Before you start redesigning your website, ask yourself this question.
Does your website really need a new design?
When you redesign a website or blog, you need to have a purpose why you want to change its design.
What’s your main reason why you want to redesign your website?
Is it to increase your audience participation?
To get more subscribers? Get more sales?
Or you just want your site to look better than it was before?
Once you know if you do need to redesign your site or not, and have your purpose why you’re going to redesign it, here’s another question you need to ask yourself.
Will you hire someone to redesign your website for you or will you do-it-yourself?
There are pros and cons of getting someone to redesign your website and doing it all by yourself. You can see them below.
Hiring a Web Designer
- Your website design is being handled by a professional
- You can focus more on making content and promoting your site.
- Your web designer will be the one doing all the hard work.
- Cost. It’s a lot more expensive when you hire someone to redesign your website for you.
- It may take several weeks before you get your site redesigned when there are other clients waiting in line.
- You may not know how he or she designed it, so you got to ask the designer again if you want to change something on your website’s design.
- It’s definitely cheaper.
- You get to experience how to design your own website.
- Again. It’s way cheaper than hiring a web designer.
- It can take a lot of your time.
- You may need to study lessons about CSS and other coding stuff.
- There’s a possibility that you may not get the look that you want.
So, how are you going to redesign your website now? Are you going to hire someone to do it for you or will you do it yourself?
If you choose to do-it-yourself, then just keep on reading.
How To Redesign A Website Without Spending Too Much
I’ve designed Money Saving Dude all by myself, and it only cost me $149.90, and seven days to finish everything. That’s just a fraction of what I would have paid if I decided to hire a professional web designer.
By doing all the redesigning on my own, I was able to save money, and experience how hard, exhausting, and fun is it to redesign a website without knowing much about HTML5 and CSS.
If I can do it, then you can definitely do it too. Why did I say that?
It’s because just like you, I also thought that designing my own website would be an impossible task because I don’t have any idea how to do it at first.
I was wrong. It’s not impossible. And it can be done by anyone else with the help of the right tools.
Now, before you get started in redesigning your website, you should do these things first.
3 Must-Dos Before You Redesign A Website
1. Backup your website before changing its design
It’s very important that you backup your website prior to changing its design. Doing just that, help you avoid starting over from the scratch when something unexpected happens during the whole redesigning process.
Also, if you find that your new design isn’t better than the old design, then you can easily revert back to your old design by just uploading your backup.
So, how do you backup your website?
Well, you have different options to choose from. Your first option, is you manually back up your website by FTPing your files to your local computer. Unfortunately, this one is not advisable for those who have a big website, and it can take a lot of time to do, so let’s just identify your other options.
Your second option, is to talk to your web hosting provider, and let them do it for you. My web hosting provider is HostGator, and I had to pay an additional $19.95 annually for them to backup my website every single day. I’m sure other web hosting providers offer that to their clients as well.
Your third option, is to go to your Cpanel account if ever you have one, and click on the “backup” icon. After that, you select “Generate/Download a Full Backup“. Once finished, you’ll be notified by email, and all you have to is download the backup to your computer.
Your fourth option, is get a managed backup service like Codeguard or Backup Machine that can assist you in backing up your website.
Lastly, you can just search through the WordPress plugin directory, and find a “backup” plugin that fits your needs. This one is the simplest, cheapest, and easiest way you can do to backup your website, assuming that you’re using WordPress.
In summary, having a backup is essential because you never know what might happen the next day. So even if you’re not redesigning your website, you should still back it up. It’s also better for you and your website if you’re going to do two of those options above, so that you have two separate backups to choose from in case the worst thing happens, and you lose one of your backups.
2. Set your site into maintenance mode
When you redesign your website by yourself, it may take a lot of time, and you may not be able to publish any new content on your site.
Your visitors may also be irritated when they see lots of changes happening on your website while you do the redesign, so it’s advisable that you set your website in maintenance mode until you finish changing its design.
You can easily set your website into maintenance mode by just installing a WordPress plugin called…
(Wait for it.)
…Maintenance. Nice plugin name, right? I’m sure you wouldn’t have a hard time finding that one in the WordPress plugin directory.
Once you installed Maintenance, you can easily create a page stating that your website is undergoing a redesign. You can put anything that your readers should know about your website’s status. You should also tell your visitors when your website will relaunch, so they would know when to come back, and see your new website design.
Before you start redesigning your website, try to look for some inspiration first. Look into other websites in your niche, find good-looking fonts that you can use on your website, and even try to search for tools that can help you better your website’s design and performance.
Oh. Wait. Maybe you can just do the first two later, and do the last one now, because I’m about to tell you the tools I’ve used in redesigning Money Saving Dude below.
How much will those cost you?
$0. Zero. If you choose to do the backup yourself, or with the help of a WordPress plugin.
Tools I Used To Redesign My Website On A Limited Budget
Genesis Framework by StudioPress
I’ve been using Genesis Framework ever since I started blogging. Genesis makes customizing your website easy, fast, and fun. It’s also one of the most secured WordPress themes today, so you don’t have to worry about your website being hacked, or exploited for malicious reasons. Genesis Framework is also SEO optimized that means search engines can see your content well, and your site have better chances of ranking better on search results.
How about the price?
Well, the Genesis Framework itself only cost me $59.95, and I can use it on unlimited websites. I can also get unlimited updates, and unlimited support from the StudioPress team.
Dynamik Website Builder
During Money Saving Dude’s first four months, I used the Prose child theme alongside my Genesis Framework. The not-so-good thing about using that child theme is that I wasn’t that impressed with my website design.
I wanted more. I wanted to maximize the space available. I wanted a new look.
And that’s what I did.
