So you think it’s time to redesign your website.  You’ve either come to the realization either because your website isn’t meeting your current needs and/or goals, or between the unsupported flash, slow load times, outdated graphics and images that scream early 2000’s you’ve come to the realization that your website is pretty outdated.   Before you dive into uncharted waters there are a few things you need to ask yourself first.

What is the goal of your website?

Let’s think for a second about what the objective is for your site, who will be using it and what exactly are they looking for.  Is this an informative site for your business where you hope to get leads, an e-commerce site to sell your goods, or possibly a blog with e-newsletter subscribers?  Once you’ve established a more focused idea as to how you want your website to work for you we can design the site structure and layout that will appeal to your visitors.  Ultimately you will be asking yourself what do you hope to accomplish with your website.

What is the competition doing?

Looking at what competitors are doing can help give you a better understanding as to what clients are looking for, what you may like or dislike and where you can improve.  This is a great guide for your designer and helps them see the direction you would like to go.

Is the current site accessible on all platforms?

It’s 2016, and a responsive design is definitely a must when developing a site.  Moving forward with a responsive site will allow you to reach more visitors and will increase the longevity of your new website, giving you a larger return on investment.  If your site is not responsive or mobile friendly it is definitely time to update your site.

What is currently working on your site, and what is not?

If you currently have a website take notice of what is working and what is not.  A great idea is to talk to users of the site and see what keeps them engaged and how they move through the site.  You can also revisit the competition to see what may be working on their site and contemplate whether it is implemented properly on yours.

What is our budget?

This is one of the biggest questions that businesses often ignore or avoid.  Your budget will be the guiding factor for your wants and needs.  A website cost is based on varying factors including type of code or foundation, how many pages you’ll need, and the type of features you want.  Be realistic and take note that you want your website to be a tool and not a hindrance to your business.  With a well appropriated budget and a good designer/developer, your site will have greater longevity and impact on your business.

What do you want and what do you need?

Your list of want vs. needs will give your designer a great jumping off point to build out your bid.  If your budget is tight, maybe some of your wants will have to be foregone or some of the necessities will need to be implemented in a different way.  Getting a realistic perspective as to what you can get for your money will help you prioritize and implement effectively.

Will we want a cms and how will it be used?

The need to update your site yourself can vary depending on your needs.  If updates are few and far between it can be more cost effective to forego a cms and have a developer or someone familiar with code to update the site for you.  They often can complete the tasks more efficiently saving you time and money.
If you do require a cms then you will need to outline what the cms needs to handle and what you will be using it for.  Is it strictly for content or are there images, files, charts, and information that needs to be stored and displayed?  You’ll also want to weigh your cms options and note the pros and cons.

Clarifying these questions before jumping off into the great abyss can be a daunting task but don’t fret, take a deep breath, stay calm, and take them one by one.  A comprehensive understanding will aid you in making your new website redesign a great experience.  Ready to connect and get things started?   Request a quote today and we can take the leap together and start creating you an awesome design that supports your brand.

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