Much like building a website from scratch, redesigning it also influences user experience and SEO. And it doesn’t matter if you’re only redesigning the site in bits or its entirety. Neither does it matter if you are repeating the process every 3months or 3years. The effects remain just as crucial, especially for WordPress websites!

So, does that mean you should ditch all notions of redesigning your website?

No! Redesign your website to keep to your industry innovations and trends. Plus, this is a golden opportunity to audit your SEO strategies and see the improvements you could add. But while you are at it, we’ll advise you to go about the entire process systematically. Else, you will lose your SEO rankings.

So, what is the way forward?

10 out of 10 times, it is best to leave your website redesigning projects to professionals like Brett Melville, the owner of Digital Treasury. But if you’re a web designer and a digital marketing guru, the following tips can help. Check it out!

5 Systematic Steps To Retain Your SEO Rankings Despite Redesigning Your Website

Don’t Start Without A Staging Site!

The number one rule for website redesigns is to have a staging site. It is a development phase where you can test your maneuvers before pushing them to your live websites. While we have heard many professionals claiming not to use it (the staging site), we’ll advise you to do otherwise.

Regardless of your years of experience, it is unprofessional to work directly on a live site. Even as a pro, you can make mistakes. What if you committed an error on a high-traffic website? If such a website were commercial, your client could lose sales. Even for personal sites, absurd layout and content could cause loopholes in your reputation management.

Bottom line: you don’t want to leave things to chance. So, before you even start redesigning your website, ensure your live site is up and functional. And while you are at it, keep the old website operational until the changes are perfect.

Pro tip: Your hosting provider might have a built-in staging site feature, ask. But if you’re creating yours on a separate URL, ensure you enforce a “no index” on it. If it does, Google bots will crawl the staging site.

What Were Your Initial SEO Metrics?

If you want to retain your SEO rankings, you must know them to start. So, what are your rankings on SERPs? Are you on page one for your industry and location on Google? More importantly, what was the score of your website on the Google Core Web Vitals test?

Once you have the answers, you will know your baseline. Still, have tools in place to monitor your maneuvers and their impact on your SEO ranking. In particular, watch out for these metrics:

  • Alexa global rank
  • Backlinks
  • Domain authority DA
  • Historic keywords
  • Keyword rankings
  • Organic traffic
  • Spam Score

Thankfully, there are several monitoring tools you can use. But from the lot, we will recommend Page Insights and Google Analytics.

Furthermore, if you want the best monitoring of your SEO rankings, we’ll recommend a page-by-analysis. That way, you can counter other underlying factors outside your redesigning altercations.

Also read: Top 7 WordPress SEO Plugins To Boost Your Rankings

Start Redesigning Your Website But Be Consistent

Once your staging site is up and you have the initial breakdown of your SEO rankings, begin your website redesigning project. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you what design to use or implement. We’ll leave that to your creative mind and team.

We also advise you to keep your changes as simple as possible. Don’t overload your web pages with media content, otherwise, your website will become too slow, and the user experience will suffer while the bounce rate will skyrocket.

Most importantly, ensure that the basics of your website and designs are consistent. The core elements of your redesigned website should resonate with your brand identity. If not, you’ll confuse your visitors.

That said, how can you ensure consistency?

Use visualization and crawling tools to check and compare the consistency between your old and redesigned website. Our recommendation is Apify, but you can equally use Screaming Frog.

Always Backup Your Changes

Earlier, we stated why a staging site is crucial to your redesigning projects. Well, backups are just as critical too. How so?

When you backup your changes, you can always return to the “last perfect stop”. Besides, errors can ensue when switching your WP website to a new domain. You could lose your top-ranking content or high-traffic page. For those reasons, backup your site!

But, how often should you backup your site?

The ideal schedule is a weekly backup. But here at Digital Treasury, we advise our clients to do site backups before every change, migration, and after a desirable tweak.

Check For & Fix Broken Links And Missing Pages

The chances are that you would lose some of your web pages while enforcing the changes from your redesigning projects. While that will affect your SEO rankings, we’ll advise you not to fret. You only have to find what is missing. Fortunately, you can track that with your sitemap.

Another thing you should know is that you’ll be doing a host of “redirects” now that you have redesigned your site. Don’t worry; redirects are constants for WP websites. Plus, they are the way to offset broken links and missing pages.

For your website redesigning purpose, we’ll advise using 301 redirects. They are the best option to maintain your SEO rankings.

Furthermore, ensure that you set up 404 pages. They are instrumental in solving cases of missing web pages. Plus, they give you enough time to find the root of the issue without losing your visitors and SEO rankings.

Pro tip: don’t make your 404 pages bland. Add search and suggestion boxes. You could even add a playful tone to calm the frustration of visitors!


Don’t hold out redesigning your website because you fear losing your SEO rankings. In contrast, seize this opportunity to improve it.

So, let go of your worries; start with your site redesigning project today. Just follow the tips that we have provided in this article. If you need further help along the way, feel free to contact us!