10 Website Redesign Tips, Examples,
and Best Practices
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Deciding how to redesign a website is about more than just picking colors and fonts.
Your website is the face of your brand, the online extension of your business and its products. If the website fails to deliver the right information in an aesthetically pleasing package, your brand doesn’t stand a chance against competitors.
It’s pretty amazing to reflect on what websites looked like even just a few years ago. For example, here’s what Amazon’s homepage looked like in 2012:
Image Source: Version Museum
Here’s what it looks like in 2021:
Standards of web design change all the time. Sometimes, the changes might not catch up to you until it’s overtly clear your site is outdated.
Worried that your website isn’t cutting it?
The good news is that you can always redesign, which provides an amazing opportunity to restructure, update, and impress.
Still, a website redesign is easier said than done. There are many elements to consider and things that can fall between the cracks. Additionally, a thorough redesign requires a decent amount of time and money.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what you will redesign and what you will leave the same. To help you with your decision-making process, we’ve outlined ten of the best website redesign tips out there, as well as examples that reveal what other brands are doing expertly.
1. Optimize for Better SEO Results
The first big flag we want to wave in your face has S-E-O splashed in vivid letters across the front.
Search engine optimization, to paraphrase a certain Star Wars character, is the way. It might have been a sad afterthought in your last web design, but it shouldn’t be in any new efforts.
SEO strategies make your website discoverable – and they must be a key component in your design. They’re the bright lights calling attention to your products and services, both from search engines and your target audience. If you want potential customers to find your business, then you need to ensure you’re optimizing for Google and other search platforms.
What Does Your Redesign Have to Do With SEO?
Well, a positive website user experience is a vital ranking point for websites with search engines – predominantly Google. The king-of-all-searches won’t rank your site well if it’s difficult to navigate, slow-to-load, or too text-heavy.
Everything about your website redesign needs to give users and search engines what they want: clean, easy-to-browse, fast-loading design elements and content.
Take a look at the Strategy People Culture website. It isn’t just user-friendly; it’s search engine optimized to a T. The executive and leadership coaching service has worked diligently to showcase the best of its company to Google.
When you visit the SPC website, a clean design instantly pleases the human eye while hard-hitting keywords pique search engine crawlers’ attention. The website design incorporates many user testimonials, encouraging Google and real people to trust what they’re selling.
Additionally, the SPC website is extremely easy to navigate. Whether you want to learn what their coaching style is or how you can partner with them, you can do so in a matter of seconds. Google LOVES that.
As you begin to incorporate SEO strategies in your own web design, think:
- Is my website design equally appealing to search engines and potential customers?
- Have I been “keyword stuffing,” or am I using powerful terms to my advantage?
- What is my unique website content doing to bolster my online presence and reputation?
Shiny things are distracting, but when it comes to web design, your search engine optimization strategies will take you further than any fancy new photo or video. Our recommendation is to put a LOT of thought into how you’re visually selling your brand to Google, local buyers, and customers around the globe.
2. Focus on Your Brand’s Personality
Speaking of selling your brand, who is your brand? If you can’t hammer down a quick personality description, then chances are, your redesign needs to focus heavily on creating and sticking to consistent brand guidelines.
When someone visits your website, they should instantly be able to tell that it’s related to your brand. Just as you always know when a Geico commercial plays based on its humor and green gecko, your website should have calling cards that scream “this is me!”
We’re talking about consistent colors and fonts, as well as brand-specific imagery and an easily recognizable logo. When you start throwing colors and images around haphazardly, that’s when your website redesign can lose touch with your brand at its core.
Although there are certainly big brands like Apple that have distinctive brand and website designs, let’s take a look at a smaller company that’s a bit easier to learn from – Skintastic. As soon as you click on this facility’s website, you’ll realize just what we mean by “personality.”
The brand’s colors, gold and black, are prominent. Their clinician’s faces, location, and morals are placed front-and-center with an engaging video. Their logo is easily identifiable and unique.
