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A 15-step guide to website redesign

website redesign

Ready to give your website a facelift? Whether you just did a brand revamp or moved your business to a new platform, a website redesign can catapult your business to new heights. Yet, if it’s not carefully orchestrated, it could also do more damage than good.

In this guide, we delve into the nuances of website redesign. We’ll help you decide whether your site just needs some minor website updates or a full-scale overhaul. Following that, we'll guide you through the redesign process step by step, ensuring your website not only looks great but also performs exceptionally well in today's digital landscape.

Ready for a change? Switch to Wix today and give your website the upgrade it deserves. 

What is a website redesign?

Website redesign is more than a facelift; it's an essential aspect of website maintenance. A successful redesign enhances both aesthetics and functionality, addressing your site’s content, user experience, search engine optimization (SEO) and mobile optimization. The ultimate goal is to end up with a site that both looks good and works as smoothly as it possibly can. 

Website redesign vs. website refresh

The scope of changes distinguishes a website redesign from a website refresh. 

  • A site refresh involves minor cosmetic or UX website updates. For example, you might choose to change the color scheme or graphics on your site. Like other website maintenance costs, performing regular website refreshes can reduce the need for a complete overhaul, which can be resource-intensive and time-consuming.

  • A site redesign involves more significant changes, such as an overhaul of your site’s infrastructure, functionality or branding. A redesign typically includes changes to how your site looks and works; it involves gutting your site and replacing it with a brand-new site experience. 

Wix Editor site themes used during website redesign

How long does a website redesign take?

Like the time involved in making a website, the time it takes to redesign one can vary quite a bit based on its size and purpose. For example, redesigning a large corporate website may take much longer than redesigning a personal portfolio website with fewer pages. Yet, having said that, both website redesigns require the same attention to detail and process.

In general, plan to spend between four to eight months on your website redesign, depending on how extensive your website is at the time you start. Wix’s Design Director Yiftach Koronio recommends that you finish the project as quickly as possible, even if it means putting some of your other work aside for the time being. This helps to make sure that your new design stays in line with the latest design trends and your current goals. 

How to redesign a website

website redesign elements showing a "just landed" new shoe

01. Determine if it's time to redesign your website

Redesigning your website is a significant undertaking that requires careful consideration. To help you decide when it's time to redesign your website, consider these factors:

  • Brand evolution: To best support your business, your website must accurately reflect your brand’s purpose, mission and vision. You may need to redesign your website if you’ve recently rebranded your business or updated your core goals and values.

  • Website performance: If waiting for your homepage to load makes you antsy or you’re frequently spotting glitches, your site infrastructure likely needs some work.

  • Budget: Larger, more mature businesses often have the budget to invest in a full-scale website redesign—but this may not be the case for smaller, newer businesses with tight budgets. If small tweaks can help convert more users to boost sales, then consider a website refresh.

  • User experience: Is your website user-friendly, easy to navigate and accessible on all devices? A positive user experience is vital for keeping visitors on your site and encouraging them to return, so if your site isn’t meeting expectations, then you may need to consider a redesign.

  • Low conversion rates: If your website isn't effectively converting visitors into customers or leads, it's a strong indication that some aspects of the design or user journey need rethinking. Analyze your conversion paths and identify areas where users may be dropping off.

  • Outdated design: The look and feel of your website can have a big impact on how your brand is perceived. An outdated design might give the impression that your business is not keeping up with current trends or industry standards. A fresh, modern design can rejuvenate your online presence and make your website more appealing to visitors.

02. Analyze your current website performance metrics 

Before overhauling your site, do a full audit of its performance. This audit will help you hone in on your website’s weak points and help you build a plan for strengthening them. 

It’s also important to identify what is working for your site so that you’re not doing more harm than good. Note which pages are the most popular, which call-to-action (CTA) buttons are most effective and how your visitors typically interact with your site before making any large-scale changes. 

Here are a few examples of how to analyze your site metrics to guide your website redesign:

  • Traffic sources: Knowing where your visitors are coming from helps you understand which channels work best for you. For instance, if a lot of your traffic is from social media, you might want to focus on better social media integration in your redesign. Or, if you're not getting much traffic from search engines, it could mean you need to work on your SEO.

  • Bounce rate: If lots of people leave your site after only viewing one page, it could mean that they're not finding what they expected or aren’t interested in your content. In your redesign, think about ways to change up your layout to be more inviting, or update your content to be more relevant to your audience.

  • Conversion rate: This tells you how often people do what you want them to do on your site, like buying something or signing up for your newsletter. A low conversion rate might mean your site isn’t clear enough or is hard to use. Consider making your calls to action more obvious and simplifying the navigation.

