After our own experience, we feel like the best guides to help in redesigning and revamping your website. The whole experience had many lessons we know can make your own revamp rich and the dawn of new opportunities.
Our website revamp was a complete overhaul inspired by a need to keep up with technology, enrich the user experience, refresh the visual appeal of our website and many other factors. While this is a great exercise that can benefit your business, when done wrong, it can spell disaster.
Because redesigning and revamping your website is a necessity, here’s a full guide from our own lessons so you don’t fall short or make any mistakes, but instead come out with the best possible website on the other end.
What is a website redesign or revamp?
A website redesign is a complete overhaul of the main components of your website aimed at;
- Improving the technology your website is built on.
- Addressing any security concerns arising from an old website.
- Enriching the user experience for your website visitors.
- Keeping your website up to date with the needs of your market and clients.
- Revising the branding of your website to keep it in line with your brand.
What should you consider when revising your brand?
- Redesigning and revamping your website is necessary
- Use the edesign and revamp of your website as a motivational experience
- Unlock opportunities with your redesign and revamp
- Complete your revamped website before removing the old one
- Start by analysing your old website
- Analyse your competitor’s websites
- Build from the ground up
- Set goals for the new website
- Browse and journal your current website often
- Make SEO preparations before revamping your website
- Realign your website with your evolved brand
- Promote your redesigned and revamped website
Redesigning and revamping your website is necessary
You may be wondering, so let’s just put your question to rest, yes, you need to redesign and revamp your website.
If you are reading this guide to determine if you are ever going to need a website redesign, you should go out not only believing the answer to that statement is yes but with a burning desire to do so. As soon as possible.
In our last post, we discussed a number of reasons why you need a website revamp regularly. These range from technical considerations like security and technology to business decisions like growth and changing markets.
Failing to redesign or revamp your website may eventually hold back your business as opposed to helping it progress.
Ultimately, it boils down to one simple fact, a website is a grand marketing tool. It forms a central hub for all your online presence efforts and should be the best online representation of your business at all times.
The simple truth is, your business website cannot do this indefinitely. Change is a constant in business and as such an asset built to be the best representation of your business should be subject to constant change as well.
Regardless of how well your website is initially built, time catches up with it. Even with the occasional refresh, eventually, a complete overhaul becomes necessary.
While we kept a lot of elements from the old Mut-Con website when we did our own revamp, it was clear that our website was long overdue for some change when we finally did it.
There were some technologies we wished we had embraced a lot sooner. There was some brand growth we wished we had taken advantage of. With time, it’s going to be the same for you.
Redesign and revamp your website as a motivational experience
Running your business is a lot like raising your child, you won’t always enjoy it. In fact, one of our favourite pieces of entrepreneurial advice is;
You won’t always be motivated, sometimes it’ll take discipline.
However, you can never overlook the importance of motivation in entrepreneurship. It keeps your passion for your project alive and with that passion you can achieve greatness.
As such, never miss an opportunity to unlock a bit of motivation. As far as motivation goes, redesigning or revamping your website is up there!
In a lot of ways it’s an activity that signals growth and new beginnings and you can’t help but feel motivated to seek this even more.
One thing about the Mut-Con website revamp was it showed us just how much we had come along as a company.
In the six years since starting in 2017, we have worked with large and small companies, across all industries and even overseas. While we always believed we’d get here, the dream is not always easy to visualise at the start.
Being able to just appreciate how far we’ve come as a business was a very rewarding part of revamping our website.
This appreciation can do the same for you and your company. Suddenly you don’t have to struggle as much to find reviews to add or portfolio projects to write on, and the blog is not populated by an article or two to hold down the fort.
If this is not the feeling you are getting from your own revamp then re-assessing your goals could be just as important.
Should you find that you haven’t achieved as much as you would have loved since the time you started, this would be the time to start asking the difficult questions. This could prove to be as motivating as celebrating all your victories.
Unlock opportunities with your website redesign and revamp
Your website redesign is a great opportunity to revise your whole business. When we revamped the Mut-Con website, it was overwhelming just how much our business had changed.
The number of services we offered. Our identity as a business. Our position in the market. Not only had we evolved internally but our market, our industry, our clients, technology and even the economy as a whole had moved forward.
