Website Redesign Projects - Common Mistakes in the Process

Discover the approach to a successful website redesign project. Learn how to avoid common pitfalls, leverage UX audits, gain customer insights, improve messaging, and select the right CMS.

10 min
June 20, 2024
Jacob Miller
Marketing & Brand Manager

Understanding an effective website redesign process

You've decided your website needs a refresh. The design feels outdated, the content needs an update, and conversions are lagging.

And you finally got a budget for it!

Filled with excitement and a vision for the new website, you're eager to jump right into the design phase.

But hold on!

It's a new big project for you and don't want to mess this up…

I don’t want you falling into the same trap that so many marketing teams fail to see before it’s too late and too expensive to go back.

Before you know it, they find themselves stuck with a website that underperforms, expensive to maintain, burning through budget and resources in the process.

These mistakes are more than just frustrating oversights: they can have a significant impact on your bottom line. They can cost you valuable leads, sales, and ultimately, customer trust.

I want to walk through mistakes we've seen leading marketing teams make when they try to redesign their website on their own and end up coming to us to fix at some point.

Mistake 01

Skipping the UX Audit process and doing new designs first

Before diving headfirst into flashy visuals and cool layouts, there's a crucial step you can't afford to skip in the early stages of the project: the UX audit.

Think of a UX audit like taking your website to the doctor

It's a comprehensive check-up that identifies any usability issues hindering your website's performance. Just like a doctor wouldn't prescribe medicine without a diagnosis, a designer shouldn't create a new website without understanding the existing user experience (UX).

an example of a website ux audit report

Why is a UX audit so important for websites?

Imagine pouring time and resources into a beautiful new website that just confuses your target market more than it helps them.

A UX audit helps you avoid this nightmare by:

Uncovering hidden usability problems

Users often struggle with website navigation, confusing layouts, or unclear information architecture without even realizing it. A UX audit helps identify these hidden pain points that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Identifying website visitor needs and expectations

By understanding how users interact with your website and what they're trying to achieve, you can design a website that caters to their specific needs and expectations.

Optimizing conversions

A user-friendly website is a conversion machine. A UX audit helps identify areas that are hindering conversion and provides insights for improvement, ultimately leading to more leads, sales, or signups.

Examples of how UX audits can uncover hidden issues on your website

Confusing navigation and menus

A poorly structured site navigation can make it difficult for users to find what they're looking for, leading to frustration and wasted time. Burying important information within multiple layers of subpages can make it difficult for users to discover it. The audit would recommend prioritizing content based on user needs and ensuring key information is easily accessible within a few clicks.

Mobile usability issues

A UX audit might reveal problems specific to the mobile version of your website, such as buttons being too small to tap on, text being unreadable on smaller screens, or slow loading times. Addressing these issues through responsive design and mobile optimization can significantly improve user experience for the majority of your audience and potentially lead to higher conversion rates.

A confusing pricing page

Imagine landing on a website with a product that seems perfect for your needs. You're excited to learn more and potentially purchase it. However, as you navigate to the pricing page, your excitement quickly fades into confusion. The pricing options are listed in a complex table with unclear terminology, hidden fees, and a lack of clear differentiation between different tiers. This scenario, unfortunately, plays out too often. A confusing pricing page can be a major barrier to conversion, leaving potential customers frustrated and unwilling to commit.

Mistake 02

Neglecting customer insights

Imagine spending months crafting a beautiful new website, only to discover it falls flat with your target audience. This scenario often unfolds when businesses neglect the crucial step of understanding customer needs and pain points.

Just like building a house without a blueprint, creating a website without customer insights can lead to a user experience that misses the mark entirely.

Why are customer insights so important for your website redesign?

Don't just do whatever you want with your website. Your website should cater to your customers, not the other way around. By understanding their needs, preferences, and frustrations, you can:

Craft compelling content that resonates with your audience

Knowing their pain points allows you to address their concerns directly and offer solutions through your website content. Your content should answer core questions most customers have before they buy or related to their role and jobs to be done.

Structure your website for an optimal user experience

Understanding how users navigate websites and what information they seek can guide your website structure and information architecture.

