Website Redesign Checklist – 16 Questions To Ask Before Redesigning Your Website

Does your current website look unprofessional?
Do you want to increase your conversion rates?
How long has it been since you’ve redesigned your website?

Perhaps the website you designed several years ago enjoys high search engine rankings but lacks high conversion rates. If a person finds your website through the search engines but is not impressed by the design they will go elsewhere for their products and/or services.

16 Questions To Ask Before Redesigning Your Website

1. Does your site have an unprofessional appearance

The website is a visitor’s first impression of your business . If it still has a design that was built several years ago it may look unprofessional and uninviting. Perhaps it’s time for a website makeover.

2. Do you have outdated graphics

Replace your outdated photos with professional photos. These can be purchased for a few dollars from sites such as iStockphoto. Get custom made graphics designed by a professional graphic designer.

3. Are you using web safe fonts?

Old websites sometimes use Times Roman font which is fine for print however it’s difficult to read on a computer screen. Use Ariel, Verdana or Georgia fonts for your website because most computers have these installed. Fancy fonts may look good on your computer however they may not render correctly on other computers. If you want to use fancy fonts create images instead.

4. Can visitors easily navigate your content?

Visitors only spend a few seconds to find the content they’re looking for otherwise they will go elsewhere. All content on your website should be accessible within 3 clicks of the home page. Avoid using flash, JavaScript or even images for navigation. Instead use cascading style sheets because they’re much more search engine friendly.

5. Is your site fast loading?

If your site doesn’t appear within a few seconds your visitors will lose patience and visit your competition. Large graphics, too many photos, flash, video and JavaScript all contribute to slowing down your website. Read How to check website or page speed

6. Do your web pages contain HTML errors?

HTML errors affect the rate at which search engines spiders crawl your web pages. If the pages contain many errors they may not index all your content. When redesigning your website make sure you run your web pages through an HTML validator.

7. Are there any broken links?

If a search engine robot finds a broken link it will display the dreaded 404 error page. This means your site is leaking lots of visitors because they reached a dead end. Before uploading a new site to your server run the web pages through a broken link checker.

8. Does your site have a customized 404 error page?

When a visitor will misspells your URL, or gets a broken link a 404 error page will be displayed to them. Make sure your newly designed website redirects visitors to a custom 404 error page so you don’t traffic.

9. Do you have a site map?

Your site should have a regular site map and a Google XML site map. The regular one is a web page containing all the links of your website. The XML site map helps Google to find and index all your web pages.

10. Does your web copy need to be rewritten?

One of the main factors of low conversion rates is ineffective web copy. Perhaps you haven’t changed it in years and no longer converts visitors into buyers. If you can’t write effective web copy yourself hire a professional copywriter.

11. Does the home page grab your visitors attention?

When people visit your home page they’re asking themselves “what’s the purpose of this site and what’s in for me?” The first paragraph should outline your site’s main purpose. Succeeding paragraphs should point out your main benefits.

12. Are your web pages cluttered?

Most website visitors scan web pages to seek the information they want Cluttered pages will only confuse your visitors. Make sure you use plenty of white space between all elements on the page. Use headlines and sub headlines to call attention to specific topics. Break up the content into paragraphs by using bullet points.

13. Are your web pages optimized for the search engines?

If your current site can’t be found in the search engines you’re missing out on a lot of visitors. Your main keywords should be included in the meta-tags, headings, sub headings, navigation links, internal links, file names and web copy. Avoid using the same meta-tags on all your web pages. Create different meta-tag descriptions for each page. A well written description will get visitors to click through to your site from the search engines.

14. Can visitors interact with your content?

Old websites tend to be static. This means the pages never change and visitors are unable to interact with your website. When redesigning your site consider adding a blog and/or social media icons to the pages. A blog allows people to comment on your content. If people know you’re on Facebook and Twitter you can build a community of followers that can be redirected to your website resulting in increased traffic.

15. Are you able to easily manage your content?

When you built your first website it may have only consisted of a few pages and was easy to manage however as it grew it became increasingly difficult. When redesigning your current website consider switching to a content management system such as WordPress. The design is separate from the content which is stored in a database. When you change the design it will not affect the content. The database allows you to easily add unlimited pages from a backend administration panel where you manage all your content.

16. Does your site display correctly in all major browsers and screen resolutions?

Just because your site displays correctly on your computer it doesn’t mean it displays correctly on visitors’ computers. Before launching your newly redesigned website check how it appears in Internet Explorer (old and new versions), Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.

Test the appearance of your site on different computer screen sizes. It may look fine on your wide monitor but users with smaller screens may have to scroll horizontally to view the whole web page.

Make sure your website is mobile friendly. A website built to be viewed on a computer screen will not render correctly on a mobile phone therefore you will need to create a mobile friendly version of your current site to capture the attention of visitors using smart phones.

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