6 Things to Do Before Making Changes To Your Website
No matter how attractive or functional your website is, chances are you’re going to make changes in it.
For one thing, the online platform may become obsolete over time, leaving it unable to serve your purpose. And for another, your web design tastes and preferences might also have changed.
Whatever the case is, being tempted to make changes to your website’s design is normal, especially if it’s been around for a long time. Plus, keeping your website looking fresh and with more recent content is key to climbing the ranks on Google.
So what should you keep in mind before making a major overhaul to your website?
If you’re seriously considering revamping your website’s look, there are several crucial things you need to do before you take the plunge. Read our top tips for updating your website below!
Have a Good Reason
If you’re going to redesign your website, you best do it for the right reasons.
Digital content consumers generally don’t like it when massive changes are abruptly made on their favourite sites. Thus, making redesigns on a whim is out of the question.
On the other hand, if you want to make your online platform more user-friendly, SEO-optimized, and accessible, then you might be better off making the changes ― no matter how high the web design costs! One of the best tips for updating your website is recognizing when the time is right for a website design and when to hold off.
Backup the Old Site
One of the most vital tips on updating your website is to maintain an up-to-date backup of your website before beginning your redesign.
By doing so, you’ll be able to revert to your online platform’s old look in case you find any undesirable side effects on the new one. For instance, in case you’re running an online store and your new Order page isn’t gathering as many customers as your old one, you can simply re-upload the older page while still figuring out if there’s anything wrong with the structure, design, and algorithm of its newer counterpart.
Minimize URL Change Impact
Changing your website’s URL while you’re redesigning its structure is a bad move.
Adjusting URLs can potentially leave your old page losing the hard-earned reputation it had built-in search engines. Plus, the links pointing your online platform to other websites will not necessarily be transferred to the new page if you greatly tweak the URL. By redirecting requests from the old page to the original, however, you can minimize the impact of the changes you made in your site’s URL.
One of our biggest tips for updating your website is to tell Google and your target audience that your page has changed location permanently through proper redirects. Adding a link in the old page that points to the new isn’t enough.
Start with CSS Files Only
More likely than not, you’ll be using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) when managing your website’s appearance.
While you can get away with completely overhauling your website’s display from scratch, simply tweaking your CSS files to change your online platform’s look can be more than enough. Not only is doing so more comfortable, but it’s also less time-consuming since you don’t have to visit and modify every page of your website.
Test New Site Design
Understand that revamping your website requires first knowing how visitors use its pages.
By testing a potential redesign on a few pages for a limited period, you can avoid significant fluctuations. Major changes and redesigns on your website can have a tremendous impact on its look and functionality. For one thing, it can increase or decrease traffic flow, making some pages more visible while rendering others practically inaccessible and buried deep.
Redesigns can also affect your site’s sales and advertising income. Luckily, you can monitor these by examining the path visitors take through your online platform’s web statistics.
The Bottom Line
For webmasters everywhere (yourself included), redesigning a website every few years or so is a fact of life.
By keeping the things discussed above in mind, you’ll be able to minimize any disruptions that will follow after you make major changes to your online platform.
Thanks for reading and if you have any other tips that I may have missed, please leave them in the comments section!