Prioritize website pages, information, and functionalities that matter most

Customer insights can reveal what on your website is most valuable to your audience, helping you prioritize development efforts and resources.

So, how do you gain valuable customer insights?

Customer and market interviews

This qualitative approach involves in-depth conversations with individual customers and people that are in your target market and haven't purchased yet. Interviews provide deeper insights into buyer motivations, challenges, and thought processes.

User testing

Observing real users interacting with your website can reveal hidden usability issues and provide valuable feedback on how to improve the user experience.


This is a quantitative approach that allows you to gather data from a large number of people. We recommend this approach after interviews and user testing to validate newly learned assumptions with the market.

example of a UX audit report with customer feedback

How can customer insights be applied to your website?


Customer feedback might reveal a need for specific content, such as case studies, use case pages addressing common customer pain points, detailed product explanations, or customer testimonials showcasing the value you offer.

Site structure

User research might suggest a simplified navigation menu with clearer labeling or a reorganization of content based on how users typically search for information.

Functionality and navigation

Customer insights could highlight the need for a specific change in your menu navigation, such as a search bar, improving the customer support experience, or improving the mobile experience for specific pages that are frustrating customers today

You need to become customer-obsessed with your website

Leveraging customer insights throughout the website redesign process, you can create a user experience that truly resonates with your audience.

Your website should be a conversation starter, not a monologue. By actively listening to your customers and integrating their feedback, you can build a website that creates engagement, drives conversions, and helps your business grow.

Mistake 03

Ignoring messaging and positioning improvements

What do your potential customers think you do based on what you say today?

Imagine someone asks you, "What does your company do?" You might answer with confidence, but do your potential customers understand your response the same way?

Often, the gap between what you think you're communicating and how your audience perceives your message is wider than expected. This is where messaging and positioning come into play. They are the bridge connecting your company's unique value proposition to your target audience's needs.

Ignoring improvement in these areas can lead to


A common way this happens is through focusing only on benefits or using vague language that doesn’t explain what your product does well and why. If your message is unclear or unfocused, potential customers won't understand what you offer or how it benefits them.

Missed conversion opportunities

You might have a fantastic product or service that perfectly addresses your audience's problems, but if your messaging doesn't resonate, they won't even consider you.

Wasted ad spend and campaign efforts

Marketing efforts built on a weak message will struggle to generate leads or drive conversions. You’ll get the most bang for your buck when you can figure out what catches your target market’s attention and keeps it.

So, how do you improve your product messaging and positioning?

It’s wild how many websites are unclear on their homepage. They don’t even answer simple questions like:

What is this? What does it do?

Who would use it? Why?

When would they use it?

How would they use it?

For this exercise, we're going to leverage a mental framework from Robert Kaminski of Fletch PMM.

By simply being able to answer those questions above on your homepage, you can significantly change your ability to sell your product. You can also apply this approach above to use case pages and landing pages for specific personas within campaigns.

Following the steps below you can audit and improve your homepage through your messaging.

1. Audit your current homepage messaging

Start by examining your existing website copy, marketing materials, and even sales conversations. Use a positioning and messaging model like the one below to analyze your messaging across various elements:

Market Elements
  • Persona: Who are you targeting?
  • Company Type: What industry or niche do you serve?
  • Context: What are the broader market trends and challenges?
  • Problem: What specific pain points do your customers face?
Product Elements
  • Product Category: What type of product or service do you offer?
  • Capability: What unique functionalities does your product possess?
  • Feature: What specific features contribute to those capabilities?
  • Benefit: How do those features translate into tangible advantages for your customers?

Breaking down your messaging into these components. This will help you identify areas where clarity is lacking and discover gaps in your positioning.

2. Address clarity gaps

Focus on the areas where your messaging is most clear. Take note of where it needs the most work too. This helps you identify the core elements that explain what you do and who you serve. This forms your minimum viable positioning, the fundamental message you want to convey at the top of your homepage.

3. Build the strategic message

Highlight most compelling elements that resonate with your target audience's struggles. This helps you craft clear value propositions that support your overall positioning.

