Picture this. You have a WordPress E-commerce site. And now after some time, it’s started to get a lot of sales. You don’t know the how’s and the why’s, but overtime, your website has started to make you money. Well done!
Upon realising website sales have increased, you decide to put more money into the website. After all, If something is working you should do more of it right?
You start asking around, looking for what to do next and someone says, “Mate, your site is old and needs a redesign” etc etc!
This makes some sense to you because the site is old and everybody knows you must stay up to date with the latest trends and technology otherwise you could miss out on something amazing.
We are all victims of FOMO (fear of missing out).
As you have no connection with a web developer, it’s time to partner with a new web designer to guide you in the right direction. A web designer is recommended to you and they seem to know their stuff.
2 things have happened so far.
- You decided to invest more money into the website.
- You found a “web designer” to redesign and develop the site.
I’ll put this bluntly. Following these steps is like rolling the dice. Say your site at a 3 right now. If your web designer turns out to be good, you could roll a 6 which is great. On the other hand you could roll a 1.
Sadly, We see plenty of business owners that had a successful, growing, online business that rolled the dice and rolled a 1. In some cases, we have seen the dice roll off the table and score a 0.
Here’s 5 critical issues business owners must be aware of when considering a website redesign and rebuild.
Implement SEO Redirects to ensure you don’t lose traffic or page rank.
When redeveloping a site, one of the key things to do prior to launching the new site is to establish a redirect plan. This is quite a simple process of mapping the old URLs to the new URLs. This is critical because you have specific pages on your site that are bringing all the traffic. This traffic must be forwarded on to the new page URLs. This is the number 1 reason we see sites lose rankings with redesigns. Most of the time when sites are redesigned the URL structure drastically changes. This is where SEO redirects come in.
Generate a new sitemap.xml to help Google crawl your new site.
Sitemaps are critical to website re-designs as sitemaps let Google know what URLs to crawl. Sitemaps let google know when the pages where last updated and how the pages relate to other pages in your site. Google relies on Sitemaps to crawl your site more efficiently.
Audit your current website traffic and user behaviour
Going back to the original motive for the redesign “invest in the website, do more of whats working”. Deep diving into this: (1) What exactly is it about the current site that is working? (2) What isn’t working? Before redesigning anything site owners need to get detailed answers, supported by evidence for both these important questions. A Website Audit will answer these questions for you.
- A Website Audit is a report that tells you what is working and what is not working on your current website using the last 3 months of data.
- A Website Audits is generated by using in-depth knowledge of Google Analytics.
- User experience heat-maps are also used to generate Website Audits.
Now that you have done the Website Audit. Is a Website redesign absolutely necessary?
Now that we know what is working and what is not working based on the Website Audit. Do you really need to rebuild the site? Can we just make adjustments to the current site? At Pixelstorm we only consider a rebuild when faced with the following problems:
- Current website is built on an inferior or outdated framework
- We have lots of updates to make, yet the code base is buggy and poor quality causing long drawn-out updates.
- It’s a complete re-brand and re-design and the new parts outweigh the old parts. Having a streamlined coding environment is crucial to our efficiency.
If your business is important to you, go with an agency not a freelancer.
You might think your chosen web designer knows what they are doing when it comes to design and development. Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. And what about the business side? The weakest aspect of a Freelance web developer business in my opinion is their lack of processors and under-developed business skills. For instance: Can your freelancer accurately quote the job? Are they too scared to quote what the job is actually worth due to FOMO? Underquoting helps nobody, everybody loses. Freelancers will take shortcuts to ensure they don’t get loose money and in-turn end up loosing page rank for the business owner.
“Web Designer” is a broad term. If you have a “WordPress E-commerce” that needs “conversion rate optimisation” then finding a “WordPress E-commerce Conversion Rate Optimisation” expert will save you so much pain and money. Going with an expert, specialist agency will deliver true value to your business for years to come. Choosing a generic Web designer can result in a lot of time spent learning rather than implementing.
Websites are businesses are delicate things. There is much to consider when implementing a website rebuild. Talk to the experts in “Conversion Rate Optimisation”. We roll 6’s for you so we can watch your conversion rate soar.