During your own redesign, don’t get swept up in the endless design possibilities. Instead, think about your brand’s true message, mission, goals, and personality. How are your design elements playing off these and conveying them to visitors?
Rather than just brainstorming about your brand’s personality, nail down the details in a branding guide. Get specific. What are your exact colors? What fonts will you consistently use? Will your website redesign translate effectively onto other platforms for your brand (social media accounts, blogs, merchandise, etc.)?
Research has indicated that companies can increase revenues by up to 23 percent by always presenting a brand consistently. Your website is the face of your business – make sure it matches the rest of your brand’s vibes if you want to turn a high profit.
3. Revamp Your Website Text and Content
So, you’ve hopefully picked consistent fonts for your website. Now it’s time to really scrutinize that text.
Although you could simply copy and paste your old content into your new site, that’s not always the best idea. Your website overhaul provides an excellent opportunity to optimize each and every word on your website.
In all honesty, it’s fairly easy to pick out a strong website design – but only the great websites have content that’s as powerful as the images and graphics they select. All of your content, from product descriptions to headlines and button text, should be chosen with the utmost care.
This is especially true considering that most websites are starting to use less copy than they have in previous years. The “minimalist” design is all the rage, and although we certainly support transitioning to a simpler website layout, it means that you’ll have to make every. word. count.
Image Source: Allbirds
Take a look at the Allbirds website. They might be a shoe company, but the first piece of text you read is “Break a Sweat, Not the Planet.” Wow – it packs a punch and immediately encourages you to learn more about what makes this brand tick. How do their shoes protect the planet and support your workout habits?
As you scroll through many websites like the Allbirds example, you’ll note that wordy descriptions and text-heavy introductions are mostly a thing of the past. Modern web design is all about fewer words, but the words you do rely on must be the best-of-the-best for your brand’s purpose.
Struggling when it comes to creating your new website content?
Think more about your visitors and less about your brand. What do they want to know? How do they talk? What words/phrases will grab their attention and get them hooked?
4. Prioritize Your Audience’s Goals Over Yours
Continuing with the line of thought in point three, your audience is always, always the most important aspect of your brand’s website redesign. Who cares if your team loves your website’s redesign but your target customers hate it?
The whole point of redesigning your website is to better appeal to your past, current, and future customers. So, ask yourself: what do they need from your new website design?
This brings us to a concept known as “UX design,” or “user flow.” UX flow is the route in which a visitor enters the site, then takes various steps to achieve their specific goal/action. The more complicated it is for them to achieve their purpose on your website, the more ineffective your UX flow is.
During a site redesign, it’s up to you to map out the typical UX flow of your product and determine what your users really want from your website.
- Do they need easier access to your products?
- A quicker way to ask for help?
- More attention-grabbing visuals to keep them on the page?
The Freshly Rooted Tribe website masted the concept of user flow a long time ago. Every aspect of their design, from their images to their FAQ pages and product descriptions, has been created to help their customers. Users know exactly where to go if they want to place an order or ask a question.
When it comes to user flow, you certainly need to think about how your users function. However, there are some UX flow no-no’s that every brand should avoid on their website, including:
- Busy layouts
- Confusing navigation
- Boring content and design
- Slow loading speeds
- Visual clutter
- Text that is too small/big
- Too many ads
When you are considering how to redesign a website, put yourself in your top customer’s shoes. Why are they visiting your website? What do they hope to accomplish, and is your new design going to help them do just that?
5. Select Images for the Redesign with Purpose
Remember how we just said no visual clutter or busy layouts?
Let’s dive deeper into avoiding purposeless distractions on your new website.
Although images are extremely important to the overall success of your website, some detract from your message rather than enhance it. This is especially true if the images are:
- Obviously from stock websites
The average Joe isn’t going to spend very long on your website before they decide if they trust/like it. The first thing they’ll likely notice are your visuals, so you want to ensure that these images/graphics are given important jobs to accomplish.
