Taking on a website redesign can feel like a daunting endeavor. But when done right, revamping your digital presence pays massive dividends. A successful redesign can modernize the look and feel, streamline site navigation, add exciting new features, and boost conversions across the board.
However, website redesigns are major undertakings filled with potential pitfalls. Without meticulous planning and execution, your shiny new website could fall flat. Rushed timelines, vague goals, poor partner choices, and lack of post-launch support can sabotage your hard work and budget.
In this article, we’ll explore the most common website redesign mistakes companies make with website redesigns and how to avoid them. Doing your homework to set clear goals, select the right partner, invest adequate resources, and plan for the long haul will ensure your project stays on track. Read on to learn key strategies that will get your redesign off on the right foot. With some diligence upfront, you can minimize risks down the road. The reward will be a successful site revamp that supercharges your digital presence.
Why Clear Goals and Requirements Matter
Kicking off a website redesign without clear goals and requirements is like building a house on quicksand. It seems solid at first, but the foundation is weak.
Taking the time upfront to get ultra-specific on your goals, success metrics, and detailed functionality needs is crucial. Concrete requirements act as guardrails for the entire project and ensure alignment across stakeholders.
For example, rather than a vague goal of “improving conversions,” define exactly what percentage increase you want on landing page form fills or e-commerce purchases.
Lack of clarity leads to mismatched expectations down the road. The final website may look slick but miss the mark on your actual business objectives. Without measurable KPIs, you can’t accurately assess the redesign’s impact either.
Companies like Shopify and Slack use website redesigns to nail down targeted goals early on. Shopify grew monthly recurring revenue by 50% after their redesign focused single-mindedly on that metric.
Choosing the Right Redesign Partner
Your website partner has an immense impact on the success or failure of your redesign. Rushing to choose an agency without thorough vetting can severely backfire.
Prioritizing cost savings or trendy buzzwords over in-depth research is risky. Always look for proven expertise in executing website revamps similar to yours. Ask to see relevant examples from their portfolio and read case studies.
Ideally, your website redesign agency should excel across design, technical development, content strategy, conversion optimization, and project management. Having in-house experts is preferable to outsourcing.
Make sure they take the time to understand your brand purpose, target audiences, and goals. Look for tailored recommendations rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Partners like Clearleft and Tank show what best-in-class agencies can bring to complex redesigns. Don’t leave your most important digital initiative to chance.
Allowing Enough Time and Budget
Redesigns often take longer and cost more than initially anticipated. Failing to account for the effort required across discovery, design, content development, training, testing, and launch can sabotage timelines and budgets.
Discovery alone takes an average of 6-8 weeks for stakeholder alignment, research, analytics review, and establishing requirements. Build in plenty of time for multiple design iterations and feedback rounds too.
Buffer at least 20% extra time for inevitable scope changes, technical hiccups, and testing delays. Insufficient timelines lead to cut corners, poor quality, and high stress.
Budget significantly more than just upfront design costs. Factor in content production, photography, licensing, development, QA testing, migration, training, and contingencies. Common cost overruns range from 15-30%.
Adequate time and budget ensure you can execute a high-quality redesign rather than putting speed or savings first.
Content Strategy and SEO Considerations
Your website content should be just as revamped as the design. The smart content strategy aligns copy directly with your new goals and functionality.
Review which existing content can migrate versus what needs refreshing. Produce new on-brand copy with optimized page titles, headers, descriptions, and calls to action.
Keep SEO top of mind. Maintain keyword targeting while improving readability. Redirect legacy URLs seamlessly. Double-check metadata and alt text.
Siloed or outdated content will undermine your shiny new website. Integrated copywriting and SEO boost organic visibility and conversions.
Post-Launch Maintenance and Optimization
The work doesn’t stop once your redesigned website goes live. Ongoing maintenance and optimization are crucial for long-term success.
Plan for adequate technical support to quickly address bugs, glitches, and downtime. Keep design and development partners on retainer for modifications.
Monitor analytics closely to identify underperforming pages and conversion leakages. Continuously improve page speed and mobile experience.
Refresh content regularly to keep information current. Add new pages and features as needed. Leverage A/B testing for ongoing optimization.
Companies with dedicated post-launch support teams see conversion lift up to 22% in the months following rollout. Don’t leave your site stagnant after all that effort.
A successful website redesign takes meticulous planning and execution. Avoid common pitfalls with these best practices:
- Lockdown concrete goals, conversion KPIs, and detailed requirements upfront
- Thoroughly vet partners and choose expertise over cost savings
- Build in ample time and budget with room for delays and changes
- Refresh and optimize content for readability and conversions
- Plan for active post-launch maintenance and improvements
Getting your redesign right does take more work. But the payoff will be realizing your digital goals for years to come. With diligent preparation, your new website will be a source of pride, not regret.