Get Our Proven Website Redesign Checklist (Free Downloadable Template)

Redesigning a website can feel like juggling flaming torches while riding a unicycle. One minute, you're excited about giving your site a fresh look; the next, you're drowning in a sea of tasks and decisions.

It's easy to miss a step or two, and no one wants to be caught off guard when the boss asks, "Did you remember to update the SEO settings?" (Cue the deer-in-headlights look.)

We want to help you avoid that awkward moment. That’s why we've put together a comprehensive website redesign checklist. It’s the same checklist we’ve used to successfully carry out hundreds of website redesign projects without any nasty surprises.

Whether you're revamping your site alone or with a team, this checklist will make sure you cover all the bases, from initial planning to post-launch optimization.

Download the checklist

Website redesign phase 1: Discovery and planning

Good planning and strategizing are the foundation of a successful redesign project. During this phase, you figure out the project goals and understand the brand you’re working with. Alignment of the business and brand goals will make your life a lot easier. Here are some steps you should have in your discovery and planning phase checklist.

Analyze your current website performance metrics

Before you can chart a course forward, you must understand where you currently stand. Identifying your current website performance metrics will provide a baseline for your redesign efforts.

Benchmark website performance

Start by gathering data on your website's current performance. Benchmarking data will help you identify what’s working and what’s not so you can build on strengths and address weaknesses.

  • Traffic: Look at the number of visitors coming to your site. Where are they coming from? Which pages are they visiting the most? Understanding your traffic sources and patterns can inform your redesign strategy.

  • Engagement metrics: Metrics like average session duration, pages per session, and click-through rates give you insight into how users interact with your site. Are they finding what they need, or are they dropping off quickly?

  • Conversion rates: This is crucial. How many visitors are taking the desired actions, whether it's filling out a form, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter? Identifying bottlenecks in your conversion process can guide your redesign priorities.

  • Bounce rates: A high bounce rate may indicate that visitors aren’t finding what they’re looking for or your site isn't engaging enough. Understanding why visitors leave can help you make improvements.

  • Evaluate content quality and relevance: Assess the quality and relevance of your existing content. Is it up-to-date, informative, and engaging? Identify content that performs well and areas where you can improve.

A man thinking

Set redesign goals

Now that you have a clear picture of your current performance, it’s time to define what you want to achieve with your redesign. When you set clear, actionable goals, it acts as your north star throughout the process.

Identify key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Set SMART goals: Your website should support your broader business goals, whether it's increasing sales, generating leads, or building brand awareness. Your goals should be specific, measurable, and aligned with your business objectives. A well-known framework for goal setting is to make them SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, instead of saying "increase traffic," aim for "increase traffic by 20% over the next six months."
  • Align KPIs with business objectives: Once you set your business goals, it’s time to identify leading indicators that will show your progress in the right direction. KPIs are your health indicators. When you stay on track with your goals, they’ll look healthy. If you veer off course, they’ll look bad.

Decide whether to DIY or hire an agency

Next, consider whether you have the internal resources and expertise to handle the redesign yourself or if it’s better to hire an agency. Here’s a detailed checklist for choosing a web design agency.

  • Assess internal resources and expertise: Consider the skills and expertise of your staff. If you already have a team of skilled in-house website developers, you can assign someone to manage the redesign project and do it yourself. If you want a second opinion, hire a seasoned design agency to sense-check your website redesign project plan.

  • Consider budget and timeline: What’s your budget for the project? What’s your timeline? An agency might be more expensive but can bring specialized expertise and efficiency. Since agencies work on different industries and a more comprehensive range of redesign projects, they'll have a unique perspective.

  • Evaluate the scope of the redesign project: Assess the scale of your project. Is it a minor facelift or a complete overhaul? The complexity of your redesign will influence your decision.


Your brand is the heart and soul of your website. A redesign is an excellent opportunity to refine and reinforce your brand identity.

  • Define brand identity: Your brand identity should be clear and consistent across your website. Consistent branding includes the uniform use of colors, logos, icons, fonts, illustrations, and imagery.
  • Document brand guidelines: If you already have a brand stylebook, share that with the web design team and all the stakeholders involved in the redesign. If you don't have one, this is the perfect time to establish one. It doesn’t have to be super detailed; just document the rules for your basic brand elements. The stylebook will keep everyone on the same page and maintain brand consistency.

