Step By Step Instructions for Manufacturing Website Redesign

Last Updated 1/31/24

To do anything right, you need a plan.

Throughout our 20 years of web design and development experience, we’ve perfected the process and planning that is required for a website redesign to be successful. A version of this approach can work for any type of website, but we have specifically crafted it for manufacturing and industrial companies.

Why a focus on manufacturing?

Because as a manufacturer, your needs are different. You don’t need flashy websites with trendy designs. In fact, based on our continued research of hundreds of websites, some of those designs are going to hurt you.

Unlike consumer-focused websites, people aren’t usually on your website for fun or entertainment.

They need information. They are wondering if they should work with your company. They need specific questions answered. Your website needs to become a resource and act as a salesperson that is always available to answer questions.

You can’t just dive headfirst into building a website and expect it to be successful.

Careful and strategic planning is critical to be certain the money and time you invest in your new website will produce the return you need.

You can download our workbook for step-by-step instructions.

Manufacturing Website Design Strategy

It all starts with strategy. You need to understand and document your current performance metrics before heading into a redesign of your manufacturing company's website.

Most of this information can be found in Google Analytics or Google Search Console, although you may have different marketing platforms that provide even more data.

If you don’t have any of this information, you will be more reliant on your web developer and their experience.

Questions you want to answer:

  • How many visitors does your website average per month?
  • What is the overall bounce rate?
  • What keywords are you currently ranking for on Google and what is their position?
  • How many conversions per month does your website generate?
  • What is the overall conversion rate of your website?
  • If you have an e-commerce website, how many sales per month?

Make a list of your top-performing pages in a table that includes the traffic, the number of keywords ranked, and conversion rate.

Don’t worry about disappointing numbers here. This is just meant to serve as a benchmark.

These numbers will help you to establish your actual goals for redesigning your website.

As fun as redesigns are (at least for us), they should serve a purpose.

This can include a better User Experience (UX), improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO), more leads/sales, or better brand positioning. The goals should be unique to you and specific enough to track. This will help your website redesign focus on specific business objectives.

But don’t just think about your goals. Actually list them out. This will help you get company buy-in and prove to your boss that this is the right step for the business.

Here is the framework we follow:

  • Why do you want to redesign the website?
  • What does success look like for your redesign? Be specific here. SMART goals are ideal.

We also want to use this time to take stock of your brand and targeting. Doing this now will help guide the actual design process.

  • What is your brand’s unique value proposition? Is it going to change with the new website?
  • Who is your target audience? Make a list of their demographic and psychographic information.
  • Who are your top competitors? Do you like any of their websites? If so, why?

While you never want to copy your competitors, you should still routinely analyze their approach and identify opportunities where you can capitalize on their efforts and improve your own approach.

Put the Website Redesign Plan Together

The exercise above will give you a solid understanding of your current metrics, specific goals for the website redesign, and your target audience. Now you can get to work on planning the website redesign for your manufacturing company.

Don’t feel like you have to do this all on your own. We’ve developed hundreds of manufacturing and industrial websites and can help you get unstuck. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you going to want to sell products or services on your new site?
  • What do you hate about your current website?
  • Is there any information your website is missing?
  • What should visitors know about your company right away?
  • Does the website need to be multilingual?
  • Deadline for launch?

What's the Budget?

Many times, people fear giving this number because they think the web development company will stretch the work to match that price. While some unethical companies might do that, the real reason providing a budget is important is that it helps web development companies put together an ideal plan. Usually, there are many ways to approach a redesign. Custom designing the homepage and multiple interior pages is going to give you a better end result, but it is more costly than using a predesigned template.

Your web design partner should be able to craft the ideal strategy for not only hitting your goals, but also staying within your budget.

You also need to analyze the site structure.

  • How many pages are on your current website?
  • What is the visual sitemap?
  • Will this sitemap change? Consider the SEO and UX importance here.

While you are determining all this, now is the ideal time to create a spreadsheet of 301 redirects. Not only will these redirects automatically send visitors to the new page if the URL changes, but they will also tell Google this is a permanent change and the SEO equity should be moved to the new page. 301 redirects are one of the most important things to do as part of a website redesign. If this doesn’t happen you will see your traffic and rankings drop fast. The results will be devastating. If a web development company you are talking to doesn’t have something about 301 redirects in their proposals, then you should find someone else.

Let’s Talk About Content

Now that you have a new sitemap in front of you, it’s time to review your content.

If you are looking to add new pages or update existing content, now is the time to set due dates and make a plan. Website content encompasses the text, images, and videos that make up the pages. Not having content ready in time is one of the primary reasons deadlines are missed when it comes to website launches. Proper planning helps you get in front of this as an issue. It can be hard to manage writing content with all your other work responsibilities. When this is the case we typically use our content writers on staff to get the site to where it needs to be before launching.

Many manufacturing websites require more advanced functionality. If your website needs to integrate with other software, such as an ERP or CRM, you should plan for that now.