4. Translate the message to site copy

Once you've got your core message and value propositions refined, it's time to implement them into a story that grabs your audience's attention through effective copywriting. Focus on connecting with them emotionally through empathy, show them the value you offer, and leave them wanting more. This is where you can have some fun with your language, using clear and engaging words that both inform and convince them you're the perfect solution to their problem.

Refining your messaging and positioning, following these steps as a guide, is the key to unlocking resonance with your target audience. It will help your target audience better understand the value you offer, leading to improved brand awareness, customer engagement, and business growth.

Mistake 04

Ignoring content management considerations

Imagine launching a stunning new website, only to find keeping it fresh and updated feels like an big task. This is a common pitfall many businesses fall into when neglecting content management considerations during the website development process.

Publishing challenges marketing teams face

Content creation bottleneck

Generating new content for a website can be time-consuming, especially if the process is complex or requires designers or developers. You need to find a way to for marketers to publish beautiful and functional pages quickly.

Slow website update process

Regularly updating existing content, like product descriptions or blog posts, can become a tedious and frustrating task for marketing teams. Changes like this should only take a few minutes vs a few hours.

Friction for experimentation

Marketing teams need to the ability to quickly build and edit new landing pages for campaigns, events, and more. The faster they can move, the faster they can learn form the market.

example of a website that uses the Webflow CMS

How can a content management system (CMS) help marketing teams?

A CMS helps you create, manage, and edit pages and content on your website. Think of it as the central hub for all your website's content. It will supercharge the impact your marketing team can make through your website. Here’s why they are awesome for marketers.

Create and update content easily

Most CMS platforms offer user-friendly interfaces that don't require coding knowledge. Marketing teams can independently create and edit content without needing a developer.

Faster content workflows and management

Features like scheduling, revision history, and user permissions enable smooth collaboration across the marketing team and content managers.

Maintain website freshness

Regularly updating content attracts new visitors and keeps existing ones engaged. A user-friendly CMS makes this process less of a chore and more of an ongoing strategy.

Quickly launch new campaigns

Remove the guesswork of page design campaigns. With a CMS you can create landing pages with approved and templated designs to help capture leads.

Choosing the right CMS: Prioritize ease of use and collaboration

With numerous CMS options available, choosing the right one matters. I won't dive into the pros and cons of ones available, but here are some factors to consider:

Ease of use

The platform should be intuitive and user-friendly, allowing marketing teams with varying technical skills to easily manage content.

Collaboration features

Look for features that facilitate seamless collaboration, such as user roles and permissions, content workflows, and real-time editing capabilities.


Consider your future content needs and choose a CMS that can scale with your website as your business grows.

Data integrations

Depending on the needs of your team, tools that can be easily integrated matter. This can be a deal breaker for some teams.

At Headway, we use Webflow for our CMS

You're looking at it right now. Since 2019, we’ve been using Webflow to design, build, and grow our website to over 400 pages of content. It helps our marketing team publish fast, test ideas quickly, and removed all the publishing bottlenecks from our old website process.

Mistake 05

Not leveraging experienced talent that’s done a website redesign before

Imagine starting a complex home renovation project without consulting a seasoned contractor. Mistakes made on your home can get really expensive really fast.

Excitement and dedication are valuable, but navigating a website redesign without the right expertise can lead to expensive mistakes and disappointing results. This is where leveraging experienced talent with a proven process becomes critical.

Why might internal teams struggle with website redesigns?

Limited experience

Website redesigns require expertise in various areas like user experience (UX) design, information architecture, website auditing, CMS expertise, and a website migration plan when you are ready to ship your new website design. Your internal team might not have the breadth of experience necessary to navigate these diverse aspects effectively.

Competing priorities

Existing workloads and other pressing projects can often compete for the attention of internal teams. This can lead to stressful time constraints and a lack of dedicated focus on the website redesign, potentially hindering the project's quality and progress.

Familiarity bias or confirmation bias

Internal teams are deeply familiar with the website, its content, and potentially even the existing messaging. This familiarity can lead them to overlook areas that need improvement because they've become accustomed to how things are.

