If you’re looking at this website, we’re assuming that you have decided against hiring a website redesign company, you have no website design experience, but you’d like to Redesign your website yourself!
For some this might involve creating a detailed website redesign project plan then paying for your website to be modified according to the project plan.
Why Redesign Your Website
Many factors can attribute to the need for a Website Redesign. Typically it would be to increase the websites traffic, the next most logical reason would be to improve the websites average page views per visitor. Another reason is to redirect traffic landing on a website to a core product page.
- Low Visitor traffic
- Bounce Rate and Page views
- Outdated unprofessional appearance
- Core Product change
- Multi Device support
How to Redesign a Website
Assuming that the Website Redesign is for performance reasons the first step would be acquiring data related to the performance of your website. This is commonly referred to as Website Analytics. In tracking your website performance you will be able to understand how visitors find your website and how they behave once landing. If you can correctly interpret this data you can then Redesign and optimize the website. One of the best analytics tools available is Google Analytics.
Poor Traffic Volume
If the website has never received any traffic or very low volumes then this is mostly likely due to poor site content. Make-Website has a very detailed page on Keywords and Phrases, if you follow the advice listed you should see some improvement in traffic volume.
Increasing Existing Traffic Volume can be achieved by looking at Analaytics data related to your key search terms which is the source of the websites traffic. With most websites you find one or two landing pages that receive the bulk of the traffic. You can then either create more pages related to the main landing pages with related content or build on the existing pages with additional content.
Another way of boosting website traffic is by the addition of social sharing links. Redesigning the layout of the websites pages to include social sharing links can greatly increase your traffic, having visitors share your content on social media is a great source of free advertising.
Bounce rate is a measure of website traffic that reaches a website then exits within a few seconds without continuing onto another page. To have a high bounce rate the website must already have ranking keywords that visitors are searching for. A logical reason for a high bounce rate is that a visitor expects to see content related to their keyword search term but the structure of the page is poorly designed. If your page content is below the fold then a visitor cannot see any relevant content without scrolling down, this will result in a high bounce rate. Move content to the top of the page that will quickly assure a visitor that the content of the page is in fact related to the pages subject and add a heading with the major keyword term for the page. Scroll to the top of this page, note the featured image it is clearly related to Website Redesign and the text content clearly states what the page is about.
The bounce rate of a website can also be due to a very unprofessional appearance. Key design features are listed on the Make-Website page
A typical problem with some successful websites is a very low average page view rate per visitor. A website can easily be redesigned to improve the average page views. Once again the best starting point is to look at the landing page on the website which receives the bulk of the website traffic. Adding clearly visible links to other pages on the site will help improve page views, in tern if your page views increase it is more likely that search engines will also increase the volume of traffic it assigns to the website.
Have a look over this page, notice the blue buttons in the above content. They are relevant to this pages subject and will help increase the sites average page view. The left sidebar has links to popular pages, the majority of the traffic visiting this site are interested in the subject matter of the listed pages. Once again this will encourage visitors to stay on the website and have a look at other pages.
In Page Analytics
A more advanced technique of page redesign is to restructure the layout of a page based off “In page Analytics”. In Page Analytics displays data on what menu and side bar items are clicked on each individual page. Typically a homepage button receives roughly 30% of page clicks, if you have a product page which is your core sales product it makes sense to restructure your menu so that its close to the most clicked area of the page.
Outdated appearance and functionality
Redesigning a website because of an outdated visual appearance can be easier than it sounds depending on the site builder used to create the original website. In some cases you can Redesign the website appearance with the original site builder but if the site builder is outdated and is lacking core features you require then you will have to consider changing to a more current modern builder. Content management systems like WordPress are by far the most flexible builders.
A WordPress websites appearance and functionality can be easily changed with the installation of a new modern theme.
Follow these steps to select a suitable theme:
- Have a good browse around the internet, especially at sites that are similar in subject matter.
- When a site strikes you as being pleasing to the eye, professional, and easy to use and understand make a checklist of the key features. This could be the way a shopping cart functions, the way a product is displayed, the sidebar layouts or even how social sharing icons are displayed.
- Visit the top WP theme providers and test preview their themes.
- Once you have chosen a theme check to see if it has a support forum and have a read through any listed problems.
- After selecting the theme go back and have a look at your Website Redesign Checklist.
Multi Device support
Mobile devices including phones and tablets are quickly overtaking the humble personal computer. With the volume of visitors to a website using mobile device increasing you need to make sure the Website is “Responsive” to all modern devices. An easy test to see if a website is “Responsive” is by minimizing the screen size of a browser, down to the size of a tablet or mobile phone then refresh or reload the website. The website should adapt to the available screen and display content in a logical structure. A Responsive website will also include addition features specific to the device being used such as mobile menus. If you are previewing a new theme for your website be sure to test its responsive functionality.
Redesigning a Website can be a very big undertaking, be sure to have a good understanding of what you are trying to achieve and how you will address key redesign features. Once again the importance of data collection and interpretation via a good Web Analytics tool cannot be understated. Redesign changes can be tracked and adjusted over time.