I searched for codes that can help me change my site design, but I found out that it will take a lot of my time just studying them. I searched for help, and I found out that it will cost me a lot of money if I’m going to hire a professional designer. I searched for ways how I can redesign my website without spending too much, and a resource page of a well-known web designer lead me to something I never expected.
After searching for weeks, I was lucky enough to find the Dynamik Website Builder by CobaltApps. It’s a Genesis child theme, most commonly known as the “Do-It-Youself Genesis Child Theme“.
It makes use of the Genesis Framework, so I don’t have to buy another framework. All I got to do is install it, and start customizing my website the way I want it to look.
In simpler terms, it has everything that I have been looking for.
It’s on HTML5.
I was able to create a custom homepage with just a few clicks. Add more widget areas. And even tweak my website’s design using its front-end CSS builder feature. I was able to change my site’s design by working on the front-end of my website, and manipulating it real time. And because of that unique feature, I was able to design my website easily, quickly, and effectively.
I don’t think any other design tools have that kind of feature. I could say that the Dynamik Website Builder is the best tool that I’ve ever used to design my website so far.
And it only cost me $79.95.
A little bit expensive, I know, but it was all worth it because I wouldn’t be able to redesign my website successfully without it.
Advanced Social Widget
Have you seen the box on the top of my website’s sidebar?
Well, that is the Advanced Social Widget that I’ve got at CodeCanyon.net. A place where useful and fantastic WordPress plugins and widgets can be bought. I’ve got Advanced Social Widget for Feedburner for only $10.
With this widget, Money Saving Dude’s readers have access to my Feedburner Email Subscription, and links to my social networking sites where they can like our page, follow me on Twitter, and add Money Saving Dude to one of their circles in Google+.
How much did it cost me to get all those tools?
$149.90. One hundred forty nine dollars and ninety cents. Not bad, if compared to the price I would have to pay for a professional to redesign my website.
Other Tools You Can Make Use Of
Do you want to redesign your website to get more subscribers?
If you do, then OptinSkin is the perfect plugin for you. It’s the one of the best plugins that you can use to collect your reader’s email address, and it works with all major email marketing services like Google Feedburner, Aweber, MailChimp, GetResponse, Constant Contact, InfusionSoft, and iContact.
You can also change its design, add your own product (e.g. free e-book, cheat sheet, PDF) alongside it, and place it anywhere you want. You can basically do anything with it just so you can catch your readers’ attention.
You can place it on your site’s sidebar. You can place it on the end of each of your posts. Or you can place it right after your site’s header for better results.
Yes. And you only have to spend $67, and OptinSkin is yours to use on your website.
Get OptinSkin now!
Do you want to have custom landing pages to increase your site’s sales or conversion rate?
If you do, then you should get OptimizePress. OptimizePress is the perfect tool for webmasters looking to create perfect landing pages for their visitors.
What can you do with OptimizePress?
- Create high converting landing pages
- Create full scale marketing sites and sales pages
- Create a secure membership portal
- Create high impact webinar registration pages
- Create free training pages with progress bar
All pages created with OptimizePress are mobile responsive automatically, so you don’t have to worry about what kind of device your audience are using to view your pages.
Why should you get OptimizePress?
It’s all because if you really want to improve your site’s earning potential, and user experience, you’re going to spend $97 to get OptimizePress.
Great pages means satisfied visitors.
Satisfied visitors means happy visitors.
Happy visitors means more earnings for you.
Do you want to get more visitors and also achieve a higher conversion rate?
If you do, then why not try doing email marketing, and get Aweber. Aweber is for me the best email marketing software in today’s world. They are trusted by more than 120,000 web developers, bloggers and businesses all over the world. They’ve been in the email marketing business for over sixteen years now, and they offer amazing customer support.
They also refer to themselves as the original Autoresponder provider.
If you’re interested in using Aweber to help you with your email marketing plan, you can try their service out for only $1 for 30 days.
How’s that for a great deal?
If your budget permits, I advise that you get all three for optimum result. I don’t have the money to get all of them yet, so I haven’t used them on this website. But I’m planning to purchase all of them before 2014 year ends. That means Money Saving Dude “may” change its design again before 2015 arrives.
Maybe you’re asking why I’m so confident about those tools, and why am I recommending it to you, even if I haven’t tried them out yet?
It’s all because I’ve seen and know how great bloggers of today make use of these amazing tools to design and manage their websites.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income uses OptinSkin and Aweber. Adam Baker of Man Vs. Debt also uses those tools. J. Money of Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance uses Aweber to send to his audience his amazing emails.
And more importantly, I don’t see any reason why I should not try those tools out. I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t try those too.
- Find your reason why you want to redesign your website.
- Determine if you are willing to do it all by yourself.
- Set a budget and stick to it. You don’t have to overspend on your website’s redesign, especially if you’re just starting out or you have a non-profit website.
- Make a plan and set a deadline.
- Don’t forget to backup your website before you redesign.
- Search for tools that can help you in improving your website’s design and performance.
- Look for inspirations.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment.
- If you don’t know what to do, don’t be afraid to ask an expert for help.
- Lastly, just have fun, and enjoy the experience!
When I decided that I should change the design of Money Saving Dude, my goal was simple, make Money Saving Dude look better, and do it without spending too much. I was very happy that I was able to do both.
As a DIY web designer, the best tip that I can give to you when it comes to designing your website is don’t be afraid to do things on your own, even though you don’t know that much about it. You can still learn some basic lessons along the way that can help you design your website better.
Sure, you can hire someone to do it all for you, but you will lose the sense of fulfilment of doing it on your own.
Also, I love to save money, so if there’s anything that I can do by myself, I will do it on my own just so I can save my money.
How about you? Have you redesigned your website before? How much did you spend?