A 12 step checklist for a website redesign for 2024

April 15, 2024
18 minute read
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Do you know two words that make designers, business owners, and even Google shake? Site redesign. Checklists for a website redesign exist, but even with a checklist, there's lots to do that can be overlooked.

If you implement a website redesign correctly, your user experience can skyrocket and convert your website into a money-making machine. Your website can easily become your best sales representative overnight.

But when you decide to cut corners during a website redesign, it can cost your company:

  • Time
  • Effort
  • Money

In the end, it could tarnish your business image online. You may even need to spend some time building your brand again.

None of these are reasons to avoid a website redesign, though. If you know how to approach it with research planning and forward-thinking, you can make your next website redesign successful while maintaining composure.

Does that interest you? If so, you're in luck because we are here to help you complete your redesign right the first time. We will outline the steps you need to help you create a website that preserves your SEO data.

We have been designing websites for quite some time and have a skilled team of designers specializing in the process. So we will help you decide if now is the time for a website redesign, and if so, share a 12-point website redesign checklist to follow.

So, let's begin outlining every step in the redesign process.

Key takeaways

  • How to recognize you need to update your site's design
  • The steps to improve your site
  • Important considerations
  • How we can help

Signs it's time for a website redesign

If you're considering a website redesign, you know it's an investment in your future digital marketing endeavors. So, you should be certain it's the right time to implement a website redesign project. There are many great reasons to want a redesign of your website. But, in some instances, it may be best to wait.

Rather than guessing, you should look at analytics to guide you in deciding whether or not you should redesign your website.

You can ask yourself some simple questions like:

  • Does my website respond to mobile devices and tablets?
  • Since we launched, have our business needs and goals evolved?
  • Does our website represent our brand accurately at the moment?
  • Does everything work as it should?
  • Is the publication process simple?
  • When leads come to our site, are we converting them, or are they bouncing?

When you answer these questions, be honest. You should then understand if redesigning a website for your business is right for now.

Let's assume your answers frighten you, and you need to redesign your current site. Now what?

The first step in your checklist is to build a team

The first thing you need to do is decide who will help you then build your web design team. You need to assemble an expert group of designers who understand your business goals and can oversee your project successfully from start to finish.

A dedicated team will save you time later and ensure a successful website redesign. The process can become cumbersome if you need to look for someone each time you want to make a change.

By having a dedicated team ready to help, you can get feedback from people with varying points of view. To ensure this, assemble a diverse group of individuals from all walks of life. Your team should be cross-functional, ideally five people or fewer with different specializations.

A great website design team is composed of:

  • Designer
  • Developer
  • Copywriter
  • Content writer
  • Content strategist
  • Reviewer

Once you have assembled your team, it's best to identify who will lead your project and oversee it from start to finish.

When you make this decision, be sure you will be fine if they have the final say over major decisions. You should trust them greatly and respect their judgment.

This is an important step you'll need to spend time doing before you go on. Now that you've got your design team, you can begin your project.

So, what's the next step in this process?

2. Audit your current website for issues.

A detailed website redesign preparation list will indicate your project will be successful. If you try to avoid proper planning, you may find your project difficult to complete later. We recommend you spend ample time planning to avoid difficulties later on.

The first thing you must do is audit your current website design. The results will tell you exactly what you should address during the redesign.

You will know what's working and why, but more importantly, you will see what is not working so you can make a plan to correct the issues so you have a good website post redesign.

When auditing your website, you must take a few steps.

Assess your current website performance.

Start by building a site map of the website you want to redesign. Check your website's analytics and understand which pages people like or dislike. You can also learn if you should include some pages in your website redesign or if you've got everything you need for a high-performing site.

The metrics you should analyze at this stage are:

  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on your page
  • Returning visitors

A holistic approach to the audit process will tell you the work ahead as you redesign your website. It will also give you insight into website navigation and the features your site visitors want access to.

Complete an SEO audit.

A search engine optimization audit will evaluate how well your website ranks among other businesses like yours. You will see if your site is optimized to rank well or if you should reconsider your SEO strategy.

