Must-Ask Questions for Each Phase of A Website Redesign

Redesigning your website is like getting a makeover—it’s a high-stakes, high-reward situation.

For in-house teams, it’s a career-defining moment. For business owners, the success (or failure) of the new website directly impacts the bottom line.

Even with so much riding on this, we’ve had countless clients come to us after their website redesign project flopped.

Invariably, the root cause of failure can be traced back to two reasons:

  1. The web designer neglected to ask the right questions.

  2. The company failed to ask the designer the right questions.

That’s precisely why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide. By the end of this article, you’ll understand the key to successful website redesign projects.

And that is…

Drum roll, please.

Asking the right questions.

We’ll give you the questions to ask when redesigning a website and break it down into different phases.

Old laptop overgrown with vines

Signs you’re due for a website redesign

You’ll often see signs when you’re due for a website revamp. Here are some telltale signs that indicate your website needs a makeover:

Your site’s look is feeling a bit stale

One of the biggest signs that it’s time for a web redesign is if your site’s design looks outdated. Design trends move quickly these days, so if your site still has that early 2010s vibe, it’s probably due for a refresh. An outdated look can make your business seem behind the times.

Users are struggling to get around

Another red flag is bad user experience. When your visitors get confused, can't find what they're looking for, have trouble navigating your site, or bounce off, that's a clear sign that your UX needs an overhaul. A modern, intuitive web design is key to keeping people engaged.

Those conversion numbers are dropping

Speaking of engagement, have you noticed your conversion rates are dipping? Whether your goal metric is leads, sales, or newsletter signups, declining conversions indicate your site isn’t doing its job. A revamp with a razor-sharp user focus could be just what you need.

You're behind on tech

The web moves fast, and what was cutting-edge a few years ago can become obsolete before you know it. If your site isn’t playing nice with the latest browsers, devices, or web standards, that’s a glaring sign you need an update to stay compatible and secure.

Your offerings or brand identity has evolved

Maybe your business goals have shifted, or you’ve rebranded with a fresh look and messaging. If your website no longer accurately reflects who you are and what you offer, it’s time to bring it up to speed with a redesign aligned with your new direction.

Search engines are giving you the cold shoulder

Have your search rankings tanked lately? Many factors go into SEO, but user experience and mobile-friendliness top the list. If your site fails on these fronts, you’ll have trouble ranking high in search engines. A modern, optimized web design could be the boost you need.

Your fans (and critics) are weighing in

Sometimes, the writing is on the wall when users, customers, or even your team voice their concerns about your site’s flaws. Or maybe you’re just getting...that vibe. If the gripes and gut feelings align, it’s probably time to listen and give the people what they want.

Your brand voice is getting muffled

Consistency is crucial in branding. If your website’s messaging, tone, and overall vibe feel out of sync with your current branding and marketing efforts, that disjointed experience can undermine your brand identity. The goal should be a unified, on-brand web presence.

A magnifying glass

Discovery Phase Questions

This critical first step helps us understand your business, audience, and goals. It’s where we lay the foundation for a redesign that will knock it out of the park. Here are the topics around which we ask questions during the discovery stage of the redesign.

Purpose of the redesign

First things first—why are we doing this redesign in the first place? Maybe your current site has clunky UX or an outdated design. Or perhaps your business offerings and brand identity have evolved, and your website needs to catch up. We identify the current limitations and pain points so we can solve them with the new site.

We'll also clarify your goals for the new web design. Are you interested in boosting conversions, providing a top-notch user experience, or reinforcing your brand messaging? We’ll prioritize the goals driving this project.

Target demographic

A website lives or dies by how well it connects with its audience. That's why our team will dig deep to discover your ideal customers. We try to understand their backgrounds, needs, behaviors, and motivations. Knowing your target users is key to crafting an experience tailored just for them.

Brand evaluation

Your website is a huge part of your brand’s public face, so we need to make sure it represents you properly. We’ll closely examine how well your current site aligns with your brand identity, voice, and core values. From there, we can map out ways the new website design can embody and amplify what makes your brand unique.

Brand guidelines

Speaking of brand identity, we’ll want to review your branding guidelines. What is your brand's color palette, typography, logo design, and icon style? Knowing the answers to these questions will help keep the redesign on-brand.

Functionality requirements

What tools and features will the new site need to meet your goals? An e-commerce platform? Searchable knowledge base? Multimedia content galleries? We’ll work with you to define the key functionality and map out ways to streamline the UX.

Challenges and limitations

Last but not least, we’ll examine any significant hurdles, roadblocks, or constraints for the project. It could be legacy systems, strict regulations, tight timelines, or all of the above. Anticipating challenges gives us the opportunity to plan for them.

