It might surprise you to learn that WordPress powers nearly 40% of all the websites on the internet. It’s an outrageously high figure, considering that more than a billion websites currently exist. In this blog we are going to look at a recommended “how to redesign WordPress site guide”.
WordPress is loved for its ease of use, the customizability it offers and the low costs associated with this particular CMS platform. While there are many advantages for the user, there are also some issues that need to be considered too.
Due to the low barrier of entry with WordPress, it’s quite common to see simply-designed websites that are basic in their design and function. For individuals, start-ups and small businesses, this might be fine to begin with. However the likelihood is that, sooner or later, a revamp is going to become necessary.
Any business that wants to take advantage of ecommerce sales channels will surely recognize that the importance of a website’s design cannot be ignored. In terms of your digital real estate, your website is of primary importance. Rather than sticking with your original and rushed site, site owners are better off pressing ahead with a redesign that is sure to impress.
What Is a website redesign?
It might sound obvious, but the truth is that many people don’t fully understand exactly what a website redesign is or what it entails. There’s a perception that website redesigns are wholly cosmetic and simply change the appearance of the front page with a new logo and colour scheme, but of course that’s not the case at all.
A website redesign is a process where you update, refashion, repair, or restructure a website. You do this with the purpose of building greater traffic, more sustained engagement and more substantial revenue.
The scope of a redesign can change considerably from one website to the next. Whenever starting any kind of work or making changes on your WordPress site, it is essential that you create a backup using UpdraftPlus to safeguards every page of the website. There will be some website redesigns that will only change backend upgrades or technical repairs. After all, you might have already nailed the aesthetic for your brand.
The direction of your website revamp can also be determined by the type of business you’re running – at least in part. For example, the challenges for creating and designing an effective website for a CCaaS solution provider will obviously vary from a clothes retailer.
Why is a website redesign necessary?
It’s possible that the WordPress website you built is one that you really like, but have found that it is not performing to expectations. This might not be because the previous design process was a failure. Instead, it’s likely to be a simple matter of trends.
There’s also the state of your business to consider. The direction of your organization might have changed, either in terms of branding or sales strategy. These changes can result in a need for website redesigns.
A comprehensive redesign can raise the utility of your website to better focus on your sales strategy and customers. It can provide a better on-site experience, leading to more opportunities for your business, greater revenue and more profit.
Preparing for your WordPress redesign
While it might be tempting to simply throw yourself into a redesign project, certain steps need to be taken prior to any upgrading. Measured steps are your best friend here.
Here’s how you get started:
1. Understand the redesign’s purpose
If you’re going to complete an effective WordPress redesign, you need to understand why you’re carrying out the process in the first place.
Often, website redesigns are completed because the current setup can look dated and stale. Your site may have the right functionality, but could be in desperate need of a new aesthetic. You do not have to create a whole new site and start again from square one if your site is already achieving results, but just needs an update.
Understanding your motivation behind a revamp means that you’re going to be far better placed to create a roadmap.
2. Collect vital data
A website redesign should never be a matter of guesswork. In the digital age we have access to a mountain of data – it’s time that you used it.
With website analytic software – like Google Analytics – you can garner all sorts of valuable information. You can unlock insights regarding the types of people visiting your website, as well as their behavior while they’re on your site.
The more information you can gather, the better. It’s also worth considering user questionnaires, surveys and feedback forms.
3. Complete a website audit
It can sometimes be challenging to see our own WordPress sites with clarity. To bring about effective change however, it is a process you have to complete.
A website audit is your next step.
Take a long, impartial and hard look at your website in the context of current web design trends. Go through the process of completing the actions on your website that ideally you want your users to be following in order to make a purchase/sign up etc. Is the process clear? Are there any tasks which may be a struggle? Take note in order to fix these issues when carrying out your redesign.
Visit your competitor’s websites and see how they have set up their designs and how they funnel potential customers into making a purchase. This is an excellent way to get some inspiration and take advantage of all the hard work and research others have already done. You’ll also need to undertake a review of all the plugins that you’re using for your website. WordPress is an impressive CMS platform, but having too many unused plugins on your site can cause it to load slower than it would otherwise.
