Website Redesign: Process, Plan, Best Practices, and Cost

March 25, 2019

Neha Surana

Website Redesign: Process, Plan, Best Practices, and Cost

Given 10 minutes to consume a content piece, two-thirds of individuals would rather prefer to read something that is attractively designed than something plain. This is an era where 75% of a website’s credibility judgments depend on its overall aesthetics. This means that both design and functionality are more crucial than ever. So, if you have a site that is poorly built, there are valid reasons to consider for a web application development.

But before you take that “decision,” know what it takes to redesign a website

Quick Guide:

What Does Website Redesign Mean?

By definition, redesign is all about modernizing, improving, or changing something, which already exists by making sure that the guidelines are followed correctly. Website redesigning is much more than just changing its colors, menus, buttons, and forms. However, businesses that initiate the process of website redesign generally have similar objectives, which include:
  • Better UI (User Interface) design
  • Enhanced online presence
  • Greater user experience
  • Higher conversion rate
Your website is more like a magnet for judgment—and this judgment isn’t just limited to itself—it is all about how users perceive your brand as a whole. A poorly designed website can leave a massive impact on the company’s credibility. A beautifully-designed website, on the other hand, helps a company in extending its scope of influence and generating leads.

A website’s first impression matters. So, make it count.

Interesting Facts About Website Design

  • A crowded or cluttered website design is one of the most common mistakes small businesses tend to make while designing a website. This confuses the visitors and makes them press the back button. (Source)
  • It takes only 50 milliseconds (that is just 0.05 seconds) for a user to have an opinion about a website and determine if they like it or not. (Source)
  • 94% of the negative feedback for any website is related to design. (Source)
  • 38% of the users will stop engaging with a website if its layout or content is unattractive. (Source)
  • 88% of users are less likely to come back to a website after a bad experience. (Source)
  • On average, a user spends at least 5.94 seconds to look at the main image of a website. (Source)

How To Know If A Website Needs A Redesign?

Keep in mind that designing a website isn’t an overnight task. It certainly takes plenty of time and efforts (and even lots of money) to see your website in proper working condition.

The internet changes at a very rapid rate. Today, users utilize different types of devices to view websites. Therefore, your site needs to adapt to new technology and be updated constantly.

The most important thing – Google algorithms have massively evolved, and they continue to. Sometimes, you might not even know if your website actually needs a redesign. Adhering to the constant changes can be tricky.

However, to decide if your website actually needs a redesign or not, ask yourself these three important questions:

  • Are you losing out on conversions or sales?
  • Does your website design look outdated?
  • Does your website provide value to your customers?

If the answer is “yes” to these three questions, then it is time to get your website redesigned. The decision is particularly great if you are trying to rebrand your business.

Besides the three questions mentioned above, these 5 signs are key indicators that your website needs a renovation:
1. Pages take time to load

On average, users wait a maximum of two seconds while trying to load a website. (Source)

No one likes it when a website takes too much time to load. It is easy for users to press the back button and click on a new website. Having a faster website isn’t only a good SEO practice but also affects the number of users navigating to other pages.

However, this factor doesn’t conclude that your website requires a redesign because there might be times when you have an awesome design but have only page loading issues. If that’s the reason, the culprit is “larger file sizes.”

While it might be tempting to use high resolution and beautiful pictures on your website, it can detract its effectiveness greatly. It slows down the load time and affects the user behavior too.

2. Too many technical errors

Noticed that your website’s bounce rate went super high suddenly? If yes, then pay attention to the duration users spend on your website pages. If they are sticking around only for a few seconds, it might be a 404 error.

Also, use various browsers and see if your website is loading properly. Check for technical errors. If there’s so much that you cannot think of rectifying them, then redesign is the answer.

3. Your visitors fail to recognize what you do

Think of the 8-seconds rule while evaluating this factor. According to this rule, every website owner should be able to convince his or her visitors (with the content) to stay on the website for at least 8 seconds.

However, if the visitor closes the website within this duration, it only means that the website has failed to impress him or her. Though these 8 seconds might not seem like a long time to you, this duration is enough for a web surfer to decide about your website.

This rule especially applies to all the first-time or new visitors coming to your website. If you succeed in creating that “first impression,” it will encourage visitors to stay.

It doesn’t matter which page they are on your website, they should be able to receive your information succinctly and quickly. However, if they don’t, its time for a modification.

4. Your website isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly

Responsiveness or mobile-friendliness – however you call it, is one of the most important factors, especially in an era where smartphone users are growing immensely.

