Your website is an incredibly important part of your business, and big decisions about its future need to be made with all available information in hand.
If your current website is no longer meeting your needs, it obviously needs to be updated, but what might not be so obvious is how. Do you need to rebuild your whole Site? Should you refresh the Site you already have? What’s even the difference between the two?
We’re going to answer all your questions about what you should be doing to keep your website in top condition.
What’s the Difference?
First thing’s first, let’s establish how these options differ from each other.
A Site refresh is all about taking an existing Site and giving it a fresh coat of paint. This process focuses on making it look and feel new to the users. Front end UI elements, visuals, and updating the design are the focus here.
Since the back end functionality can be left as is, this process can be completed fairly quickly. Think of it like renovating a house, what’s already there is good, it just needs something more to truly make it the best it can be.
While a Site refresh is like renovating a house, a Site rebuild is what it sounds like, tearing the whole house down and starting again from scratch.
A total Site rebuild doesn’t just look at the front end, it also rebuilds the entirety of the back end as well. This hard reset approach to updating your Site will naturally require more time to implement, since the whole thing needs to be redesigned and rebuilt.
Both options will take time and effort, so let’s look at why it’s worth it.
Why Is It Important?
If you’ve been running a Small Business for any length of time you’ll be aware that it requires constantly striving to improve and advance. Keeping your website updated is no exception to this rule.
Even if you aren’t working on it, your competitors surely are. This leaves you with a choice, be left behind and have to play catchup, or make a preemptive move to lead the pack.
Perception is reality, and it’s very easy to be perceived as out of date in the world of web design. Design trends are fickle and have a reputation for being short lived, what’s cutting edge right now will almost certainly be laughably dated in two years time.
Couple this with advancements being made by competitors, your own evolving brand identity, and advances in the technology underpinning everything, and you have a fast-paced environment that requires regular work to avoid being left behind.
Old Sites look old, and outdated software can cost your business in a variety of ways, some of which may not be obvious. This can be a lack of modern payment options, incompatibility with new browsers, or just a Site that doesn’t load as fast as people have come to expect.
If you’re looking to thrive and grow as a Small Business, it’s time to start looking at how you can push your way to the front of the pack.
How Do I Choose One?
Your exact situation will determine which solution is best for you, but the age of your current Site offers a good rule of thumb for deciding whether you need a refresh or a rebuild.
If your Site is less than two years old, our normal recommendation would be for a refresh. Most websites this young will be built on machinery that still runs great, and just need a fresh coat of paint on top to keep them looking and feeling their best.
For a Site that’s more than two years old, we’d recommend looking at a Site rebuild. While a series of visual updates will keep a website looking new, the underlying structure of it can only last so long.
As a website ages it becomes more and more difficult to keep it running, and its lack of modern functionality and features becomes harder to conceal. Every website eventually reaches the end of its useful life, if yours is there, it’s time to start planning your rebuild.
In the internet age where perception is reality, you must put effort into maintaining the longevity of your website. Whether it’s through a Site refresh or a complete rebuild, you can’t afford to be left behind.