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How to redesign your WordPress website

Ultimate Checklist to Redesign Your WordPress Website

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Aamir Qutub
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Is the thought of redesigning your WordPress website increasing your anxiety level?

Well! Understanding how to redesign your WordPress Website with our ultimate checklist is crucial to make this journey easy for you.

Owning a website is a need of the hour for almost every business, and WordPress offers the most prominent platform to open your functional site, free of cost.

A study from Forbes Advisor revealed that more than 23% of small-scale businesses are planning to invest in the performance upliftment of their sites in 2023. So, does your website provide the expected results? If the answer is no, then you definitely need a website redesign.

Periodic website redesigning is as important as upgrading the website. Redesigning the website ensures a fresh and modern look and improves functionality, user experience, and performance.

However, the process can be overwhelming if not planned properly. That’s why we’ve compiled a complete checklist to guide you through redesigning the WordPress website process.

[Also read: Website Redesign Strategy]

Therefore, in this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what website redesigning means, when you must redesign your WordPress website, the various reasons and benefits of redesigning and eventually, the checklist that you must follow to obtain the desired outcome after redesigning your WordPress website.

So, let’s start with this informative and detailed journey below:

What is Website Redesigning?

Website redesigning refers to making significant changes or improvements to an existing website built on the WordPress platform. These changes can encompass various aspects, including design, functionality, content, and user experience.

The purpose of website redesigning is to enhance the website’s performance, appearance, and overall effectiveness.

Is there any difference between WordPress Website Redesign and Update? 

Yes, there is! Let’s check it out below:

Aspects WordPress Website Redesign  WordPress Website Update
Scope of Changes Extensive overhaul of design, structure, and possibly functionality. Smaller, incremental changes, focusing on routine maintenance, bug fixes, and security updates.
Purpose Strategic improvement, often driven by a need for a fresh look, enhanced user experience, rebranding, or incorporating new features. Routine maintenance to keep the website current, secure, and optimised. May address specific issues or vulnerabilities.
Timeline Longer project duration, involving planning, strategy, design, development, and thorough testing. Generally quicker implementation, can be scheduled regularly without significant downtime.
Communication Often communicated in advance to manage user expectations, including information about upcoming changes and potential downtime. Regular updates may not require detailed communication. Major updates with visible changes may be communicated to users.

Hence, you must understand that website redesigning is not a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process to keep the website fresh, competitive, and aligned with changing business goals, market trends, and user expectations. Regular maintenance and updates are vital for the long-term success of a WordPress website.

Why Do You Need WordPress Website Redesigning?

WordPress website redesign is not just about aesthetics but is a strategic process that can improve user experience, credibility, and performance. It can ultimately benefit your business by attracting and retaining more visitors, customers, and clients and ensuring your up-to-date and competitive online presence.

Do you Know!

As per a consumer study, 75% of the users admitted that the website credibility comes from the website design and layout. Hence, if your WordPress Website is dealing with design issues, get it redesigned before you start losing your user’s interests.  

benefits of redesigning your website[Source: Byteant]

Following are the various reasons why you should consider redesigning your WordPress website:

  • Performance Improvement: Slow loading times, broken links, and other technical issues can deter visitors and negatively affect search engine rankings. Redesigning provides an opportunity to improve website performance, ensuring a smoother and faster user experience.
  • Content Relevancy and Quality: Outdated or irrelevant content can harm user engagement and SEO. A redesign allows you to revise and update content to align with your business goals and user needs.
  • Adaptation to Changing Business Goals: When your business undergoes changes, such as rebranding or a shift in focus, your website should reflect these updates. A redesign aligns your online presence with your current business identity.
    Competitive Advantage: Staying competitive in your industry is essential. If your competitors have more modern and user-friendly websites, a redesign can help you maintain a competitive edge by providing a superior online experience.
  • Analytics and Data Improvement: Implementing or updating analytics tools allows you to track website performance and user behaviour more accurately. This data can inform decision-making and lead to ongoing improvements.
  • Adaptation to User Feedback: By taking into account user feedback and making necessary changes during a redesign, you can create a website that better meets the user expectations and needs.

Redesign your website with expert WordPress developers

WordPress Website Redesigning Checklist

Now that you align well with the aforementioned conditions and aim to redesign your WordPress site, it’s the right time to go through this redesigning checklist to help you prepare better.
The redesigning process involves more than just a fresh coat of paint; it encompasses a holistic approach that considers design, content, user experience, performance, and security.

Pre-Redesigning Planning

Pre-redesign planning in WordPress website redesigning is the initial phase of the redesign process that involves detailed planning and strategising before any design or development work begins.

