How To Plan A Website Redesign Project

Written by Kathy Kassera Mrozek
How To Plan A Website Redesign Project

If your B2B company has finally made the decision to invest in a new website, it’s time to start the work of planning and preparing.

In addition to allocating budget, you’ll need to determine your overall needs and goals for the project. Because you most likely will not be doing all the work in house, you will also have to determine who the best partner will be. 

For a successful outcome, you’ll want to find a partner who’s familiar with your industry and the needs of B2B clients. You’ll want to do some homework so you can come to the table with well thought-through information about your key audiences and what you ultimately want them to do with your website. Any potential partner and your internal stakeholders will also want to know how the new website fits into your larger marketing, sales and company-wide business goals. It’s a big project, and it’s worth treating as such. Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

How do I start planning for a B2B website redesign project?

Before you get too far along, make sure you have internal agreement on the need for the project. You should also have a rough budget allocation and a sense of when you would like the new website to launch. While these targets might end up changing, having them in mind will help you build a strategy and prioritize the most important elements of the new website. 

What are your needs and goals for the redesigned website? You can probably put together a solid list off the top of your head, but you will want to gather input from other stakeholders, as well. Identify what’s currently working and not working, and take a hard look at performance and analytics. At Windmill Strategy, many of our clients have needs and goals around updating obsolete content or positioning, generating higher-quality leads, ease of maintenance and content management, and refreshing the visual design. 

As you consider a new website, think about your audience or audiences. Who is your ideal customer? What are the buyer personas that you most want to attract and engage? In a B2B context, there are typically technical buyers, such as engineers, and other decision makers such as purchasing managers and CEOs. We recommend focusing on your ICP (ideal customer profile) first and then fleshing out the personas. It’s easy to get caught up in writing highly detailed persona descriptions, but keep it simple for now.

Compiling a list of competitors is also an important step. This helps you to understand how sophisticated your new website needs to be, and where you have the opportunity to shine. As you look at competitor websites, keep track of any that your team especially likes. This will be very helpful for your eventual agency partner. 

For a B2B website redesign project, you will want a partner that approaches website strategy from a B2B perspective rather than a consumer perspective. At Windmill, we specialize in B2B websites and digital marketing, especially for industrial, technical, and life sciences clients. A good agency partner will collaborate closely with you on features, budget, and scope for your new website. They will also be able to help you problem-solve any challenges you might have, with the knowledge of what’s worked well for similar types of companies in the past.

What major points need to be considered in a plan for redesigning an existing B2B website?

Of course you will need to have a budget, a timeline, and a sense of the scope of the project, including a prioritized list of needs and wants. Looking at the big-picture goal, what does success look like? Can you articulate what the end goal is—not in terms of exact features or UI/UX, but in terms of what you hope users will do on the website, how you hope salespeople will be able to incorporate it into their processes, what the website will streamline or highlight, or other goals?

Another important question is how the website will help you gain a competitive advantage. For example, will it give you an edge by updating your image in the marketplace or by providing easier access to technical resources than your competitors offer?

Other points to be considered include:

  • Branding and Positioning: Do you have solid positioning language, or does a positioning statement need to be crafted?
  • Sales and Marketing: How will the website fit in with your overall sales and marketing goals? In terms of lead generation, how many qualified leads are you getting from the existing website? What is your goal?
  • Content: What shape is your content in, and how far off is it from an ideal state? Is much of it out of date? Does it accurately reflect your organization’s current brand standards or business goals? What kind of content does your ideal customer look for? How much writing will you and your team do, and how much will you want help with? 
  • Product Catalog and Ecommerce: If your business model is product-driven, what shape is your product catalog in? Is the current website or an ERP a single source of truth, or does the product database need work? How many product lines, individual products, and individual SKUs? Is ecommerce a current need or a potential future want, for all or some of your offerings?
  • Technical Considerations: System integrations are often an impetus to upgrading a website. What systems (such as Salesforce, HubSpot, or another CRM/ERP system) are you already using that should be connected to the website for seamless processing of leads? What marketing automation tools are you using now, or what might be used down the road? 

How do you pitch a B2B website redesign internally to gain buy-in?

