How to get started with your website redesign.

This planning guide will walk you through the basic questions you might have when starting a website redesign.

You’ll also find tools to understand why your website is important, who should be involved, and how to develop a successful redesign plan.

Before you start

Creating a great site starts with putting together a clear plan. Check out these tips to get started:

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Choose the right website service

In most cases, the UCSC WordPress service will be the best choice for most Divisions, Departments, and units. Pick the right service for you with our Getting Started guide.

Establish your site’s purpose

Every site has a purpose. The first step towards designing an effective site is to clarify what that purpose is. To do this, focus on your main goal. To help, use our training course on Setting Goals For Your Website.

Know your target audience

After you’ve figured out your site’s purpose, it’s time to think about your existing or potential site visitors. Who are they? How will they reach your site and what are they going to look for once they get there? Understanding your target audience and what their needs are will help you build a site that works for your visitors. Our Website Redesign Toolkit has a Communication section to help establish your audience.

Research, research, research

Even if you have a clear vision for how your site should look, take time to research other sites for inspiration. Take time to review peer websites that you like, and seek out inspiration. You can also review our Showcase Of Page Elements for ideas.

Learn about best practices

Explore our training options (including required training) and guides to help you better develop your web planning skills. Learn about creating a website strategy, setting goals, using analytics, content analysis, and more.

Prepare your text and images in advance

These are both types of content on your website and will influence your design process. Preparing your content in advance will help you stay organized and speed up the editing process.  

Developing a redesign plan

Guides and templates that you can use to help the entire website redesign process.

Putting your plan into action

When the plan is ready, it’s time put it into action. These tools can help you define what that process will look like.

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Redesign checklist

Stay on track by following some recommended steps and practices.

(Google Doc)

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Tasks involved

Follow a timeline covering many of the steps in your redesign.

(Google Doc)

Select a website service

Most websites will be a good match with the UCSC WordPress Service.

Making sure it stays a great website

Ultimately, you will be responsible for the quality of the content you produce on your website.  

There are a few ways to include quality assurance in your website redesign to make sure you’re creating quality content.

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Quality assurance check your website

Steps you can take to make sure your website is accessible, usable and is helpful to your visitors.

(Google Doc)

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Develop a continuity plan

Guidance on how your site will handle future updates, changes, and measuring whether it’s working.

(Google Doc)


How to use WordPress

Where can I ask questions?

Last modified: Oct 05, 2023