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Website Refresh Vs Redesign: What Is the Difference?

Last Updated: January 4, 2023

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Home » Website Refresh Vs Redesign: What Is the Difference?

It’s every website owner’s conundrum — to redesign or not to redesign — that is the question!

Each website has unique requirements, so it pays to examine the options and make an informed decision.

While a full-scale website redesign might seem appealing, sometimes a refresh is enough to modernize your online space’s look, feel, and functions.

We’re here to help you settle the debate.

In this article, we’ll break down the differences between a website refresh and a website redesign and when you should use which.


Understanding the Difference Between a Website Refresh and Website Redesign

How are they different from each other? We can start by defining what these two terms actually mean below.

What Is a Website Refresh?

What Is a Website Refresh

As the name implies, a website refresh is just like giving your home a fresh coat of paint — it quickly spruces up an existing space without the need for any major construction.

A website refresh typically involves updating:

  • Content
  • Pictures
  • Colors
  • Graphics

The goal here is to make sure everything looks new and modern while preserving the integrity of your original message or brand. You shouldn’t have to alter the overall structure or design.

If your website just needs minor improvements (such as fixing broken links or improving page load speed), then a website refresh may be all you need.

How to improve your website without starting from scratch: a website refresh.

Not only will you be able to quickly achieve any short-term goals, such as increasing your online presence, but you’ll also likely have enough left in the budget for those unexpected little updates or additions throughout the process.

Best of all, it won’t take nearly as long (or cost nearly as much) as starting from square one!

What Is a Website Redesign?

On the other hand, a website redesign is more like demolishing an old building and building a brand new one in its place.

A website redesign will involve reworking the entire structure of your site to improve user experience and make it easier for people to find information quickly.

This type of project can include nearly anything, such as:

  • Changing layout designs
  • Creating new navigation elements
  • Adding new pages or sections
  • Installing plugins or third-party software programs

Integrating third-party tools such as analytics tracking systems or customer relationship management (CRM) systems into the site

Anything that requires significant changes to the back-end code of your existing site would fall into this category.

A website redesign can be an excellent choice for those in the market for their long-term goals — and have more cash to spare.

Now that you know which is which, you can better decide which approach is right for your website.

But sometimes, it’s still hard to decide. If that’s the case, keep reading as we discuss when it makes sense to get a refresh and redesign.


When a Website Refresh Makes Sense

As we said, a website refresh is less expensive and can quickly improve the look of a website without much effort.

However, there are still critical considerations to make before deciding if it’s worth refreshing your website.

Website Is Under 3 Years Old

If a website has been around for less than three years, a refresh might be the way to go rather than rebuilding it.

Websites need to age gracefully, keeping content and the look and feel updated and fresh.

Making sure your site is up-to-date increases customer confidence when making online purchases or engaging with services and helps you stay on top of industry trends and competition.

Most websites can benefit from a refresh every two to three years, although, for some industries like e-commerce, the rate might be more frequent due to ever-changing product offerings.

Overall Structure of a Website Is Sound

Sometimes websites can look outdated even if they were built recently. If the overall structure of your website is sound, but it looks like it needs a facelift, then investing in a website refresh may be worth considering.

A good web design team can take your site’s existing structure and modernize it to look more up-to-date. This can help assure visitors that your business is current and active.

A New SEO Initiative Has Started

If your business has just started an SEO initiative or following new copywriting best practices, then a website refresh may be the right move.

A website refresh can bring all of your web pages up to date with current SEO standards and improve your ranking in the SERPs.

This can include optimizing titles, meta descriptions, and other elements that will give your site an edge in search engine rankings.

Crafting fresh content that includes relevant SEO keywords is also key to scoring even higher in SERPs.

You’re Only Looking for Cosmetic Improvements

Youre Only Looking for Cosmetic Improvements

A website refresh may be the perfect solution to give your site a little extra sparkle and let the world know that you’re keeping up with modern trends.

This doesn’t have to mean costly overhauls.

Nothing says “I’m current!” like subtle changes — custom graphics, fonts, or adding interactive elements.

Keep your site alive and healthy, no matter how much time has passed.

With a simple update, you will set your website up for success!


When a Website Redesign Makes Sense

For those looking for an overhaul, a website redesign better suits your needs. But how do you know it’s time for a website revamp?

Here are a few things to keep in mind about either a website refresh or a website redesign.

Website Is Over 5 Years Old

Websites might be the new must-have accessory, but their lifespans aren’t quite as long as a classic handbag. The average website lifespan is four years before you should consider taking a step back and redesigning it.

Redesigns can be a pain, so there’s no need to get them done too frequently. Roughly every two to five years should do the trick.

A revamp can make all the difference — it’s an excellent opportunity to bring a site up to date regarding design standards, technology, and usability for visitors.

Put simply, if you want your website to look just as sharp as your outfit on any given day, don’t wait too long before providing those pixels a refresh!

Company Has Rapidly Grown

When it comes to success, sometimes change is the way to go — and when it comes to your website, that’s doubly true!

If your business has been on the rise lately, you should think about redesigning the look and style of your online presence.

Not only can this give a modern touch to old websites, but it could also help introduce new customers to your unique goods or services. The best way to do that is to apply excellent About Us copywriting to your redesign process.

Providing an accurate and up-to-date version of who you are will also make website navigation easier for returning customers and show them that your brand is as strong as ever.

Change definitely can be a good thing — especially for your website!

Your Website’s Technology Is Hard To Manage

From time to time, even the most lovingly designed website needs a tune-up — including an upgrade to its backbone platform and technology.

While this may require effort, it can also be an exciting opportunity to give your site a fresh new look, improved loading speeds, and easier-to-manage content.

Whether you’re using clunky old technology or taking advantage of the latest options available, ensuring your website is running on a platform that can support its current needs and where it’s heading is essential for smooth sailing — both now and in the future.

Your Business Goals Are Strikingly Different From That of Your Website

Finally, if the goals of your business have changed significantly since developing the original version of your site, then it may be worth considering a website redesign.

But mainly if those changes are reflected in any significant marketing materials or advertising campaigns you’ve recently launched.

A website should always accurately reflect the goals and objectives of a business. Otherwise, customers will be confused by what they find on each page.

Even if small changes have been made to the overall mission statement or branding elements over time, updating these features on the site itself can help create consistency throughout all communication channels with potential customers and clients alike.


You can better grasp your goals and alignment if you craft a thorough website redesign project plan.


Refresh or Redesign – Either Way, Huemor Can Help!

A refresh can be the perfect way to go when you need a website to revamp. But if your website has a few extra miles, consider a complete redesign!

The experts at Huemor are here to help you make sure your site looks its best — whether you want a total overhaul or it just needs some sprucing up — so that it remains up-to-date with current designs, technology, and trends.

Plus, the only thing better than having your site look amazing is working with awesome people who know their stuff and make the entire website updating process smoother!

When it’s time to get your site back in shipshape with a full website redesign, contact us and have us give it the once-over… or however many overs are needed.

Meet The Author

Jeff Gapinski is the President of Huemor where he helps plan the long-term strategic growth of the agency. Jeff is passionate about UI/UX, demand generation, and digital strategy.

Originally Published

January 24, 2023

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