Website Redesign Basics

 6/8/2016 12:00:00 AM
Views: 6,584
3 Minutes, 33 Second
 Written By John Marx

Website Redesign Basics

We deal with a lot of website redesigns on a monthly basis. We see just as many that do it themselves or hire someone only to see their rankings on the search engines drop because of basic items that are forgotten. In this article we'll cover some of the basic items to look for in a website redesign. Many will apply to new sites as well but for this article we are going to focus solely on website redesigns.

Pre-Design Checklist

  • Evaluate your current structure
    • Use Google Analytics (or any analytics program) to determine your most popular, and least popular, pages within your site
    • Use heat maps to determine core areas people are interacting with
  • Content Organization (site structure and URLs)
  • Make a 301 redirect map of where the pages "used to be" and where they will "now be" so that you can properly inform the search engines
  • Define the objectives and goals for the redesign (update the look-and-feel, lead generation, call of action, increased visitors, pages visited, sales generated (how are you going to track), etc.)
  • Analyze your competition and see what you feel is working for them and doesn't. If you have a good relationship with them it's always nice to chat about what they see as working for them and not (be prepared to share the same with them)
  • Define your audience (create personas of each type of person and make certain your site meets the needs of each of these types of visitors)
  • Develop a plan for updating your site

Redesign In-Process

  • Optimize your images
  • Setup all META tags (standard, structured, and social media tags)
  • Make certain to test on not just the desktop. Tablets and mobile are extremely important.
  • Setup your fav icon
  • Setup your robots.txt file and block the search engine robots where necessary
  • Check on your website security

Pre-Launch Checklist Items

  • Make certain any "fake" text (e.g. Lorem Ipsum) is completely removed
  • Make certain any "placeholders" (e.g. Add content here) is completely removed and proper text is put in-place
  • Check your site speed
  • Determine whether your site will be or just
  • Do a double-check on your website security
  • Make certain all of the 301 redirects that were in the pre-design checklist are in-place and working
  • Verify that all links are working
  • On your test site test all of the pages against the W3C website compatibility checks
  • On your test site test all of your pages with Google's mobility and speed checker that everything is configured optimally
  • Conduct training on the CMS (Content Management System) and make certain everyone that needs to understands how to edit the site
  • Generate any site maps for the search engines that are needed
  • Is a 404-page setup for any missed links you didn't know about?

Post Launch Checklist

  • Make certain Google Analytics (or another analytics) tool is setup and working
  • Test every 301 redirect you have (even if it's in the thousands [or more])
  • Adjust any goals and rules within your Google Analytics account
  • Monitor your Google Analytics that all of the new pages are being properly indexed
  • Monitor your Google Analytics account for console and other errors that Google sees
  • Verify that all links are working
  • Monitor your logs for any 404-error page messages and make adjustments


Creating a website is a simple task with all of the free tools on the Internet. All you need to do is use your time and create. The value of hiring a professional company is you gain access to designers, content writers, and software developers focused on the success of your business while you are able to focus on your business. JM2 Webdesigners from Northwest Indiana would love to work with you in improving your business process. Our website redesign process goes well beyond the list here. You can reach us at @BUSINESSPHONETOLLFREE@, email at @BUSINESSEMAILADDRESS@, or through our online contact form here.

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We also believe that once you sign on with us, you trust us, and as our thank you to you, we "price lock" our services for the plan(s) you signed up for at that time. This means while you are on those services, the price will always be the same. As business owners, we appreciate this as it allows us to budget our business expenses better.