Currently there are over 14.7 million internet users in Australia—that’s an increase of 3.6% over the last year. To stand out from your competitors and get your share of this growing market, you’re going to need a site with modern, effective design.

So how do you actually get started and make your new vision a reality? To help you begin the process, we’ve put together our top tips based on our work with dozens of clients:

Our Definitive Website (Re)Design Checklist:

Say What You Need to Say

More than anything, you need a clear idea of what you have to communicate through your site and the actions you need to drive.

This isn’t simple, and will require a long look at your audience and your business. But we’ve seen that taking this crucial step will make every other part of the process easier, giving you a clear vision on how to arrange information and shape behaviors. This work will also inform your brand strategy, marketing collateral, and more.

Have (Good) Content at the Ready

If your customers arrive on your page and see tacky stock photos and uninspiring or misspelled copy, they won’t take you or your brand seriously. Content can’t be an afterthought—work from the start to create relevant messaging and find unique, attractive visuals that make an impact. If you’re able to shoot your own high-quality photography or video, even better!

Define Success Metrics

If you aren’t tracking clear metrics that are tied to your business, then you have no idea how or if your redesign is helping you achieve your wider goals. These could include conversions, views, bounce rates, average time on page, and much more. If you’re measuring and testing from the start, you can continue to iterate and push your business forward.

Assemble Your Site Design Taskforce

Once you start a site redesign, many members of your staff may want to get involved. We’ve found it best to appoint a single person within your company to coordinate with your web development team, instead of a big committee. However, it’s also important to have regular reviews and check-ins with stakeholders to get their input, but someone will need to have the final say. This saves time and ensures a better outcome.

Consider Your Needs

Think about how you want to use your site once your redesign is done. For example, will you need to regularly update your site yourself, or do you need a strict process in place before making changes? Putting an easy-to-use CMS system in place will make it easy to change the content on your site, but you need a process for making updates.

Planning to run a blog, or include videos or an image gallery? It may be time to try out some new software solutions, but you need to explore your options ahead of time.

Consider Your Users’ Needs

Before building your site, you should familiarise yourself with WCAG 2.0—Australia’s industry guidelines for web content accessibility—to ensure your content is accessible for people with a range of disabilities. This includes providing content to users in different formats, like adding descriptive text to images and videos. If you’re thinking about making your site as usable as possible now, you’ll not only avoid having to go back and make extensive changes or additions later, but you’ll also reach a wider audience.

Use a Full-Service Agency for Website Design

Poor design isn’t just a waste of money—bad code and a confusing experience will have knock-on effects on your security, usability, stability, efficiency, brand perception, and more. Web development trends and best practices are always changing, and you need a modern, forward-thinking agency that knows what will work for your specific industry and goals. DigitalHut creates websites for dozens of clients in concert with tailored online marketing campaigns—aligning your brand across both your site and your marketing communications and creating a consistent, memorable experience.

To learn more about how we can ensure that your website is easy to use, maintain, and update, click here.