Redesigning a company website can feel intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before or you’re already overwhelmed by the projects on your plate. It’s so much easier when you have a proven website redesign process to follow.
In this article, we will walk you through the Structure Website Redesign Process that we’ve used for hundreds of clients over the last five years (September 20, 2023, at the time of this writing).
To cut to the chase, we have a 5 Step Website Redesign Process that works every time (if you follow it!).
You can do these steps on your own or with your internal team. You could probably get a solid head start with this article and our Free Website Redesign Planning Guide.
However, if you’re considering hiring an expert to help with your website redesign project, it’s much easier to trust someone who has a plan and has worked on it repeatedly.
Unfortunately, you don’t get that with most local web design agencies or freelancers.
If you’re in one of those industries, that’s great! But even if you’re not, this website redesign process will still work for you.
And even if you’ve got a small website or spinning off a new one, you can use this process. While it’s perfect for a website redesign, it works great for a new website.
Let’s build a website that keeps your customers hooked.
Step 1: Define – Website Planning
A website redesign isn’t art.
Unfortunately, in the many website redesign projects we’ve worked on, the primary problem with any web project that doesn’t meet goals or expectations is a failure to plan.
Of course, at Structure, we start with planning. So that’s not an issue when you work with us.
But in my experience as a digital marketing veteran at software companies and agencies, the same website issues have come up over the years.
And they all come back to one thing: failure to plan.
It’s not just my experience, either!
Research suggests that 68% of marketers did a site redesign in the last 12 months – but 1/3 were unhappy with the results.
Furthermore, failed website redesigns cost an average of $55,000 plus an additional $115,000 over the next 12 months to fix.
Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, said it best:
If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.
Likewise, if you think a good website is expensive, you should see the cost of a bad website.
That is why we start every website redesign process with a website plan. And you should, too.
Get Our Free Website Redesign Planning Guide
How does the “define” stage of the Structure website redesign process work?
All website projects start with a free 30-minute Consult Call where we’ll gain an understanding of what you’re hoping to create.
We’ll ask questions like…
- Why do you need a new website?
- What do you need your website to do for your business?
- How did your last website perform? What worked/didn’t work?
- Which platforms are you using, and do you like them?
During this workshop, we’ll help you define and document the following information:
- Basic company information
- Who is on your team
- The vision for your website
- A competitive analysis
- Brand documentation
- Your buyer’s journey
- A sitemap of your pages
- Content plans for each page
- Technology requirements
- Website build budget
The final answers comprise your Website Plan.
Step 2: Design – Website Layout
Website design is more than mocking up a pretty version of your brand for a webpage; it’s designing a home for your customers to visit to engage with your business and buy from you!
Whether you’re starting by looking for a fresh look for your website or you already know you want to add new functionality, the website redesign process hinges on understanding what makes an outstanding strategic design.
What is a strategic design, you might ask?
A strategic design is these things:
- Visually appealing and on-brand
- Well-organized and easy to navigate
- Engaging with compelling content
- Designed for your target audience
- Optimized for search engines
- Responsive, so it looks good on all devices
Creating a strategic website design that meets all these criteria can seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that your website is a vital part of your business and should reflect your brand and meet your business goals.
In short, your website design should focus on how it works, not just how it looks.
How does the “design” stage of the Structure website redesign process work?
The Structure Website Design Package you choose will determine what you receive from the process. However, here are some of the deliverables you can expect:
- Desktop Designs
- Mobile Designs
- Tablet Designs
- Content & Media
- Functional Specification
If you’re unsure what this means, that’s okay! Our team of website design experts can help. We’ll coach and consult with you to clearly understand the goals and needs of your website, and then we’ll create a custom website design that’s right for you.
Step 3: Develop – Build
During the website development process, the aim is to create a site that aligns with the design concepts established in the prior phase.
Moreover, this is the stage where you guarantee that your website operates smoothly, catering to the objectives, technology, and user requirements outlined in the Website Plan.
This is another reason the website plan is so critical. It is a guiding source of truth throughout the website redesign process.
Achieving these objectives will create a website that accomplishes your plan and sets you up to crush your business goals.
How does the “development” stage of the Structure website redesign process work?
Upon your approval of the Functional Specification (the final design deliverable), our development team will begin building your website on a separate development site so your live website isn’t affected.
We’ll optimize your website for all devices and browsers and essential SEO, accessibility, and load speed as standard practice.
Then, we’ll break your website. But don’t worry, it won’t stay broken!
We’ll fix any issues and put checks in place to ensure it’s bulletproof for your team and users.
Testing is completed with a Training Call so you know exactly how everything works. Then, you’ll get to review and approve your website.
When you approve, we’ll launch your website and push it live onto your domain for customers to use and love.
If you’re lost by now, here’s a quick recap:
- Structure Builds Your Website
- Structure Completes Quality Assurance (testing)
- Structure Provides Website Training
- Your Review
- Structure Launches Your Website
Ultimately, by the end of this step, you’ll have a new website to delight every visitor.
Your website will be easy to manage and set up to work for your business.
And we have a Work For Free Warranty to cover you in case of any unexpected flaws.
