10 Questions to ask before you redesign your website

So you've decided you need a website redesign. What are the most crucial questions to ask your design and development company?

With the mobile market growing exponentially across the globe, now is the right time to redesign your website for this market or face losing valuable traffic.

Responsive web design will take care of that - it's important for ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices.

A handy tool that will show you what your current website looks like on mobile is MobileTest.me. Run your site through it and you will quickly see exactly why your mobile visitor numbers are bad.

Run a couple of other sites through it too, to see what they look like - especially your competition.

When clients are ready to redesign, most don't ask many questions beyond 'What is it going to cost?', and 'When will it go live?'.

Unfortunately, there's much more to it than that.

It's a good idea to look at your current website's historical analytics data to identify issues that you'd like to improve on. These include bounce rate, page views, time spent on site, page load time, traffic sources (direct, search and referral), average revenue per visitor (RPV), exit pages and conversion rates, etc.

The most important factors to consider before redesigning your website

  1. What is the purpose of my website?

    Is it a personal website or blog, business, e-commerce, directory, portfolio, informational or community website? Each of these have different infrastructure, design and functionality and will have different goals.

  2. Who are my customers?

    Your marketing plan should have this information already. Compare the demographic profile with what you'd like it to be and decide whether your ideal audience falls within a certain age bracket or gender, is local or global, for instance. If it's global, you will need to take into account translation of your content.

  3. How will I convert them?

    Conversion happens in a number of ways - signup for newsletter, to request a demo, download a white paper or report, to comment, complete a purchase, make a donation or even just clicking on a certain link. There is a fine line between signing someone up, and annoying them, so consider carefully how this will be done.

  4. What are my competitors doing?

    Without a thorough knowledge and analysis of how competitors in your market are succeeding or failing online, you won't have a good understanding of what others are doing and how you can improve on that.

    This doesn't mean copying those you like, but, rather going a few steps further to be a leader in the industry. Try to be more user friendly, evaluate whether your customer journey to purchase is better than that of your competitors and learn from others' mistakes.

  5. Will all content be brought over?

    It's important to migrate content to the new site correctly to avoid loss of heard-earned search traffic. Identify the strengths, weaknesses, risks, and opportunities of your current website with an SEO audit. Use this knowledge to construct a road map of what needs to be carried over and what should be left behind. Find where your brand can improve its content and optimisation, and implement changes with your website redesign.

  6. What are must-haves and nice-to-haves?

    Make a list of elements, functionality, design and content that you absolutely must have in the new website, and then make a list of bells and whistles you'd like to have but may not be totally necessary. Also decide now if you want to include, for example, a sales platform or App down the line as this will help developers plan the structure for that now.

  7. Will you be selling advertising on the site?

    If not, skip this question, but if yes, you need to set some real estate aside for advertisers, whether it's a couple of Google Ads, or display banners, pre-roll video ads, affiliate links, etc.

  8. Do I have to edit content for responsive design?

    In a mobile first world, shorter articles are more in demand and you'll have to consider the original size of your images to ensure they scale up and down without distortion.

  9. Will I need a new CMS?

    Popular CMSs, such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla allow you to easily update your website content without knowing any code. If you already have a CMS, take time to consider whether it’s working for you and meeting all your needs. If not, it might be worth exploring other content-management systems on the market to find a better fit.

  10. What are current design best practices?

    Trends in webdesign like flat design, material design, complex typography, micro-interactions, rich, background and hover animations, card layout, long scroll and the hamburger menu are all popular design trends right now, but may not be necessary for your website goals. What's more, some of them are bad for SEO, so consider these trends carefully before demanding them.

There are many more issues to consider, such as third-party tool and social media integration, your content strategy, A/B testing, training to maintain the site, security certification, automated triggers based on user actions and, most importantly, what will it cost and when will it be ready.

At Indivirtualdubai.com we have answers to all these questions as well as many others you probably haven't even thought about. Contact us today if you'd like to discuss your website redesign.