A man thinking

Strategy Phase Questions

With research and discovery out of the way, it’s time to map out a solid game plan. In the strategy phase, we’ll craft a redesign strategy laser-focused on achieving your goals.

Redesign KPIs

You can’t score wins if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. We’ll work with you to define the key metrics for measuring success. It could be more leads, higher conversion rates, or increased time on site. Once we agree on the KPIs, every decision can be adapted to meet them.

Brand positioning and identity

Brands that stand out don't just look good; they also communicate why they're better than the competition. We’ll collaborate with you to clarify your brand positioning and unique selling proposition. From the messaging to the visuals, we'll incorporate your distinctive advantage and identity into every aspect of the redesigned website.

SEO audit

Search engine visibility is make-or-break for many sites. Before we lift a finger on design, we’ll do a comprehensive SEO audit to understand how your current site is performing in rankings. To understand your SEO strategy, we'll ask about high-traffic pages, internal links, backlinks, content silos, and so on. From there, we map out ways to preserve and increase your visibility during the redesign process.

Content audit

Your content is one of your site’s most valuable assets. We’ll take stock of what’s working well and what could be improved. The goal is to keep what’s performing well while optimizing or removing underperforming content.

Competitor analysis

It never hurts to keep an eye on the competition. We’ll thoroughly study your competitors’ sites, from design to UX to digital marketing tactics. What are they doing well (and not so well)? Knowing this will help us devise a battle plan.

Timeline and budget

Every project needs a realistic roadmap and parameters. What’s your budget? How long will the redesign take? When do you need the redesigned website to go live? We’ll work closely with you to map out an achievable timeline and budget. This sets the right expectations and allows everyone to do their best work without surprises.

Process and feedback loops

We’ll get everyone on the same page with a clearly defined process. What’s the feedback, review, and approval process? Who are the decision-makers? Establishing these systems in advance prevents chaos and delays down the road.

Content migration plan

Creating great content takes a lot of effort, so you don’t want your content assets to go to waste. What assets should be moved to the redesigned website? We’ll create a plan to migrate them, making sure that no valuable content is lost.

Analytics and maintenance

Even after launch, there’s still work to be done. We’ll ensure you have all the tools and tracking to monitor performance, measure user behavior, and continuously improve the site experience. You'll also receive guidance on updating and maintaining your redesign.

CMS and hosting

Finally, on the strategy front, we’ll nail down the technical logistics. What backend systems, content management systems, and hosting services will power your fancy new website? We’ve compared several website builders like Elementor vs. Webflow and Craft vs. WordPress.

Website Developer

Design and Development Questions

Once we’ve done the research and have a plan in place, the next step in the website redesign process is to bring your vision to life through website design and development. Here are a few topics we discuss during this stage.

Overall aesthetic

What’s the overall look and feel of your new website? From color palettes and typography to imagery and visual styles, we'll create an aesthetic that showcases your brand's personality.

Key design elements

Once we figure out the broad strokes, we'll zoom in on specific elements. What are the design concepts, graphic elements, and special effects you want to use based on your brand guidelines?

Functionality and wireframing

Remember those functionality requirements we identified in the strategy phase? We’ll now map out what these features and tools will look like and how they’ll fit into the user experience. This wireframing phase gives us a chance to experiment and come up with innovative UX solutions.

Navigation and user journeys

How do visitors navigate your website? What are the most common tasks and user journeys? We'll structure your content and flow logically and intuitively to guide users toward their goals.

Error pages and redirects

Even the best sites occasionally encounter a 404 or broken link. What should that experience be like? We create custom error pages that direct users to their intended destination. Our team will also set up redirects as needed to maintain your SEO performance.

Content strategy

What kinds of written or multimedia content will your new site need? We’ll develop a full content strategy that covers text, imagery, video, and more to keep things dynamic and engaging.

Consistent voice and messaging

How can we convey your brand’s unique personality through messaging and brand copy? Our experienced copywriters and brand strategists will use brand-aligned language and tone of voice to reinforce your branding.

Conversion-focused CTAs

Of course, we want your new website to look stunning. But most importantly, we want it to convert. What are the actions we want them to take? What’s the next best step? We’ll optimize the calls-to-action and user journeys to turn visitors into fans, leads, and customers.

Social and community integration

A website is just one part of a brand’s digital presence. How can we integrate a community around it? We’ll explore ways to tie in social media channels, user accounts, community forums, and other interactive elements to create a cohesive online experience.