Responsive design means that a website should respond to the screen size that a visitor is using and fit the website’s content accordingly. This way, not only the information is accessible easily but also legible visually, regardless of what the screen size is.

Check for your website’s responsiveness. Also, see if it is being penalized often. These are key indicators that there is something wrong with your website design and it needs to be fixed.

5. Visitor count begins to fall eventually

Talking about traffic, potential keywords rank and bring in conversions for a website, and that’s how things generally scale. It will be quite slow and you aren’t going to see a big difference unless you look at the numbers seriously.

Do a quick comparison of the number of visitors gained in your successive months versus now. If you see the results trending down in the last 6+ months, despite being successful for quite some time, it is a key indicator that your website is outdated and needs a fresh appeal to keep your audience engaged.

Want to change your website design but don't know where to start from?

How Long Does It Take For Website Redesign?

Though the whole website design process typically takes from 30 to 45 days from its initial to end stage, a few website designs will take a longer time – depending on two factors:

  • The scope of the project
  • The complexity of the project

Usually, a website with a simple or minimalistic design and comprising 10-20 pages takes around 5 – 6 weeks.

But understand that every website is different and so are its requirements. Therefore, every redesign relies completely on the product’s expectations.

 Basically, the time to complete the process of website redesigning depends on what kind of design you want.

The requirement could be anywhere from an e-commerce website to something that involves the use of templates or involving lots of customization.

Custom website design vs. template design
As said above, your “product” determines how fast can your website be redesigned. If you aren’t sure how your website should be redesigned or have no clue where to source for ideas, then quickly google the best websites or perhaps, get your competitors’ sites.

List their URLs or if not, give the list of features that you want to have on your website. Show them to an expert web developer to help you guide on the time frame and budget.

What’s with a template website design?

It is a pre-designed webpage, which is used to customize the images and contents. It is usually budget-friendly and takes less time to build. Template-based websites are more sophisticated, as they give complete freedom for customization and are being widely used these days.

It is a great idea to go with a template-based design if you are looking for a modern touch and yet in a cost-effective way.

So, what’s a customized website design then?

When you go for a customized design, it only means that the redesigning process is going to take more time. The reason is that every element needs to be designed from scratch.

A customized website with 25-45 pages can take around 3-6 months. However, this is just an estimation. Honestly, it depends on some factors, which are explained below.

Factors that affect the time to complete a website design:

1. Number of pages

The time to redesign a website hugely depends on how big the project is. The more the pages, the longer to redesign. This is because every page needs to adhere to the design principles, requires SEO tagging, needs responsiveness, etc.

2. Type of design

It is not just about the page size but also the designs used for each. A website with 20 pages may take even more time to develop if the design differs from one page to the other. Though the “number of pages” matter, designs also play a more important role.

A total number of pages are important but the total number of unique page design matters more. Know that every online has its unique design and layout, but most have similar inner pages.

Websites with dissimilar inner pages are expensive, time-consuming, and complex to develop.

3. Number of developers involved

This is another important factor that helps in determining how long does it take for website redesigning.

The website’s timeline depends on the number of people working for it. From designers to developers, each person has a role to play. Though you might think that more the people, the quicker it is to complete the work, this isn’t the case with website design.

Let’s understand this with a simple proverb.

They say that “too many cooks spoil the broth” and this is so true when it comes to website redesign.

Every developer has his or her way of doing things. This affects the project in return. When too many people are involved, both the process and the final design are affected.

4. Functionality

The time to complete your website redesign hugely depends on its functionality.

It includes the website’s functions – like categories, portfolio items, features, and so on. It can also involve any effect that you see on the screen (requires additional coding).

5. Content

The website’s timeline also depends on the content that you provide to the developer. When it comes to content, it is pretty challenging to use the right words to express what exactly would you want to be changed.

Besides this, there is more “subjectivity” concerning to copy.

Website Redesign Best Practices

Whether you are redesigning the website for increased conversion rates, better leads, or for responsiveness, it is important to follow these best practices:

1. Design it for your users

A website can only be successful if you work towards achieving its objectives. For this, think of your “users” or “target audience.”

Get to know your:

  • Users’ behavior
  • Users’ expectations

When they visit your website searching for something, make sure that your site answers to those questions.

Most essentially, keep the design simple and easy to navigate. Don’t make it cluttered and too many designs. Adhere to the design principles like placing the logo on the left, straightforward navigation, clear links, etc.

2. Add attractive visual elements

Ever wondered why website experts often stress upon adding strong visual elements? Well, because humans respond better to videos, illustrations, and pictures than plain text.