Your team members might subconsciously prioritize information that supports their existing beliefs about the website and user experience, neglecting valuable insights that contradict their established assumptions.

Lack of customer/market research experience

Customer and market research provides data-driven insights to support design choices and content strategy. Internal teams without this research might rely on intuition or guesswork, leading to a less effective website overall.

Echo chamber effect

Without external research, internal discussions can become an echo chamber, reinforcing existing beliefs about the website and user behavior. Unchallenged assumptions can lead to a website that misses the mark in terms of user needs and expectations.

Benefits of partnering with a trusted agency like Headway

Expertise and experience

Agencies specializing in website design and development bring a wealth of experience and established processes to the table. They understand the intricacies of the design process, user behavior, and website optimization, ensuring a smoother and more efficient project.

Dedicated resources

Engaging an agency frees up your internal team's bandwidth to focus on their core competencies while ensuring the website redesign receives the dedicated attention it deserves.

Unbiased perspective

Internal teams can become accustomed to existing website functionalities and user behaviors. An external agency, on the other hand, can offer a fresh perspective, identify potential blind spots, and uncover new opportunities for improvement.

example of an website homepage design audit

Beyond experience, look for these qualities in a website redesign partner

Alignment across stakeholders

The goals and outcomes desired with a new website design need to be established from that start, not discovered at the end. Initial planning is critical to make sure

Collaborative approach

Choose an agency that prioritizes open communication and collaboration throughout the project, ensuring your voice and needs are heard and addressed.

Transparent and consistent communication

You want an agency that maintains clear and transparent communication, keeping you informed of progress often, sharing potential roadblocks, and establishing clear decision points.

A clear process (They aren’t hiding anything)

If an agency won’t show you their proclaimed “secret sauce” that’s a red flag. They should be able to show you how they will be working with you and the tools they use to make it happen. You’re paying for their process and experience together, not separately.

Proven track record

Seek an agency with a strong track record of successful website redesigns. They should be sharing their process, approach, testimonials, and case studies.

They provide a guarantee

If they aren’t wiling to put some skin in the game, why should you trust them?

At Headway we offer a 50% back guarantee.

We stand behind our team, our processes, and the out-sized value we can bring you. If you don’t think Headway is the right partner to get you where you need to go within the first 45 days of the project, invoke the guarantee and you’ll be refunded 50% of your investment to date. No questions asked. You keep everything we’ve created to date.

Don’t put your website redesign success at risk by doing it alone.

We've explored the common pitfalls of website redesigns done without the right expertise and resources. You've learned how these mistakes can lead to wasted time, lost revenue, and ultimately, a website that fails to achieve the goals your company has.

Imagine this...

You and your team launching a website redesign confidently, efficiently, and with a clear roadmap to success. That's the power of partnering with Headway.

Headway offers comprehensive Website UX Audit and Redesign services designed to:

Uncover hidden opportunities

Our experienced team will identify areas for improvement you may have missed, ensuring your website truly resonates with your target audience.

Craft a user-centric design

We prioritize user experience, creating a website that is intuitive, engaging, and drives conversions.

Messaging and positioning framework

We’ll provide your team the messaging tools to improve the way you talk about your product on your home page and other key pages to create stronger resonance with your target market segments.

A smooth and efficient process

We work collaboratively with you, keeping you informed throughout every step of the redesign journey.

Satisfaction guaranteed

We're so confident in our results that we offer a 50% money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied within the first 45 days of the project.

Take advantage of our proven talent and process

Uncover your blind spots and build a website that truly elevates your brand and drives results for the business. Remember, investing in the right partner is an investment in the success of your team.

Learn more about our website ux audit process and services.

Actionable UX audit kit

  • Guide with Checklist
  • UX Audit Template for Figma
  • UX Audit Report Template for Figma
  • Walkthrough Video
By filling out this form you agree to receive our super helpful design newsletter and announcements from the Headway design crew.

Create better products in just 10 minutes per week

Learn how to launch and grow products with less chaos.

See what our crew shares inside our private slack channels to stay on top of industry trends.

By filling out this form you agree to receive a super helpful weekly newsletter and announcements from the Headway crew.