Preparing Content for a Website Re-design

Websites cannot be re-designed without an idea of what the content is or where it should live. When preparing a website to be re-designed, all content must be structured and updated before talk of how things will look can begin. Attempting to re-design a website with a poor content hierarchy and outdated content can result in a substantial increase in time. All stakeholders should be in agreement on their content before the re-design begins. This will allow for the web development team to get clear answers when developing the project.

Approaches to Preparing Content for a Website Re-design #

Option 1: Perform a Content Audit #

This means conducting a quantitative and qualitative audit of your website to help you determine the scope and the quality of your content.

Step 1: Review Metrics #

You can email CMS Desk to request a Google Analytics report for your website or a listing of pages with how long it has been since each page has been updated.

Step 2: Audit and Organize Content #

Review all of the pages of your website to ensure content is up to date and structured correctly. Mark each page with one of four actions:

  • Unpublish, or remove, content that is unpopular with your audience (low ranking in Google Analytics), does not have a defined audience, is inaccurate or out of date, is of poor quality, or does not meet an organizational goal. Learn more about Publishing and Unpublishing.
  • Revise content that is inaccurate/out of date or of poor quality, but does have a defined audience, serves an audience need, meets an organizational goal, and is popular with your audience.
  • Keep content that meets all criteria.
  • Create new content if you’ve identified content gaps and the content has a defined audience, serves an audience need, or may serve an organizational goal.

Option 2: Start Over From Scratch #

In the event that a website has either become too complex or too outdated, the easier option is to start over. This is an opportunity to completely overhaul where the current website is.

  • Do not utilize any content from the existing website.
  • Do not go to the current website to get ideas for structure. Often processes have changed so much that relying on the old website to answer questions creates more.
  • If the website were being created today, what content would live on it?