A Comprehensive Website Redesign Checklist
What You Need to Consider Before You Get Started
Over the past twenty years, our web design team has helped countless business owners update or redesign their websites or online store. From lacking functionality, and overly complicated content editing, to brand identities that looked like “moldy bread,” we have overcome a wide range of obstacles to help our clients meet their online objectives.
There are a lot of misconceptions about website redesign. And business owners may not realize how much work goes into building a great website. Thus, they may ask for features without understanding the requirements and the associated costs.
Redesigns are among the most challenging concepts for business owners to grasp. They may believe a website redesign is easy (“All of the content is already there, isn’t it?”). That leads to lofty expectations and small budgets.
That’s not how things work, though. A successful website redesign requires both resources and commitment. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
That’s why our ability to educate business owners is critical. Helping them understand what’s involved ensures a better outcome. And one of our tools is our simple yet comprehensive pre-project website redesign checklist.
Helping Business Owners Get the Most Out of Their Website Redesign Project
Beginning a new website project can be a daunting and intimidating task. Between your new website’s design, content, and everything else, there are so many moving parts it’s easy to overlook some of them. This potential confusion doesn’t just go for the web designer but also the client. That’s why a good website redesign checklist is so valuable.
It’s no secret that building a new website is a big ordeal. This process is a lot of work, and your investment must turn out well – most visitors want your site to look good and be easy to navigate.
For your website redesign project to meet these objectives, it’s essential to make sure you stick to a good website checklist (and probably work with a talented website design and development team).
To help make the process a little less frightening, we’ve compiled a thorough website redesign checklist for our clients. With some dedication and willingness to tick every box, this list is here to set you on the right path to new website success.
Pre-Project Website Redesign Checklist
Everything business owners need to consider before a website redesign project:
- What are the goals of the project?
- Are there specific pain points or frustrations this project seeks to correct? If yes, list them.
- Describe what a successful project of this type looks like to you.
- Who will be your organization’s primary point of contact during the project?
- Who has the power to make decisions and approve project deliverables?
- Have you assigned responsibilities to other team members from your organization to assist with the project?
- List all team members and the area they will be responsible for.
- Do they understand their roles and responsibilities?
- How much, if any, related experience do they have?
- Will they have sufficient resources, including time and availability?
- How will your team communicate with the web design team?
- What kind of audience(s) are you developing your site for? List all that apply.
- What kind of information are they looking for?
- What actions should they take (what are you trying to get them to do)?
- What keywords and phrases are you targeting?
- What pages and search terms are currently drawing traffic?
- What pages currently have inbound links?
- Compile a list of keywords and key phrases you think your website should be targeting.
- Are these words the same as what your audience might use to search for your products or services? Be sure to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
- Run a competitive audit.
Audit Existing Content
- How much content is staying?
- How much content is being removed?
- How much content will be repurposed, such as a blog post, or into a white paper?
- How much content needs just minor editing?
- How much content needs updating with new facts or information?
- List any content, data, files, or functionality that needs to be included in the new site.
Content and Site Assets
- How much new content needs to be generated?
- Are you developing the website content internally?
- Do you need to enlist a copywriter for partial or complete copywriting assistance?
- Do you need to enlist a photographer or videographer?
- Are you planning to use stock images? If so, how many, and what type? Do you have a sufficient budget to purchase the required images?
- Are you already, or will you be selling products on the new site?
- Do you have product images and descriptions ready, or will you need help creating them?
- Do you want to add, change, or upgrade a payment gateway?
- Do you require specific e-commerce functionality like lookbooks, product finders, or wish lists? If so, list them.
- Do you want to offer mobile checkout and payment options? If so, what kind?
- Is there any new functionality the new site should be capable of? If yes, list them.
- Does the site need to communicate with any backend systems? If yes, list them.
- How will e-commerce transactions be handled and processed?
- Who in your organization should receive web form submissions and email notifications?
- List all forms and matching form recipients.
- Does the website need to send any emails to users?
- Do you want to capture email addresses for your mailing list?
- What technology requirements (if any) will the new site have?
- Are there any third-party integrations, services, or plugins needed (Hubspot, Salesforce, Mailchimp, etc.)?
- Does the site need to be available in multiple languages? If yes, list which languages.
- If yes, who is responsible for providing and approving the multi-lingual content?
- Does the site need to meet WCAG AA accessibility?
- How fast should your pages load (we recommend targeting at least 2.5 seconds)?
- Do you use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress?
- Describe any current pain points or frustrations with your current content management system.
- Describe the kind of content changes you will make (Product data, simple text updates, adding/removing whole pages, adding images to a gallery, etc.).
- Who within your organization will be responsible for these updates?
- Does content need approval by others in your organization before it goes live?
- Will you allow user-generated content? If so, what is the approval process?
- What social media does your company participate in? List all that apply.
- How will social media be integrated into the new website?
- Do you have existing Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties that should be on the new site?
- Do you own and have access to these accounts?
- Are there any other tracking or analytics requirements?
- Are you using a third-party SEO tool (Rank Math, Yoast, SEMRush, etc.?)
- What key performance indicators (KPIs) are you measuring?
- List all domain names relevant to this website project.
- How many domains point to this website?
- If more than one points to the site, which will be the primary domain?
- List the URL that all other domains point to.
- Does your company own the domain(s) and have access to the domain registration info?
- Does your company own and have access to the DNS for these domains?
- Would changing those domains impact other business areas, such as company email or printed materials?
- Where will the site be hosted?
- If switching to a new host, does the new host support the technology the new site will use?
- Do you have access to the previous hosting environment?
- If you are switching hosts, who will migrate the site?
- Does your website have unique security requirements beyond an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate?
- Does your site comply with all current privacy laws?
- Do you need to comply with specific privacy laws, such as HIPAA, FCRA, FERPA, GLBA, ECPA, COPPA, and VPPA?
- When does the new site need to launch? How firm is that deadline (for instance, a product launch?)
- What is the plan in the event there are any delays?
- What is the budget for this project?
- If there is no adequate budget for this project, can some features and functionality be phased in?
Set Up Your Website Redesign for Success
Whether you’ve never been responsible for a website design project or need an excellent resource to keep everything on track, we hope this website redesign checklist gives you confidence and sets you in the right direction.
While this checklist will help keep you on track, there’s also something else that you’ll need to succeed – people to build your website. The good news is that we’re here to help. Want to work with a dependable partner that’s been building websites that look great and load quickly for almost 20 years? Contact us today to see if we’re a good fit for you.
Let’s Build a New Website for Your Business!
Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your business website redesign needs, let’s talk! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.
And if you are still unsure how to begin your website redesign project, let’s talk. We will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine how to redesign the website for your business or product brand!
What Would You Add?
Did you redesign your website or online store? How did that benefit your business? How did you overcome challenges during the project? Did you have other problems with your website redesign?
We know there are other things out there that should be on this list, so please share your thoughts. What else must you consider as part of your website redesign project? Are there items on this list that you do not think are important?
Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well. Grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And help other business owners redesign their websites by sharing this post with them!
For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, explaining when and how often you should redesign your website, is an excellent place to start!)
Thank you! We appreciate your help ending bad business websites, one pixel at a time!