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Updated by GainTap LLC on Aug 20, 2019
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All About Redesigning your Website

This list is all about website redesigns from planning the perfect new website to recovering from failed website redesigns.

Source: https://gaintap.com/website-redesign-guide/

Full Guide: The Less Risky Approach to Redesigning Your Website

This 12,000+ word guide walks you through every step of the website redesign process. Our detailed advice helps you keep SEO and sales during a redesign.

Take some time to understand the strengths of your current site. Too often, people throw out their whole website and start from scratch. But that’s a terrible idea if you’re redesigning an established website that gets a lot of visits from different places on the Internet.

Most of the time, websites aren’t all bad – there are plenty of web pages that should be reused on the new site. It’s really important that you separate the look and feel of the site from the structure and content of the site while making decisions about what to keep.

After you’ve been staring at the same website for years, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s wrong with it. The hard part is taking a step back and analyzing the good with the bad before making changes that can negatively affect your business.

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Now that you understand how to plan out a website redesign, you can start thinking about the meat and potatoes of the site: the content.

Keeping vs. Cutting Content
A common issue many website owners face is whether to keep, merge or cut content on their websites.

Some people will cut a large portion of their content because they think it makes their website too busy or it doesn’t apply to their business anymore. A reason to do this would be if products or services are discontinued. The problem is, these pages are often never analyzed to determine their value to the business. What if you’re removing pages from your site that bring in qualified sales calls?

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Keeping all your website’s data and analytics during a website redesign is important. If you have website analytics on your existing website, you’re going to want to carry this over to the new site so you can monitor performance chances.

Keeping the Same Analytics vs. New Analytics
A lot of times, developers will add a new analytics tracking code to the site or people will think, “Hey, I’ve got a new site and I don’t want all that old information in there,” but that’s a bad approach. You want the old data and new data seamlessly in the same place. This way, you can see if the new design helps you reach your business goals, and how it changes or affects user behavior on your site.

In order to carry over your analytics to the new website, you need to have your analytics tracking code available so you can provide it to your developer.

Again, it’s important you use the same exact tracking code. It can be very time consuming and difficult to compare a new analytics account to an old analytics account when they’re not using the same tracking code.

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In this part of the Website Redesign Guide, we’re going to discuss your web content including text, images and video.

A few notes about content types
Let’s start with written content. Think about the existing copy you have on your site. Again, like we’ve mentioned before, make sure you keep content that’s doing well. You also need to think about the words that link to pages on your site. A lot of times, these links will get wiped out during a migration and it causes search optimization headaches down the road.

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Alright, here we are at the design phase of the website redesign. A lot of people consider design to be the first step of a website redesign project. But, in reality, there are several steps both before and after that are equally or more important.

If you’ve made your way through all the previous steps in this website redesign guide, you should have an idea of how to lay the groundwork for redesigning a website, which means it’s time to move on to the actual design phase.

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This is the web development portion of our website redesign guide. After you finish the design phase, you will need to work with a web developer to turn these designs into a website.

Sending Design Files to a Developer
First, you’re going to need to send your design files to a developer. A simple way to do this is to use a file sharing program, such as Dropbox, so you can easily pass the files back and forth. Generally speaking, design files can be placed in a large zip file that contain images and the main files (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, etc).

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A lot of businesses will wait until the development of the redesigned website has been completed to hire an SEO expert. Although it’s best to bring them in at the beginning of a website redesign project, bringing them on once the site has been developed doesn’t hurt.

If you have a serious, established business your SEO work should be performed by a team that knows what they’re doing. It’s very easy to make mistakes that can hurt your website’s ability to drive new business.

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At this point, everything should be complete. You’ve structured your content; you’ve migrated your content; you’ve designed the pages; you’ve developed the site and you’ve optimized it.

Now, it’s time to launch it.

Approving the Redesign for Launch
First, you need to approve the site for launch. This is based entirely on your individual company’s approval process, but don’t approve the site for launch until you’re 100 percent satisfied with it.

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Once the site launches, it’s time to start monitoring changes in metrics. This is the only way to know whether or not the redesign is helping you accomplish your business goals.

Monitor Your Website’s Metrics
For example, if you wanted to know before redesigning the site if it would help reduce your bounce rate, start tracking that metric. Follow it for 30 days or even 60 days after the site launches and analyze how the metrics change.

Do the same thing for other metrics and ask yourself, “is the redesign doing what I want it to do?”

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