Is your company starting to plan for a new website or a website redesign? If so, you want to be sure that you’re getting off on the right foot. Properly organizing your design ideas, content plans, photos, and other content prior to your redesign is one of the most effective ways to save time and effort for both your team and your chosen developer or designer.
Start with Your Target Audience
Before you can start redesigning your website, you need to know who you’re trying to reach with the redesign. How will your new efforts impact the customers you most want to attract to your website? Who is it that your website is intended to speak to? By defining your target audience immediately, you can shape the rest of the redesign process more effectively. There are several things you want to know about your website visitors:
- What factors do visitors to your website have in common?
- What pages on your website are current visitors visiting the most often? Which ones see little use?
- Where did visitors to your website find out about your website? How does that impact the pages they visit?
- What are the needs of your website visitors, and how can you meet them more effectively?
The more you know about your target audience, the better you’re able to shape your website redesign–and the better the likelihood that when you meet with your designer or developer, you’ll be able to tell them exactly what you want.
Evaluate What Needs to Be On Your Website
What pages are missing from your current design? What do you need to remove from the content currently on display on your website? Sit down with your team and carefully discuss your vision for the new website and what it should and shouldn’t include. Some things are intuitive: you need an “about us” page and specific landing pages for the services you offer, for example. Other pages may depend on the type of content you want to offer to your customers. Don’t forget to consider details like the value of images and how your logo will impact your brand image and how customers interact with your website.
Assign Roles to Team Members
If there’s a discrepancy between what different members of the team want, how will it be decided? Who is responsible for making final decisions? It’s also helpful to choose a specific individual who is responsible for communicating with your web designer–ideally the same person who is responsible for making final decisions. This will make for smoother communications and ensure that it’s easier to get the website you’re looking for. Assigning roles also helps everyone know what their responsibilities are during the website redesign process and ensures that they’ll be able to meet deadlines and move production along on schedule.
Get Estimates and Set a Budget
Your budget will determine what your web developer and designer are able to accomplish when they work on your website. In some cases, it may be helpful to get estimates before you set your overall budget. Keep in mind that you’ll need to define the parameters of the website design before your developer will be able to give you an effective budget.
Create an Effective Labeling System
One of the most frustrating parts of web development for many developers and designers is sorting through disorganized content with filenames that bear little resemblance to the places where they’ll be used or even what they are. When you name files and pictures, make sure they’re labeled with a system that will make sense to both you and the people you’re partnering with to create your website. Not only will this make it easier for you to discover what you’ve sent already and what you haven’t, it will make it easier for your designer to sort through your files and put together your website–cutting down on the time you have to wait for them to produce the results you need. Designing a filing system that helps break down the documents and photos into neatly-organized files will also make it easier for your entire team.
Think Through Content Organization
One of the most important aspects of your website design is your content organization. How will you present your material to your customers and visitors? What aspects of your content do you want to highlight in order to ensure that your customers are able to easily find what they’re looking for when they visit your site? These steps will improve your content organization and ensure that when you take your plans to a designer or developer, you’re able to explain exactly what you’re looking for.
- Divide your content into reasonable categories and subcategories. Decide how organizing your content will help improve your customers’ ability to interact with your website.
- Decide what landing pages you need. Each content area or campaign should have its own landing page so that people coming to your website know exactly what they’re looking for.
- Decide what keywords you most need to highlight on your webpage as a whole.
One highly effective method for creating a great content organization system for your website is the card system. Using the card system, you write each page on your website on an index card. Then, you place each card underneath the card where it would be located on your website. This allows you to create a more effective organization system and quickly determine where each page should be located on your website.
Preparing for your website redesign ahead of time will reduce the amount of time your developer and designer need to spend on many of these aspects that you can handle yourself. By taking the time to think through your organization ahead of time, you’ll be better prepared for the redesign process. Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn how we can help.