Assess technology needs

The technology behind your website is just as important as its design. Choosing the right tools and platforms will ensure your site is functional, scalable, and secure.

  • Choose the CMS: Your content management system (CMS) is the backbone of your website. Consider ease of use, scalability, and support when making your choice.

  • Establish features and functionalities: Identify the features and functionalities your website needs. Features could include e-commerce functionality, forms, search capabilities, etc.

  • Choose hosting and server requirements: Your hosting solution should support your website’s needs in terms of speed, reliability, and scalability.

  • Define security needs: Security is critical. Protect your site and user data by choosing a technology stack with robust security measures.

Website redesign phase 2: Research and strategy

Once you’ve done the groundwork, it's time to dive deeper into the specifics. Phase 2 is all about understanding your market, analyzing competitors, and crafting a robust content and SEO strategy. This phase ensures your redesigned website looks great and performs exceptionally well.

Understand your market

To create a website that truly resonates with your audience, you must understand who they are and what they need. Audience research involves digging into user data and feedback to clearly understand your target audience. Here are a few ways to develop a clear understanding of your potential customer.

  • Create buyer personas: Start by developing detailed buyer personas. These semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers will guide your design and content decisions.

  • Understand user needs and preferences: What are your users looking for when they visit your site? What are their pain points and preferences? Understanding these elements will help you create a more user-centric website.

  • Gather user feedback: Collecting feedback directly from users is invaluable. Use surveys, forms, or direct interactions to gather their opinions and suggestions.

  • Conduct surveys and interviews: Go beyond basic feedback with in-depth surveys and interviews. This qualitative data provides deeper insights into user behavior and expectations.

  • Analyze user behavior and patterns: Use analytics tools to track how users interact with your site. Identify patterns and behaviors that can inform your redesign.

  • Create user journey maps: Map out the typical user journeys on your site. You'll better understand how customers navigate and their friction points if you map their flow.

Conduct competitor analysis

Knowing what your competitors are doing can provide valuable insights. The intention isn’t to blatantly copy what they’re doing but to identify opportunities for differentiation.

  • Identify direct and indirect competitors: Look at your direct competitors (those offering similar products or services) and indirect competitors (those in related industries or offering alternative solutions).

  • Analyze competitor websites: Examine their design, functionality, content, and user experience. What are they doing well? Where are they falling short?

  • Identify best practices and areas for differentiation: Learn from your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Identify best practices you can adopt and opportunities to stand out.

Content strategy

An effective content strategy is crucial for engaging users and driving conversions. The process involves a comprehensive review and planning of your website's content.

  • Content pruning: Start by identifying and removing outdated or irrelevant content. By featuring only the most helpful content, you streamline your website and enhance the user experience.

  • Content refresh: Update and enhance existing content to ensure accuracy, relevance, and engagement. Refreshing content might involve rewriting, adding new information, or improving visuals.

  • Identify content gaps: Identifying content gaps is like finding the missing puzzle pieces in your website. Look at your customers' buying journeys and see if you have content covering all the steps. By spotting these gaps, you can create truly useful content. You can also run a content gap analysis with your competitor.

  • Content consolidation: Combine similar or overlapping content into comprehensive, high-quality pieces. Content consolidation reduces redundancy and improves clarity.

  • Content taxonomy: Organize your content logically. Create a clear structure and hierarchy that makes it easy for users to find what they want.

  • Content audit: Conduct a thorough audit of your existing content. Evaluate its performance, relevance, and alignment with your goals.

  • Content migration plan: Planning how to move your content to the new site is crucial. A proper migration plan ensures that you don’t lose valuable content during the transition and all the taxonomies are carried over.

  • Content mapping: Align your content with user needs and your site’s structure. Ensure each piece of content has a clear purpose and place in the user journey.

  • Information architecture: Design a clear, intuitive information architecture. It involves organizing and structuring your content to support seamless navigation and a positive user experience.

