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by Katelyn Fogarty
Everyone who is in the web business has dealt with a site redesign before. Sometimes they are long drawn out projects, and sometimes they go a bit faster. Sometimes they take years and millions of dollars. I’ve been a part of each of those scenarios. Our recent website redesign went pretty smoothly, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned over the years.
- Make sure you know why you are redesigning your website. Set Goals. When we started redesigning Acquia.com we listed out these main goal:
More Relevant Content
- Once you have your goals set and ideas of how to reach those goals let your designer have their freedom. The key to any website redesign is having a great designer either in-house or within an agency you’ve worked with before. We were lucky enough to have an in-house designer. He then gave us a few versions and we did some mood testing through the Verify app.
- Once all designs have been tested we end up with our finished product and can build it. As you can see here in our before and after we met our outlined goals, more CTA (call to action) buttons on the homepage. The previous version of Acquia.com only have 1 main CTA in the banner area, this new version has many more. This will help us to meet our goal of increased leads. Improved messaging was our second goal and we changed out tagline to “Where great digital experiences begin” and we are bringing in some more content around our products with agile, resilient, integrated. The last goal was to have more relevant content on our homepage and if you go to acquia.com we now have a very long style page with lots of relevant content. LAUNCH!
We started this redesign project in the beginning of January and were able to launch April 11th. It took us about 3 months to fully launch.
After the first month of having our new homepage live we were able to see a 9% increase on our “Get Started” CTA on the homepage and organic traffic has increased by 15% because we now have relevant content on our homepage compared to before.
We did learn some lessons along the way.
- Make sure you plan for mobile during your design. Trying to make a fully designed website work on a mobile device can be very difficult and your user will suffer. So when doing a redesign make it a requirement for your designers to provide a version of their site design for mobile (vertical & landscape) and for tablet (vertical & landscape) this will make you happy in the long run and make your developers happy so they aren’t guessing.
- Watch your data both before you redesign and after! This is very important. Be data driven. I was able to make some small changes during my first week of the new design launch that helped my conversion rate because I was watching my site traffic and lead data to a landing page.
- Get design approval! Make sure you know who your key stakeholders are from the very beginning and make sure they see the finished design prior to development. I made the mistake of not keeping the CEO up to date on how the design was progressing and unfortunately when he saw the finished product he had some changes that held up our launch date by a few weeks.
- Iterate. No design will be perfect and a website will always be evolving. Embrace it and be ready for it.