Because adaptability is at our core, we had evolved along without even realising it ourselves. And this meant we had unearthed a lot of opportunities without even realising it.
In a bid to take advantage of new technologies, stay competitive in a very competitive market, answer to our client’s needs and remain the best service provider they can choose, we have established very lucrative partnerships, improved our technology stack to better serve clients and evolved our products to make them the best in the industry.
The result is that we have taken advantage of a lot of opportunities without being consciously aware of them. These opportunities remained undermarketed because our focus had always remained on what we started with.
Our website redesign and revamp changed all of this. It took us back to the drawing board. We audited every page we had and realised there was a lot that needed adding.
We audited the content on the pages we did have and noticed that they grossly underrepresented what we did.
More importantly, building a new website made us appreciate the value of our efforts. Big and small.
We gained a greater appreciation for every social media post, piece of content produced, and positive review gained. We now have the motivation to do this more.
This should be the effect of a website redesign on your business. It should have you seeing new opportunities everywhere. More importantly, revamping and redesigning your website should leave you motivated to actively pursue these opportunities.
Create a revamped website before removing the old one
When we rebuilt the Mut-Con website we did it on a subdomain and let the old website continue to run. This proved to be very useful because the original plan was to just remove the old one as motivation to build a new one faster.
This seemed a particularly good idea because some of the websites in the Mut-Con portfolio were built in 2 days flat.
With all the necessary requirements in place, we could even build a full website in a single day. But because this guide hadn’t existed then, we had overlooked a few key details about website redesigning and revamping.
The biggest of this was how much it would be a discovery journey and how much growth from the old website would come. At the time, we had assumed a straight swap.
We were very wrong. No matter how much you love the current iteration of your website if you are revamping it after two or three years, there will be a lot of changes.
Particularly if you embrace the point of looking for growth opportunities in your revamp. As such, even the best estimation of when your revamp will be done is likely to be wrong.
It’s important to remember that a website revamp is much different from a new website. While with good planning you can launch a new website as soon as construction is complete with minor tweaks and testing here and there, a revamped website is expected to launch in its best possible state.
It doesn’t make much sense to launch a revamped website and generate excitement about it, and it’s not in its best form. Leaving the older website in its more complete state makes more sense.
Bearing in mind that clients are used to visiting your website, it also doesn’t make sense not to have one while you perfect the new one. The solution is quite simple. Leave your old website running until the new one can take its place.
Start by analysing your old website
The goal of redesigning and revamping your website is to improve upon its previous iteration. You can hardly do this if you don’t know what exactly needs to be improved upon.
Analysis is the first step to improvement. As such, redesigning and revamping your website should start with analysing your current website.
Often, this won’t be a once-off exercise but a series that leads to the decision to revamp. It may not even occur when you set out to revamp your website.
You could, for example, be investigating a security breach and notice that your website is outdated. Alternatively, you could be analysing your online competition and realise your website misses key functionality or just doesn’t look as good.
Then again, you could actively decide you need a website revamp and analyse your old website. All this analysis contributes. For Mut-Con, our website redesign and revamp were a combination of both.
Over time, we realised that our website technology stack was outdated. Adding new functionality, improving speed, and keeping the website secure became a bit of a hassle.
So we kept track of these difficulties and that informed our website redesign. While these factors percolated over time, noticing a shift in our brand that wasn’t well represented by the old website catalysed the final change.
When we noticed some missing products and services, elements of our identity and a slight shift in voice and tone across other assets, we knew we had to change the website.
Whatever sparks a need for change in your own website though, understanding what you need in your new website that doesn’t exist in your old one is a good starting point.
Analyse the best in your industry
Speaking of analysis, spying on your competition is never a bad idea. If you have a competitor that constantly gives you a hard time or even worse, constantly outdoes you, it’s good to keep tabs on what they do right.
You can use this information to inspire your own website redesign and revamp. There’s no shame in admitting you have been outdone if there is room to improve.
The goal here is not to mimic but to outdo. For the Mut-Con website, this was not an easy exercise.
With web development as part of our core business consulting offering, our competition consists of some of the best website design and development companies around. Needless to say, our competitor analysis brought us up against some of the best websites on the web.
The beauty, design, and functionality of the websites we looked at had ideas flowing from the team.
After having procrastinated for a long time (about a full year), our website revamp became a priority. You should start looking at your competition yourself.