Search engine optimization (SEO) strategy

A solid SEO strategy ensures your site is discoverable by search engines and attracts organic traffic. Here are some things to include in your website redesign SEO checklist.

  • Internal linking: Develop a strategy for internal linking to boost SEO and guide users through your site.
  • Sitemap: Create a comprehensive sitemap to help search engines crawl and index your site effectively.
  • Plan and setup redirects: Ensure all old URLs correctly redirect to new URLs to maintain SEO value and avoid broken links.
  • Technical SEO: Address technical SEO aspects like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and secure connections (HTTPS).
  • On-page SEO: Optimize individual pages for target keywords, including title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and content.
  • Keyword research: Identify relevant keywords to target based on user search behavior and business objectives.
  • Internal linking: Develop a strategy for internal linking to boost SEO and guide users through your site. Internal links help distribute page authority, improve crawlability, and keep users engaged by guiding them to related content.
  • Site structure: Design a clear, logical site structure that supports SEO and enhances user experience.

Website redesign phase 3: Design and development

With your research and strategy in place, it's time to bring your vision to life. Phase 3 focuses on designing and developing a website that's not only visually appealing but also user-friendly and functional. This phase ensures your site meets both aesthetic and technical standards.

Design and UX

Good design isn’t just about looking pretty; it’s about creating an intuitive, enjoyable user journey. Your website design should captivate users while providing a seamless experience.

  • Focus on user experience (UX): Prioritize usability and accessibility. Your site should be easy to navigate, with clear calls to action and a logical flow.

  • Visual appeal: Use your brand guidelines to create a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing design. Consistency in colors, fonts, and imagery reinforces your brand identity.

  • Accessibility: Ensure your site is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Accessible web design broadens your audience and complies with legal requirements.


Wireframing is the blueprint of your website. It outlines the basic structure and layout before any detailed design work begins.

  • Create functional wireframes: Develop wireframes for the main pages of your site, such as the homepage, about page, and service pages. Interactive wireframes help visualize the layout and functionality of a website.

  • Focus on structure and flow: Ensure each wireframe clearly shows the information hierarchy and guides users through the intended journey.

  • Iterate and refine: Use feedback from stakeholders to refine your wireframes. This iterative process helps address potential issues early on.

Develop responsive design

What’s your desktop vs mobile usage? I think it's safe to assume you browse a lot on your mobile device. Most people do. That’s why your website should look and function well on all screen sizes, from desktops to smartphones.

  • Mobile-first approach: Start designing for the smallest screen first. With mobile-first designs, you'll have a solid foundation that scales up to larger screens.

  • Flexible grid layouts: Using flexible grid layouts that adapt to different screen sizes ensures your content remains accessible and visually appealing on any device.

  • Cross-device compatibility: Regularly test your design on various devices and browsers to ensure consistent performance and appearance.

Develop the site on the chosen CMS

With your web design finalized, it’s time to build your website on the selected content management system (CMS).

  • Implement design: Translate your wireframes and design mockups into actual web pages. The development stage involves coding the layout, integrating graphics, and setting up the navigation.

  • Add functionality: Incorporate the necessary features and plugins. This might include contact forms, e-commerce capabilities, or social media integrations.

  • Content integration: Migrate your content into the new site. Ensure it’s formatted correctly and maintains the quality and relevance identified during the content audit.

Install tracking codes

To measure the success of your website and gather valuable insights, you need to install tracking codes.

  • Google Analytics: Set up Google Analytics to track visitor behavior, traffic sources, and other key metrics. This data is crucial for ongoing optimization.

  • Google Search Console: Install Google Search Console to monitor your site’s performance in the search engine results. GSC also provides insights into ranking keywords, indexing issues, links, and a lot more.

  • Additional tracking: Consider additional tracking tools like heatmaps, A/B testing software, or marketing automation platforms, depending on your needs.

Website launch

Website redesign phase 4: testing and launch

After the heavy lifting of design and development, it's time to ensure everything works perfectly before going live. Phase 4 focuses on thorough testing and final quality assurance to catch any issues that might have slipped through the cracks. This step is crucial for delivering a polished, professional website.


A comprehensive testing phase ensures your website performs well across all parameters, providing a seamless experience for your users.

