So you’ve decided that the design of your website just doesn’t suit – maybe your brand has outgrown it? Maybe it wasn’t ever right? Regardless, if you are looking to redesign your website there are things you must consider before you jump right into it.
Understand the difference in the roles of a website designer and a website developer
A website designer is the person or team akin to an architect on a building development project. They design the look and feel of the site, keeping the structure in mind. A website developer is similar to a builder in this scenario – they are the ones that ensures the bones of the structure are solid, they code and work to bring the designers ideas to life. Ideally any team you work with for a website design should have both a website designer and website developer.
Find the right designer
How? Easy – ask for recommendations and do a bit of sneaky research. Compile a list of website’s whose design you admire, head to the footer of the home page and look for the name (and link) of the website designer. Always ask to see examples of a website designer’s previous work and even speak to past clients and ask a few questions like:
- Were they communicative, efficient and punctual?
- What was it like working with this website designer?
- What did you enjoy about working with them?
- Were there any concerns about working with them? Or things they could have improved upon?
- Did the website designer stay on time, on budget and do you recommend them to other people?
Speak with and get to know the website designer or design team
- How long have you been a website designer?
- When can the project begin?
- What is it going to cost?
- What’s needed by them before any work can begin?
- What is the process and how communicative are they during projects?
From the meeting consider how the designer interacted with you – did they set you at ease, did they make it easy to understand what they were saying or were you confused by jargon? Not every website designer has the same experience or the same skill set so make sure you understand exactly what your designer can and can’t do.
Current set up and legacy
This is often where you need your new website designer to work collaboratively with your current webmaster or IT specialist. Any redesign needs to take into consideration current issues and set up such as the server used, hosting, legacy data, domain set up and another else connected to the current website or domain.
SEO & rankings
A redesign of your website will mean that Google will be re-evaluating your site and this can initially affect your SEO rankings; you need to be prepared for this and your website designer needs to communicate with you about how their potential change could affect your SEO. A designer familiar with SEO methodologies will endeavour to keep the same URL name and main structure of pages that achieve the best traffic. Typically any redesign will equate to an initial drop for a month or tow but if the design is better for SEO then you should see a rise in traffic after the Google evaluation period. It’s important to ask the designer about their expectations of how the redesign will affect ranking.
Why do you want a new website? You must understand the goals you are trying to achieve with a redesign and clearly communicate those goals to the designer. This shared understanding will help you both to stay on task and get the project executed to meet that clearly defined goal.
Define your business clearly and describe your ideal customer to your designer in the best possible way you can. Your designer needs this information in order to create a website that will appeal to and engage with your ideal customers.
Talk to Liquid, your local branding specialist, to discuss your website redesign needs.