During this phase, you set the foundation for your redesign project by establishing goals, assessing your existing website, and developing a strategic approach.

The pre-redesigning planning checklist involves the following:

Wordpress website redesign checklist

1. Goal Setting

Practical goal setting is a critical component of successful website redesigning. It guides the decision-making process, keeps the project on track, and allows you to measure the impact of your redesign efforts.

Identify what you hope to improve or accomplish, whether enhancing user experience, increasing conversion rates, improving SEO rankings, or aligning with new branding.

By setting well-defined and strategic goals, you can work towards creating a website that not only looks better but also accomplishes your business objectives.

2. Backup and Data Protection

Backup and data protection are essential components in WordPress website redesigning. They involve taking precautionary measures to secure your existing website’s data and content before making any changes during the redesign.

Let us learn the measures you must take to ensure your data and content remain safe and recoverable:

    • Choose a Backup Method – Select the most suitable method to back up your WordPress site, which includes backup plugins, manual backups, and using your hosting provider’s backup services.
      Note:  If you use a backup plugin, install and configure it and schedule automatic backups.

      Popular backup plugins include UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy, and Duplicator. 

    • Perform an Initial Backup – Before starting the redesign process, create an initial website backup, which will serve as a baseline backup to revert to if anything goes wrong during the redesign.
    • Set Up a Staging Environment – Duplicate your website by creating a staging environment where you’ll conduct the redesign to ensure that your live site remains unaffected during the redesign process.
    • Protect Against Cyber Threats – Install security plugins and take measures to protect your staging site and live site against security threats by implementing firewalls, updating plugins and themes, and using strong, unique passwords.

3. Website Audit

Conduct a detailed audit of your existing website, which involves reviewing the site’s design, content, functionality, and performance. Identify areas that need improvement, such as outdated design elements, broken links, or slow page load times.

Perform the website audit before conducting the redesigning process by focusing on the following points:

  • Analyse Website Design – Evaluate the current design of your website by assessing factors like overall aesthetics, layout, typography, colour schemes, and branding consistency.
  • Assess Content – Review your website’s content. Analyse the quality, relevance, and engagement level of your text, images, videos, and other media. Check for outdated content, broken links, and spelling/grammar errors.
  • Check SEO Elements – Assess the on-page SEO elements of your website. This includes examining meta titles, descriptions, headings, and image alt tags.
    Make sure your site is optimised for search engines!

    Use SEO tools like Semrush, Google Search Console, Moz, Spyflu or Ahrefs to analyse keyword usage.

  • Examine Website Performance and Analytics – Evaluate the website’s performance by analysing loading times, page speed, and responsiveness. Analyse website analytics data to gain insights into user behaviour, traffic sources, and popular content.
    Depleting Performance?

    Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix to identify performance issues.

Steps to Redesign Your WordPress Website

After the completion of prerequisite essentials, it’s time to refurbish your new website.

Redesigning your WordPress website involves several steps for a smooth and successful transition from the current design to the new one. So, this step-by-step redesigning process is something that you need to know next. Let’s understand the process below:

Steps to Redesign Your WordPress Website

Step 1: Encapsulate the Prerequisites

The first step is summarising all the prerequisite data you collected from your current WordPress website performance analytics. This information is essential in your website redesign for several reasons, as it lays the groundwork and provides a structured approach to the redesigning process.

With the established prerequisite, you can clearly define the objectives and goals of your redesign project. Additionally, prerequisites include tasks like website backups and audits, which help mitigate the risk of data loss, functionality issues, or other unforeseen problems during the redesign.

It is highly recommended to complete the prerequisite exercise before the actual designing process because it enables the developers, UI/UX designers and the other team members associated with your website redesign to make informed decisions.

Step 2: Create a Staging Environment

Creating a staging environment for a WordPress website involves setting up a duplicate or clone of your existing website in a separate, isolated space. This staging environment serves as a testing ground where you can make changes, experiment with new features, and troubleshoot potential issues to ensure a smooth and error-free transition during the redesign process.

With the staging site, you can be sure that your actual site won’t be affected until the redesigning work is completed. This step will save the SERP status of your site by eliminating the potential downtime and reducing the risk of negative impact on your site visitors.

Therefore, to set up the staging environment, follow the on-screen instructions, which typically involve selecting your website, choosing a subdomain or directory, and initiating the staging setup process.

Step 3: Create Wireframes and Mockups

Now that you have reached here, it’s the best time to connect with your UI/UX designer and start creating wireframes for your redesign project.