Accessibility and responsive design

1 out of 4 people are disabled, and 86% of people use their mobile to go online, so your website must be accessible to everyone and adapt flawlessly to every screen size. We have checks and measures baked into our process to ensure optimal accessibility and mobile-friendliness.

Website launch

Questions to ask in the web site launch phase

With all our hard work done, it’s time to push that shiny new website live for the world to see. We’ll run through some crucial checks first:

Cross-browser and device testing

Before anything goes live, we’ll test your new site on all the major browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. We’ll also test the responsive design on desktop, tablet, and mobile viewports to ensure pixel-perfect experiences.

User testing and feedback

There is no better way to gauge a site’s effectiveness than watching visitors use it. We’ll monitor the site for user feedback and identify areas for improvement.

SEO optimization

We’ll double and triple-check that your new website is optimized for maximum search engine visibility and traffic. Are there metadata tags, such as title tags, meta descriptions, etc? Have we implemented structured data markups (schema markup) and heading structures to make your website more search engine-friendly? Does your site content show up in search results with rich snippets, knowledge panels, and other helpful features? Our team will plan your new website's information architecture, site structure, URL hierarchy, and internal linking to give you the best chance to rank for target keywords.

Index and no-index tags

Have we properly implemented index and no-index tags? These tags tell search engines what content should and shouldn’t be crawled. We’ll audit your new site for indexing issues to make sure it’s optimized for search engines.

Robots.txt file

The robots.txt file is another key piece for managing how search bots interact with and index your site. We’ll ensure that all instructions are written correctly.

On-page content optimization

Have you included the right keywords and topics on our page? Have you overused keywords? Our team will optimize your content with target keywords, entities, and heading tags to improve your search engine rankings.

XML sitemaps

Do we have a sitemap? Search engines will be able to easily discover and index all your awesome new content if you submit an XML sitemap.

Analytics and tracking

Have you set up the tracking codes? You can’t manage what you don’t measure. We’ll ensure tracking codes and analytics are correctly configured so you can monitor user behavior, traffic sources, and conversions. We recommend Google Analytics or Plausible based on your needs.

Forms and functionality testing

Before we call it a wrap, we’ll thoroughly test forms, shopping carts, and other key features to ensure flawless operation.

Gears working smoothly

Questions to ask after the website launch

Just because your new website is live doesn’t mean our work is done. We’ll stick around to analyze performance and keep optimizing.

Goal tracking

Remember those KPIs we identified way back in the strategy phase? We’ll pay close attention to how the new site is performing against those goals. Are conversion rates improving? Is engagement trending upward? This ongoing analysis is crucial.

Site performance

We’ll monitor technical performance indicators like page load speeds, server responsiveness, uptime, and more since these factors significantly impact user experience.

User feedback and testing

Once the new site is launched, we’ll gather continuous user feedback. This real-world data will illuminate any areas in need of UX refinement. We’ll set up ways to facilitate open dialogue with your audience, such as surveys, forums, and communities. Your audience insights are invaluable.

Technical QA

Even after extensive testing, technical issues or broken links can still crop up once a site goes live. We’ll be keeping a close eye out for anything that needs fixing.

Search visibility

Small ranking fluctuations are normal after a major site relaunch. We’ll monitor your positions closely, looking for unusual spikes or drops that may require further investigation.

Continuous improvement

The best websites are ever-evolving. As we study performance data and gather user feedback, we’ll identify opportunities to keep iterating and improving with new content, features, and design tweaks.

Website Redesign FAQs

What are the major things to consider while redesigning an existing website?

When redesigning an existing website, it’s crucial to consider your goals, target audience, and brand identity. You need a clear understanding of what your new website needs to accomplish and the limitations of your current site. You should also think about the user experience, search engine optimization (SEO), technical requirements, and how to measure success. At Trajectory, we believe that a successful redesign starts with understanding your business goals and choosing the key performance indicators (KPIs) that define your success.

What to do before redesigning a website?

Before diving into a website redesign, take a step back and assess your site’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Identify the reasons for a redesign, for example, an outdated design, poor user experience, or declining conversion rates. Don't forget to define your project’s goals, timeline, and budget.

How do you assess a website redesign?

We evaluate website redesign success based on the goals and KPIs defined at the beginning of the project. The most common metrics we use to measure success are conversion rates, user engagement, and search engine rankings. Our team also conducts user testing, gathers feedback, and monitors analytics to identify areas for further improvement. At Trajectory, a website redesign is not a one-time event but rather an ongoing refinement and optimization process.

Ready for a stellar new website?

We’re ready for takeoff! Tell us a little about your business and we’ll reach out to get your project underway.