Decisions when Redesigning a Website
Sometimes redesigning a website is a harder feat than starting a new one from scratch. Every decision that is made comes with some type of responsibility. There are a lot more expectations with a website redesign. Redesigns need to happen, and they need to happen often in order for a company to stay current.
Companies don’t invest thousands of their hard-earned dollars on a site just for it to look pretty. It’s the first connection between companies and their clients. If our site doesn’t look good then there’s a good chance that potential future clients won’t believe we can make their site look good. Just as well, if our site doesn’t function properly, we won’t get the right leads we’re looking for.
A website redesign comes with a lot of pressure for the new site to do better than the last. They are a chance to fix any issues or problems with the current site. A redesign is more than just design changes. Analytics need to be looked over, strategies need to be thought of, research needs to happen, and copy changes need to be worked on. There is a reason behind every change made because the website needs to not only look good on the “outside” but it also needs to function well on the “inside.” Trying to make all these decisions and sticking with them is where I encountered my biggest challenge.
Users’ needs are constantly changing, so decisions that were made for the site months ago aren’t always going to perform as well now as they previously did. Take a form, for example, that isn’t being filled out as much as we’d like it to be. A change needs to be made, so I would start by looking at heat maps like Hotjar, user recordings, and analytics to figure out some strategies. This is the stage where I could have prevented some overthinking and time-consuming decision-making.
I ended up having too many strategies. Developing a bunch of ideas after looking over the data is great, but this is the stage where you absolutely have to narrow them down to only two or three, I recommend having three. Once I landed on some strategies, it was time to do a bit more digging around before making some final decisions.
Now that I had a couple of ideas of what changes might work, it was time to look over recently updated websites and read over some recent blogs to see what had been working for other marketing companies.
My plan was to basically align my strategies with theirs. For example, if I found that many of the sites placed their forms on the right-hand column and above the fold and that had been one of my strategies, then there was a good chance that would be my decision. It was super easy to get too carried away in this stage since I’d start thinking of new ideas after looking at what others have done. This was another one of my biggest challenges – sticking to my plan. I would become inspired and want to throw in another idea.
Don’t let this happen to you! Stick to your already well-thought-out strategies and move on.
By now I’ve looked over the data, found the problem areas, strategized a couple of plans, and ranked them based on what other marketing companies had already accomplished. I’m now left with my final decision. It’s time to mock up my idea, send it over to programming, and get the copy updated if needed.
Over the next couple of months, I’ll be monitoring the form and finding out how well it is performing. If it performs well, then we’d keep it. The reason I developed more than one idea was to use the second idea if there’s ever a drop in its performance. After several months, it will be time to analyze, strategize and do more research again.
Website redesigns can become complicated and confusing, but having a solid plan really helps. Developing this plan has helped me save time and lots of headaches. There are always going to be roadblocks no matter how much you try to avoid them, but as long as you stick to your plan, as I have learned, you’ll get through them resulting in an even better-performing website every time.
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Start building out a new site with a redesign by Oyova — a St. Petersburg web design, content marketing, social media management, and eCommerce web development company.