The redesigning of your website highly depends upon the data that you have collected during the pre-redesigning process so, along with the designers, highlight the point of action, figure out the problem areas that you need to tackle in the new design of your website and accordingly, start planning the customisations.

After this, designers will create wireframes for your website and develop the design mockups to present a basic representation of your website’s look and functionality.

Step 4: Design and Development

Now, the design and development phase comes into the picture. During this phase, you focus on implementing the changes and improvements planned in the above planning phase.

Latest trends in web design[Source: Codenest]

Design and Development encompass various aspects of website redesign, including visual design, functionality, and technical implementation. It involves the following crucial processes:

  • Customise Design
    The developers customise your web design by applying a new theme or creating a custom design that aligns with your brand and redesign objectives. You’ll work on layout, colour schemes, fonts, and aesthetics.

    Ensure that Your Website has a Responsive Design!

    A responsive design adapts to different screen sizes and devices, providing an optimal user experience on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.  

  • User Interface (UI) Improvements
    This involves improving the visual design, user navigation, and the overall look and feel of the site. The goal is to make the website more visually appealing, user-friendly, and engaging.
  • Functionality Development
    This can include integrating e-commerce features, improving contact forms, adding a blog, creating user dashboards, or implementing other elements essential to your website’s purpose.
  • Content Migration
    Migrate the revised or new content to the redesigned website. Ensure all text, images, videos, and multimedia elements are correctly transferred and displayed in the new design.
  • SEO Optimisation
    Implement the SEO strategy planned during the pre-redesign planning phase, which includes optimising meta tags, headings, and other on-page SEO elements to improve search engine rankings and visibility.
  • Performance Optimisation
    Optimise the website’s performance to ensure fast loading times. It involves compressing images, minimising code, enabling browser caching, and using a content delivery network (CDN) to improve speed.

Step 5: Test Website Functionality/ User Testing

Your WordPress website redesign is ready, so now is the best time to test its functionality on various parameters and do user testing to collect real user feedback.

The website functionality test includes verification of basic functionalities such as navigation, menu items, and page loading time. Test critical elements like forms, buttons, and links if your website includes them.

Have you Tested Your Redesigned Website Across Multiple Devices?

Test your redesigned website on various devices, including smartphones and tablets. Ensure the design is responsive and provides an optimal user experience across different screen sizes.

Keep a notice that the search bar is working correctly and that search results are accurate and relevant by doing the website’s search functionality test. Review mobile responsiveness and check for layout or functionality issues on different screen sizes.

Step 6: Launch, Monitor and Maintain

Everything’s done and looking perfect?

So, it’s time to launch your website across the live server for the world to embrace the changes and provide feedback. But before this, notify your audience about these potential changes and expected downtime during the launching process.

After the launch, closely monitor your website for any issues, broken links, or unexpected behaviour. Address and resolve any issues promptly to ensure a smooth post-launch experience.

In the end, implement an ongoing maintenance plan for your website. Regularly update content, monitor performance, and address any emerging issues. Keep your website secure by updating WordPress themes and plugins.

When Should You Redesign Your WordPress Website?

Deciding when to redesign your WordPress website is an important decision that should be based on various factors.
Some of the factors are: outdated website design, poor user experience, low conversions, continuously declining traffic and low SEO ranking etc.

Check this Out!

Every website has an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years. A survey conducted by Hubspot reveals website owner’s views related to the need of redesigning their websites as per its life expectancy.

What website owners perceive, how often a company should redesign website?
[Source: Hubspot]

Hence, before getting started with website redesign, set clear goals and create a comprehensive plan to ensure that the new website meets your objectives and client’s the expectations of your target audience.

You can learn about the indicators that suggest when and why you shouldn’t delay your website redesigning.

Conclusion

Redesigning your WordPress website can be daunting if you are not well-prepared or equipped with a strategic layout. Therefore, with a well-structured checklist, it becomes a manageable and rewarding process.

By setting clear goals, conducting thorough research, and paying attention to design, functionality, and user experience, you can ensure how to redesign a WordPress website that remains a valuable asset for your business in the ever-evolving online landscape.

However, if you still find the redesigning task complicated and full of complexities, do not stop yourself from immediately hiring a qualified and professional WordPress Development Company. An expert WordPress developer will understand your requirements and provide a precise solution within no time.

Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub
CEO of Enterprise Monkey
Aamir Qutub is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Monkey, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With an experience of around a decade, he is a proud co-founder of 4 technology startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. He also loves to cook and spend time with his onlyborn.
Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Monkey, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With an experience of around a decade, he is a proud co-founder of 4 technology startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. He also loves to cook and spend time with his onlyborn.

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