Mind

Marketing Conversion

Your new website needs to drive results for your business. That could mean generating more qualified leads, facilitating more e-commerce sales, increasing email sign-ups, or whatever core metrics matter most.

This is why conversion rate optimisation (CRO) should be baked into every phase of your website redesign from day one.

Optimise for Your Marketing Funnel

The best redesigns map the site's architecture, user flows, and calls-to-action to your actual marketing funnel.

Early-stage “awareness” pages like blog posts or lean educational content can include simple email opt-in CTAs to build your subscriber base.

More in-depth resources like downloadable guides or webinars make great “lead magnet” opportunities to capture names and emails.

Your product/service pages and pricing info cater to those further along in their buyer's journey, so CTAs here can be more aggressive lead gen or purchase paths.

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The key is mapping your messaging and CTAs to visitor intent and the actions you want them to take next.

CRO Best Practices

Some additional tips to nudge more visitors down the conversion funnel:

  • Reduce distractions and menu clutter on conversion pages
  • Use contrasting colours and whitespace to make CTAs pop
  • Leverage social proof like customer quotes/logos
  • Explain the value/benefit proposition of your offers
  • Split-test different page versions, headlines, and CTAs

One of the biggest mistakes is prioritising your own internal goals over making it brain-dead simple for visitors to convert. Stay laser-focused on benefiting the user at all times.

CRO Tools of the Trade

There are some great CRO tools to leverage in your redesign:

  • Hotjar for heat maps, session recordings and user polls
  • Unbounce for rapidly creating and testing landing pages
  • Lucky Orange for Form Analytics and conversion funnel visualisations
  • Crazy Egg for scroll maps and attention tracking

Also, prioritise on-site SEO throughout the redesign, including technical audits, schema implementation and overall discoverability via organic search. You want to drive as much quality traffic through the funnel as possible.

Build > Test > Iterate

Now, the rubber meets the road as your new website develops and builds. This is an exciting time but can also be high-stress as launch day approaches.

Establish a Staging Site for Review

Don't wait until your shiny new website is live to do testing! Instead, set up a password-protected staging site for review and feedback. Your entire internal team can access this at a temporary URL.

This staging environment is invaluable for the following:

  • Cross-checking that all pages, links, and integrations are working correctly
  • Ensuring responsive design and mobile experience are on-point
  • Identifying and squashing any bugs or functional issues
  • Reviewing the new sitemap and navigation
  • Testing out gated content, restricted areas and logins

Speaking from experience, you'll want to carve out a few rounds of staging site reviews to avoid unpleasant surprises later. Actively solicit feedback from stakeholders across your business, customers, or trusted colleagues during this phase.

Once issues are addressed and you have a consensus on the redesigned experience, you can launch logistics.

Sweat the Technical Details

While the new site is in staging, there are some critical technical considerations to check off:

  • Set up URL mapping/redirects from your old URLs to minimise 404s
  • Coordinate site hosting credentials and domain setup
  • Implement analytics tracking, tag management, CRM integrations, etc.
  • Review load times, caching, and site performance optimisations
  • Export any data you need to transfer from the old to the new site
  • Map out a content publishing/migration process
  • Back up your current website as a fail-safe
  • Schedule ample time for DNS caching/propagation after launch

Leave no stone unturned to avoid hiccups once you go live. You'd be amazed how often essential items get overlooked in the chaos of a big website launch.

Then, finally, you're ready for your big debut…

Launch with a Bang

Ecommerce Website Design 653Aea60547F5

You've put in months of planning, revisions and hard work. Don't let your new site's launch go by quietly! Shout it from the rooftops and bring some significant hype around this refresh.

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Build Pre-Launch Excitement

A few weeks from launch, start priming the audience you want to attract to the new experience. Tease screenshots or preview GIFs across your social channels, email lists and other marketing outposts.

Share a blog post behind the scenes of the website redesign journey, interview the team about their favourite new features, or publish a press release for broader promotion.

If you're feeling wild, you could host a live launch day stream on platforms like YouTube or Twitch. Give a guided tour of the new website as a virtual event. Bring in the designers, developers, and marketing team to talk shop.

Get people excited and eagerly awaiting what's coming their way.

Track Everything from Day 1

I can't emphasise enough the importance of robust tracking and analytics from the jump. Many redesigns initially see traffic and conversions dip as visitors acclimate to the changes.

To quickly diagnose any issues, you'll want comprehensive data on:

  • Page views, unique visitors and traffic sources
  • Most popular content and high-exit pages
  • Scrolling, clicking, and browsing behaviour via heatmaps
  • Goal completions like form submissions and purchases
  • Mobile vs desktop experience

You can swiftly spot red flags and address UX friction points by baselining all these metrics before launch day. Run A/B tests to try variations and determine what's resonating best with your audience.

Keep Improving and Re-Optimising

Even with meticulous planning, the real work begins once your redesigned website goes live. Continuously refine and optimise every aspect of the new experience, informed by the data you're tracking.

Iterate on the design, tweak the copy and CTAs, restructure navigation, and keep putting out a steady cadence of fresh content and resources. A successful website is never “finished” — it evolves and compounds its results over time.

Conclusion

While website redesigns are a massive undertaking, this process has many upsides. It allows your brand to modernise and reinvent itself. To optimise the user experience for your current audience while attracting new visitors.

By taking a strategic approach and sweating the details during planning, design, development and post-launch, you can transform your website from a static digital brochure into a lead-generating, revenue-driving powerhouse.

So, don't let a stale, outdated website be a virtual anchor on your business. Redesigns are opportunities to return to the cutting edge — so seize them. With this guide, you can crush your next significant website overhaul.

FAQs

How much does a typical website redesign cost?

Website redesign costs can vary significantly based on scope, team makeup, and whether you hire an agency or keep it in-house. Fundamental redesigns from freelance/small agencies may fall in the $5,000 — $15,000 range. More complex sites with advanced functionality from larger agencies trend from $25,000 — $100,000+.

How long does a redesign process usually take?

From initial planning through launch, most website redesigns take 3–6 months on average. Extensive sites may be a 6-12 month timeline. Simplistic site refreshes can sometimes be turned around in 2–3 months.

Is it better to rebuild or redesign?

What makes a good website redesign?

Successful redesigns stay laser-focused on the end user's needs through clear information architecture, intuitive UX, fast performance, mobile optimisation, and compelling content and visuals. User testing and analytics monitoring are crucial.

When is the best time to do a website redesign?

There's no definitive best time, but common instigating factors include a rebranding, changing business goals/offerings, poor user metrics on the current site, an outdated mobile experience, CMS or security updates, and expanding to new markets.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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