Step 4: Manage – Updates & Monitoring
All websites must be updated and optimized, especially after being redesigned.
It’s a common practice for local agencies to “lock” you into a management plan with them. Often, this subscription is part of the deal. Or, they might hold the key to your hosting.
Either way, we’re not fans of locking you into anywhere you don’t want to be.
That includes a management or hosting plan you don’t know why you’re paying for. That’s not our style.
We want to hand off your website to your team with training and support to ensure it’s working and meeting your business goals.
You’ll have every tool and resource if you want to manage it yourself.
However, managing your website takes time. It can easily take a few hours a week.
Most clients don’t have a team to hand their website to, so we continue working with an active WordPress Website Management package.
We love managing websites we’ve built, and it’s honestly one of our favorite partnerships for long-term growth.
The reason is that we’re “in your corner” to support any ongoing initiatives, optimizations, and projects.
We’re here for whatever you need, as long as you need it.
How does the “manage” stage of the Structure website redesign process work?
Website management with Structure is more hands-off for you than most other steps in the website redesign process.
This means you may not see much of what’s happening in the background.
But as soon as you hand off your website for management, we immediately do the following:
- Setup daily site backups
- Test forms and conversion funnels
- Make monthly plugin and software updates
- Report on website performance monthly
- Audit website performance & SEO annually
- Make ourselves readily available to answer any questions you have
That’s it! If you want to learn more, you can download our free PDF Overview (no email required).
Step 5: Grow – Increase Results
In the end, the effectiveness of your website launch hinges on its capacity to generate traffic, capture leads, and drive sales.
However, achieving these objectives becomes impossible if your website isn’t functioning correctly. In this final phase, you will execute marketing campaigns tailored to your target audience.
Subsequently, you will consistently fine-tune your strategies in response to the distinctive challenges and opportunities you encounter. The growth phase is where your website truly reaches its full potential.
How does the “grow” stage of the Structure website redesign process work?
Often, we work with our clients to develop a sales funnel to drive sign-ups and sales.
For most clients, this means focusing on three initiatives, in order:
- Acquire Traffic
- Generate Leads
- Increase Sales
Website Redesign Process Common Questions
How much does a website cost?
There’s no easy answer to this question. However, you can expect to spend at least $5,000 when you hire an agency to make your website. For Structure, this is the minimum website project fee that we offer. The average cost of a website we make is more near the $10,000 range.
However, whether you’re wanting a new website site or redesign, there are a few one-time and ongoing cost factors to consider:
- Hiring an expert ($5,000 to $400,000)
- Software fees ($30 to $300/month)
- Hosting fees ($5 to $2,500/month)
The best way to find out is to create a Website RFP and take it to a few experts to see what they have to say.
How do we know you’re the right fit for us?
The best way to know is to start. We offer a free discovery call (what we covered in step one of this article) where we’ll get to know each other and share how we can help.
As a rule of thumb, we typically don’t do small website builds for bloggers on Squarespace. We work with funded companies who are looking to make significant growth in the next few years.
Do you use WordPress?
We build the majority of custom websites on WordPress using advanced custom fields so that it's easy for our clients to make content adjustments on their own. It's a time-honored CMS that just works. That being said, different companies have different needs. That's why we've also built on custom websites on Webflow, Squarespace, Shopify, and CraftCMS. We'll weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each for your custom website design and development project.
What types of clients do we take on?
We work with organizations of all sizes—from solo founders and small startups to established mid-size companies. You can see our work with Warrick (an ambitious one-man consultancy), Supportist (a powerful Bend startup), and BlackRock Coffee Bar (a national coffee chain).
What if our project is highly technical or complex?
First of all, we thrive in challenging environments. However, if it’s outside of our expertise, we have a trusted network of partners that we work with to deliver a great product.
Do you work with existing marketing, technology, or design teams?
Building digital products is a team sport. On many of our projects, we work beside internal and external teams within the organization. In fact, this is our preference.
Will I be able to make changes or updates to our website myself?
Absolutely. Whether we’re building a website in WordPress, Shopify, or another platform, we make sure it’s easy to update on your own. Nobody likes paying a developer just to update copy, so we try to help you avoid that if all possible.
What if my website has a lot going on and is a mess?
The truth is, most people don’t hire us when they have it all figured out. So if your website has a lot going on or feels like a mess, you’re in good company.
Not to mention, your website is probably not as bad as you think. We’ll dive deep and figure it out together.
If by chance we run into anything that’s too complicated for our team or needs additional resources or support, we have a trusted network of partners that we work with to deliver a great product.
Can you build a website for us using Elementor?
Yes, we do build in Elementor. As with any website builder, there are benefits and drawbacks to consider, especially if you're a growing company. The best way to determine if Elementor is right for you is by scheduling a discovery session with our team and we'll make sure you have a good plan.
What if I want to switch e-commerce platforms?
Not a problem at all. We’ve worked with clients to help them switch from Shopify to WooCommerce and vise versa. We’ve also helped clients switch from Squarespace to WordPress.
E-commerce replatforming, especially during a redesign, is a very common task to undertake. It's also a great time to do it!