The SEO audit aims to find potential issues affecting your performance on the search engine results page (SERPs) and Google index. That's the page where Google or other search engines rank your content and website from 1 to never, ever clicked on. You want website traffic making this step indispensable when its time to redesign your online presence.

You can use websites like:

  • Google search console
  • Ahrefs
  • Seobility

Most of these websites will outline common issues that could affect your visibility in the search results. Make a list of issues so you can address them during your redesign. Correcting these issues should be part of your ongoing website maintenance, but as you are redesigning and building a website for your business, it's a great time to review this and ensure your website gets found online.

Once you have this list, you can move on to the copy of your website.

Copy audit and review.

Many businesses write about themselves on their website. In reality, other businesses you will work with care about themselves and how you will help them.

As you prepare for a website redesign, you should review your company and ensure it answers one simple question when it lands on your website: How can you help my business?

Does your website answer this question well? If not, you have some work on your hands before you start redesigning your website.

Ideally, your website's copy should have a ratio of you to us of 5 to 1. You should rewrite your website copy if your content exceeds this ratio. It's a good indicator your website is more about you than your potential users.

These are the essential audits you should do before redesigning your website.

Now, let's move to the next step in your checklist for the redesign process.

2. Understand the user journey.

A user journey maps out the pages, clicks, and steps your customers take when they land on your website. Ideally, you understand the emotions and the actions someone takes before they become a customer.

You cannot ignore this step because it's the only way to ensure your redesign succeeds.  

In this process, you will outline the questions your website must answer to convert.

Ask yourself if there are any gaps in the journey of your current website that prevent people from taking the action you want them to. Outline the goals for your site so you can redesign every aspect as you revamp your website for 2024.

You can go about obtaining this information in a few ways.

Interview customers

One way to get a hold of the above information is to ask your current customers why they chose your business. You can assign this task to your website team members. You'll want to make sure they know which questions to ask your customers if you do.  

You can ask questions like:

  • Why did you decide to use our product over x?
  • What did you find simple or difficult on our website?
  • Did you visit X page? If so, what did you do to get there?
  • Why did you like use better than [competitor's websites?]

By asking these key questions, you can ensure your new website design is frictionless so people enjoy using your product.

Conduct user testing

Even with the questions above answered, you cannot ignore most people's experience on your website. Your website redesign may be beautiful, but if it's difficult to use, people will avoid your business.

Use a heatmap or other analytics software that records users' actions on your website.

Some popular choices for analytical website management are:

  • Hotjar
  • Truconversion
  • Clicky

These tools can help you cross-verify the information you receive by talking to customers and auditing your website.

You can gain insight to help you confirm your website needs a redesign. You can see where users are falling off in their conversion journey and create a plan to resolve this and gain more conversions from website visitors.

Next, you need to set goals for the redesign.  

3. Goals you hope to achieve after the redesign

As previously discussed, there's a foundational reason behind redesigning your website.

The current phase involves deeply exploring those reasons to establish specific, measurable goals. When it's time to put your design out into the world, you can refer to these goals and know you offer a website that drives your business forward.

By setting realistic and tangible goals, you provide a benchmark against which the success of your site can be gauged. Your recent site audit should have shed light on areas that require improvement, offering a solid starting point for goal formulation.

Consider, for instance, that you might have observed a consistent traffic flow to your existing site, yet the conversion of visitors into leads is lower than expected.

In light of this observation, a practical goal could be to enhance your site's conversion rate by 2% over the next six months.

It's important to recognize that, while immensely valuable, data does not always paint the complete picture. Garnering insights from your team members can add significant value to this process.

Surveying different team members can be an efficient method to gather this supplementary feedback.

Key questions to pose to your team include:

  1. What are the primary reasons behind the decision to overhaul the website?
  2. What is the ultimate goal that you aim to achieve with the redesigned site?
  3. What functionalities or features do you consider vital for users on the new website?

Your goals should be communicated across your entire team, ensuring they remain a central consideration throughout the website's planning, designing, and development phases.

These established goals will also be essential in guiding the reporting mechanisms that should be implemented immediately before or after the website's launch.