Image Source: Slavery Foot Print
Consider the Slavery Foot Print website. There are so many different images this organization could have chosen to incorporate on their main page, and yet they went with something so simple: a broken chain made of standard colors. Why?
Well, because you spent less time looking at their pictures, you likely spent more time looking at their headline, which packs a powerful punch on behalf of their brand’s goals. The imagery works in tandem with this message rather than distracting readers from it.
The lesson here is that you don’t need the brightest, biggest, or best images to win an audience over. What you need are images that work closely with your brand.
Additionally, you need images that contribute to the usability of your website. Incorporating too many large graphics can easily slow down your website’s loading speed, which hinders the user experience immensely. In fact, Google often compromises websites in its rankings for such an offense.
Whenever you do choose to add images to your website design, ensure that they are properly sized and optimized to render crisply and quickly, without compromising their quality.
6. Remove Unnecessary Website Elements
Sticking with our theme of web design simplicity, let’s talk about another term: streamlined.
You’ve likely heard this word thrown around a great deal on web design blogs and forums. What does it really mean?
Generally, a website is considered to be streamlined when it is to-the-point. It doesn’t take meandering paths through pop-up ads, pointless interactions, or over-the-top animations. A streamlined website gets users right where they want to be with no fuss.
When someone logs onto the Jones & Copeland Smiles website, they likely notice two phrases first:
- “Relax, You Just Found the SMILE Experts.”
- “I’m Ready Now!”
Bada-bing, bada-boom. If users are researching YaYa because they want to find digital tools to become more productive, they’ve found the link to “see how” within less than three seconds of clicking on the website. That is a streamlined website – and the rest of the site follows suit with great navigation and clear visuals.
We hate to say that function beats form when it comes to your website’s design, but in a big way, it’s true. If people can’t use your website, then why does it exist?
To ensure your website is fully streamlined and functional, we recommend taking a look at all of your plugins and other distractions. Remove half of them, then remove a few more. It will likely take you multiple iterations of refining to take away all of the distractions that your website really doesn’t need.
7. Ensure the Website Is Optimized for Mobile Devices
Let us be very clear: people will 100 percent look for your website on their smartphones. In this day and age, it’s not a matter of if, but when. What will mobile users see when they finally bring up your website on their trusty iPhone or Android?
Although some website hosting platforms, such as WordPress, automatically optimize sites for usage on mobile devices, not all do. It’s up to you to ensure that your mobile website isn’t embarrassingly chaotic, hard-to-read, or flat-out ugly.
Image Source: The I Do Photography
Keep in mind that a proper mobile web page won’t have the same design as your desktop page. It should be minimized and formatted for easy reading on a handheld device. You don’t want your desktop page squashed down on a small screen, causing visitors to grimace as they zoom in to see what that tiny text says.
A great way to ensure your mobile viewers are getting what they want.
Start with your mobile design, then optimize for larger screens. That might sound backward, but considering that up to 58 percent of all Google searches come from mobile accounts, you need to be prepared for customers to visit on a mobile device first.
Keep your mobile web design task-oriented. Why do people want to visit your website from a mobile device?
- Are they on the go?
- Looking to call you from a phone?
- More comfortable on a small device for some reason?
Thinking about why people are visiting your mobile website will help you understand how to best fit it to your users’ needs. Be purposeful as you create a content hierarchy, and above all else, avoid overcrowding the screen. People don’t mind having to scroll to get to information, but they do mind having to hunt for it in a forest of confusing text and images.
8. Plan Better, More Visible CTAs
You want people to act – so ask them to.
Your call to action (CTA) is one of the most powerful elements on your website – especially your homepage. Not only is it a way to get people to engage with your website, but it’s also an effective method for gathering leads via phone numbers and email addresses.
Contrary to what many people believe, your CTA doesn’t need to be at the very bottom of a webpage. In fact, your first call to action should meet the reader quite naturally in their browsing experience.
