How to Choose Between Redesigning and Rebuilding Your Site

How to Choose Between Redesigning and Rebuilding Your Site

Over time, your website’s appearance and features can become outdated. To fix these issues, you can either redesign or rebuild your website. However, you might struggle to choose between these two options.

For example, redesigning your website can be an effective way to address small functional problems on your website or enhance its overall look. On the other hand, when undergoing a rebrand or migration, building a new website can enable you to achieve your goals more easily. 

In this post, we’ll discuss why you might consider redesigning or rebuilding your website. 

The Difference Between Redesigning and Rebuilding Your Website

If your website isn’t meeting your needs, you might consider redesigning or rebuilding it. With both of these techniques, the goal is to improve your website’s look, features, and/or functionality. However, the exact changes you make will depend on the strategy you choose.

A redesign involves updating the look and feel of your website. Often, most of the fundamentals stay the same, but you might customize your site’s appearance with a new theme or branding:

If you rebuild your website, you’ll be creating a new site from scratch. This can be an effective way to solve problems with your current Content Management System (CMS) or your website’s underlying coding.

When redesigning your website, you might update its color scheme or make it more mobile-friendly. However, rebuilding a website can also involve migrating your content to a new platform or making large-scale changes to how it looks and what it includes.

Why You Might Consider Redesigning Your Website

When you first built your website, you likely chose a theme and plugins that were popular at the time. Without occasional redesigns, your website’s appearance may become outdated. If you want to continue offering a great experience for your users, it’s best to keep up with the latest design techniques.

There are several indicators that will tell you it’s time for a website redesign:

  • Slow loading time
  • Lack of brand awareness
  • Poor Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Confusing navigation menu
  • Subpar performance or appearance on mobile devices

Ultimately, if you want your website to succeed, it’s important to maximize its design for user convenience. This can involve making pages mobile-friendly, or updating your color scheme with more memorable branding.

Pros

There are advantages and drawbacks to opting for a redesign. On the positive side, this often improves the user experience. For example, a redesign increase accessibility by placing important details in a menu or directly on your home page:

Refreshing your web design can also modernize your content by removing outdated stock photos or aggressive pop-ups. This can make your website more appealing to users, which can increase repeat visits.

Plus, a redesign usually takes less time than a complete rebuild. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can simply implement new themes or plugins to maximize your current design.

Cons

However, redesigning your website can be jarring for your regular visitors. Since a redesign can take time, you could leave your users with malfunctioning features before the process is complete.

To alleviate this problem, you can put your site into maintenance mode. This prevents users from viewing the pages you’re editing:

Still, maintenance mode pages can stop users from finding the content they came for. So it’s possible to lose out on potential new audience members during this process.

Finally, a redesign doesn’t affect the underlying structure of your website. So if your site is suffering from large-scale problems, a simple redesign may not be sufficient.

When your website can no longer support your goals, it’s time to consider building a completely new site. For example, your website builder might become more difficult to manage as your audience grows. To get more control, you can start from scratch on a new platform.

Why You Might Consider Building a New Website

In addition, certain functional issues can be too complex to handle with a simple redesign. Here are some goals you can achieve with a website rebuild:

  • Rebrand your entire website
  • Increase organic traffic
  • Improve your conversion strategy
  • Make major functional changes

With a redesign, you also won’t have to worry about updating your old content. You can simply determine what your site needs and create customized features and content that meet those goals. 

Pros

Similar to a redesign, a rebuild can improve the accessibility of your website. For instance, creating a new website can completely change its structure, allowing visitors to easily navigate your content. 

Using a different platform to build your site can make it easier to attract more organic visitors. A more powerful and flexible CMS like WordPress can help you better engage visitors and improve your search engine rankings.

Cons

Although there are advantages to rebuilding your website, you may also face some challenges. Since you have already spent time and energy on one website, you might be hesitant to completely abandon it and start fresh.

What’s more, it takes time to build a website from the ground up. A platform like WordPress will have tools to help you out, but it still takes time and effort to learn new technology. Plus, you’ll need to set up redirects if you want to make sure visitors find your new site.

How to Choose Between Redesigning and Rebuilding Your Website

A redesign can be effective when you’re implementing smaller functional tweaks, such as editing the site’s color scheme or adding a navigation menu:

However, if you want to completely rebrand your site with a new identity, you’ll want to consider a rebuild instead. By starting your design from scratch, you can make sure that every piece of content matches your brand:

Since every website is different, you’ll need to evaluate yours and note what already works. If you only need minor visual or functional changes, you can probably opt for a redesign. With this option, you can keep your site’s fundamentals the same. 

Alternatively, you may find that there are too many problems for a redesign to address. This is when you can choose a new build instead, and launch version two of your website with clear goals in mind.

Making the Right Choice for Your Website

When it’s time to improve your website, you may struggle to choose between a redesign and a rebuild. Both options can improve unoptimized elements on your website, but it’s important to choose the right option for your needs.

It’s best to start by considering whether you can redesign your current website, either by improving its look or adding user-friendly features. Rebuilding your site is a much more extensive process, but may be a better option if your existing site simply isn’t meeting your needs (or those of your visitors).

Do you have any questions about redesigning or rebuilding your website? Ask us in the comments section below!