Whether your business has outgrown your current website, you’ve changed your name or logo, or you’re just ready for some housekeeping, updating your website is something that should not be taken lightly. While it can be exciting to launch a new look with new features, diving into a website redesign too soon can cause more headaches than high fives around your office. To get things off on the right foot, consider these 5 things you should do before redesigning your website:
1. Hire a professional
Unless you have specific credentials and experience that lend themselves well to redesigning your website, it’s best to leave this task to a professional. Scout out someone who has experience designing and redesigning business websites, and do interviews with a few candidates before settling on your top pick. Ask for references as well as examples of the candidate’s’ work, and make your timeline and budget clear upfront.
2. Carefully sift through your current site
Take some time to carefully read through your current site, including any blog posts, reviews, and links that are on it. The purpose here is to determine what you want to keep for your new site and what you can get rid of. If you’re simply redesigning the website, then you want to make sure you keep certain elements that your users or visitors are familiar with to keep your site accessible and make it easy for them to continue using.
3. Hire a professional photographer
If you plan on including pictures on your new website, particularly pictures of your business and the people who work there, spend a little extra money up front on a professional photographer instead of simply uploading pictures from your smart phone. High quality photos demonstrate that your business is doing well, is professional, and that it understands the value of building a credible website. And if you’re feeling squeamish about spending the extra money, keep in mind that you can always use those professional photos for marketing material in the future.
4. Check out the competition
Do some search to see what your competitors’ websites look like, and make note of the features you do and do not like on them. While you don’t want to copy a website of a competitor, it is ok to use some basic elements of their websites for inspiration. If they have reviews, comments, or other areas of visitor engagement on their website, browse through those to gauge how their visitors are interacting with the website. Take screenshots of pages that stand out to you to discuss with everyone that is working on the website design to make sure you are all on the same page about what does and doesn’t work.
5. Pick your call to action
What do you want your website visitors to do after they’ve gotten to your homepage? Pick your call to action, and make sure your designer knows what this is and how you want it displayed. Some examples include signing up for a free newsletter, subscribing to an email list, downloading a free eBook, registering for training online, getting free offers or coupons, or receiving a free consultation. If you already have a call to action that has been working, then there might not be a reason to change. But if you don’t have a call to action, or yours hasn’t been getting the results you were hoping for, then this is the perfect time to update.
Launching a website redesign can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Hiring professional designers and photographers to take care of most of the fundamentals will ensure that things are done correctly. Do your part by planning ahead, figuring out what does and doesn’t work on your current website and that of your competitors, and determining what exactly you want people to do once they have landed on your home page. For more ideas on what to do before you redesign your website, contact us today.