Why a Website Blueprint is the Best Way to Kick Off Your Website Redesign

If you remodeled your home (or watched virtually any HGTV show), you probably reviewed (or watched someone review) the architect’s blueprint before they got started on the work. An Olive & Company Website Blueprint serves the same purpose for a website redesign. We created this process because we know how important your website is to your brand—it’s the home base for your brand information—and we believe you should approve its overhaul approach before the demo begins. We work closely with you while creating your Website Blueprint so you have a significant role in shaping your project’s goals and direction. Plus, at the end you’ll have a detailed document outlining your scope definition project to help you fully understand the redesign process and its intended outcome. A Website Blueprint from Olive is the best way to successfully kick off any redesign project.

What is a Blueprint?

A Website Blueprint is a detailed plan for your entire website redesign project. It’s also the essential first step of a website redesign project, covering much of the goal setting, research, and planning—often labeled the discovery phase. We’ll meet with you throughout the Blueprint project so you have a significant stake in the document that will shape each element of your website redesign.

An Olive Website Blueprint document typically includes:

  • Your brand and redesign goals and how you’ll measure your project’s success
  • Competitor and target audience assessments
  • A website analytics overview
  • A preliminary SEO audit and gap analysis
  • Functionality, system integration, technical, and accessibility requirements
  • A preliminary site map
  • A list of page templates and design components we’ll design
  • A hosting, maintenance, and governance plan
  • A proposed redesign schedule and fees.

Why Do I Need One?

A website blueprint…

1. Informs the RFP process.

Creating a request for proposal is a tedious process that requires time and resources from your team. Having an agency complete a Website Blueprint before drawing up your RFP can give you back some of those valuable resources, and, in some cases, save you from having to build an RFP at all. Documented research within a Blueprint paired with recommendations from the agency that creates the Blueprint can inform the goals you outline and the questions you ask within your RFP. These elements of your RFP can deeply impact how an agency prepares to answer your request and ultimately the way they approach your redesign.

2. Establishes unity.

Blueprints get your internal team and the agency selected for the redesign on the same page before the project even begins. The very first step in the Website Blueprint process is an all hands meeting with your team to ensure all important stakeholders provide feedback from the very start. These meetings will help define your brand and business objectives along with your redesign goals, so every aspect of the Blueprint and subsequent redesign project plan works to meet those objectives. When the Blueprint is complete, your team and your design agency will have your goals and the path to reach them clearly documented, and your stakeholders can feel comfortable knowing they had a hand in defining those important objectives.

3. Sets your redesign project up for success.

Blueprints contain a documented, detailed path to reach your desired end goals, so all stakeholders and the agency who completes the redesign can feel comfortable knowing each decision throughout the process will be made with success in mind. The Blueprint will also outline key data and analytics benchmarks specific to your brand and redesign, so you can measure success when the redesign is complete. Blueprints also include a proposed schedule and detailed budget. This helps keep the redesign on track, even when the tiniest decisions or pitfalls threaten to derail the process. Further, Blueprints can help to identify what those hiccups may be, so you can prepare to overcome them when the redesign begins. If certain challenges seem likely for your brand, your agency can tweak the project plan early on to help ensure they don’t impact the project as much as they potentially could have.

4. Eliminates risk.

Because so many details need to align to facilitate a successful website redesign project, there are always potential risks throughout the process. Risk of the final product not meeting expectations, whether it’s not as robust as you were hoping or more complex than you needed. Risk of missing key deadlines, such as targeted launch date. Risk of being blindsided by an unknown fee, or an unknown step in the process. Website Blueprints work to eliminate these risks through research, comprehensive planning, clear budgeting, and a detailed plan for the redesign. No level of risk can be completely wiped away through a Blueprint, but, since potential problems are outlined and accounted for within the document, you’re significantly less likely to encounter serious problems.

5. Launches your website redesign.

The most fun and convenient reason to invest in a Website Blueprint is you’ll already be done with a portion of the website redesign process, the discovery phase, once the Blueprint is complete. Without adding any additional time or budget to the process. Potentially even more beneficial, key stakeholders played a large part in the Blueprint, so they may be immediately ready to buy into the full redesign. Plus, Blueprints should be relevant and useful for any redesign agency. Whether you created a trusted relationship with the agency that conducted the Website Blueprint or are ready to strategically build your RFP, any agency worth your salt will be able to follow the detailed plan and insights outlined within the Blueprint. The plan is often the hardest, most stressful part of the process, and after the Blueprint is complete, you’ve already built your plan. You’ve already conquered the trickiest part of a redesign.

While you can begin your website redesign right after investing in a Website Blueprint, you by no means have to. The timeline can always be revised, the parameters or budget held within the document can always be tweaked. The Blueprint is the first step to a website redesign, but not a step that will plunge you head first into an endeavor you aren’t ready for as a team or as a brand. An Olive & Company Website Blueprint is the first step to get you on your way to beginning the website redesign conversation.