The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Redesigning a Website

August 20, 2015

In the world of website design and development companies), we give and receive plenty of advice from clients and peers alike. As much as some of the information can be enlightening, there is also a lot of advice that will likely do more harm than good, misleading clients in completely the wrong direction. The Prototype team has compiled their experience into this blog in an effort to save you from wasting time and money when you decide to redesign your website for your business.

Other people are doing it so you should too

You have to update your website to stay ahead of the curve, especially with important updates like mobile, however, you should not do a website redesign just because other people are doing so. If your website is functioning well with a great UX, then why change it? Focus on your own business goals and ignore the chatter around you.

It needs to look pretty

There is no denying that most clients want to have a good-looking website, but there is one thing that beats a pretty website, and that is quality user experience. If your website makes sense and users can easily navigate to the information they want from your site, then your website will be more successful. Yes, having attractive buttons to guide your users through your website is great, but ensuring those buttons are there in the first place comes first every time. Focus on user experience first.

You need a new URL structure

Changing your URL structure can result in thousands of crawl errors after launch. We advise that, unless it is completely necessary, you avoid changing the URL structure to avoid the endless 301 redirects you will have to create. Ask yourself why you want a new URL structure? If the content is staying the same and you are just reigniting the websites design, new URLs may not be needed. If you are transforming every aspect of your site, you may have to create a new URL strategy, in which case you need to be prepared that it may take 6 months to clear all the crawl errors after launch. Don't make this decision without serious consideration for the consequences.

SEO isn't important until the site is live

This one statement alone can serious damage the performance of your new site after launch if you do not build SEO into your website prior to launch. SEO should play a role in every stage of your website's design, rebuild and launch otherwise it will drop significantly in rank. We suggest you:

  • Conduct a keyword discovery and use this to inform decisions about URL structure, H1 & H2 tags and content on the website.
  • Complete the input for at least 30 pages of page titles and meta descriptions on the front end before the site launches.

Let's design a full website for a campaign

Don't get confused between instances when you need to design a landing page instead of a website. A landing page is standalone web page that is distinct from your main website and has been designed for a single focused objective. It should help guide your users to an intended conversion goal, whether that be a newsletter sign up or competition entry. Often times, a landing page is all you need as opposed to a full website. Here is an example where we have created a landing page for a campaign: Hugo Boss 'Man of Today' campaign site.

Before jumping into a website redesign project, get a website audit service company to get a full assessment on your redesign requirements.

What bad advice have you been given about website redesign? Tell us on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter - we look forward to hearing from you.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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