Feb. 13, 2014

Why Should I Refresh My Website?

What's the difference between a website refresh and a website rebuild?

Things grow dull over time.
Silver loses its shines, diamonds lose their sparkle, and new toys lose their luster. It’s inevitable that things, which once seemed so unique and exciting, grow dust and lose appeal as time goes on. Once we’ve settled into our familiar life experiences, it’s only natural that we move on to the next big thing.

The ease at which we abandon the stale and familiar, is deadly to a website.

Rebuilding an entirely new site at a pace at which you prevent yourself from growing tired is an impossible task. A website project is never-ending, but rebuilding it regularly is a futile approach to staying relevant. Instead, you must constantly refresh your website to stay current.  

What does it mean to refresh?
A refresh restores strength.
A refresh restores a renewed supply.
A refresh updates and renews what you currently have.

Refresh vs. Rebuild

As I mentioned before, rebuilding your website on an annual (or even bi-annual) basis can be an impossible strain on your team’s time, money, and available resources. Reinventing the wheel on such a frequent basis is not the most effective way of staying current in the minds of your customers.

This is where a site refresh comes in.

Refreshing a website focuses on changing specific, frontend elements, typically the small changes that don’t involve re-architecting your website’s backend. During a refresh you forego conducting a website code audit or content audit as these are textbook elements of a website rebuild. A website refresh takes considerably less time than a rebuild and requires you to choose your battles.

due website before refresh Before Website Refresh      duo website refresh after After Website Refresh

When considering a site refresh, ask yourself: What are our website’s biggest pain points? What are the 5-10 things we would like our refresh to accomplish? Set clear goals that you want the refresh to achieve.

Refreshing your website seems easy, right? You may be wondering why you would ever do a full rebuild when you could do refresh after refresh. The problem is, many companies fail to refresh their websites regularly, forcing them to rebuild out of necessity because their site elements have become so out of date.

What constitutes an “Out of date” website?

 

website refresh style guideYou know one when you see one. A website design that looks outdated strikes a visual chord; as a viewer, you immediately know that something is in dire need of a refresh. Given that design trends change at such a rapid pace, something that is only 2 years old can look outdated. If your company has updated your brand, but hasn't layered these new elements (fonts, style guides, colors, etc.) into your new website, you are also in need of a refresh.

Consistency is key when it comes to building brand equity online and your website should always serve as the best representation of your company. Doing an entire brand refresh takes time and requires commitment from the entire organization. The first, and most important step, in beginning a website refresh is to have a conversation. Invite the key players of the refresh project to come together and ask the question: What's the best solution we're looking for?

 

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