So, you are ready for a website redesign. But are you prepared? Whether you are in need of a facelift or ready to shed the old design completely, strategic approach will take you far.

Your website isn’t just your face, it’s a critical tool for your customers and a way for you to interact with them. A website is as much about functionality as it is about looks. Whatever changes you make will affect user experience and your business performance. Follow our guide to prepare for the overhaul, and you’ll speed up the process. Not to mention designer’s gratitude!

1. Check what you are up against

One of the reasons you decided to redesign could be to stand out from your competitors. Carefully evaluate the websites of top-10 in your field. What do they look like? How do they arouse the interest of their customers? What makes them successful? What do you think they’re doing wrong?

You may also want to go fish outside of your pond. See if there are any strategies you find appealing in other sectors.

2. Make a wish list

Take a long critical look at your current design. There is a chance you’ve already identified specific problems. For instance, abandoned shopping carts are calling for redesigning the checkout process.

You don’t have to tear everything down. And you shouldn’t. Conduct an audit to identify your valuable assets. It can be unique content or your recognizable colour palette.

☞ Related: The role of brand identity in UI/UX design

Now jot down every feature you want to fix and every detail you want to keep. Don’t be shy to add whatever you want for your website. It can be anything from a new font to restructuring your blog.

3. Set your goals straight

What metrics do you want to improve? Make a prioritized list of specific and actionable goals you hope to achieve with a new website. These can include: increasing site traffic, collecting more contacts, decreasing bounce rates, etc.

4. Generate an action plan

Now put your wish list and your goal list side by side, and start connecting the dots. Each of the items should have a reason behind it. If a feature does not support the goal, it stays on the wish list. A prioritized list of needs will migrate into your action plan. Decide what you need right now and what you might want to leave for the future.

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Next steps

Whether you’re redesigning your site yourself or hiring a professional design team (wink-wink), these answers provide a solid starting point.

Next, you need to align your strategy with the user’s perspective. And only then the insights are consolidated in wireframes, and visual layouts later. After that development, content creation, testing…

Heck yeah, it’s a lot of work, but we are here to help! Ready to start?