5 Steps to Redesign Your Website
If you’ve been a follower of my work you will notice charukstudios.com recently had a makeover. The reason for the website redesign was because my work and services have evolved over this year and I wanted a website that reflected the changes Charuk Studios has undergone.
It was important to me to showcase my work beautifully while providing potential customers information about my previous projects and a detailed scope of the services I offer.
I thought other entrepreneurs might be curious of my redesign process, because refreshing a business’s website is common practice. So below I have outlined the 5 steps I went through to makeover my own website.
Step 1: Select Hosting
After much research I decided to switch from Wordpress to Squarespace. My main reason for the switch was because Squarespace had a very user-friendly design interface. At this point I knew how I wanted each page to look, now I had to make it happen.
I do have a design background, which included a couple graphic design and web design courses, though I don’t claim to be a web designer by any means. I could however picture how I wanted my dream website to look.
I looked into hiring someone to design my website for me but Squarespace made it so easy that I didn’t need to! There were many updates and design changes I wanted to make to my old website but I couldn’t figure out how to do them on Wordpress.
Also since I designed my website myself I can make updates or design changes whenever I want. Another perk is Squarespace has optimized SEO, which is always better for us business owners.
Tip: If you are hiring a web designer wait before you decide which platform to purchase because they sometimes have a preference. Or if you are doing it yourself research the pros and cons of each platform to help make your decision.
Step 2: Update Portfolio/Photography
I knew for my business I wanted to work with creative entrepreneurs to create custom photography for their brands. However my portfolio at the time didn’t reflect that type of work.
Therefore I went through the process of organizing and approaching a few ideal clients that I knew I could create beautiful work with and show them how we could represent everything about their brand through their photography.
It took a few months to organize, photograph and retouch all the new work I had, but afterwards I had some amazing new projects I was proud to include in my portfolio.
Tip: If you aren’t a photographer then this step would be to hire one to update all the photography on your website. You need product shots for e-commerce as well as brand or lifestyle photography that captures the essence of your company.
Inquire about a project with Charuk Studios here.
Step 3: Design Website
For a while I gathered ideas of how I wanted my website to look. I stalked web designers on Instagram, pinned excessively on Pinterest and eventually sketched out a few mock-ups of web pages. I wanted a design that was clean and modern yet still eye-catching.
It was also very important that the website was functional, by that I mean easy to navigate and definitely mobile friendly. It helped that I loved the template and font selection provided by Squarespace, I believe the combination layout and fonts can really elevate a website if chosen appropriately.
Tip: I would definitely suggest using a template versus starting your design from scratch. Most templates allow you to customize them so you can adjust it to suit your needs.
Step 4: Revise Copy
Once the layout was set and my photography was uploaded it was easier to see where I would place the copy in the design. I re-wrote a lot of the copy from my previous website to include a more detailed description about myself, previous projects and the services offered.
I wanted readers to know a bit about myself as well as how and why I started Charuk Studios. I wrote about the creative direction for each project in my portfolio so readers could understand the client’s goal and how we brought their vision to life. My goal with the copy was to be clear, informative but also personable.
Tip: Don’t be hesitant to get personal in your copy. Everyone’s story is unique and interesting; client’s would love to hear more about you!
Read a little bit about my story here.
Step 5: Refine then Launch
Right before I was ready to go live I had many revisions to make. I had to check that all the links worked, the pages were correctly named, I had to transfer my blog and domain over from my old website and even fix up the spacing.
Then the last thing there was to do was to set up the payment. With Squarespace you have the option to pay monthly or the whole year up front for a slightly cheaper rate. After that my website was live!!
I didn’t plan a launch campaign like I’ve seen others do. I mentioned the redesign in previous blog posts so followers were aware a new site was coming soon. Then on the launch day I posted a Facebook and Instagram post announcing my new website was live.
Even with a pretty low-key announcement that brought in quite a bit of traffic those first few days after the launch, and having more eyes on your website and work is always the goal! Especially when your website just had a makeover.
Tip: Step away from your website before you launch and look at it with fresh eyes to catch any mistakes or design changes you want to make. Or have someone look through it for you.
I know how important it is to love your website so you can market your product or services confidently, so I hope reading about my website redesign will help others do the same.
I would love to know what step you found most essential when you created or redesigned your website. Let me know in the comments!