4. Define Your Strategy

Having gained an insight into the performance of your current website and armed with a set of clearly defined goals, you are now in a position to develop a comprehensive strategy to achieve these objectives. To help you create a strategy so you are ready to take on a redesign, you can use the following process.


When you complete your audit, you will find pages that underperform and those which perform well. You need to update your site map to reorganize existing pages, delete pages that aren't helping your site, and add new pages.

Here is a visual of a sitemap so you can understand the hierarchy of your pages.

Good webdesign encompasses more thann visuals. Your site isn't only meant to look beautiful, you need to help users to browse your site more easily after a full website redesign.  

Create the best user flow.

Your user flow is how you expect people to navigate your site before and after purchasing. Ensure your website redesign includes the steps people should logically take and design your site to guide them through these.

The user flow will likely be simple when you first launch your site. As you add more pages, you must revisit the user flow and link all pages accordingly.

5. Do keyword research

To optimize your site for organic search results, you need to know the keywords you can rank according to your domain authority and what people seek.

Start by understanding what people search for for a service like yours. Next, you must use a tool to ensure these keywords have a good search volume.

You can use tools like:

  • Google Analytics
  • Semrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Spyfu
  • Mangools

Using these tools is simple. You input a word and see how difficult it will be for you to rank for the term and how many people search for the word each month.

You need to find the sweet spot between words with good search volume and keyword difficulty your site can rank for.

6. Create a timeline

Now, you have all the parts of the plan you need to redesign your website.

Next, you need to set a realistic timeline for developing and launching your redesigned website.

The goal is to be realistic because great websites take time to design.  Choosing a timeline that's longer can result in a functioning, mobile-friendly website.

There's no magic timeline for completing your website. You need to consider your site's redesign complexity and your professional website designers. Follow our website redesign checklist to help you understand what a realistic timeline is for you.

A general timeframe for a professional site redesign is between two and five months. Again, not every website will take this long.

7. Create a roadmap

Creating a timeline may seem straightforward, but you should further break it into manageable milestones.

You can use these milestones to track your progress from start to finish. These milestones will break your project into manageable tasks for you and your team. You could set milestones such as:

  1. Improve the site content on the [specific page] by [insert date]
  2. Complete the business website site structure outline by [insert date]
  3. The website designer should implement the color scheme you'd like to employ on [insert page] by [insert date]
  4. Update the layout of your website [pages x, y, and z] by [insert date]

You want your website design milestones to be specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound, so updating your website is easy.

The next step is to focus on your brand style guide.

8. Updating your brand style guide

Your brand style guide is important because it helps you maintain consistency across all digital channels. When redesigning your site, you should review these and make updates accordingly.

When reviewing this, focus on the messaging and the visuals. As you update and redesign your site, you are doing so for a better customer experience. As such, your messaging and visuals will change, and modifying your style guide as you make changes will help you save time in the future.

How to review messaging

Your messaging strategy will help you communicate with your customers. You can use a story brand script to review how our website communicates your story and value.

The story brand script will help you review the following so you know your messaging resonates with your customers:

  • What does your customer want?
  • What's their problem?
  • How can you guide them to solve that problem?
  • How are you summarizing your plan?
  • How are you calling them to action?
  • How are you communicating what will happen if they don't take action?
  • How do you tell them the result if they do take action?

Next, you will need to review your visual style. Your website redesign will change many things, so a clear visual plan is important.

What are the elements to review during the visual style review?

When reviewing your visual style, you should review the following:

  • Typeface
  • Images
  • Colors
  • Iconography
  • Logo usage

Consider how each of these elements work together and present your brand currently.

Make sure that all pieces work together and update accordingly.

9. Taking inspiration from competitors

As we progress through the strategic phase of our project, it is an opportune moment to start considering the visual aspects of our design.

This approach offers two distinct advantages: it expedites the overall process and ensures that our design choices are in harmony with our strategic objectives.

We recommend comprehensively analyzing two to three competitor websites within your industry. Additionally, exploring one or two websites from unrelated industries can provide fresh perspectives.

The insights gained from this exercise will facilitate informed discussions within your team, helping to shape your visual strategy. Establish a collective understanding of the visual elements and styles you intend to incorporate. This alignment is vital in ensuring that the visual direction of your redesign remains in congruence with the overarching objectives of the project.

