How to Redesign Your Website in 2024

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Giving your website a makeover can help boost traffic, better engage your visitors, and convert more of them into customers. It’s one of the most effective ways to turn things around if you’ve seen your traffic dry up or experienced a slowdown in online sales. It’s also good practice to redesign your site every few years to ensure it looks modern as design trends evolve.

However, a redesign is a major undertaking, even if you’re using one of the best website builders to make the editing process easier. A poorly executed website renovation can waste time and money or even leave you with less traffic than you had before.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about redesigning a website so you can ensure the process goes smoothly.

Short On Time? Here Are the 12 Key Takeaways

  1. Analyze your site’s current performance
  2. Set goals for your redesign
  3. Research your audience
  4. Check out the competition
  5. Hone your brand
  6. Plan out your new site map
  7. Assemble your content
  8. Bring your redesign to life
  9. Optimize for SEO
  10. Ask for feedback
  11. Launch your redesigned website
  12. Monitor performance and make adjustments

How to Redesign Your Website in 2024

1. Analyze Your Site’s Current Performance

Before you begin your site redesign, it’s important to examine its performance metrics closely. This data will help you gauge its popularity and decide if a redesign is necessary. If your site is growing in traffic and has a strong conversion rate, then making major changes to it could hurt more than it helps.

Your site’s metrics will also help you with developing a website redesign project plan, which we’ll cover in the next step. In addition, you should save your current performance data as a benchmark.

After your redesign, you can compare your traffic, conversions, and other metrics against this pre-redesign data to evaluate whether your overhaul was a success.

Basic performance metrics to consider include:

  • Number of visits
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Average time visitors spend on your site
  • Conversion rate
  • Form submissions
  • Page loading speed

Most of the best website builders for small businesses track these metrics automatically. If you don’t currently have access to this data, you can start tracking your site’s performance for free using Google Analytics. Make sure you have at least a few months’ worth of performance data before settling on a redesign.

It’s also a good idea to dig into the data for each individual page of your site. This information will come in handy when you’re deciding which pages to keep and which ones to remove or renovate. Data to look at includes:

  • Total visits to each page
  • Average time spent on each page
  • How visitors are getting to each page
  • Conversions on each page

Finally, dive deeper into traffic analysis to see where your traffic is coming from. This will help you determine whether your site is ranking well for target keywords, whether you’re reaching your target audience, and whether there are any unexpected traffic sources you can lean into for your redesign. Metrics to evaluate include:

  • What keywords are leading visitors to your site
  • Your site’s ranking for target keywords
  • Where in the world your visitors are located
  • Your visitors’ age and gender
  • Where visitors are coming from (e.g. search traffic or social media)

2. Set Goals For Your Redesign

Based on what you learn from your site’s performance analytics, you can lay out a website redesign strategy and decide what you want to achieve with a new site.

A redesign should always have a quantifiable objective. Otherwise, you’re spending time and money without a clear purpose and no way to tell whether your effort was successful.

You can begin by setting broad goals, such as:

  • Increasing overall traffic to your website
  • Increasing traffic to specific pages
  • Reducing your bounce rate
  • Enhancing your conversion rate
  • Getting more newsletter sign-ups or leads
  • Improving your site’s loading speed
  • Ranking higher in search results

For each broad objective you set, you should then break it down into specific goals. For example, specify which keywords you want to compete for if you want to rank higher in search results.

If you aim to increase traffic, think about where you want that traffic to come from in terms of both referral sources (e.g., search engines vs. social media) and demographic groups (e.g., country, age, and gender).

You can set multiple goals for your redesign, but be sure to consider how they may overlap or compete with one another. For example, reducing your bounce rate could help you generate more leads. On the other hand, increasing traffic to your site by improving your SEO could result in a lower conversion rate if the added traffic you get isn’t high-quality.

3. Research Your Audience

Understanding your website’s audience is crucial to achieving your redesign goals. If your website delivers what your target audience wants, it will be a success. If it doesn’t, either due to a design issue or because you’ve misunderstood your audience, then you’ll have a hard time acquiring and engaging visitors.

You can research your audience by analyzing demographic data included in your site’s traffic analytics. This gives you information about the types of visitors landing on your site and staying versus those arriving and then bouncing. If you have an online store, you can also look at demographic data about your customers for different products or services.

In addition, a great way to learn more about your audience is to gather feedback from your visitors and customers. For example, if you have an email list, you can send customers a survey about your site’s user experience or purchase process.

Another helpful approach is to create audience personas. These are made-up profiles of individuals who are representative of those you want to attract to your site.

For example, if you’re a photographer redesigning a portfolio website, you can create personas for each type of customer who might be interested in hiring you. One persona could be for a business owner who needs product photography, and another might be for a mother who’s interested in a family portrait session.