3. Maintain brand consistency

Brand consistency is one of the most crucial elements of the website redesign process. It includes maintaining your message and core identity across diverse marketing channels so that your brand is immediately recognizable – be it email, social media, TV, print, etc.

A company who maintains consistency throughout its channels tends to gain more trust from its target audience.

Ensure that these details are consistent across all channels:

  • Font
  • Photography
  • Logo
  • Color schemes
4. Highlight the CTAs with a contrasting color

If you want your site to pop, use some contrasting colors. It is important to highlight important areas with cool colors to grab visitors’ attention.

5. Optimize the website for SEO

Whether it is your blog or landing pages, ensure that they are SEO-friendly. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something that can’t be overlooked.

To help your visitors find and reach to your content via organic search engine rankings, here’s what you need to do:

  • Use keywords that are relevant to your business
  • Add alternative text to every image that you upload
  • Write proper meta descriptions
  • Include meta tags
6. Ensure that all the pages are mobile-friendly

Now that the use of smartphones has increased drastically over the years, you will be doing a big mistake if you ignore small gadgets.

Website Redesign Process

After you understand what your existing or current website is failing at, and defined what you want to accomplish with your new website, the next step is to focus on the process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to executing this:

Step 1: Create a strategy

Before you could get into the website’s new look, it is vital to lay the foundation through a well-researched and validated strategy.

So, here’s a big mistake that people often to do: they follow their instincts. Well, that’s something that is not going to work here.

Neither should you develop a website based on your personal preferences nor should you trust any agency that doesn’t support proper strategic design choices.

Your assumptions might be wrong, and you certainly want to create something exceptional for your buyers, and not for yourself.

What should you do?
  • Audit your current website and its framework
  • Identify what’s wrong with the present website
  • Create your buyer personas
  • Understand your user behaviors
  • Think of your users’ pain points, purchasing habits, and preferences

Step 2: Create wireframes for your website

Once you have a clear strategy on your website design, it is time to have a sketch of how your site will look like.

While doing this, make sure that you adhere to the best practices. This is the phase where expert developers help you to build wireframes or basic sketches or blueprint – however, you call it – to see how each web page will be like.

The goal is to break down your newly-created strategy for every page in a simplified way, by mapping which elements should go where – the images, conversion points, videos, and content.

Step 3: Build the website

Once the wireframes are done and approved, it’s time to bring your vision to life. This phase involves applying proper imagery, content, and style guide to the design.

This is where the core or the actual part of the work lies. The development team codes the design and transform the wireframes into fully-functioning pages. Although at the end of this stage, you will have a site that looks as if you are ready to publish, there is still an important step to execute – which is step #4.

Step 4: Keep “quality” on priority

Now that everything is built and you have every web page functioning the way you want it to function – it is time to test.

This part is taken care by the testing experts. Though the developers can do a manual test but to ensure that your website performs at its best, you need the help of a testing team that can test your site with advanced tools.

What should you test?
  • Check if the website works fine in different browsers.
  • Look for bugs or problems.
  • Check for the website’s speed. Do not ignore page load time.
  • Look for human errors (mistakes, typos, etc.)

One the testing is done, it is time to “GO LIVE.”

Step 5: Launch the newly designed website

Though the “launch” phase sounds all fun and exciting, it is equally stressful because what f things go wrong? What if you haven’t planned for a contingency?

Happily, if you have prepared your website meticulously, tested it properly, and defined a clear plan for the launch, everything will be good.

Launching a website doesn’t happen with a “press of a button.” There are lots of technical details to be taken care of.

Though it seems like a straightforward job, it can become complicated too quickly. Therefore, it is great to have developers on standby to execute any quick adjustment.

Step 6: Take care of the post-launch activities

Once your website is launched again with a new design, it doesn’t mean that the process has come to an end. Honestly, this is just the beginning.

So, you need to have a “post-launch plan,” which should include:

  • Short-term actions: Includes a plan to monitor and resolve errors or instant changes.
  • Mid-term actions: Includes how to maintain your website and keep it up-to-date.
  • Long-term actions: Includes a plan to perfect and expand the website.

Website Redesign Cost

The cost to redesign a website isn’t exact. Instead, it depends on:

The type of the project and the complexity involved in it.

A simple website (static) with minimal design cost ranges from $500 to $5,000 or more. On the other hand, a simple and yet customized designs range from $20,000 to $50,000 or more.

A website that is bigger and has complicated functionality involved will cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 or more.

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