wordpress website redesign
Web Design | 11 min read time
Preparing for a WordPress Website Redesign or Rebuild
Written by Corinne Yank

Imagine this: potential customers land on your website and, within seconds, decide whether your business is trustworthy. That might sound hyperbolic, but a study from Stanford University found that a staggering 75% of visitors make that judgment based purely on your website’s design. It’s true what they say: “Poor web design is expensive.” It can truly cost you business. 

But a WordPress website redesign or rebuild is about more than just improving this crucial first impression. It’s about turbocharging user experience, climbing those SEO rankings, and integrating the latest tech to stay ahead of your competition. 

All in all, a strategic redesign can be a serious game-changer for your business. Whether you’re refreshing your look, boosting functionality, or starting from scratch, being prepared can make all the difference.

In this guide, we’ll break down the nuts and bolts of redesigning versus rebuilding a website, share key factors to consider, and give you a step-by-step roadmap to a flawless WordPress website redesign. We’ll also cover how to build a new site while keeping your old one live, ensuring a smooth, uninterrupted transition.

Ready to modernize your website and elevate your brand? Let’s get into it. 

Mastering Your WordPress Website Redesign

Mastering a WordPress website redesign is all about blending creativity with strategy. At its core, a redesign enhances user experience, boosts SEO, and integrates cutting-edge technologies. 

First, let’s talk user experience (UX). Did you know that 88% of online consumers are unlikely to return to a website after a bad experience? A sleek, intuitive design keeps visitors engaged and reduces bounce rates. Happy users are more likely to explore your site, interact with your content, and convert into loyal customers. Think seamless navigation, faster load times, and mobile responsiveness. Each element plays a crucial role in creating an enjoyable experience for your visitors.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is another critical aspect. Search engines love fresh, well-structured content. A redesign allows you to implement best practices, from optimizing page speed to enhancing meta tags and keywords. This boosts your visibility, driving more organic traffic to your site. And more traffic means more opportunities for conversions and growth.

Finally, a redesign is an opportunity to integrate the latest technologies. Whether it’s incorporating AI-driven chatbots, advanced analytics, or new e-commerce features, staying current with tech trends ensures your site remains competitive. These additions not only help ensure you stay relevant but also add value for your customers. 

The key takeaway here is that a strategic redesign isn’t just about making your site look prettier; it’s about transforming your site into a powerful tool that supports your business growth and brand evolution.

Redesigning vs Rebuilding a Website

When it comes to updating your website, you have two main options: redesigning or rebuilding. While they might sound similar, they serve different purposes and are suited for different scenarios.

Redesigning a website involves updating the visual elements and user interface to give it a fresh, modern look. This process keeps the underlying structure intact but enhances the aesthetics and usability. Imagine giving your living room a makeover—new paint, furniture, and décor. It looks different and feels more welcoming, but the core structure of the house remains the same.

A redesign is ideal for businesses that already have a functional website but need to update its appearance and user experience. For example, a retail store might redesign its website to reflect new branding, improve navigation, and make it mobile-friendly without changing the core functionality.

Rebuilding a website, on the other hand, means starting from scratch. This involves developing new architecture, possibly changing the platform, and rethinking the entire user journey. It’s like tearing down an old house and constructing a new one in its place. This approach is necessary when the current website is outdated, lacks modern features, or no longer aligns with your business strategy.

Consider a tech company that wants to shift from a static site to a dynamic, content-rich platform. Rebuilding allows them to implement new technologies, improve performance, and create a site that better serves their target audience.

Put simply, redesigning is like giving your site a facelift while rebuilding is about constructing an entirely new foundation. Understanding these differences will help you choose the right approach for your needs.

Revamping a website

Key Considerations When Revamping a Website

As we’ve been saying, strategy is essential if you want to get the most out of your website redesign. So, before diving into the process, make sure you have a solid plan in place. Here are key factors to consider to ensure your website revamp is a success:

  • Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to invest. A redesign can vary in cost depending on the complexity and scope. Factor in expenses for design, development, content creation, and ongoing maintenance.
  • Goals: Clearly define what you aim to achieve. Whether it’s improving user engagement, increasing conversions, or enhancing site performance, having specific goals will guide your website redesign strategy.
  • Existing Website Performance: Carefully analyze how your current site is performing. Identify strengths and weaknesses using tools like Google Analytics. This insight helps you focus on what needs improvement.
  • Potential ROI: Consider the return on investment. How will the redesign impact your bottom line? Estimate the potential increase in traffic, conversions, and sales to justify the investment.
  • Responsive Design: Ensure the new design is mobile-friendly. With a significant number of users accessing websites via mobile devices, a responsive design is critical for user experience and SEO.
  • Loading Times: Optimize for speed. Fast-loading pages are essential for keeping users engaged and are a key factor in search engine rankings. Just a few seconds can make a huge difference, as an e-commerce site that loads within a second is shown to convert 2.5 times more visitors than a site that loads in 5 seconds. 
  • SEO-Friendly Structure: Implement an SEO-friendly design. Use clean code, proper tagging, and strategic keyword placement to enhance search visibility.