You’ll need company leadership to buy into the idea that this initiative is worth an investment. If you haven’t yet passed this milestone, we recommend building your case by doing competitive research on how your key competitors’ websites stack up. If they’re in poor shape, and yours is, too, you’d potentially create a huge competitive advantage by investing in a website redesign. If competitors’ websites are far and away better than yours, it’s obvious that it’s time to catch up.

After you’ve gained alignment that a change is needed, have a talk about budget ranges. (A solid B2B website can range, based on complexity, features, and scope, from roughly $35K-$150K, in most cases.)

Once you have preliminary agreement and buy-in internally to move this project from the wish-list to the to-do list, it’s time to start talking to potential strategic partners to help with the website redesign project.

What should be included in a B2B website redesign project plan?

There’s a lot to discuss as you consider potential strategic partners. Ideally you’ll look at partners with experience in B2B industries similar to yours. The partner you choose should be able to give you comprehensive help with the website redesign, from initial strategy through post-launch support. Working closely with you, they should provide a clear project plan with milestones for feedback, changes, and collaboration. Things to consider in the project plan include:

  • Strategy and planning, including confirmation of your goals, creating wireframes and developing a sitemap.
  • SEO, including keyword and competitor research to assess current site rankings, SEO-based guidance on sitemap and site architecture considerations, SEO optimization of key pages, redirects, foundational SEO best practices (including Yoast/RankMath plugin integration) and submitting sitemap(s) to Google and Bing.
  • Analytics: Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, and training on these for your team, if needed.
  • Content strategy, including content migration planning and strategy.
  • Positioning and key messaging (unless already clearly articulated by your internal team or another partner).
  • Visual design direction, including moodboards and any necessary updates to the logo or brand standards.
  • Website UI/UX/visual design
  • Responsiveness: planning for how all pages, navigation and features scale into different device sizes and types.
  • Custom CMS build that is streamlined and avoids unnecessary plugins and themes.
  • Native block editing capabilities to avoid bloated code.
  • A thorough QA process, including:
    • Visual and functional QA and remediation
    • Image optimization
    • Form testing
    • Redirect implementation
    • Site crawl and error audit/remediation
    • Bug testing using BugHerd to facilitate communication
    • Pre- and post-launch performance testing
    • Verify GTM and GA tracking
    • Verify crawlable by Google
  • Referral to a solid B2B hosting provider with a good track record and 24/7 support (WPE).
  • Option for ongoing security/maintenance and digital marketing services.

How much does a B2B website redesign proposal cost?

As noted above, most B2B website redesigns fall into the $35–150K range. Our approach is to uncover your needs first and create a custom scope of work that guides the project. 

We have a well-defined estimating process for website redesigns, which starts with you filling out the contact form on our website. We’ll set up an initial, free 30-minute consultation with you to assess whether the project is a good mutual fit, gather more details, and identify next steps. We’ll then meet again to review potential options for scope and cost approaches that meet your goals and needs. 

Keep in mind that your initial website redesign doesn’t necessarily need to include everything on your wishlist — very often it’s a good practice to launch a redesigned website that covers the most important improvements first, and then plan a second phase for additional features and functionality. 

Our pricing page discusses website redesigns and other types of engagements.

What are the phases of building a B2B website?

The major phases of redesigning a website are:

  • Kickoff, discovery and asset gathering
  • Strategy, site architecture and prioritization, which includes content strategy, UX, and SEO strategy
  • Visual design and content development
  • Web development, SEO optimization and content migration
  • Testing, QA, training, and site launch (go-live)

Our systems and processes are tailored to create powerful, hard-working B2B websites and digital marketing, with transparent communication, numerous checkpoints for feedback and collaboration, and no surprises. You can learn more about these phases of our process on our process page.

What are my next steps to start creating a website redesign project plan?

Once you have buy-in, or if you’d like to have an informal chat ahead of time, contact us. Send us a link to your existing website, a list of your key competitors and an overview of your needs. We would be happy to have a conversation about your big-picture needs and goals, and we can suggest a reasonable price and scope range to get you started.

Need help getting started with your project plan?

Let's Talk