You can start by looking at those you know by name. Visit their website, browse it, and get a feel for it. Look at what they have that you don’t and look to build better.
Look at what clients love about your website that they don’t have and improve upon it. From there you can expand your search.
Just Google some keywords you want to be associated with as a business. What websites dominate the search results? Which businesses get the most praise and the best client reviews? Explore these websites, and inspire your own website redesign.
Build your new website from the ground up
While a good website redesign and revamp starts by analysing the existing, the goal is not to replicate. It’s to build on what you have, to build a fresh website.
Your website redesign shouldn’t turn into a website refresh. The latter should happen often, scattered around smaller changes in the course of your business, but a website revamp should be a complete overhaul of your website.
This applies even when there are a lot of elements you want to retain from your old website. When we rebuilt the Mut-Con website, we loved about 90% of the old one.
We still loved our old copy, the colour scheme had not changed. The website was actually quite fast, clients said it was easy to navigate and a lot of core vitals were good.
The temptation was to just slap on a few bells and whistles, but doing that would have cost us a lot of opportunities. Instead, we rebuilt from the ground up and found a lot of opportunities.
While our copy remained mostly the same, changing a lot of elements helped us introduce more to the website.
We expanded our product pages and introduced new functionality such as eCommerce and the new website is all the better for it.
You should adopt this approach in your own website redesign and revamp. Build on, but improve every element that makes up your old website.
Set goals for your new website
Small business website goals are the backbone of good website development. Establishing an online presence is key to the success of your business and your website is the most important touchpoint of this presence.
Your business website should be the first consideration when taking your business online. But all this investment and attention on your website will not yield much if the website does not achieve any goals.
And you need to set these goals in order to measure, optimize and ultimately attain them with your website. We have always had a number of goals, but revamping our website helped us revise and reframe them.
This allowed us to expand on our goals, expand on what success and achieving these goals looks like. We took a closer look at our customer journey and conversion funnel and reassessed the role our website should play at every stage.
We also reassessed our measurement stack and improved it to get a better idea of what exactly happens on our website so we can better understand our successes and failures.
Our website goals are complex and as such not always easy to measure. We, for example, want our blog to – in addition to everything else – be a great resource for entrepreneurs.
We are about insights for success and what better way to deliver them than with an informative blog? However, it will never be easy to quantify the return on our investment from clients finding our content valuable.
That’s an important goal for us and so some form of understanding of our efforts is important. So as you rebuild your own website, you should engage in the same.
Set goals for your website, not just monetary goals but a wide range. Once you do this, develop a robust framework to measure results and a broader framework to analyse results. Most importantly, develop a definition of success that’s unique to your goals.
Browse and journal your current website often
Redesigning and revamping your website should be a long-term project. There is always room for improvement, and looking for areas to improve your website should be part of your daily operations.
Reducing even a single pain point for your website visitors can lead to amazing gains for your business. We have seen many clients neglect their websites once they are built and this is a huge mistake.
At Mut-Con, we have always prioritised experiencing our own assets from the perspective of clients. This includes regularly browsing different sections of our website and seeing if they add value.
Do our pages inform and delight? Is all the information we have on Mut-Con available to anyone who browses our website? Is our website easy to navigate and can you achieve what you need to on it?
We make notes of these and major issues get dealt with in regular refreshes, but others just pile up. Our website revamp was an opportunity to get all of this sorted.
We revised all the notes on the website experienced over time and whatever we felt hadn’t been sufficiently dealt with was given priority. The result is a website that’s better at achieving our business goals after the revamp.
You should invest in the same process immediately. Start making interacting with your website a key part of your operations. Whenever you notice a frequently asked question, check if you have it in your FAQs.
Instead of narrating your origin story whenever someone asks about your business, try sharing your About page. Does it sufficiently answer the question? Whatever stops you from completely enjoying or using your website should be a priority of your next revamp.
Make SEO preparations before changing
SEO is one of the most important considerations for your website. In fact, it should be at the heart of almost every decision you make when it comes to your online presence.
The ability to show up in search results when clients search for your products and services is invaluable.
As an example, it’s generally accepted that Canva’s SEO strategy is largely responsible for growing it to a business valued in the billions. That’s billions with a b.
Whatever your growth goals are, it’s clear that SEO should be at the centre of them as well. However, website revamps can steal your SEO gains if not done correctly.
