July 3, 2023

How to Choose Between a Website Refresh or a Website Redesign

Strategize Now

Is your website being overlooked or remembered for the wrong reasons? Whether an end user is encountering your brand for the first time or coming back for more, we believe that consistent improvements to your site are key. We’ve learned that companies who consistently make improvements to their existing site tend to provide the best user experiences, compared to those who only update their site once every seven or eight years.

Knowing When It’s Time to Update

There are a few signs that indicate it might be time to make some changes to your website. If your design looks outdated and doesn’t match your brand or business anymore, that’s a good sign it’s time for an upgrade. Other signs include having:

  • old content
  • slow loading times
  • poor search engine optimization (SEO)
  • a bad experience for people using mobile devices

Most importantly, if your brand, product, or service has evolved but your website hasn’t, it’s definitely time for an update!

Website Redesigns vs Website Refreshes

When you decide it’s time for a change, consider how big of a change you want to make to meet your current goals.

A website redesign means completely changing your website, including its appearance, functionality, and the information it contains.

On the other hand, a website refresh means making updates or changes to only certain important parts of the website while keeping the overall structure the same.

Whether you choose to refresh or completely overhaul your website depends on a number of factors, such as your business goals, target audience, and the current performance and metrics of your existing site.

What Is a Website Redesign?

A website redesign is like moving into a new house that better fits your needs. A redesign is a complete website overhaul. Sometimes new content management systems are considered like WordPress or Drupal. There is almost always a new website design, adjustments to the layout and fonts, modified or new content, and more.

What are the benefits of a website redesign?

A full website redesign can make a big difference in how your online presence looks and works. It can make your website more attractive and user-friendly, which is important for improving your search engine ranking and giving visitors a better experience. It’s also a great opportunity to align your site with your current business goals and target audience.

By starting fresh with a redesign, you can enhance security, improve page load times, and make sure your site works well on mobile devices. The result is a website that is more engaging, easier to use, and tailored to meet your current needs.

What are the cons of a website redesign?

While a website redesign can bring many advantages, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. One downside is the resources required for the process. Redesigning a website can be a significant investment, especially if heavy customization is needed.

However, it’s important to recognize that a well-executed redesign can yield a remarkable return on investment (ROI) by significantly enhancing the user experience. By improving the design, navigation, and functionality, businesses can attract more visitors, boost engagement, and ultimately increase conversions. So despite the initial expenses, the long-term benefits of a website redesign can far outweigh the upfront costs, making it a worthwhile investment for businesses seeking to thrive in the digital landscape.

Another factor to keep in mind is the time investment. A website redesign often takes months to complete, and migrating or recreating existing content can be complex and time-consuming. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition.

What Is a Website Refresh?

A website refresh is like giving your home a new coat of paint. You’re making small changes, like updating the content strategy or messaging, tweaking the color palette or color scheme, adding new landing pages, improving calls-to-action or introducing a new logo.

These changes aim to enhance the user experience and the site’s functionality without changing the overall structure.

What are the benefits of a website refresh?

Refreshing your website has many advantages. New copy or speed improvements can help your search engine optimization (SEO), making it easier for people to find your site. A user-friendly site lowers bounce rates and increases conversion rates.

A website refresh is more cost-effective as it utilizes the existing codebase and functionality, reducing development costs. It also takes less time compared to a full redesign since much of the structure, content management system and design usually remain the same.

Refreshes can often be tackled on an ongoing cadence to allow your site to always be kept updated.

What are the cons of a website refresh?

While a website refresh can enhance the look and feel of your current site, it’s important to be aware of its potential drawbacks. Refreshing a website involves working within most existing elements and code, which means there are limitations on what can be changed depending on the scope and deadline. It’s necessary to focus on specific areas for optimization that are possible to change and avoid taking on too much.

There can also be technical challenges involved in a website refresh. When making changes to certain elements of a current website, developers must exercise caution to prevent unintended impacts on other parts of the site.

It’s important to acknowledge that consistent refreshes cannot replace a complete website redesign. While keeping your website updated is beneficial in the long run, there will come a time when a full redesign needs to be considered for your current website.

Is a Refresh or Redesign the Better Choice?

Balancing the benefits and drawbacks of a website redesign is essential to make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and resources. Choosing between a refresh or a redesign depends on various factors, such as your budget, time, and the scope of changes you want to make. In general, if your site is outdated, a complete redesign is often the best course of action.

Here are some more factors to take into account:

  • Budget: A refresh is usually cheaper, but a redesign might be worth the cost if your website requires major changes for better optimization.
  • Time: If you need quick improvements, a refresh is usually the answer. But, if you have more time, a redesign might be a better fit.
  • Scope: A refresh is best for small changes, while a redesign is needed for something like a complete rebrand with a corresponding website design.

Not Sure Where to Start?

Do you need a refresh or redesign? M Agency has the tools, the creative professionals, and the experience to handle any website redesign project. Reach out if you have questions, and let’s get to work!