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Website Redesign – Our Step-by-Step Process

website redesign - step by step process

Website Redesign

If you have an existing website and are looking for a redesign you are in the right place.

Intro

As the owner of a website design business, one that deals about 80-90% in website redesign, here is a pretty typical scenario for me. I will get a call from someone, let’s call her Greta. Greta has just recently started working for XYZ Company as the head of marketing. She is tasked with growing the company’s revenue and generating more leads. She decides that the first order of business needs to be the company’s website. She hates it. She hops onto Google and ends up contacting me.

Challenges

When Greta contacts me she has a few major challenges with the existing website:

Ugly

Her existing website just doesn’t look good. The colors are off, the fonts don’t look good and overall the site just has an amateurish and unprofessional look to it. She sees her competitor’s sites and they look so much more clean and professional looking.

Dated

She can’t put her finger on it but the site overall just looks ‘old’ and not modern or up to date. The width of the site, the layout, the alignment all look like a website that was designed almost 10 years ago.

Can’t update it

One thing that drives Greta crazy is that it is impossible to update the site. In some cases the backend to the site is literally under lock and key, and she has to pay the previous design firm a fortune just to make simple edits to the site. Other times she does have access to the backend of the site but she feels like she needs to take a coding boot camp just to make simple text edits on the site.

Looks terrible on Mobile

Greta hates how their site shows up on her phone. It’s difficult to read and impossible to navigate. The text is hard to read and the flash animation doesn’t show up at all on her phone making the site look broken.

Site doesn’t show up on Google

In addition to the problems Greta has with the site itself, she is pulling her hair out in frustration because her site is nowhere to be found on Google. All of her competitors are showing up at the top of Google search results and her site is completely missing.

The trouble is it’s actually worse than she thinks.

Not only could she be getting more traffic, more conversions and more business with a redesigned website, her current site is actually putting her at risk for many negative factors:

Google Penalty

Google has recently announced that it will be penalizing search rankings for websites that don’t have a mobile responsive design. This means that just by having an out of date website Greta is missing out on the many potential search visitors due to lower rankings.

Security Dangers

Older websites that are not well maintained have a greater risk of being hacked or infected with malware which cause costly and time consuming repairs.

Lost Business

When it comes to Greta’s current company website they may be better off having no website at all than a website that represents their company in a poor light. This is because having an ugly website sends the wrong message to potential customers. As the great motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said: “People come up to me all the time and say people shouldn’t judge you by the way you look. Well let me give you a clue. They do!”

Our Website Redesign Process

As I mentioned before about 80-90% of our business are website redesigns. Over the years we have perfected a process to maximize the results of redesign work. Here is the process:

Discovery

The first step we take with all clients (and this happens during our Free Mockup phase) is to learn more about our client, their customers, their design needs and their goals for the site.

We establish who the major user types are for the site, what they are looking for and what are the next steps they want to take.

We identify other websites the client likes the look and feel of, along with fonts, colors and other design elements they like. If the client has an existing branding or style guide we work within those guidelines. If not we develop a branding and style guide as part of our service offering.

We then create a preliminary mockup of the homepage of the redesigned website. This all happens during our Free Mockup phase and potential clients pay and sign nothing during this phase. It is only after receiving the mockup that potential clients would make a decision to move forward working together.

Design

Once the initial mockup has been created we move into the design phase. We first go back and forth with design edits on the homepage until the homepage design is finalized. Our process involves finalizing the homepage first. Our experience has been that once the homepage mockup has been set the total site design is halfway there.

We then mockup the unique inner pages of the site and go back and forth with design edits until those pages are complete. At this point the design phase has been finalized.

Content

While working on the design phase of the project we work together with clients helping to organize and structure their content. The content phase takes place in two parts:
Sitemap
The sitemap is the main skeleton of your website. It represents all the pages found on the site and their relationship to each other. We work with the client, often using data we find while analyzing our client’s Google Analytics reports, to identify the major pages of the site and to make sure those pages are easily identifiable within the new sitemap hierarchy.
Website Content
Once the sitemap has been established we set up folders within Google Drive where we pull all content from the client’s existing website and set them up as Google Documents. This allows the client to easily update and edit the content and provide a central repository for all content for the website.

One challenge we ran into in the past was keeping track of website content version control. The client would email the latest content for the site and then a few days or weeks later the client would send another email with an updated version of the content. It became a real challenge trying to keep track of which the latest version of the content was. Using Google Drive as a central repository for all content solved this problem.

Development

Once the design and content phases are complete we move forward to developing the site. It is during the development phase that we also develop the mobile responsive design. Once the development is completed we do a thorough Q.A. (quality assurance) test of the site making sure that it displays properly across all browsers and mobile devices. We then hand off the site to the client for their review. Once the site meets with final approval it is launched for the whole world to see.

Conclusion

As you see there is quite a bit involved when it comes to redesigning your website. If you have an existing website that needs a redesign, instead of asking yourself how much it will cost to redesign the site, ask yourself how much is your current site costing you? When choosing a web design firm to help with your redesign, make sure they have a proven process for working with website redesigns.

If you’re ready to take the next steps with your Website Redesign I have great news for you! You have the opportunity to see exactly what your new website could look like before you sign or pay for anything. Read below to learn more about our Free Mockup Offer.

San Francisco Web Design

FREE MOCKUP
OF YOUR NEW WEBSITE

If you’re looking for a new website, I’d like to make you an offer you can’t refuse.

I will design an Custom Mockup of your new website for Free, before you sign or pay anything.

If you like it, we can move forward working together.

If not, there are no hard feelings and no further obligations.

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