This is something we were painfully aware of when we were revamping the Mut-Con website. Especially because we are in a hyper-competitive market when it comes to SEO, and digital marketing, we knew even the smallest losses would make a difference.
Because we compete with some of the fiercest SEO specialists in South Africa, we needed to hold on to our gains. So at the start of our website revamp we did a full SEO revamp strategy.
We started by auditing our site and identifying our best content in SEO terms, and we made sure it would translate well to the new website.
Then we looked at content we were looking at adding with the goal of ensuring it was introduced in the best possible form.
After that, it was a matter of maintaining or improving on what worked on the old website. We revised all our user experience metrics and made a goal to maintain or improve upon them.
This was a long exercise that was particularly tough because it came after the old website had been completed. It was a worthwhile one though because, for the most part, we saw ranking improvements for our website across the board.
Realign your website with your evolved brand
Brands change over time. Reasons may vary, but the elements that make up your brand will not remain the same. Even when you maintain the same colour scheme and logo, some harder-to-deduce brand elements may have changed.
This was the case with our own Mut-Con website redesign. While it came at a time when we still used our original logo from our founding and the same Mut-Con green we know and love, we had refined some of the elements of our brand like our voice and tone to be even friendlier and more fun.
This came from our reinforced resolve to make business insights accessible to all entrepreneurs, and so we leaned in on this on the website rebuild.
While we did not completely overhaul our website content, we made changes that reinforced this mission, plus we threw in our new font for good measure.
Your website redesign and rebrand gives you the same opportunity. While occasional refreshes will keep your website close to your brand philosophy, with time it can get left behind.
Before you start with the site revamp, take a look at your current brand. Evaluate all your brand elements and audit your previous website.
Look for what doesn’t match and mark it down for a change. Your website redesign could even inspire a brand re-imagining altogether. As one of your biggest branding tools, how would a new website based on your current brand elements perform in your market?
Would it be enough to help your business grow? If the answer is no then a rebrand is in order. In that regard, a website revamp is not only an opportunity to re-align your website with your brand but also to re-align your brand with your market and business goals.
Promote your redesigned and revamped website
It’s not every day that a growing business gets to introduce something new. After a while, it’s a case of promoting the tried and tested within your business.
Clients become pretty much familiar with your products, services, values, philosophy, vision, mission and all the elements that make up your brand.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. It could be a sign that you are building a strong recognizable brand. But it never really hurts to excite the market with something new.
A new website gives you the opportunity to do just that. When you finish your website redesign and revamp, don’t miss an opportunity to promote it to your clients.
Take the opportunity to promote new functionality, a new look, and all the elements that make it an upgrade on the old website. This will not only create excitement for the new website but will drive some valuable traffic as well.
Platforms like email marketing may even drive new engagement from clients that had otherwise lapsed. For other clients, this could be a necessary intro to important changes introduced by the website.
Promoting your new functionality and changes could help them browse the new website and find their favourite elements on the new layout. Did you add any new products and services inspired by the website redesign and revamp?
Don’t let them languish in obscurity. Instead, promote them so they can be accessed. When the Mut-Con website was revamped, we not only promoted it but it promoted new content across all our platforms.
With the new website came a new drive to promote all our products and share a lot more of what makes up Mut-Con’s identity.
The revamp inspired more blog content, including this article. From the renewed love that came for Mut-Con with a new website came a renewed desire to let more people see Mut-Con.
In conclusion, a website redesign is never really done
Revamping and redesigning your website should be a set part of your marketing strategy. For a lot of reasons, websites become obsolete, and you do not want an outdated website ruining the user experience.
Because a business website is a big touch point in the customer journey, this could ruin all your marketing efforts. But a website revamp or redesign need not be a regrettable experience.
Instead, it could be an opportunity for growth and unlocking greater possibilities for your business.
We certainly learnt that when we revamped the Mut-Con website. We’d love to know how you think our website revamp went by viewing our old website here, and our new website here. And if you need your website revamped, chat to Mut-Con.
We were blown away by the sample of what our website would look like that Clement did for us. That was a pretty instant confirmation of us using him for a revamp of our website.
He practised a great deal of patience and persistently kept improving it which made working with him a pleasure.
Mika Julius – Curve Central