When seeking inspiration, ponder over fundamental questions:

  1. What emotional response should our website evoke in its visitors?
  2. What new tools and features should our revamped site encompass?
  3. What forms of imagery and graphics are most appropriate for our purpose?

For those unfamiliar with mood boards, envision them as artistic collages that encapsulate your design preferences. These mood boards may encompass diverse elements such as typography styles, layout samples, imagery treatment, iconography, color palettes, or even entire websites.

By thoughtfully crafting and utilizing mood boards, you provide your team with a tangible reference point during the subsequent design phase of your redesign project.

10. Creating your new content strategy

Amidst the excitement of a website redesign, it's often tempting for teams to leap headfirst into the design phase, eagerly anticipating the visual transformation of their hard work. Content creation, on the other hand, sometimes takes a back seat, relegated to a secondary consideration.

This inclination to prioritize design can be a substantial misstep during a website redesign. It can lead to the misguided notion that content is an afterthought to be addressed later.

Attempting to shoehorn content into an existing design often results in misalignment and compromises the quality of both content and design.

In reality, your content should serve as the foundation that dictates the layout and structure of your website pages. Design should amplify and complement your message, not overshadow it.

Many teams gravitate toward the design-first approach because content creation is akin to facing a daunting blank canvas. However, there's a more structured path to follow – one that revolves around page strategies. After completing your StoryBrand Framework and BrandScript, consider crafting page strategies that outline the narrative flow for each page.

Page strategies should encompass critical elements such as placing calls-to-action for premium content, positioning FAQs, and integrating blog and learning center materials. These strategies will serve as guiding principles for the ensuing design phase.

It's essential to note that not all pages necessitate such strategies. Focus primarily on the critical 20% of your website that generates 80% of the conversions, including the homepage, pricing, service/product details, and direct bottom-of-the-funnel landing pages. These pages delineate the primary user journey from top to bottom of the sales funnel.

To streamline this process, consider employing tools like Trello or GatherContent for page organization.

With your pages structured into manageable sections, embark on creating content wireframes. These wireframes break down precisely what content and information should reside on each page, lending structure to your storytelling and banishing that "blank slate" sensation.

During content creation, seize opportunities to educate your visitors. A productive exercise involves brainstorming the top 25 questions frequently posed by potential buyers about your products or services. Ensure that these questions find comprehensive answers within your website pages.

Moreover, explore avenues to incorporate the following elements into your content:

  1. Self-selection tools
  2. Premium content such as ebooks, whitepapers, and buying guides
  3. Video
  4. Social proof, including testimonials, customer reviews, and case studies

These assets wield the power to educate and guide your prospects along their buying journey.

Should you ever be tempted to deviate from the content-first approach, remember that while the initial impression of a website hinges on visuals, it's robust and informative content that keeps visitors engaged and hungry for more.

11. Initiating the design

Are you ready for the most exciting part of the redesign process?

Finally, your weeks of diligent groundwork merge into a tangible reality, taking shape before your eyes.

The eagerness to get into designing all your pages is palpable, but keep yourself grounded during this phase.  

The key lies in proceeding methodically, consistently seeking feedback, and securing buy-in.

Leveraging tools such as InVision or Zeplin can significantly streamline the feedback process, fostering collaboration among your team members. These design tools seamlessly integrate with most of today's design programs, enhancing efficiency.

The customary starting point for the design journey involves the creation of wireframes. Wireframes serve as a compass, ensuring content remains the focal point and effectively guiding the layout.

When transitioning from wireframes to full-page designs, consider initiating the process with the first three or four sections of a high-impact page, with the homepage often being the preferred starting point.

Seeking feedback from your team at this stage can save time and minimize unnecessary revisions, ensuring your design aligns seamlessly with the intended direction.

Once your team attains a unanimous consensus on the design direction, you're poised to move forward with unwavering confidence.

Proceed systematically, navigating through each page while maintaining a steadfast commitment to ongoing feedback and consensus-building within your team.

