As your website grows, you must make changes and improvements to keep up. A website redesign can help improve the look and feel of your website.
The goal of a website redesign is to give your site users a better user experience and improve backend processes for site admins. If you’re thinking about redesigning your website, it’s important to make changes that don’t negatively affect your search engine rankings.
In this article, we talk about 7 steps to take before completing a website redesign.
- Improve Your Site Speed Score
- Locate Outdated Content and Broken URLs
- Redirect Broken URLs and 404 Errors
- Monitor Website Analytics for Performance and Security
- Secure Your Website from Malicious Attacks
- Preserve Top-Performing Pages and Content
Step #1. – Improve Your Site Speed Score
When redesigning your website, it’s important to pay attention to the elements of your site that can affect your website speed. For example, having large video or image files that take a long time to load can slow down your page speed.
If your site has a low page speed score, this means that it’s taking your site too much time to load. Slow loading times can lead to poor user experience, impatience, and high abandonment rates. Use tools free tools like Google Page Speed Insights to learn how to optimize your website for faster speed.
Step # 2. – Locate Outdated Content and Broken URLs
Nothing is more frustrating for website visitors than clicking on a page and finding broken links or links to outdated content. To provide a better user experience, complete a content audit during your website redesign.
Create a list or spreadsheet highlighting the website content that is no longer viable. This list Includes deleted links, pages, and posts. Keeping a record of these changes will make it easier to identify what pages, posts, and URLs search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Duck Duck Go have already indexed.
Step # 3. – Redirect Broken URLs and 404 Errors
Instead of sending loyal viewers and subscribers to new pages or 404 errors, set up 301 redirects. A 301 redirect automatically sends users to the newly assigned page URL. Outdated URLs and content links will return a 404 error for website visitors. A high number of 404 errors will eventually affect your search engine ranking and increase website abandonment rates.
Once you’ve completed your content audit and you know where your broken URLs and outdated content are, set up 301 redirects to point the invalid content to the correct URLs and pages. Setting up a 301 redirect isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Most content management system providers like WordPress make it easier by giving you the option of setting up redirects via a plugin.
Step #4. – Monitor Website Analytics for Performance and Security
Set a baseline for your updated website analytics by completing an SEO audit and measuring your site’s current performance using tools like Ubersuggest and Google Analytics. Understanding your current metrics will make it easier for you to see differences in your website performance after making the updates/ Setting a baseline for your website analytics makes it easier to recognize when pages, posts, and other content are performing well on your site.
Monitoring website analytics can help you in more ways than one. For example, a high number of page hits can mean that your site is doing well and has a lot of recent visitors. A high number of page hits to restricted pages like admin pages or site login pages, however, can show a potential security threat.
Step #5 – Secure Your Website From Malignant Attacks
Protecting the website you’ve worked hard to create begins with beefing up your site security. Hackers and unauthorized users can wreak havoc on your website if they’re able to break in. Keep your security settings up-to-date to prevent hackers, criminals, and unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data.
The easiest way to secure your website if you’re using a content management system is by installing a plugin. Popular website security plugins like WordFence give website users the ability to monitor website traffic, suspicious behavior, unauthorized login attempts, and to block troublesome IP addresses.
Step #6. – Preserve Top-Performing Content
Set aside time in your redesign project for content preservation and expansion. Highlight top performing content and keep track of the URLs. You’ll recognize top-performing content because these are the pages that are ranking higher on Google and other search engines.
Find top-performing content in the admin area of your CMS. Many page hits, comments, likes, shares, and backlinks from high-authority sites are all indicators of top-performing content. Review top-performing (and underperforming) content and optimize this content by adding missing keywords, tags, updated information and eliminating outdated or broken links to pages.
Data Processing Required
A website redesign involves searching and sorting through an enormous amount of data. Creating a workbook using an Excel Spreadsheet or Google Doc is a straightforward way to keep track of your website redesign project.
A Website Audit Is Mandatory
It’s important to keep track of top-performing posts and pages to maintain or improve your search engine ranking. Completing a website audit before your website redesign project will help you identify top content that needs to be preserved.
Don’t Delete – Redirect
Creating a redirect is better than deleting some posts and pages or having numerous 404 errors on your website. The goal is to keep website traffic on your site longer. Accomplish this goal by providing a seamless user experience free of errors, broken links, and large numbers of 404 errors.
Preserve Your Website Structure
It affects important parts of your website structure when completing a website redesign. Elements of your website that a redesign can affect are URLs, pages, posts, domains, sub-domains, and permalink structures.
Secure Your Website
Secure your website from unwanted intruders who try to access your website and wreak havoc. Maintain updated security settings and anti-virus settings to lessen the likelihood of attack during your website redesign process.