Should You Refresh Your Website or Redesign It? Here’s How to Decide!
It’s hard to believe that the first website was created just 27 years ago. At the time, only a handful of computers could even access it. We’ve come a long way since then, battling the dreaded marquee — AKA side-scrolling — text, to make our way to websites that are engaging, sleek, and informative. If you’ve had your website for a while, it may be hard to tell when it’s time for an update. After all, the adage goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” — and website overhauls can be expensive.
The key is knowing whether your website needs to be completely redesigned or just needs a new coat of paint. In this article, you’ll learn the differences between a website redesign and a website refresh, and you’ll also learn the signs to look for on your website.
What is a Website Refresh?
A refresh is any update that doesn’t change the overall structure of your site. For example, Google may change their logo for a day, but the search engine itself still works exactly the same. You might breathe some fresh life into your website by updating your branding colors and graphics, but keep your content management system (like WordPress, Squarespace, or Drupal). Your navigation menu, all of your existing pages, and any blog posts stay just as they are, within the same hierarchy.
A website refresh can be as simple as choosing more modern typography or as complex as overhauling your company’s palette. You might introduce all of the changes at once, or one at a time to test each update’s effect on your SEO.
How is a Website Refresh Different from a Website Redesign?
A website redesign, on the other hand, would be like completely changing the way Google works and organizes and displays its search results. Your redesign might mean switching to another content management system or going from a static to a responsive design, using something like WordPress for the first time. Because the “guts” of the website are changing, a redesign is much more complicated, takes more time to roll out, and can even involve some training to help you maintain it.
However, redesigning your website can be a more simple project, like creating a brand new theme or skin for your current content management system. It might involve changing your website’s layout, as well as introducing a new color scheme.
Sometimes, a website refresh can overlap a redesign; for example, a new layout and palette may be refreshing, but when the function of the site itself changes, it’s considered a redesign.
Which is More Cost Effective: A Refresh or Redesign?
Usually, a website refresh is much more cost effective than redesigning your entire website. That’s because there is less behind the scenes tinkering involved. A refresh is the difference between changing the color of your car versus going from a V6 to a V8 motor. A paint job takes far less time to complete and is a much less complicated procedure.
It is usually relatively inexpensive and quick to have the colors of your website, or the typography changed. Switching to a new content management system could involve many hours of meticulous, careful labor, though.
Sometimes, though, it pays to go for the complete redesign instead. If, for example, you’re having a difficult time getting visitors to sign up for your email list, it may just be a matter of having new graphics designed or adding a popup signup box. However, if your current website is sluggish and visitors are just getting frustrated with the load time, a new graphic won’t help speed things up, but a redesigned website that is optimized for speed will help you get more conversions.
Which is the Better Choice: A Refresh or Redesign?
It can be hard to decide whether you should just spiff things up or change your entire website structure. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- What is your goal?
- Do you want to improve your company’s branding in your online presence?
- Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? What other things would you like to accomplish?
- How quickly do you need your project completed?
- Do you want to change your site’s functionality?
- Is your current content management system easy to use?
- How does it affect your website’s speed?
- What is your budget?
Once you have these basic elements in mind, get in touch with a website design company. A website designer will be able to help you determine whether a refresh or redesign is in your best interest. Your website designer will also let you know whether changes can be rolled out in stages — in order to test elements or even accommodate your budget — and about how long the project will take them to complete. A good website design company can also give you a rough estimate of how much it will cost to redesign your website.
Redesigning or even refreshing your website is an exciting part of improving your web presence. Every website is a work in progress, and is never completely done; over the years, your website will grow and change many times to better reflect your brand.
Utilize a refresh when you just want to spruce things up a bit for an inexpensive way to drive traffic to your website or just update your branding. When you need a more responsive design or need to change your website structure, go with a redesign.
Here at Lucid Advertising, we will help you make the most of your web presence. We believe that measured results are the best way to ramp up your digital marketing, and we’ll work closely with you to take your website to the next level.
Give Lucid Advertising a call today to get started on your next refresh or redesign.