Has your website not been updated since the invention of the smartphone?
Does it accurately reflect your brand?
Does it provide a path for conversion for potential customers?
Are you showcasing your desired content and messaging?
If you haven’t thought about these questions in awhile, it’s time to have a conversation and explore a website redesign.
Companies that have an in-house creative team with website design expertise have a natural partner for a website redesign project. But for companies that don’t, or for those that want a fresh perspective, it may be beneficial to work with an agency. To ensure a successful experience:
- Meet with several potential vendors and ask to see samples of their work for clients in your industry.
- Know your site analytics. You want to be able to guide customers through your site and develop content and calls to action that will result in conversion.
- Provide your vendor with access to the domain and hosting before work begins.
- Have your site map finalized in the early stages to keep the project moving forward on schedule.
Whether you choose to work with your in-house creative team or an agency partner, here are the essential steps in the process:
- Domain and hosting: If you are building a website from scratch, you will need to register your desired domain (URL) to ensure that you can have access to that name. The next step is to choose your hosting provider. Those using a content management system (CMS), will need to make sure the hosting provider can handle the database size. For sites that have a slow load time or are being expanded with multiple new pages and additional photo and video content, it may be time to upgrade your hosting to a more robust package.
- Site architecture/mapping: If a website was the human body, the site architecture would be the skeleton. How do your pages connect to each other and work together to move customers through your site? What page options do you want to provide customers when they land on your site? Create an outline, noting each highlight page (ex: About Us) and which pages should be stacked underneath (ex: Company History, Awards, Leadership, etc).
- Wireframes: Once you’ve determined what pages you need and where they’ll be placed on your website, it’s time to start talking about wireframes – where images and content will be placed on each page. For example, you might want to have an image at the top of a page with a sidebar for written or video content. Developing the wireframes allows you to envision and plan how your desired content will be showcased.
- Static mock-up: In our body analogy, the design stage adds the muscles and tendons to make your skeleton look human. Creating a mock-up shows you what the site will look like and how it will represent your brand.
- Development: Once the mapping, layout and design are determined, the developer can begin the process of coding and scripting each page. Pages can be built out on a server and accessed by you and your team without being visible to the user.
- Go live! Your site is approved, filled with content and ready to convert visitors to customers. It’s time to activate your hosting, the lifeblood of a website. Congratulations!
Website redesign doesn’t have to be intimidating. With proper planning and execution, your design process can be a fun and smooth experience. For more information, visit our website or drop us a line.
SR&B is a proud AMA Baltimore sponsor. SR&B is a full-service advertising agency who serves small to medium sized businesses in the Baltimore Metropolitan region.