For example, take a look at the Allen Berg Racing Schools website. Their “Start Racing” CTA button isn’t listed at the end of the homepage or on their contact page. It’s placed in the hero area, just waiting to be clicked by people who want to begin their journey to “increased sales.”
You might be thinking, “But I don’t want to sound so pushy before introducing myself!”
Let us assure you: if someone is on your web page, they’re already looking for something. Use your call to action as a way to tell them you have the answers if only they’ll click.
In our experience, CTAs are most effective in new website designs when:
- They stand out from the rest of the page.
- They are extremely prominent with contrasting colors.
- They use compelling language.
- They use action-oriented language.
Not sure how your new CTA design and text will fair?
Fortunately, there’s a way to check yourself. You can do A/B testing for your calls-to-action. Here’s how.
- Decide what you want to test (word choice, visuals, placement, etc.)
- Create multiple CTAs that only really differ in what you want to test.
- Identify different date ranges for experimentation with the various CTAs.
- Measure your results!
Don’t just settle for the first CTA that pops in your head. Play around with several to see which really works best for your brand and how you can better incorporate the top CTA into your redesign.
9. Don’t Forget About Online Security
Any website redesign should improve your security, not weaken it.
Wondering what exactly a website redesign has to do with cybersecurity? Let us explain.
Every single application and plugin you implement in your web design is a door. It serves as a potential entry point for hackers – if you haven’t stationed proper defenses.
As you go about your redesign, ensure you aren’t opening any secret backdoors that will leave criminals cackling with glee at the opportunity.
Image Source: Built In
Just recently, loopholes were found in a handful of popular WordPress plugins. Hackers were able to remotely implement bugs on at least 600,000 different WP sites. If you’re not careful, your website redesign could easily become a vulnerability.
How Do You Protect Our Website During a Redesign?
- Choose a great hosting company that will actively work against threats.
- Only include plugins and applications from trusted sources.
- Implement proper authentication and authorization protocols.
Furthermore, there’s an opportunity with any website redesign to remind your users that safety is a priority in your brand. Try to find a few places in your new design to highlight cybersecurity.
10. Adjust Your Website Form Fields
Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about your website’s forms. These are not the most exciting elements to focus on during a redesign, but it’s essential that you take a second look at long, outdated forms.
When we say “forms,” we’re talking about a variety of things that users can fill out, from quizzes to contact forms. These are methods of consumer engagement, as well as strong lead generation. How you’re encouraging people to fill out these forms, and what they look like, is extremely important.
Image Source: Care/Of
To see an impressive example of excellent form creation and implementation, visit the Care/Of website.
Their call to action and form placement is so perfect that any user is tempted to “take the quiz” upon arrival at the Care/Of homepage. It’s so easy – even if you aren’t sure that you want to buy the product, you know that you want to see what this quiz has to say.
Care/Of did what all brands need to do – they considered their user’s story. They know that their customers are visiting the page to learn what their body needs from vitamins, and they’re willing and able to answer that question with a form right away.
Whether you’re incorporating a subscription form or a query box, a quiz or a poll, you need to pay attention to placement. Stop hiding these forms in the sidebar or on a secondary page. Instead, place them at a key conversion location that plays well into the user’s buying experience.
Remember: customers are not interested in wordy descriptions or invasive questions. Keep your form requirements short, purposeful, and to-the-point.
We don’t know about you guys, but that felt like a lot – and it was. However, every one of those ten tips is vastly important in the redesign process, so feel free to give this whole thing a re-read as you embark on your journey.
If you’re not sure where to start with all of this, ask yourself one b-i-g question:
“Why am I redesigning my website?”
The more you think about the answer to that question (beyond “because I want it to look pretty!”), the more you’ll understand what you need to do.
Are you considering redesigning your website?
Do you need some guidance in doing so?
Give us a call at 727-379-2207 or reach out to our team at Foxxr. We’re happy to help steer you in the right direction!
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