The Perfect 7-Step Website Redesign Plan

Anabeth McConnell Anabeth McConnell
February 18, 2024   |   9 min read time
Topics: website design

The Perfect 7-Step Website Redesign Plan


The Perfect 7-Step Website Redesign Plan

Contemplating a website redesign but unsure where to start or if it's even necessary? A website that accurately reflects your brand and meets your audience's needs is crucial for staying competitive. However, the thought of doing a website redesign can be daunting. Where do you begin? How do you ensure that your investment pays off?

Keep reading as you are guided through every step of the process. From determining whether you need a full redesign or just a refresh to setting clear goals and establishing a budget, this guide will provide you with a structured approach to revitalizing your website. By following these seven essential steps, you'll not only enhance your website's aesthetics and functionality but also align it more closely with your business objectives. 

Prepare to transform your website into a powerful tool that engages visitors, supports business goals, and drives success.

First, Do You Need a Website Redesign or a Refresh?

Before committing time and resources to a website overhaul, ask yourself, "Why do I want a redesign?"

If your website is converting well and the primary goal is to improve its appearance or offer better information to your visitors, a total redesign is probably unnecessary. Refreshing design elements and refining content can rejuvenate your site without the time and money commitment for a complete site redesign.

However, if your website has more challenges than just looking outdated, you should plan and budget for a complete redesign.

How To Know if Your Website Needs a Redesign

Ask yourself these questions when deciding if a website redesign is necessary:

  1. Are website visitors struggling to find information quickly?
  2. Are website conversions lower than they should be?
  3. Is there a misalignment between our website and branding?
  4. Is our website attracting the wrong target audience?
  5. Is our website struggling with slow page speeds?
  6. Is it difficult to update or add new content to the site?
  7. Have our marketing goals changed?
  8. Does our website help meet our sales and marketing objectives?

A website redesign is necessary if you answer yes to any of those questions.

Regardless of whether you will be overhauling your site on your own or choosing to work with an agency, bring out your notebook and start the journey to prepping for a better website redesign with these steps.

Step 1: Assess your current site

Your website is a tool and has a job to perform. Start by looking critically at your current site. What's working? What's not? Starting with this review helps you identify what's working and what's not working to identify areas for improvement.

Because you're already considering a redesign, you've more than likely already identified some problem areas. Your page speed may be slow, the site is not promoting your most current service offers, or your content is speaking to the wrong target audience. Or the site's color palette, font choices, or images no longer reflect your brand.

Tools like heat maps can further illuminate trouble spots, such as poorly placed calls to action or visitors stopping before getting to an important area on your page.

Take notes of what you have found that needs more attention, and refer to this list when you start drafting your website wishlist and goals.

Step 2: Update your website's target audience

As your service offers or markets change, your website must adapt to continue speaking to the right target audience.

Review and update your buyer personas or customer profiles. Understanding your target audience can inform how you recalibrate your site to appeal to these groups.

An effective website should reflect an understanding of who the business is speaking to and create a better customer journey with user flows that website visitors to the most relevant information.  

Step 3: Take inventory of existing content & assets

Reviewing the existing content on your site may seem frivolous, but knowing what content is performing well and which is no longer relevant will help identify content needs for your redesign.

Physically reviewing your content is a good start, but by using data from your analytics tools you can decide what you want to keep and what adjustments could be made.

Essential things to document as you review your content & assets inventory are existing pages that generate the most traffic, frequently searched keywords, and best-performing lead magnet.

Remember to note the poor-performing content. You may determine ways to improve or remove the existing content if it is no longer relevant.

Transferring your highest-quality content to your new will help minimize the loss of SEO juice your current site maintains.

Document every type of content:

  • Individual Page Content
  • Lead Magnets
  • Videos
  • Blog posts
  • White papers
  • #allthethings

Even if one of your main objectives is to rewrite your content, understanding what is currently performing well provides a framework for creating new content or knowing what not to do for future content development.

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Step 4: Conduct a competitive analysis.

Take a look at what your competitors are doing with their websites.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you like?
  • What don't you like?
  • What type of content are they presenting
  • What calls to action are they using?
  • What kind of lead generation are they using?
  • How are they structuring their navigation?
  • What cool features do they have? 

While you want to avoid copying their site, analyzing what your competitors are doing will provide a better understanding of what features or functionality you may wish to include in your website redesign.

Step 5: Establish a wishlist & define goals

Now that you have reviewed your site and competitors, you probably have a long list of what's working and what's not.

