Let’s imagine, you’ve had your website for a couple of years now. It has plenty of viewers and monetizes pretty well. The only problem is… It doesn’t look as good and modern as it used to. Every time you look at it, there’s a thought at the back of your mind saying: “I need a redesign… Now!”
Before you start looking for the latest web trends, there’s something you should know. Don’t get too deep into learning Bootstrap and responsive design first. No matter how awesome these things are, they must help your website, not hinder it. It is important to have a strategy or a checklist that will help you understand the direction to move in.
Before we figure out, if your site needs a redesign, ask yourself a few questions listed below.
Does my online project need a redesign at all?
Sometimes ‘new’ is not the synonym for ‘better’. A redesign should have a definite purpose. And that needs clarification. Do you want to get another Samey looking website? Be aware that your project may lose its individuality after finalizing all the changes.
If you need a website that corresponds to the guidelines of a specific brand, it’s one thing. Redesigning on a whim is different and dangerous. There is a chance of losing a part of your audience just because they may not like what they will see. Internet users these days have an attention span of a goldfish. This is why they won’t stay on a website longer than 3 seconds unless they find something exciting.
Keeping the initial structure is important, even if you’ve decided to make changes. Just imagine, you’ve entered a good old and familiar website… Everything’s different and you don’t know where to look for news or updates. How long, do you think, your visitors will stay? Um, not a chance they’ll linger for 2 more minutes. This is why it’s wise to be careful and know your design limits.
What look and feel do I want for my website?
Facing the design issue may be hard, especially if you aren’t a web design professional. There are not too many paths to take, though. You may turn to a web designer for help. Freelance web designers usually don’t want a lot of their services. So, this won’t cost you a lot. But using a freelancer’s help may affect the quality of the website and take more time than expected.
Also, there are web design agencies that offer in-depth packages to choose from. In a way using third-party web design services can be handy. Although, at times you might feel like you don’t have full control over your web resource.
The third option is something you might like – using ready-made website templates and themes. This gives you a lot more freedom and control of the layout and features. Besides, there is no need to be a web design guru.
In combination with CMS functionality, it is not too difficult to set up a chosen web theme. Most ready-made themes have drag and drop admin panels. This means, there’s no need for any knowledge of programming at all. You can get the desired look in just a few mouse clicks! Of course, this gives you more freedom of creativity on the basis of a ready web design solution.
Be aware, though, that the appearance of your online project is just the top of the iceberg. It’s all about functionality, not only the design. In this sense, the next question is even more important.
Do you want to keep using the current CMS?
Most likely, your website runs on a content management system like WordPress or Joomla. CMS are the ultimate invention of today since they do not need you to know any programming. So, you are free to use a CMS for embedding or removing content. In general, a CMS is a powerful tool that gives you the capacities of a web developer, even if you’re not one.
If you still don’t use such a system, we recommend trying WordPress. Apart from being quite popular all over the world, it is also easy to install and customize. Besides, there are a lot of multi-purpose templates to fit any kind of business websites.
For example, real estate WordPress themes are great for a realty broker’s site or agency. Also, it is possible to use these themes for a full-blown business portfolio. Just imagine the amounts of content you can present to a potential customer! Breathtaking, right?
What will the UI and the site architecture be like?
Most business websites have a standard structure and an intuitive interface. As a rule, there’s a layered top menu that makes navigation more user-friendly. Then goes the company information, offers, and clients’ testimonials. You must have seen hundreds of websites like this online!
But what if you’re dealing with something artsier? Web sites of creative online projects have to make a huge difference. So, after looking at music WordPress themes, you’ll point out what’s different at once. Creative websites have darker colors to draw the attention to the main content. Also, the structure is a bit different – the portfolio of work gets a lot more highlight. It’s also important to embed multimedia content. Thus, most music WordPress templates have an Audio Player and a Video Integration options.
As for society organization websites, user interfaces tend to be light and simple. For instance, religious WordPress themes highlight the information about the church and perish. Also, it is common to give information about the community and events organized by the church. You might notice that these themes may be a bit less interactive. Still, they serve as great mediums of communication between the church and parish.
If you know the answers to the above four questions, then you’re pretty much ready to start. Of course, there’re a few more questions to consider. So, if you’re in doubt, I’d recommend you to take a look at the in Blog’s 7 Elements of Website Redesign Process. This one breaks down most technical aspects of a website redesign.
And finally, don’t be afraid of trying something new! New is always good, but don’t overkill it. Stuffing your website with all the latest frameworks and features may be too excessive. But contributing one thing at a time can do no harm.
Do you think there is more to consider when you prepare for a website redesign? Would you choose ready-made WordPress templates for your online project? Sound off in the comments below!
Disclaimer: All images are provided by author.