Who doesn’t love a good home improvement show? They take ordinary eye sore shacks and create a visually stunning home that uses well designed space that is functional and comfortable.

The same basic principles of home renovations can be applied when updating your website to capitalize on modern design trends, improve the customer experience and enhance business opportunities. Most site redesigns require more than just cosmetic changes to be truly effective. This can be a daunting process that intimidates many from even starting.

Even seasoned developers prefer starting with a template to get a head start on design. Whichever route you want to take, we’ve compiled a checklist that will help you achieve the most effective redesign without getting sidetracked in pet projects or overwhelmed by color swatches.

1.Put Your Current Site Under the Microscope: What Works and What Doesn’t?

Re-examine everything — website redesigns don’t happen often, so here’s your chance to get everything just right. Figure out which pages are the most frequently visited and look at your site analytics to see where your visitors come from and where they go. Weak content will reveal where you need to concentrate your redesign efforts, while the pages that generate traffic and convert well should be optimized even further.

This is also a chance to measure the effectiveness of the behind-the-scenes usability and performance features. Are you happy with your content management system, or would you like to change to something new? Is your hosting provider delivering the speed, security, and support of your dreams?

2. Find Inspiration and Time Savings: Which Tools Can Help You Succeed More Quickly?

Naturally, most designers and developers tend to spend the most time in the design phase of rebuilding their website. Like a kid in a candy store, the options you are considering can be overwhelming. The options are limitless — and that’s the problem.

Take a look at a few site builder options. Originally created to help beginners get online, the drag-and-drop editors now offer enough powerful tools that enable experienced site owners to spin up one-of-a-kind websites in a fraction of the time it would take to create the same look from scratch.

3. Concentrate on User Experience: How Can You Optimize for Conversions?

Just as your content should be written for your visitors, your redesigned website should make it abundantly clear to visitors where they should click to find the information and services they seek. Don’t choose themes and layouts solely based on what looks good to you or your colleagues — your site doesn’t exist just for you. If your website doesn’t quickly usher visitors to where they want to go, it becomes a business liability instead of an engine for growth.

Use analytics and your site audit from Step 1 to determine why people come to your website. How do they find you? Where do they go? Do they make a purchase or interact with your company in another way? Should they?

The remodel is complete, but those homeowners still need to dust, do the dishes, and sweep the floors to keep the property looking as fresh, modern, and appealing as it did the day the renovations ended. Keep your long-term goals in mind, along with a wish list of features and optimizations you’d like to implement in the future — you’ll be better equipped to tackle them in your next redesign!