12. Developing your new site

The development represents the final leg of your website redesign journey, and like any great endeavor, it demands patience and precision. While feeling a sense of anticipation after a long and meticulous process is natural, rushing through development can lead to complications and delays.

To ensure a smooth transition from design to functionality, allocate sufficient time for the meticulous coding of your website, adhering to SEO and industry best practices while preserving the aesthetic brilliance that initially captured your team's admiration.

In this phase, your dedicated team, whether internal or external, will transform the flat design mockups into a dynamic web reality, employing languages like HTML, CSS, and others.

As individual pages take shape, it's imperative to conduct thorough cross-browser testing. This rigorous examination guarantees a consistent and flawless user experience, regardless of the browser employed, thereby instilling confidence that your website will render as intended.

Mobile responsiveness is equally vital. While evaluating various screen sizes can be time-consuming, focusing on the most commonly used devices, as determined by tools like Google Analytics, accurately depicts user experiences across devices, eradicating potential frustrations.

The Launch

You're finally ready to launch after months of planning, designing, and developing.

Before the grand launch, a prudent step is to conduct a comprehensive pre-launch review, ensuring that every aspect of your new site is in impeccable order.

The review should encompass critical checks such as:

  1. Verifying the absence of broken links
  2. Confirming the readiness of 301 redirects
  3. Ensuring accurate meta descriptions and page titles for every page
  4. Scrutinizing for any missing or malfunctioning images

By addressing these elements, you preemptively avert post-launch complications and facilitate a seamless transition for users migrating from the old website to the new one.

Your new site is live. Now what?

Your brand-new website is live, but your work isn't done.  

The next phase involves collecting and analyzing user data on the new design.

Collaborate with your team to devise experiments that facilitate A/B testing of different layouts or features, all aimed at enhancing the user experience. Prioritize the most critical pages on your website and be prepared to iterate through steps 6-11 as many times as necessary to achieve your goals, then set new ones.

Craft comprehensive reports using HubSpot, Google Data Studio, Marketo, or another platform to gain insights into your website's performance. A marketing team member should be proficient in comparing pre-launch and post-launch metrics.

Benchmarks encompass leads, conversion rates, keyword rankings, site speed, and site health.

These ongoing tests and the subsequent adjustments will elevate your website's user experience, aid in lead generation, and enhance overall effectiveness.


So there you have it: a complete website redesign checklist.

While adhering to it rigorously may present challenges, particularly in the face of tight deadlines, rest assured that following it will pave the way for your new website to become the traffic-driving, lead-generating powerhouse you've envisioned.

Remember that the journey begins with a thorough assessment of why you are embarking on a redesign project. Ensure your rationale is grounded in sound reasoning.

Ultimately, the success of your redesign hinges on meticulous preparation and planning. Understand your existing assets, identify areas for improvement, and establish clear goals to gauge the success of your redesign.

Are you looking for website redesign services to aid you in this process? If so, click the yellow "get started@ button in the top right of your screen. Starting a website redesign can feel overwhelming, but we can help you create an up-to-date website with little friction. Regardless of whether you have an outdated site or need a new site from scratch, we want to redesign your site for success. Your website isn't a liability, it's an asset that will help you grow your business at all times. We are confident we can help with your site needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be included in a website redesign?

A website redesign should include changing the fundamental elements of a website, such as the code, content, structure, layout, and visuals, to offer visitors a better user experience. This process may involve understanding and implementing user experience, SEO, web accessibility, and more. It is important to consider the conversions and site performance when refreshing layouts, updating content, and improving navigation.

When redesigning an existing site, what is a good first step?

The best first step when redesigning an existing website is to conduct user research and analyze your current website to identify what needs improvement.

What are some signs that indicate my website needs a redesign?

Outdated design, poor performance, and low conversion rates suggest your website may benefit from redesigning.

What should I consider when prioritizing user experience in my website redesign?

Prioritize user experience in your website redesign by conducting customer interviews and using user testing and heat mapping tools to create a tailored, user-friendly website.

How can I improve my search engine rankings during a website redesign?

To maintain or improve search engine rankings during a website redesign, incorporate SEO best practices such as comprehensive keyword research, establishing an SEO baseline, and properly utilizing redirects.

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