How to Redesign Your Website: My Advice to DIY Designers

website redesign | redesigning your website | website redesign inspiration | website redesign concept | website redesign resources | website redesign inspiration | website redesign layout | squarespace web design | squarespace website redesign

Everything in our world has to evolve. The way we think, the way we do things, the way that we live, technology, etc. The internet has evolved and will keep evolving just like your website has too.

Redesigning your website doesn’t mean changing a few images and calling it a day. Redesigning your website means taking a look at the structure and foundation of your online space and making changes.

This is different from rebranding, which deals with your messaging and brand visuals.

The best time to redesign your website is when you’re experiencing a drop in traffic and or sales, if you aren’t getting the overall results you want, and if the usability of it needs some serious elbow grease.

Don't take redesigning your website lightly. Let’s talk about how to do it right and increase the chances of seeing growth and success.

 

First things first, assess your current situation:

 

What was working before and what isn’t

You can’t go into tackling a project like redesigning your website (especially if you’re doing a full overhaul) without some intentional planning beforehand.

No one wants to remodel a house and it ends up look worse than what it was because you didn’t take the time to intentionally plan ahead.

Take the time to assess your current situation: head into your Google Analytics and see how visitors are interacting and using your site.

See what pages are most visited, check out your sales conversions (if you’re selling products), check your bounce rate, and how much time people are spending on your site.

By checking out your Google Analytics, you may run into this situation: some specific pages on your website aren’t performing well.

So now we get into the old cliche “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Meaning you may not have to redesign your entire website, if only a few pages are underperforming. Fix the leak, don’t replace all of the pipes.

While you’re in your Google Analytics, download some reports or find a way to document the stats on how your website is performing before you start redesigning. Then check back a few weeks after you’re done to see if your changes were effective or not.


 

Get clear on your goals and what isn’t working

First and foremost, you HAVE to set a goal for what you want this redesign to achieve. Think about your content and the direction your want your website and business to go in, and make sure you’re clear as hell about all of this.

The clearer you are about this process and what your goals are, the easier the actual process of designing will be, and the easier it will be to spot your successes after the redesign is done.

Once you’ve done that, grab a piece of paper and a pen and go on a rant. Write out everything that isn’t working on your website. Remember to take into account the stats and other things that you found in your Google Analytics (bounce rate, time spent on pages, etc.)

 

Here are examples of things you may write down:

  1. There are problems with mobile responsiveness AKA it doesn’t look good on smaller screens.
  2. The way things are organized doesn’t make sense anymore.
  3. A lot of things are outdated.
  4. The way I want to display important information is different.
  5. My analytics show that people don’t visit the pages I need them too.
  6. It doesn’t focus on my goals

 

Now, think of some things that are going right with your website. We don’t want to sit and cut down all of your work. You website has gotten you this far, and if you’ve seen some results with it, pat yourself on the back!


 

Do some research

Now it’s the time to check out your competitors. Don’t go down this rabbit hole of comparing yourself to them; you’re going to look at their website’s objectively and see what can be improved on your own site.

Start on their homepage and naturally go through their website. See how they use call to actions to guide you through their website and lead you to taking the actions that they want you to take.

Do you see any common threads? Are they using video or other types of visuals?

Jot down anything that you find interesting on their website. Do they do a great job with using images and copy together? Do they use testimonials in an interesting way or layout? Is the layout of their homepage interesting and logical? Do they have certain features to help highlight important elements of their business, products, etc?

Also jot down any weak spots that you see during your time on their sites. If this weak spot is something you think that you can fulfill on your website, definitely write that down. For example, do they overly promote or under promote their offerings? Do they make it hard to get in contact? Do they not use call to action buttons?

This exercises will help you get a better idea of the direction you want to take with your redesign and how to craft the best design for your new space.


Plan the right content for the most important pages of your website in a few hours with help from this content planner!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

How am I going to change what isn’t working

Once you jot down what changes you want to make, think about your skill set. I know this may sound like I’m overreacting, but if the changes that you want for your website are out of your range, then this is something you’re going to have to be truthful with yourself about.

There’s no shame in acknowledging what you’re not good at.

Now take into account everything that you want changed that’s out of your skill set, and think of the best course of action to get this done.

Now this is going to depend on your platform as well. For Squarespace, changes to the aesthetic may require you do some research in CSS or possibly purchasing a plugin. You can head over to CSStricks or W3schools to get you started with CSS, and Google Squarespace Plugins to do some research there.

The Squarespace answers forum is great for getting some workarounds and problems solved too. When I first started using google and I had a question about Squarespace, I would google “squarespace (template name) (problem)” for example: squarespace brine template how to change background color for top footer blocks”.

On the flip side, If there are some functionality or strategy changes that you want to see happen, then you might want to hire a designer to help you out.

When thinking of whether or not you should hire a designer, think of this: if you’re serious about running your business online, and want to make a real shot at making this thing work, asking for help from someone versed in something you’re not is always a great option.

Designers look at things different and take things into account in a different way. Put some skin in the game and put your best foot forward when you’re ready to take that leap.


 

Do you have the time?

Once you have all of that done, take into account the TIME you have to truly get this done. If you have any large launches, events, tradeshows, new arrivals, etc. coming up, then getting your website redesigned in time may be a good idea.

 

HERE’S A TIP:

If you’re doing some major reconstruction, then you don’t want to be making these changes when the world is watching. AKA making structural changes that can confuse your daily traffic.

If you’re making these large structural changes, put up a cover page or locked landing page to let your traffic know that you’re down for a bit for some changes, but they can contact you if they need you. That can be in the form of a button or a link to email you.

Short and sweet.

I say the above because I’m a firm believer in coming with your best foot forward whenever possible. I don’t like showing people a unfinished product, so I make sure to have all my ducks in a row before I present something. Can you account for everything? No. But you can do a pretty damn good job of accounting for most things.

If you’re making some mini tweaks, then they and be pushed out over time or even late at night. I’ve done this plenty of times: researched some structural tweaks that I wanted to implement, then when I was ready and had everything I needed (content, imagery, functionality) I actually went into my website and redesigned them all out around 9pm when I’m watching TV or listening to music.



This post isn’t an exhaustive guide on getting started with your redesign, but it includes questions and exercises to consider going through before getting your hands dirty.

The biggest thing that I can say, and this is coming from someone that designs websites for a living, your website will never be “finished”. Your business will evolve, design trends will evolve, and goals for what your website needs to achieve will evolve.

When you’re doing this yourself, don’t be discouraged if you can’t figure something out, or get stuck. And definitely don't be discouraged if after you launch your website, you find more structural loopholes or even more things to improve on.

Put those tasks on a to-do list, prioritize them, and get them done when you can.

Redesigning doesn’t have to be this big scary thing, but it's not something to take lightly. If you’re looking for some extra eyes on your website and some strategic advice, sign up for a website critique and let’s dive deep into what’s working on your website, what isn’t, and how you can make those changes to get you the results that you want.


Plan the right content for the most important pages of your website in a few hours with help from this content planner!

Powered by ConvertKit
 
website redesign | redesigning your website | website redesign inspiration | website redesign concept | website redesign resources | website redesign inspiration | website redesign layout | squarespace web design | squarespace website redesign
website redesign | redesigning your website | website redesign inspiration | website redesign concept | website redesign resources | website redesign inspiration | website redesign layout | squarespace web design | squarespace website redesign
website redesign | redesigning your website | website redesign inspiration | website redesign concept | website redesign resources | website redesign inspiration | website redesign layout | squarespace web design | squarespace website redesign