For a redesign that’s done right, let’s see what you should expect through the website redesign process.
If you are looking to redesign your website, you probably want it to be ready as quickly as possible, right? While it would be nice to knock out a site in a week, the reality is a website done right takes much longer than that - it takes months to build a better website.
Approximately one-third of websites are delayed and fail to launch on the agreed-upon date, and this is often due to one of two things: lack of content or the project being larger than initially anticipated.
For clients, content is typically the biggest unanticipated hurdle. Most people underestimate the work needed for developing content. In a website refresh, project content may only need a little freshening up. But if you’re working through developing a different marketing strategy, changing product or service focus, or completely changing your ideal audience your content will most likely need a major overhaul.
A content-first approach to creating a new website is the most ideal process. Your website copy is what keeps users on your site - not the pretty design or the fancy functionality. Content that doesn’t showcase who you are and how you serve isn’t going to attract many leads.
If you do not have content before you start a website redesign process you can certainly still start the process but keep in mind this is one of those things that will most likely extend your project timeline.
Fully understanding who your buyer personas are and the solutions you can provide to solve their pain points is a major step in redesigning your website. Your buyer personas help determine the navigation needs, content requirements, and style of the design. Having a defined set of personas will help speed up the website redesign process.
Good ole Benjamin Franklin says it best “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
The most involved and necessary piece of every successful website redesign project is the discovery, planning, and strategy phase.
How do you know what to design and build if you don’t have a blueprint to guide you?
A discovery session ensures both you and the agency understand where your site is at now and where you want to be. By taking stock of who your website audience is (or should be), what’s currently working on the site, and what’s not working, you can begin to develop a better picture of your current state.
But you want to consider your future state. What are the new business objectives and how will your website play a role in achieving those objectives?
Taking the time to fully discover, strategize and plan your website project will ease the process for the rest of the project and help minimize the risk of a longer project timeline.
Finally, after months of planning, strategizing, designing, and developing your brand new website, and have launched it to the world!
Here’s the kicker though - your website launch shouldn’t be the end of the process!
Blows your mind, right?
The actual process before launch may only be three to six months, but your site’s continual optimization is a long-term commitment. It’s easier to make smaller changes that push your progress forward rather than another three to six month commitment for the next redesign down the road.
How do you keep your website redesign optimized? By continuing a relationship with your agency partner to monitor and test the site based on analytics, feedback, traffic, heatmaps, and technical SEO, among other things.
Through hypothesis and A/B testing, you and your agency partner can evaluate different design elements, calls to action, website copy, and conversion pathways to determine better ways to connect with your audience and their needs.
Continuing to test and tweak your website will help you continue to build a stronger, better website based on your own facts and data.
So to answer the question, how long does a website redesign take? You can count on a minimum of three to six months for your initial launch but at least a 12-month commitment for continued optimization.
Keep in mind that when done right, a website redesign project is a complex and involved process but don’t let the longer timeline discourage you from building a better website. In the long run, taking the time to plan and continually improve your website redesign will help your business stand out from the competition.