Keep these personas in mind throughout your redesign. Your new site should be easy for people who match these personas to find, and your content should speak directly to their needs once they reach your site.

Even if you performed market research before launching your initial site, it’s important to go through these steps again. Demographics and individual preferences can change over time, so your target audience may have shifted slightly.

4. Check Out the Competition

You should also understand your competition—specifically, the tactics used to attract visitors and encourage conversions. The goal is not to copy your competitors’ websites but rather to learn from them and borrow elements that work especially well.

Here are some points to consider when exploring your competitors’ sites:

  • What pages do they include?
  • How are their navigation menus laid out?
  • What marketing techniques do they use?
  • How are they appealing to your shared audience?
  • What aspects of the user experience can you improve on?

It’s also a good idea to look beyond your industry at a variety of other websites for design inspiration. Look at how different websites design their homepages, organize their menus, and market to visitors with calls to action, pop-ups, and other marketing elements.

5. Hone Your Brand

Your redesigned website should be an extension of your business’ brand. As soon as visitors reach your homepage, they should know who you are and what you offer. Your branding and website should also be impactful enough that visitors remember what they saw even after they leave.

If you already have a brand logo, color scheme, and tagline, now is a good time to re-evaluate them to ensure they’re still a good fit for your business. Redesigning your site doesn’t have to mean overhauling your branding, but it does present an opportunity to do so. If you do want to redesign your logo, Wix and Shopify both offer free logo generators.

Once you have these elements in place, refine your message to visitors. A good way to approach this is to list your business’ defining or unique features and describe the feelings you want visitors to have when they’re on your site.

From this exercise, you can craft a tagline for your site and identify the most important offerings you want visitors to know about right away. You can also decide on a tone for your content, which you should keep consistent throughout your site.

It can be helpful to start sketching out your new homepage at this point. Your tagline should be front and center, and visitors who scroll down should quickly find more information about the features they care about most. Check out our guide to the 10 homepage design elements that will make your website pop for more help redesigning your site’s front page.

6. Plan Out Your New Site Map

Now it’s time to decide what pages your redesigned website should include and how they should be organized. The best way to do this is by creating a site map, which is a hierarchical list of your site’s pages.

It’s crucial that your site’s content is well-organized. Otherwise, visitors could be left feeling lost and frustrated. When that happens, they’re not likely to stick around.

A good approach to planning your site map is to start with a list of your current site’s pages. Circle the ones you want to keep and cross out the ones you don’t. Then think about which pages should be combined or split and what new pages you want to add as part of your redesign.

Once you have a list of all pages, you can group them together and sketch out a menu for your updated site. If you have a lot of pages, consider using a drop-down menu, so visitors aren’t overwhelmed with options. All of the best cheap website builders support drop-down menus, making this organizational trick very easy to implement.

7. Assemble Your Content

Evaluate every piece of content currently on your website and decide how it should be incorporated into your redesigned site. Some assets can be moved over without changes, some may need to be updated, and some will be discarded in the renovation.

The best way to start this process is by taking stock of everything you have and how it’s performing. You should especially consider pieces of content like blog posts and feature pages, which come with quantifiable metrics that allow you to see whether visitors like them or not. High-performing content can be transferred to the new site without much change. It can also serve as a guide for what works well as you update poorer-performing content.

As you rewrite content, keep your target audience and brand voice in mind. For example, don’t talk about how great a product or service is. Instead, explain how it can help users solve the problem that brought them to your site in the first place. If you’re not a pro at writing copy, popular AI tools can help you craft text that’s snappy and to the point.

If you need to update images on your site, you can use graphic design tools or an AI image generator like ImageFX. This is also a good time to ensure that all your product images are up to date.

8. Bring Your Redesign to Life

Now, you’re ready to create your redesigned website. The process of redesigning a website is very similar to making a website from scratch. First, you’ll need to decide whether you want to handle your redesign on your own or hire a professional web designer.

Choosing between a DIY redesign and outsourcing comes down to a few different factors:

  • Cost: Redesigning your own site is free. However, depending on the size and complexity of your site, hiring a professional web designer or website design agency can cost thousands of dollars or more.
  • Control: If you redesign your own website, you have control over the process. You’re in charge of the timeline, design decisions, and more. If you outsource the redesign, you give up some control but also save a lot of time and put some decisions in the hands of a web design expert.
  • Complexity: If you have a relatively simple website, handling your own redesign can be straightforward. However, if you have a complex site with many integrations and custom features, your site may require custom code best handled by a professional developer.

If you go the DIY route, you’ll need to decide whether to use the same website software your current site is built on or take it as an opportunity to switch to another platform.

