5 Ways to Make Your Website Redesign More Efficient
Website redesigns don't always go as planned. When the process starts, a website owner often envisions an amazing new site launching in just a few weeks. Rarely is that the case. Those weeks often turn to months. In some cases, those months even turn to a year or more. And sometimes that "dream" website never seems to become a reality.
A good web design takes time. It takes planning, coordination, and careful attention to detail. But it doesn't have to take forever. After all, you want the new site launched before that new design is out of style.
So why does it take so long? More often than not, the holdup isn't because of the web designers or developers. No, most of the blame usually falls on the owner of the website.
Redesigning a website shouldn't be a painful process (although it won't necessarily be a joy either). Here's how you can avoid the most common traps that lead to a redesign taking much longer than you hoped.
1. Get your content ready early.
A new website often requires new content. You may be adding new pages, new features, new sections, etc. That great new design isn't going to look very good if you don't have the content to fill it. The problem: you have to create all that content. The number one holdup in website redesigns is content that's MIA. New sites are frequently held in design or development limbo because there simply isn't enough content to populate the site.
Launching a new site is actually a great time to rethink what you are telling your visitors about your products and services. You should be planning some new content when redesigning your site. If you have your content ready early in the design process, you can expect things to go along much more smoothly.
2. Know your KPIs.
What are the goals of your new website? How are you going to measure those goals? If you don't know what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are going to be, then your redesign won't get much traction. After all, web design isn't just about making something that looks sleek. A site has to be functional. In order to be functional, you need to know how it's supposed to function. A good design company may be able to help you figure out what your KPIs are, but you need to be ready to participate in the discussion. Otherwise, your site might be ready to launch without any real measurable goals. This will leave you saying, Well, it looks good, but what does it do?
3. Limit who's involved in the process.
A new website often triggers a lot of opinions. Everyone thinks they're an expert on design, and everyone wants to be involved in the process. When you get a dozen people in a room together, you're going to get a dozen different opinions on how the site should look. Don't include everyone in the website redesign conversation. The more people involved, the harder it will be to reach any sort of consensus. Decide whose opinions matter the most and let them make the decisions. Otherwise, you'll slow down the process (and drive the designers insane).
4. Have a goal launch date.
When do you want your site to launch? If you don't have a target date in mind, your website is probably going to take a lot longer than you want. Without a deadline, you'll put things off. You'll wait to approve design ideas. You'll wait to get the content ready. The website will become an afterthought behind the million other deadlines your business has. Make your new website a priority and set a goal launch date from the beginning. You might not meet the deadline, but the site will be up and running a lot sooner.
5. Trust the designers.
Web designers are experts in their field (and if they aren't, you shouldn't hire them). They know what works, not just what looks good. You may have some perfect picture of what your website should look like, but a good design team will be able to improve your idealized vision. Don't turn your redesign into a process from hell. By listening to the design team, you'll end up with a better website (that actually converts) in the end.
Bonus: Don't say yes to everything.
Yes, you need to trust your designers. But if you say yes to everything they suggest, your redesign may face some surprising delays right before launch. Taking everything the designers say as the gospel truth will eventually run its course and you'll be unhappy with the whole thing. You'll end up asking for a bunch of changes at the end that will cause major delays (and probably cost you more money). Remember, you are the one who has to live with the site after it launches. Don't wait until the end to say what you really think.
Redesigning a website doesn't have to be a painful process. Although it often takes longer than you might hope, there are many things you can do to help the process along. When you don't plan along the way, your website design can get out of hand. Fortunately, a good design team can always help keep the process in check no matter how unprepared you are.