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By Mike van Rooyen

Website refresh vs. website redesign: what is the difference?

July 5th, 2023
2 min read

If your website is getting a little bit tired, is difficult to manage or you’re going through a branding change, it’s likely you’ll start thinking about whether to update. Whether a refresh or full redesign is the best option however will differ. If you’re wondering the best option for your business – or if you’re not sure what the difference is between a website redesign and refresh – read on.

What is a website refresh?

A website refresh is not resource heavy. It is like adding a new throw or cushions, rather than buying a full new sofa.

On the surface, a website refresh has many positive aspects. It allows for small changes to your website to keep up to date with the newest technology, customer needs, products or styles without a large upfront expense. However, when refreshing a website you will still need to constantly monitor performance to ensure a change or update does not have a negative impact.

Key drivers for considering a refresh are the following:

  • Improving Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

  • Updating company logos, typeface, colour palette or graphics.

  • Outdated content which requires new copy or updated promotions.

  • Improving UX, filters, drop-down menus or highlighting new content recommendations.

What is a website redesign?

Conversely, redesign scraps the entire website. It works from the ground up through a development process to build out new content, greatly improved UX, SEO and a new content management system (CMS). Naturally, this is resource heavy. So, why invest in a redesign rather than a quick refresh?

Key drivers for considering a redesign are the following:

  • Improving digital strategy including content marketing, social media marketing, advertising, promotion, and a focus on SEO.

  • It may be the more cost-effective option if you are drastically increasing the functionality of the website. This is especially relevant if considering a stagnant website without the resources to analyse data. A redesign will put you in a starting position to do small refreshes when needed from that point onwards.

  • Stagnant websites with outdated technology that need data driven updates to pages, content, copy and technology.

  • Updating platform technology for UX and additional security.

  • A full rebrand. Not just your logos, typeface and colour palette, but demonstrating the core messages and products of the business.

Does your website need a refresh or redesign?

Interested in giving your website a fresh coat of paint but overwhelmed by the number of ideas to take into consideration? Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is your CMS getting the job done without problems and complaints?

  • Does your website look like it was made in a different century?

  • What is the goal of, or the outcome you wish to achieve from your website? Has this changed since the website was built?

To discuss how this could be developed into a successful redesign or refresh strategy, get in touch with us.

Mike van Rooyen.
Mike van Rooyen

Software Services Director

Over 20 years delivering client-focused solutions though designing and building high performance, digital platforms across a range of technologies and frameworks.