Wishlist Your Ideas

It's time to turn your notes into a wishlist of ideas for your redesign. Write down every feature or functionality you want to add to your website, whether a color change or a new structure for presenting content to the audience. Should you add or remove menu items from your navigation lists? Will new landing pages be helpful for your marketing efforts? Add these items to your wishlist.

However, that list needs some refinement. Each wishlist item should have a reason behind it and a priority.

Adding a reason and a priority to each wishlist item will be beneficial when it comes to staying within your budget. Maybe that big idea on your list is a "nice to have" with a lower priority. This may mean it's not doable within the budget for now, but it's a consideration for future improvements. Or your item is something small but essential to include in this redesign.

Examples of website wishlist items & their potential reasons:

  • Convert top navigation to a mega menu to make it easier for users to find information
  • Add a meeting calendar embed so visitors can schedule a call quickly
  • Add filter to resource page so users can sort information based on the type of resource they are looking for

Identify your goals

What should your website be helping you achieve in your sales and marketing efforts?

Knowing your goals upfront allows you to focus on achieving specific results with your redesign. 

For instance, if you want to segment services by industry type, you may require individual industry pages to promote those services.

If you still need to determine your website goals, consider your company's larger goals and how your website might support those goals.

Examples of goals for a website redesign project:

  • Generate more qualified leads
  • Increase customer interaction
  • Decrease bounce rates
  • Promote new service offers
  • Be more visually aligned with your brand
  • Improve navigation to increase the number of pages visited

Step 6: Determine Success Metrics

Once your redesigned site is live, you'll want to know whether the time and resources spent on the redesign accomplished the goals you set out to achieve.

Start with saving your current metrics. At a minimum, include bounce rate, average time on page, traffic sources, and conversion rates. This documentation will provide a baseline for comparison.

Once you have the current metrics, what success metrics do you hope to achieve? How much would you expect the new site to reduce the bounce rate or increase conversions?

Tools like Google Analytics and HotJar help assess your data from as many angles as possible and measure the success of your website redesign.

As part of your website maintenance, compare your baseline and success metrics. This data will drive additional improvements you may need. 

Making more minor, data-backed decisions for website improvements will prolong the need for a complete redesign.

With a continued commitment to the success metrics, the time and resources invested in your website redesign project will reap enormous rewards for your company.

Step 7: Determine your budget & resources

When you are considering any large purchase, you ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I need it? (we addressed this above)
  2. Should I do it myself or hire a professional?
  3. How can I keep costs down?
  4. How much do I have to spend?

A website redesign can be a significant investment. Your answers to the questions above will help determine the path you may take for your website redesign.

Should I do it myself or hire a professional?

Time and money are two of your most essential resources. Consider what internal resources you may have available and the bandwidth for working on this project.

If you have an internal designer but not a developer, outsourcing just the project's development portion may make sense.

If you have the skill set, consider doing it yourself, but don't forget to take into account the time required for this project.

Do-it-yourself projects can turn out fantastic or cause more issues than what was originally there. Be honest with your skill level for this type of project.

How can I keep costs down?

If you know you have the skill set, go a little deeper with two more questions:

  1. Do I have the time?
  2. Do I have the budget to outsource?

The DIY route makes sense if you have more time than budget. With a limited budget and simple needs, pre-designed templates and themes are one great way to decrease costs.

If you have more money than time, it may be a better option to invest in a professional and spend your time working on other aspects of your business.

If your time and budget are close to the same level, consider outsourcing portions of the project you may not enjoy or feel a professional can get the job done better or faster.

These general guidelines give you an idea of the potential hourly costs based on the type of website partner you choose.

Do-it-yourself (DIY)

$ your time investment


$50 to $80 per hour

Web Design Agency

$100 - $250 per hour


How much do I have to spend?

When you select whether to do it yourself or hire a professional, it's time to pay attention to the costs.

Take a look at your wishlist and priorities. If your list is long, you know a higher budget is needed to add all those items. 



Average Cost

Small website

5 - 15 pages

$2,000 - $9,000

Corporate website 

25 - 80 pages

$10,000 - $35,000

Database driven website

25 - 20,000 pages

$6,000 - $75,000


A website redesign project can initially seem overwhelming, but a clear, structured plan can turn this daunting task into a manageable and even exciting project. By assessing your current site, understanding your audience, evaluating your content, analyzing competitors, setting goals, defining success metrics, and determining your budget, you're now equipped with a roadmap to success.

Remember, a well-designed website is more than just an online brochure; it's a dynamic tool that can significantly impact your business's growth and success.

As you apply the insights and strategies outlined in this guide, you're not just redesigning a website; you're redefining your brand's online presence and setting the stage for future achievements. So, take that first step confidently, knowing that a more engaging, goal-oriented, and successful website is within your reach.

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