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4 Essential Steps to Prepare for Your Next Website Redesign

by Sarah-Leah Thompson

Photo by Gareth Hubbard via Unsplash

When gearing up for a website redesign or brand new website design, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of.

This can easily become an overwhelming project, but fear not! We will be your guide.

Just like professional chefs recommend having all your ingredients laid out before you start cooking, or mise en place as the French say, we’re here to help get your metaphorical website redesign ingredients in order.

Here are four essential steps to prepare for your next website redesign.

Step 1) Document Your Site’s History and Goals

The first step in any website redesign is determining if it is in fact time to redesign your site, and if so, thinking critically about what your goals are for the new site.

We’ve written a separate blog post with guidance on answering these critical questions here: Thinking About Redesigning Your Website? Start Here

Take 5 minutes to read that through — really — I’ll be here when you get back.

Welcome back! Now that you’ve started getting the wheels turning in your mind on what your goals are for your new site, it’s time to put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard?).

Anytime someone comes to us expressing interest in a website redesign, we start off  by sending them our Website Redesign Questionnaire in order to get a better understanding of their organization/company, brand, current website (if applicable), and their vision for a new website.

The questionnaire not only provides us with helpful information, but also provides an opportunity for our clients to ponder and document their pain points with their current website and vision for a new site when it comes to both design and functionality.

Recently, we’ve updated the questionnaire to also include examples of different brand archetypes, which can help us better understand and tell your brand’s story in its own voice.

If you’d like to access your own copy of our website redesign questionnaire for free, you can do so here:

Website Redesign Questionnaire

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Step 2) Get Your Assets in Line

If you want to make your website designers very happy, do us a favor and organize your assets before the project starts. Here’s a quick list of everything to put together:

  • Logo files
    • Including various colors and file types such as PNG, SVG, JPG
  • Photos
    • If you have a library of your photography, take some time to organize which photos are approved for a redesign and drop them into a shareable platform like Dropbox or Google Drive
      • Make sure that your photos are high quality and high resolution so they render well on large screens
    • If you don’t have a library of photography, consider whether you are open to stock photography or plan on hiring a photographer to take new photos by the time your designer is starting to create mockups
  • Brand Guidelines
    • If you have brand guidelines either as a formal style guide, or informal instructions, make sure to have that ready for your designer

Step 3) Consider Your Content

In almost every website redesign we’ve conducted, content writing/wrangling ends up being the biggest bottleneck. This mainly happens because content writing is misleadingly time consuming, and often requires a full-time writer dedicated to the project.

As a rule of thumb, here’s how we recommend budgeting your time for writing content:

  • 30 – 45 minutes for re-working existing page content
  • 1 – 1.5 hours for new page content

This doesn’t include the hours of back-and-forth communication between stakeholders and getting approval on numerous drafts, etc.

When it comes to planning ahead, we recommend planning on having all the content written, approved, and ready to go by the time development starts.

For more content writing tips, download our Content Writing Guideline here: Content Guidelines for Your Website Redesign

Step 4) Communicate Your Timelines

When starting a website redesign, make sure to consider whether there are any important milestones coming up that you’d ideally want your website live by, and make sure to communicate this to your website design team.

If your team isn’t realistically able to design, develop, and launch the website in your ideal timeframe, consider whether there are shorter-term updates that can be made to your website in the meantime. Perhaps that’s changing out some photos, updating broken links, or revising outdated copy.

For example, here are 5 small updates with a big impact that you can make to refresh your website.

You could also consider creating a smaller scale microsite, which typically has less pages of content to build out and thus a shorter overall timeline.


Now that you’re super prepared to start your website redesign journey, reach out to us! We’re eager to get started.

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About Sarah-Leah Thompson

Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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