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'ReDesign' is not a Dirty Word
By Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian
How Best can you Redesign Your Website?
The choice is obvious - do it yourself or outsource it to a professional.
In the first instance, reference to the issues discussed earlier tempered with common sense, flexibility and an open mind will do wonders for your new-look site.
If you decide to outsource the job, there are a few more things to keep in mind. Consider what you'd do differently. Make a list of the areas you'd like to redesign, and suggest the modifications you wish to see implemented. Communicate these ideas effectively to the designer/developer.
Have a written contract signed by both sides to prevent litigation.
The agreement should define:
the job descriptions (who will do what)
how the work will be done and the time frame involved
who owns the material created, especially intellectual property.
Tips and Tricks For a Successful Redesign
1> However you decide to carry out your redesign, make sure to do it all separately from your existing Website. The use of a development server mimics the live-environment in a realistic manner. Another option is to use a password-protected section of your own site or on a restricted Intranet.
2> ALWAYS keep a backup copy of your old Website. Then in the unfortunate event of a disaster with the new design, you at least have the older version to fall back upon!
3> Get feedback from a small subset of users before going "live". This gives you an opportunity to fix any bugs and make some last minute tweaks to the new site.
4> Create a Frequently Asked Questions section for existing customers and members that describes your redesign and explains any changes in the way your new system works.
5> Check your competitor's Website for ideas.
6> Consider changing your Web hosting service or your Website's operating platform if the changes you made necessitate it.
7> Continue to request feedback from users... You'll need it for the next redesign!