4. Create a website redesign roadmap
Now that you’re armed with all the information needed to create your wonderful new WordPress site, it’s time to get started with a concrete plan.
Begin by creating a website redesign roadmap that gives you a clear plan of action.
This will ensure you have a total understanding of the scope of the project, and the time needed to get the job done. You’ll also need to consider the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you understand the effectiveness of the redesign once you complete it.
Performing Your WordPress website redesign
With all the information required to optimize and update your site, you are ready to press on with the redesign. But before you do, there are some important tasks you have to complete first.
Back-up Your site
If you are making any changes to your site – changes as small as installing, updating or deleting a plugin, then you should always take a backup first. UpdraftPlus is the world’s leading and most popular WordPress backup plugin. Download and install the plugin today for total peace of mind. Even the most minor of changes can affect your site in ways that could make it unusable.
With UpdraftPlus installed, if anything goes awry while you’re in the midst of making changes, you have a fall-back option to restore your site to its original state.
Create a style guide
In web design, a style guide acts as a compilation of the code standards of a particular site. These choices impact the site’s visual style – including patterns, fonts, headers and links. For those who already have a style guide, this is also a good opportunity to update it. Playing with colors, fonts and design assets to craft an impressive aesthetic is always the goal.
Create Your wireframes
A wireframe is an illustration of a web page’s interface. It denotes the structure, allocation of space, implemented functions and the intended behaviors of users. In conjunction with the data gathered earlier, wireframes can help give your site redesign direction and focus. With wireframing carried out, it’s far likelier that your website will offer seamless navigation.
Cut unwanted elements
This is a chance to get ruthless with the parts of your website you no longer deem necessary. Many WordPress websites get cluttered without you even realizing what’s happening. A redesign is a great chance to re-evaluate what you might or might not need. You should also prioritize getting rid of other unwanted content, like spam comments. The more clean and user-friendly your website, the better the user experience.
Upload a Favicon
This isn’t a term that everyone is familiar with, but favicons are something you should probably know about. A favicon (sometimes known as a favorites icon or a bookmark icon) is the small image that users will see when they bookmark your website. When your site is added to a users list of bookmarks, the favicon will allow them to quickly identify you.
Every small step you take to create a more enjoyable user experience will be appreciated.
Introduce a new TLD
The most effective websites are memorable – they stand out and stick in the memory. It might surprise you how a small change – like a new top-level domain (TLD) – can make such a large difference. Many Saas and CPaaS providers are choosing to register with new TLDs in an effort to set themselves apart, as in a crowded and competitive market space, every edge counts. You might consider an io registrar for your WordPress website for example. This TLD has a great visual, has tech associations (input/output), and has a pronunciation that rolls off the tongue.
Create your prototypes
Next you will want to create prototypes. This is the point at which you’ll really be able to tell how effective your website is going to be as you will get a good feel for the interface and the aesthetic. However, completing your prototypes is only half the battle. It’s also necessary to complete extensive quality assurance checks. These evaluations will ensure that no unwanted hiccups surface once your WordPress site is back up and running.
Roll out your redesigned site
With the new design complete and the prototypes approved, the moment to go live has arrived. If you have used a staging site to redesign your site, then you will now have to transfer the new site over to the live site. You’ll have to monitor your website’s performance metrics and keep a close eye on those key performance indicators for a period after the redesign’s launch.
Again, gathering data using analytics software and user surveys is an excellent way to determine the success of your WordPress redesign and if there are any issues that need to be fixed.
Revamping WordPress websites made easy
A lot of time, effort and work goes into a website. There are a huge number of elements to take care of and factors to consider. Even with a user-friendly CMS platform like WordPress, things can still get complicated. As a result, many people will put off carrying out or even thinking about a redesign, as long as the site currently works. With the help of this essential guide on how to complete a WordPress website redesign, it doesn’t have to be painful. Follow the tips listed above, back-up your site using UpdraftPlus, and you can’t go wrong!
John Allen – Director, SEO, 8×8
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