When making this decision, it’s important to think about whether your current software offers the customization options you need for your redesign and if it can scale up as your business grows. For example, if you’re going through the redesign process in preparation for selling online, this could be a good time to switch to one of the best ecommerce website builders.

Ideally, you should start redesigning your site in a staging environment rather than on the live version of your site. This allows you to build your new website without making potentially disruptive changes to the version that visitors currently see. Many free website builders don’t offer staging environments, but you can develop a second website and then switch your domain to it when it’s ready to go live.

9. Optimize for SEO

Pay attention to SEO in your newly redesigned site to ensure you reap the benefits of adding keywords and optimizing your content. If not, you risk losing your position in search engine results after it launches.

Here are a few elements to consider to make sure your site is optimized for SEO.

Keywords

Your new content should contain the target keywords for your industry. Use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to ensure your new site hits all the same keywords as your existing site. These tools can also help you identify related keywords that you may be missing.

Alt Text

Add alt text to all images on your website. This text should describe what the image shows. Although what you write here won’t be visible to visitors, it’s indexed by search engines and used by page readers for accessibility.

Meta Titles and Descriptions

Every page on your site should include a meta title and meta description. Search engines index this information, which is displayed in search results. Remember to include each page’s main keyword in your meta information.

301 Redirects

If you’ve moved pages around in your new site compared to your old site, it’s necessary to check your old URLs still work. The best way to do this is to use 301 redirects. These redirect a page’s old URL to its new address on your website. Importantly, when you use a 301 redirect, you won’t lose the search engine rankings that your old page built up.

If you’re using a website builder, creating 301 redirects is easy. Most website builders have a “redirects” panel in the site settings menu. Choose a 301 redirect as the type you want to create, then enter the old and new addresses for each page.

If you’re creating a website with WordPress or another DIY method, you’ll need to create a 301 redirect map using a spreadsheet and then upload it to your site.

10. Ask for Feedback

Before you publish your site, share it with colleagues, friends, and family. Ask them to test it thoroughly and offer detailed feedback on what aspects they like and dislike. It’s especially important to ensure that your testers don’t have trouble navigating the site and are happy with the overall user experience.

You should also ask testers to explore the site on their mobile devices. This helps ensure that the mobile experience is just as seamless as the desktop experience.

11. Launch Your Redesigned Website

Now you’re ready to launch! If you’re using a staging environment, you can simply push the redesigned site live. If you create a second website, you’ll need to transfer your domain to the new site and take your old site offline. It’s a good idea to do this at night or another time when traffic to your website is normally low since your site may be unavailable for a few minutes.

While not required, it’s a great idea to promote your redesign with a social media post or an email newsletter to your customers. Encourage them to check out the new site and provide feedback.

12. Monitor Performance and Make Adjustments

Once your site is up and running, it’s time to head back to your analytics dashboard. You can use your traffic data to ensure that your redesign achieved the goals you set out. For example, if your goal was to increase your conversion rate, you can compare the metrics of your redesigned site with your old website.

However, if your redesign doesn’t meet expectations, it’s important to think critically about why. You can compare your redesigned site’s data against previous data to spot potential problems.

Metrics to look at include:

  • How your redesigned site is ranking for important keywords
  • Whether your site’s traffic sources have changed significantly
  • Whether you have an unusually high bounce rate on any pages
  • How visitors are navigating through your website’s pages

You can also analyze the data to spot opportunities for further improvement, such as adding additional keywords to certain pages or improving pages with a high bounce rate.

It’s also helpful to check your site’s loading speed with a free tool like PageSpeed Insights to make sure it hasn’t slowed down significantly due to your redesign. If you are experiencing slower loading times, you can try reducing the size of your images or using a content delivery network (CDN).

Conclusion

Redesigning your website is a major undertaking, but it can pay dividends by driving more traffic to your site and encouraging more visitors to become customers.

Start by analyzing your site’s performance data and deciding what you want to achieve with your redesign. Then, research your audience and competition and refine your brand. Once you know what you want your site to look and feel like, you can plan your site map, assemble your content, and start building your new website.

Optimize your content for SEO and ask for feedback before launching. After your redesigned site is live, continue monitoring its performance to ensure your goals are met.

Ready to redesign your site? Get started today with one of the best website builders for small businesses or the best personal website builders.

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Michael Graw
Technology Expert
Michael Graw
Technology Expert

Michael Graw is an experienced writer in the business and B2B tech fields. His articles can be found on Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Tom’s Guide, and TechRadar, and cover everything from corporate finance to crypto and international tech regulation. A prolific copywriter and entrepreneur, Michael has worked with a wide range of SaaS and tech companies and has his finger firmly on the pulse of B2B tech and finance.