Designing a website is a huge deal for any company, it doesn’t matter how big or small you are, and redeveloping one when you have grown accustom to something which works can be an even bigger deal.
With website redevelopment the stakes are very high—you want to produce something which is miles better than your old site, but how do you get an idea of whether your new site is going to be a success?
By creating a redevelopment plan, that’s how.
Redevelopment is a process like any other and it requires a comprehensive plan so that you can get an idea of the road ahead and see any problems before they arise. With all this said, here is a simple five-step redevelopment plan you can use and apply to your own website.
Define a target audience
You may wonder why you need to do this… after all, you already have an audience. Whilst this is true, the nature of your audience may have changed since your current website was launched and so it is important to find out who your current audience is.
Remember, a redevelopment plan is starting afresh with your website and this means that you need to start everything from scratch, even your research.
Ask yourself questions like who’s using your site, what they are doing on it, when they visit, where from, what they are using to visit your site and who you would like to visit your site who isn’t yet doing so.
Set your goals
What are you hoping to achieve from your website’s redevelopment? This is only a question you can answer, however, I imagine part of your motivation comes down to wanting to generate new leads and increase conversions.
As such, you should be setting your goals with this objective in mind and designing your site which motivates your visitors to take the next step and purchase your product or service. Your new site should also demonstrate industry expertise (a good way to do this is through blog posts) and show examples of your work where applicable.
Draft a sitemap
You can’t possibly know how big of a project your website’s redevelopment is going to be if you don’t know what your website is going to include. The best way to do this is to create a draft sitemap.
Begin with the sitemap from your current website, this is the best starting point, and ensure that your new sitemap covers all your products and services. Your sitemap should leave no stone unturned and it’s always a good idea to look at existing pages and move them around or rename them to something which will help improve the user experience.
Begin considering other elements
When you have your basic sitemap in place and have a rough idea of what your goals for your website’s redevelopment are, it’s time to begin considering all the other pieces of the puzzle.
You should get time estimates for elements such as writing new content, search engine optimisation, your new design, A/B testing, project management and, of course, actual development of the website itself. With these estimations, you can create a timeline and begin to plan, carry out and implement each individual element at the right time.
Decide on roles and responsibilities
If you are carrying out redevelopment as part of a wider team, it’s a good idea to clearly define each person’s roles and responsibilities.
It’s great to have multiple people involved in a redevelopment project—after all, it’s a huge undertaking—but too many people can easily hinder progress, especially if nobody knows what they are doing and are just doing bits of work here and there.