Preparing for WordPress Redesign

Next up: preparation— the key to a smooth and effective redesign. Here’s a punch list to help you lay the groundwork for a seamless redesign process: 

  1. Data Backups: Before making any changes, back up your current website. This ensures you have a safety net in case anything goes wrong during the redesign process.
  2. Choose the Right Web Design Agency: Select an agency with a proven track record in WordPress redesigns. Look for expertise, client testimonials, and a portfolio that aligns with your vision.
  3. Set Clear Objectives: Define your goals and communicate them clearly to your design team. Whether it’s improving navigation, increasing load speed, or updating the visual design, clear objectives guide the project’s direction.
  4. Content Migration Plan: Plan how you’ll transfer existing content to the new design. This includes updating and optimizing content for the new layout, ensuring it aligns with your SEO strategy.
  5. Stakeholder Involvement: Involve key stakeholders from the start. Their input can provide valuable insights and help ensure the redesign aligns with overall business goals.
  6. Timeline and Milestones: Establish a realistic timeline with key milestones. This keeps the project on track and allows for regular progress reviews.
  7. User Testing Plan: Prepare for user testing to gather feedback on the new design. This can highlight any usability issues before the final launch.

How to Redesign a WordPress Website

Now onto the main course! Redesigning a WordPress website can be a customized process, but it typically involves several standard steps. Here’s a simplified step-by-step approach to guide you: 

  1. Planning: As outlined above, start with a comprehensive plan and strategy. Define your goals, target audience, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Conduct a site audit to understand what works and what needs improvement. SEO research is crucial at this stage. Identify the keywords your audience is searching for and plan how to incorporate them into your new site structure.
  2. Theme Selection: Choose a WordPress theme that aligns with your brand and functionality needs. Consider customizable themes that allow flexibility for unique design elements. Ensure the theme is responsive, as mobile optimization is essential for user experience and SEO. 
  3. Plugin Review: Audit and evaluate your current plugins. Remove any that are outdated or unnecessary, and look for new plugins that can enhance functionality. Ensure all plugins are compatible with the new theme. Keeping plugins streamlined helps improve site speed and security.
  4. Design and Development: Work with your design team to create mockups and prototypes. Focus on user experience, ensuring the design is intuitive and visually appealing. Use wireframes to map out the site’s structure and user flow. Once approved, move into development. Make sure the design incorporates SEO best practices, like clean URLs and well-structured content.
  5. Content Optimization: Update and optimize your content for the new design. This includes refreshing copy, improving SEO elements, and ensuring all media files are optimized for fast loading times. Use high-quality images and videos to enhance engagement but ensure they are compressed to not affect page speed. 
  6. Testing Phases: Conduct thorough testing in stages. Start with internal testing to identify any major issues, followed by beta testing with a select group of users. Test for functionality, compatibility, and user experience across different browsers and devices. User feedback at this stage can provide valuable insights into usability and potential improvements.
  7. Launch Preparation: Before going live, prepare for the transition. Ensure all backups are in place, perform a final check of all site elements, and have a rollback plan in case of issues. Check all links, forms, and interactive elements to ensure they work correctly. Create a detailed launch plan that includes steps for monitoring performance and addressing any issues quickly.
  8. Go Live and Monitor: Launch the redesigned site. Monitor performance closely, watching for any issues that need immediate attention. Use analytics tools to track user behavior, page load times, and engagement metrics. Gather feedback from users and make necessary adjustments post-launch. Continual monitoring and optimization will help maintain and improve site performance.

How to Build a New WordPress Site While the Old Site is Live

Building a new WordPress site while keeping the old one live can be tricky, but with the right strategies, you can ensure a seamless transition. Here’s how:

  1. Use a Staging Environment: A staging environment is a duplicate of your live site where you can build and test your new design without affecting the current website. This allows you to experiment, troubleshoot, and make changes in a safe space. Many web hosts offer staging environments as part of their service.
  2. Maintain SEO: Transitioning to a new site can disrupt your SEO if not managed carefully. Work with a WordPress SEO expert to ensure your new site maintains or improves your search rankings. This includes setting up proper redirects, maintaining URL structures, and optimizing new content for search engines.
  3. Monitor User Experience: It’s crucial to keep your users happy during the transition. Ensure that the staging site mimics the live site’s functionality and user experience. Conduct user testing to gather feedback and make adjustments before the final launch.
  4. Content Synchronization: As you update content on the live site, ensure these changes are reflected on the staging site. This prevents any discrepancies between the two versions and ensures a smooth transition when the new site goes live.
  5. Regular Backups: Keep regular backups of both your live and staging sites. This acts as a safety net in case anything goes wrong during the transition.
  6. Soft Launch: Consider a soft launch where you make the new site live for a limited audience or during off-peak hours. This allows you to catch any issues early and fix them before a full launch.

WordPress Website Redesign Services from Flyrise! 

If you’ve made it this far, you hopefully understand that WordPress website redesign is about so much more than making your website more visually appealing. It’s a complex, strategic process that requires careful planning. 

Flyrise offers expert WordPress website redesign services (as well as full website rebuilds) tailored to your unique brand and business needs. Our experienced designers specialize in WordPress and are dedicated to creating custom solutions that not only look stunning but also perform seamlessly. And with our marketing team working in tandem with the design team, a winning SEO strategy will be woven into your new design to ensure it ranks highly on search engines. This comprehensive approach guarantees that your website not only attracts visitors but also converts them into loyal customers. 

Check out these before and after photos from one of our WordPress redesign projects to get a sense of the possibilities! 


Wordpress redesign

… and after! 

Rebuilding a website

The team at Flyrise really hit the nail on the head. My new website quickly jumped to the first page of Google thanks to the site and their expert SEO team.” – Chris B., Owner of Octopus Home Inspections

Don’t let an outdated website hold you back for another second— because every second counts. Visit our WordPress web design services page today to get started. Let’s transform your website, captivate your audience, and propel your business forward!