Last week I published an article about building a strategy for redesigning your business website in the coming year. In that article, I outlined six (6) points to include in your strategy. If you missed it, please catch up here.
This week, I focus on the planning stage of the redesigning process. Like strategy, the planning stage is crucial to your success. Again, six (6) points will be outlined to help you put together a comprehensive website redesigning plan.
1. Initial Website Assessment
In this step, you will need to do an initial assessment of the website. Here a few questions to ponder;
- What do I currently like and dislike about my website?
- What is missing from the current website?
- How does my current site compare to your goals?
- What’s the first impression I want to give my target audience?
- Does my site currently convey a feeling of trustworthiness and authority?
- Will this be a whole new website or are the small changes that can be made?
- Will the domain name change at all?
- What platform do I want my new website to be on?
- What is a realistic timeline for this redesign? Define a target date.
- What is our budget for this project?
- Can we do this work in-house or do we need to hire someone?
2. Platform Evaluation
Once you have fully answered the above questions, evaluate which platform will be most effective. For starters, list all the candidate platforms. Four factors must be taken into consideration.
- Reputation – Does the platform have a good reputation?
- Site speed – Does the platform have good deliverability – site speed and up-time?
- SEO friendly – Are things like URLs well structured and search engine friendly?
- Support – Does the platform have great community support?
3. Taking Inventory
Take an inventory of your digital assets. There are various tools to help you do this. One that easily comes to mind is Screaming Frog. If you are unfamiliar with these tools, put your webmaster to work.
- Review all website pages and current site architecture
- Note which are your most shared or viewed content?
- Evaluate which content is worth keeping.
- Did you find duplicate content?
- Check pages for 404s and list the most important pages as fixes.
4. Website Architecture Review
The following areas must form an important part of the review process;
- Plan the new site architecture/structure.
- Define which pages will be part of your main and secondary (if there is one) navigation/menu.
- Put together a draft outline/sitemap of new website to be designed and built.
5. Develop a URL Mapping Document
This simply means you must have a 301 redirect plan to ensure that your old urls are mapping to the new ones. This can be a time-consuming exercise depending on the number of pages on the website. Grab your old sitemap to understand how much work lies ahead.
6. Plan Your Content
Content is the Kingdom and you are the King. Creating great content is non-negotiable. Learn the success factors of content marketing to help you plan effectively.