Other common needs manufacturing companies have include:

  • Custom calculators or configurations
  • Document management systems for SDS or other documents
  • Warranty registration software
  • Distributor lookup tools
  • Distributor portals
  • Searchable online product catalogs

We’ve built them all and the scope can vary based on your specific needs. Make sure to work with a company that understands what you need and isn’t just looking to use a plugin that only “kind of” works.

Technical Considerations Go Beyond Just New Functionality

Are you changing your domain name?

What Content Management System (CMS) are you using? There are a lot of options. You will want one that is open-source to avoid being tied to any specific web development company. Other things to consider are the structure/capabilities, security, ease of use, and how it works with your SEO needs.

Website security is essential in today’s digital landscape. Implementing secure protocols like HTTPS; adopting multi-factor, biometric, and token-based authentication solutions; and installing new security and software updates are crucial steps to protect your website. 

Have a plan for your hosting. Most of the time it is easier to host with the same company that is developing your website. This way you only have one company to call with any problems or questions. But not all hosting is created equal; cheap and inferior web hosting will cost more in the long run.

Don’t let all the planning seem too daunting. Your website might not need to go through all those steps. There are a lot of moving pieces to a successful website build; putting in the time now will help make the actual project stress-free.

With your plan in place, let the fun begin. It's time to build a new website for your manufacturing company.

The majority (if not all) of these next steps will fall on the lap of the web development company you choose. But having a solid understanding of what they are (or at least should be) will help you with the process.

It's Time to Design

UX Analysis and Wireframe

  • Review Google Analytics for insight into website visitor behavior
  • Develop User Stories to determine logical flow for multiple users throughout the site
  • Create wireframe layouts for key pages
  • Review/Revise/Approve wireframe layouts

Creating Design Mockups

  • Using UX analysis and wireframes, create design mockups of key pages.
  • Review/Revise/Approve design mockups

Let's Start Developing the Website

Server/Host Requirements

  • Create a Staging Environment
  • Make sure to mirror the final environment based on the platform
  • Set to “No Index” — Very important to switch back to “Index” before going live!

Content Configuration

  • Lay out current content and content needs for all pages in the sitemap
  • Develop plan and deadlines for creating new content
  • Review/Revise/Approve website content

Website Development

  • Develop theme files of the website based on designs on the staging environment
  • Add additional pages
  • Custom development functionality

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Perform keyword research:

  • Current rankings
  • Desired rankings
  • Intent-based search queries

Onsite Optimization:

  • Title Tags
  • Header Tags
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Image Alt Tags
  • Quality Content
  • User Experience (UX)

Make a list of your backlinks and the pages they link to.

Quality Assurance

Cross-browser compatibility

  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Mozilla
  • Edge


  • Mobile-first indexing means the mobile version of your website is the primary one used for indexing and ranking. It’s essentially you review various breakpoints to ensure readability on all screen sizes.

ADA Compliance

  • Perform ADA Audit
  • Compile a list of ongoing changes to ensure compliance


  • Site performance
  • Security

Time To Launch Your Website!

Okay, maybe this is actually the fun part. All your hard work is ready to go live to the world.

  1. Implement 301 redirects
  2. Check Robots.txt
  3. Reindex Website Submit sitemap and reindex to Google Search Console 
  4. Submit sitemap and reindex to Bing Webmaster Tools 
  5. Check the number of indexed pages 
  6. Review and correct errors
  7. Verify scripts (Google Analytics Goal tracking on Google Analytics and any other scripts in use)
  8. Update backlinks if the URL/Domain has changed
  9. Regularly review and optimize based on goals and data

Want to take this information on the go? Download the step-by-step workbook instructions PDF.


  • What is the benefit of redesigning my manufacturing website?
      • A well-designed website can improve user experience, boost sales and leads, and enhance brand image.
  • How long does a website redesign typically take?
      • The timeline varies depending on the scope of the project, but it usually takes 2-4 months.
  • What information do I need to gather before starting the redesign?
      • Current website performance metrics, goals for the redesign, target audience information, and competitor analysis.
  • How do I set SMART goals for my redesign?
      • Make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • How do I determine my budget for the redesign?
      • Consider the cost of design, development, content creation, and ongoing maintenance.
  • What should I include in my website content?
      • Clear and concise information about your company, products, and services, targeted toward your audience.
  • What are some common functionalities needed by manufacturing websites?
      • Product catalogs, custom calculators, document management systems, warranty registration, and distributor tools.
  • What Content Management System (CMS) should I use?
      • Choose an open-source CMS that is secure, user-friendly, and SEO-friendly.
  • How do I choose a web hosting provider?
      • Look for a reliable provider with good uptime, security features, and responsive customer support. Consider using the same company developing your website for convenience and expertise.
  • What are 301 redirects and why are they important?
      • These redirects ensure visitors are directed to the correct pages on your new website, maintaining SEO value.
  • What steps should I take before launching my new website?
      • Implement 301 redirects, check robots.txt, submit sitemaps to search engines, and perform thorough testing.
  • How can I optimize my website after launch?
    • Regularly review analytics data, track goals, and make adjustments to improve performance and user experience.

Wondering What to Read Next?