  • Accessibility audit: Verify that your website meets accessibility standards such as WCAG. Ensure that users with disabilities can navigate and interact with your site without issues.
  • Speed: Test your website’s load times using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights. Optimize images, scripts, and other elements to ensure fast loading across all devices.

Technical hygiene

  • Code quality: Review your code for any errors or inefficiencies. Clean, well-organized code improves performance and makes future maintenance easier.

  • Security checks: Run security tests to identify vulnerabilities. Ensure measures like SSL certificates, secure passwords, and regular backups are in place.


  • Device testing: Test your website on different devices and screen sizes to make sure it works as expected.

  • Browser compatibility: Check compatibility across browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.

User experience testing

Conduct usability tests with real users to identify any pain points or areas of confusion. Use their feedback to make necessary adjustments.

Customer journey testing

Simulate the complete user journey from landing on the homepage to completing a goal (e.g., purchasing or filling out a form). Ensure each step is smooth and intuitive.

Check SEO basics

Ensure all your SEO tactics are implemented correctly. Basic SEO includes checking meta tags, robots.txt, alt text, and URL structure. Search engines will index your site properly if you have the foundations in place.

Perform final quality assurance

Before hitting the launch button, a final quality assurance (QA) round ensures everything is in top shape.

  • Test all links and forms: Click through every link and submit every form to ensure they work correctly. Broken links or malfunctioning forms can frustrate users and harm your credibility.

  • Proofread content: Carefully review all content for typos, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies. Clear, error-free content boosts professionalism and user trust.

  • Ensure analytics tracking is set up: Double-check that all your tracking codes (Google Analytics, Search Console, etc.) are correctly installed and functioning. Accurate data collection is critical for post-launch analysis and optimization.

Website redesign phase 5: Post-launch activities

Your new website is live—congratulations! But the work doesn’t stop here. Post-launch activities ensure your site performs well and evolves with your business needs. Phase 5 focuses on monitoring, feedback, maintenance, and planning for future improvements.

Monitor site performance

  • Performance analytics: Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor key performance metrics. Track traffic, bounce rates, conversion rates, and user behavior to identify areas for improvement.

  • SEO monitoring: Keep an eye on your search engine rankings and organic traffic. Use Google Search Console to check for indexing issues and monitor keyword performance.

  • Technical performance: Regularly check your site’s speed, uptime, and security. Tools like GTmetrix and Pingdom can help you identify and resolve performance issues.

Gather user feedback

  • Feedback tools: Implement feedback forms, live chat, or user testing platforms to collect ongoing user feedback. This direct input is invaluable for making user-centric improvements.

  • Social media monitoring: Monitor social media channels for user comments and feedback about your site. Address any concerns and use positive feedback to guide future enhancements.

Conduct post-launch surveys

  • Surveys: Send out surveys to your user base to gather detailed feedback on their experience with the new site. Ask specific questions about usability, design, content, and overall satisfaction.

  • Analyze results: Use the survey data to identify common themes and areas for improvement. Prioritize changes based on user feedback and impact on user experience.

Monitor support requests

  • Support tickets: Monitor support requests and tickets to identify common issues or pain points. Address these promptly to ensure a smooth user experience.

  • FAQs and help documentation: Update your FAQs and help documentation based on common support inquiries. Ample documentation reduces support requests and improve user satisfaction.

Plan for ongoing maintenance and updates

  • Regular maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance to keep your site running smoothly. Maintenance tasks include updating plugins, checking for broken links, and performing security checks.

  • Bug fixes: Address any bugs or issues that arise promptly. A proactive approach to maintenance can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.

Schedule regular content updates

  • Content calendar: Create a content calendar to plan and schedule regular updates. Fresh, relevant content keeps your site engaging and improves SEO.

  • Content audits: Review and update existing content periodically to make sure it remains accurate and valuable. Remove outdated information and add new insights.

Schedule future enhancements and optimizations

  • Feature roadmap: Develop a roadmap for future site enhancements and feature additions. Prioritize updates based on user feedback, business goals, and technological advancements.

  • Continuous improvement: Adopt a mindset of continuous improvement. Regularly review site performance, user feedback, and industry trends to identify opportunities for optimization.

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