  • Page load time: If your site is slow, people might leave before they even see anything. When you're redesigning your site, check your existing metrics on the Wix Site Speed Dashboard and get actionable advice for making your site load faster. While Wix’s performance infrastructure automates many necessary optimizations, the dashboard can help you supercharge your site so even your most impatient visitors have a smooth experience.

  • Mobile responsiveness: With so many people using their phones to go online, your site must work well on mobile. If it doesn't, use your redesign to fix this. Make sure your site looks good and is easy to use on all devices.

  • User feedback: Pay attention to what people say about your site. If lots of people have the same complaints—for example, they can't find what they’re looking for or don't like the design—use your redesign to address these issues.

  • Search engine rankings: If your site is struggling to rank on search engines, you may need to revamp your SEO strategy or get an expert to give it a health check.

  • New leads: If some pages are better at generating leads than others, study what makes them so attractive. It could be the way that those pages present information, the placement of contact forms or the clarity of their CTAs. Use these insights to replicate these successful elements across your site, aiming to boost overall lead generation.

  • Sales generated: Analyze which pages and elements are most effective at driving sales. Maybe certain product pages perform better, or perhaps specific layout elements (like reviews or recommendations) help with conversion. Use your redesign to apply these successful strategies more broadly across your site. 

Use Wix Analytics to track traffic, understand user behavior and analyze your revenue over time. 

The Wix Analytics Benchmarks report

03. Research the competition

Look closely at your top competitor’s websites. Pay attention to their design, website navigation, content and any marketing strategies that they employ. These insights will help your website redesign meet (or even overtake) the competition.

04. Understand your market

To clearly define your target audience, conduct market research around your users and industry. Even if you’ve done this before, it’s worth looking into once more before redesigning your website, as your market and audience tend to change over time.

By better understanding your customers, you’ll know certain traits such as what they like and dislike or their online browsing habits. This knowledge will help you tailor your website’s redesign to your users’ unique needs and preferences.

05. Decide whether to DIY or hire an agency

Website redesign can be a long, arduous and highly technical process, so it may be worth hiring an expert. This is especially true if you’re undertaking a highly complex redesign that would benefit from more advanced SEO, intricate design work or custom coding. However, this option requires evaluating your budget to see if it aligns with the costs of professional services. 

If your current site is not overly complex or you're using a platform like Wix that’s known for its user-friendliness, handling the redesign yourself could be a viable option. Ultimately, the decision should be based on a balance between your skills, the resources at your disposal and the specific requirements of your website's redesign.

Explore the Wix Marketplace to find an experienced website designer who is well-equipped to take on your site's redesign.

06. Set your website redesign goals and create a plan

Write down what you’d like to achieve in your website redesign. Do you want to increase sales? Encourage newsletter subscriptions? Raise awareness of new products or deals? For each of your goals, specify which metrics you’ll use to track them.

These clearly defined goals will help you devise a website redesign plan. After doing so, break down each of your desired website changes into concrete, actionable steps. For example, if you want to increase sales, you might incorporate a pop-up that offers a special discount. Then, decide on a viable timeframe for all your list items.

If you work with a team, assign individual roles to keep everyone on track. By integrating your team into the website redesign process, your new design will benefit from their expertise and experience. You’ll also motivate your team and foster belonging and involvement.

07. Define your visual language, branding and messaging

Deciding on your website’s look and feel is an important step to take before delving into the many required details. Make sure your visual language ties into your overall brand identity and matches your business’s tone, messaging and core values.

To get your ideas flowing, explore some of the best websites for inspiration. Try to identify what best suits your brand and what could benefit your site’s functionality. 

“Try to make your design as classic as possible so that you don’t need to update it in five minutes when the trend is out,” says Wix’s Design Director Yiftach Koronio. 

At this stage, you should also gather all your needed web design assets. These include your logo design, brand colors and website color scheme. Ask yourself whether they still fit into your new style or need adjusting.

Rebranding? Explore Wix’s logo builder to create a fresh identity that aligns with your website redesign.

Wix custom theme palette for sunglasses website and new summer collection

08. Create a sitemap

A sitemap lists all your website pages as well as how they connect. A clear and organized sitemap creates easy and intuitive website navigation, leading to a stellar user experience.

On a piece of paper, map out a tree of your different website pages and how users can get from one to the other. Keep in mind important website navigation practices such as linking your logo to the homepage. 

As for the pages themselves, make sure to include the essentials like a friendly homepage, an “About” page and a contact section. You'll also want a page for your services or products. Then think about what other pages could add value. Adding a few landing pages or starting a blog, as examples, could help you attract new site visitors and convert them into customers.

