Do You Need a Website Refresh or Redesign?

What do you do if your website is old or needs to change? Do you start over? Should fix what is not working for you? With a website, you have two options: refresh or redesign. Fix what you think needs an update or start over with a brand new site.
Redesign or Refresh?

Refresh or Redesign

What is a refresh? Fo example if your website was a house, a refresh would be like making over a room. To update your room, you may repaint the walls, replace a rug, curtains or even pillows and add new furniture. When you refresh your website, you leave the way the website functions and change how it looks. This may include changing the colors, fonts or even images.

What is a redesign? A redesign is where you start over. Instead of a makeover, you would tear the house down and build a new. With a website, you start over by building a new site.

When should I refresh my website?

Refresh or redesign? It depends on your needs. Why are you updating your site? Do you need to fix some small issues? Has your business changed and your website no longer reflects your brand? If you need to make small fixes, than a refresh will work for you. If you need to have it reflect how your business has changed, you want to redesign.

How do I do refresh my website?

  1. Decide what your goals for the website are.
  2. Look at your content and determine if you need to add, delete or update pages.
  3. Prioritize what you want to work on.

What are you site goals?

When looking at a redesign or refresh, you should reevaluate your site goals. Is it performing the way you expect? Does it reflect your current brand? Are there any pages that just don’t work?

Do you know what content your site has?

Audit your website by figuring out how many pages you have and what they focus on. Is each page current, out of date or needs a slight tweak? Decide which pages you want to work on, remove and update.


What do you want to work on first? Does your content need updating? Do you need to change the look and feel first? Decide what you want to work on and schedule how you are going to accomplish fixing or updating your site.


Your website should change to reflect who you are as a business. This means you may need to either refresh or redesign your website. What you choose to do depends on your goals. Sometimes, your may need simple fixes and refreshes your website is the best choice. Other times, you may choose to start over because it is just easier and a better way to achieve your goals.

Your own or a pre-built CSS Grid

Bootstrap is a popular design CSS grid framework. A CSS grid framework consists of a specific number of columns and rows. You can quickly define different layouts using a grid framework. It helps you to quickly build the layout of your web application.

What if you want something really simple? You just want a simple grid and create the rest of the design yourself. Do you choose a pre-made CSS Grid framework or build your own? It depends on your preferences and project needs. If you need to complete your project quickly, choose a pre-made framework. If not, you may choose to build your own to use in later projects.

Simple and Responsive Grid Frameworks

Try out one of the following simple and responsive pre-made grid frameworks:

Toast - Simple CSS Grid
Toast – Simple CSS Grid

If these don’t work for you, a quick Google search provides you with more options to try.

Build your own framework

Why build your own framework? Most developers like working with code that they understand and have control over. With a pre-made framework, you have to deal with the choices that the developer made to get their framework working. You may not have the time or patience to attempt to fit another’s framework to your project.
To build your own framework, you need to:

  • Determine how many columns 9, 12 or 16? The standard number of columns is 12. 12 makes it simple.
  • Sketch out a design.
  • Create the structure for the grid framework. You don’t have to make it complicated. The best grids are simple.
  • Test out the HTML and CSS for the grid framework.
  • Make it flexible and responsive. You want your grid to work with your future projects: mobile and beyond.

Building your own framework doesn’t have to be an overwhelming challenge. Check out how Joe Richardson built a responsive grid system.

Are you going to build your own?

Web Design and Personal Responsibility

At Webstock 2013, web designer, Mike Monteiro, gave an inspiring talk called “How web designers destroyed the world”. His talk focused on design and personal responsibility. Designers and developers create new things every day. Mike wants you to realize that what you create has an impact on the world around you. A simple change could affect the lives of your users. Don’t just add features because the client wants it. Look at how the change will impact all of your customers.

Design is about solving problems not making things pretty. Mike want designers and developers to focus on solving real problems. Not just creating another me-too app. He showed a screen filled with camera apps. Do we really need more of them?

If you want to do more than build me-too apps, watch the video.

Webstock ’13: Mike Monteiro – How Designers Destroyed the World from Webstock on Vimeo.