How to Design Your Website: Planning and preparing with Your Developer

Okay, so you’ve decided to design your website. Great news! Designing a website is an exciting journey that can breathe new life into your online presence and enhance user experience.

To ensure a seamless and successful redesign, collaboration with your website developer is key. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step process and provide a list of critical questions to ask your developer, ensuring that your website makeover aligns with your business goals.

Before diving into the redesign process, clearly outline your objectives. Identify the specific goals you want to achieve with the redesign, whether it’s improving user engagement, increasing conversion rates, or updating your brand image. A clear scope at this stage is crucial for your website designer or developer to understand what the outcome of the project needs to achieve. Being as descriptive and clear as you can at this stage will not only make the process smoother and quicker to implement. Furthermore, you may well also find that you discover more about what you want as a business when you start to put this down on paper!

Critical Website Design Questions:

  • What are the main goals of our website redesign?
  • How will the new design contribute to our overall business objectives?

(Incidentally, Cookehouse has a really handy web quotation tool here to help you put your design objectives in order)

Evaluate the current state of your website by conducting a thorough audit. Analyse site performance, identify content gaps and assess user behaviour using analytics tools. Share these findings with your developer to establish a baseline for the redesign.

Critical Questions for a Website Audit:

  • What aspects of the current website are performing well, and which ones need improvement?
  • Are there any technical issues affecting site performance?

A successful website speaks directly to its target audience. Define your audience personas and share them with your developer. Discuss how the new design can better cater to the needs and preferences of your users.

Critical Website Audience Questions:

  • Who are our primary target audiences, and what are their preferences?
  • How can the website design enhance user experience for our target audience?

Work closely with your developer to brainstorm design concepts. Provide input on colours, layouts, and overall aesthetics. Ensure that the proposed design aligns with your brand identity and resonates with your target audience.

Critical Concept Design Questions:

  • How can the design reflect our brand values and messaging?
  • What design elements will enhance user engagement and navigation?

In today’s digital landscape, a responsive web design is crucial for reaching users across various devices. Although it’s a given that your new website will be responsive to these different devices, it’s essential to discuss with your developer how the new design will adapt to different screen sizes and ensure a consistent user experience. With the majority of your website traffic coming from mobile devices the UX and UI for these users cannot be overlooked!

Critical Responsive design Questions:

  • How will the redesign improve mobile responsiveness?
  • What steps will be taken to optimise the website for various devices?

A website redesign presents an opportunity to enhance SEO. Collaborate with your developer to ensure that SEO best practices are incorporated, including optimising on-page elements, maintaining URL structure, and implementing redirects for any URL changes. The last thing you want to do is have a brand new beautifully designed website that leaves users on a ‘404. Page not found’ page when they come on to the website because your url structure has changed.

Critical SEO Questions:

  • How will the redesign impact our current SEO efforts?
  • What SEO tools will we use to establish what needs to be done? SEObility, RankMath, or Google Search Console maybe?
  • What steps will be taken to preserve and improve search engine rankings?

Content is a critical component of your website. Collaborate with your developer to create a content strategy that aligns with your goals and engages your audience. Discuss the creation of new content, optimisation of existing content, and the overall content structure.

Critical Content Strategy Questions:

  • How will the content be organised and presented on the new website?
  • What strategies will be employed to improve content visibility and relevance?

Obviously, this is just a (very) quick guide, but by following these steps and addressing the critical questions, you’ll set the foundation for a successful website redesign. Effective communication and collaboration with your developer are key to ensuring that the end result not only meets but exceeds your expectations, leaving a lasting impact on your online presence. Setting out a clear plan at the start of a website design project also means that everyone is on the same page and is fully aware of whats required and when throughout the build.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong at the end of a project if nothing is down on paper at the start!

Overall though make sure you have fun! Creating a new website should be an exciting experience as it distills everything about your enterprise into a visual and literal format that you should be rightly proud of once complete.

Do you need help with your website, print design or branding? Talk to us about your ideas.

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