Site map outlining shop section, about section and blog

09. Employ best design practices

The design part of the website redesign happens now. Be sure to keep your brand identity in mind, as well as the main principles of design. The following tips will help steer you in the right direction:

  • Hierarchy: Hierarchy leads site visitors to look at each site element in order of priority, starting with the most significant piece. Size and weight (like a larger and bolder letter size for titles) and element placement (like placing an important CTA button at the very center of the screen) can help you achieve this.

  • Contrast: Contrast highlights the differences between parts of the design. While elements that look alike tend to blend, contrasting elements stand out more. You can achieve contrast through texture (like combining plain areas with patterned ones), brightness (mixing light and dark areas) and color (featuring colors on opposite sides of the color wheel).

  • Balance: A good way to understand balance is to think of your webpage as a scale, with its elements distributed equally on both sides. There are many ways to go about such even distribution, as the balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical or radial. Whichever you choose, the resulting look should always feel cohesive, leaving nothing out of place.

If design isn’t your strong suit, starting with one of Wix’s website templates can put you on the right track.

follow principles of design when redesigning your website

10. Develop your content strategy

A big part of updating your website is freshening up the content. However, you don’t need to update all your content. Take note of your high-performing content and understand why it does well. This can help guide your updating process for underperforming content. Additionally, if you map out your highest-performing content, you will know how to maximize it in your website redesign. 

When writing your website’s content, keep your target audience in mind. This will help you craft text that is less about you and your product (which can come off as salesy) and more about your users and their needs. Use written copy to provide an answer to their questions and guide them through the site. If writing isn’t your strong suit, Wix’s text generator creates content based on just a few keywords.

Additionally, keep your text short and sweet. Since people tend to skim-read on the internet, concise sentences are especially effective. Other things to keep in mind when updating content during your website redesign include:

  • Tone of voice: Your tone of voice should be in line with your brand identity. Write the way you’d want your brand to sound had it been a person. Is it personal and friendly or professional and authoritative?

  • Microcopy: Microcopy (i.e., the bits of text like those on CTA buttons or online forms) guides and informs visitors. While it's tempting to get creative and infuse brand personality or fun elements into your microcopy, clarity should always be your top priority.

  • Intent: Whether you’re writing a blog article, a product description or an email newsletter, always think of what your user intends to do when landing on your page. What motivates them? What will satisfy their needs? Writing with this in mind will help you reach your audience more authentically and meaningfully.

11. Mind your SEO

SEO is the practice of improving your website’s visibility and ranking on Google search results to boost your organic traffic. Optimizing your site for SEO is crucial for making sure that your redesign increases your site's discoverability.

To help people find your business website on Google, we recommend checking out the Wix SEO Hub for in-depth guidance, as well as the following methods:

  • Use of keywords: Keywords are like signposts that help Google understand what your site is about. Think about the words people might use when they're searching for a business like yours and include these in your website's text. Make sure that the keywords fit seamlessly into your content, as recent Google algorithm updates pay special attention to context.

  • Alt text: Writing alt-text for images on your website strengthens both its SEO and web accessibility. You can do this by adding a few words that describe your image's content. Your alt-text won’t be visible to your users, but is nonetheless highly beneficial for Google bots and assistive technologies.

  • Page meta tags: Writing your page’s meta tags—including its title tags and descriptions, helps search engine bots better understand your page’s content and correctly display it in search results. Whenever possible, include keywords in your meta tags. Wix’s AI meta tag creator makes this process straightforward and efficient.

  • Domain name: Keeping your domain name consistent over time can help your brand’s recognizability. However, if you’ve changed your business name or expanded the scope of your brand, you might want to change your domain name to reflect that.

  • Create a 301 redirect map: If your website redesign involves a site restructuring, a domain change or an adjustment to your URL architecture, you need to create a 301 redirect map. This document guides your web server on how to link old URLs to their new counterparts. A 301 redirect map is vital for preventing your website redesign from impacting your search engine rankings and audience engagement rate.

Sign up for a Wix premium plan to get a free domain name today.

12. Optimize the mobile version of your site

Ensure that visitors experience your site as smoothly on the go with an equally intuitive mobile website. Declutter the screen and remove unnecessary elements so that only the most essential content stands out on the smaller screen. You can also take advantage of mobile website design features such as a branded welcome screen or animations.

You can also use cool mobile design features. For example, a branded welcome screen or some neat animations can make your mobile site feel more special and engaging.

And there's another big plus to having a mobile-friendly website: it's great for your SEO. Google predominantly puts mobile sites first when it's deciding how to rank pages. So, if your site is easy to use on a phone, it's more likely to show up higher in search results. This means more people can find and enjoy your site, no matter where they are or what device they're using.

T-Shop t-shirt website on desktop and mobile versions

13. Review and share your website redesign

Give your new design a thorough review, proofreading its written content, checking the navigation flow and ensuring that all links work properly. Double-check even the smallest of details. Ask a few trusted friends or team members to inspect the site as well.

Once your website redesign is ready, give it a marketing boost to support the launch. Sharing your fresh new design on social media and in a newsletter announcement can drive traffic to your website.

14. Monitor performance

After implementing your website redesign, monitoring performance is a key step to ensure the new design is meeting its goals. Regular monitoring allows you to identify and address any issues quickly. You’ll need to decide what metrics are most relevant to your redesign, but here are a few to consider:

  • User engagement: Look at metrics like page views, bounce rate and time spent on site. Compare these metrics to your old site to evaluate if the new design is more engaging.

  • Traffic sources: Knowing where your visitors come from (organic search, social media, direct visits, etc.) helps assess your SEO and marketing effectiveness. Changes in traffic sources post-redesign could highlight areas that need improvement.

  • Conversion rates: If your website aims to generate leads or sales, monitor how the redesign impacts these conversions. Watch for changes in actions like form submissions, sign-ups or purchases.

  • Loading speed: Site speed is vital for user experience and SEO. Use tools like Wix’s Site Speed Dashboard or Google's PageSpeed Insights to check if your new design has affected loading times.

  • SEO performance: Keep an eye on your search engine rankings for key terms. A drop in rankings might need SEO adjustments.

15. Perform A/B testing

A/B testing (in which you show two different versions of a page to different users) allows you to compare different design elements to see what works best. Skipping this step means missing out on valuable insights that could optimize user experience and conversion rates. A/B testing should be an integral part of the redesign process, helping to make informed decisions based on user data.

Website redesign checklist

To simplify things, we’ve broken down our how-to guide on a granular level so that you don’t miss any important steps in the website redesign process.

Website redesign checklist

Initial planning and analysis

  • Review current site performance: Analyze existing site for traffic patterns, user engagement and conversion rates.

  • Set clear goals: Define what the redesign should achieve (e.g., improved user experience, increased conversions).

  • Content review and creation: Audit existing content and create new, SEO-friendly content as needed.

  • Competitor analysis: Look at competitor websites for insights and inspiration.

Design and development

  • Choose the right platform: Decide whether to use a website builder like Wix or a custom solution.

  • Plan site structure: Develop a sitemap for easy navigation and SEO benefits.

  • Design mockups: Create design prototypes or mockups for key pages.

  • Create a responsive design: Ensure the design is mobile-friendly and responsive across all devices.

Technical aspects

  • 301 redirect plan: Prepare a map for all URL changes to maintain SEO value.

  • Site speed optimization: Optimize images, minify code and leverage caching for faster loading times.

  • Security features: Ensure SSL certification and other security measures are in place.

  • Compliance check: Verify compliance with legal requirements (e.g., GDPR, ADA).

Testing and launch

  • Functionality testing: Check all features and functionalities on various devices and browsers.

  • SEO and analytics setup: Ensure tracking codes for Google Analytics or other tools are installed.

  • User testing: Gather feedback on usability and overall experience.

  • Backup plan: Have a backup of your old site ready in case of any issues.

Post-launch steps

  • Monitor site performance: Keep an eye on site metrics post-launch for any unexpected issues.

  • Collect user feedback: Continue to gather user feedback and make necessary adjustments.

  • Ongoing SEO monitoring: Regularly check search engine rankings and optimize as needed.

  • Regular updates: Keep your site updated with fresh content and regular maintenance.

What is a website proposal for a redesign?

A website redesign proposal is a formal document that outlines a plan to update, improve or overhaul an existing website. It typically includes details about the proposed changes, scope of work, timeline, cost estimates and potential benefits of the redesign. Why is a website proposal important when planning to redesign a site?

  • Clarity: It provides a clear understanding of the proposed changes and the scope of the project.

  • Alignment: Confirms that the client and the web development team are on the same page regarding goals and objectives.

  • Budgeting: Helps in estimating the costs associated with the redesign project and stops them getting out of hand.

  • Communication: Serves as a communication tool between the client and the web development team, fostering collaboration.

  • Decision-making: Provides a basis for the client to make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the redesign.

Using AI for website redesign

Integrating AI into a website redesign enhances user experience and functionality and is one way to use AI for web design. AI-powered features like personalized content recommendations, chatbots for customer support and predictive analytics can optimize user engagement.

On the other hand an AI website builder can be used to help redesign a website by creating a new design, layout and other key features in minutes.

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