Website Optimization vs Website Redesign: Pros and Cons

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Making the wrong choice between website optimization and website redesign could end up costing you significant amounts of time, money, and energy. Knowing what you need and what approach will deliver your desired results will help you make the right decision. Learn the differences between the two, reasons to choose one over the other, and the pros and cons of each to make the right choice for your website.

Differences Between the Two

The traditional approach to website redesign is to completely overhaul your site with a new color scheme, graphics, and content. This approach does not include data-driven changes that are necessary to make a significant impact on your goals and objectives. 

Some authorities estimate that a website typically has a “shelf life” of 18-30 months during which users find it functional, appealing, and convenient. It makes sense that businesses will want to refresh their websites regularly to keep their target audience engaged. There are several reasons a company owner might be motivated to redesign the site, including:

  • The website no longer reflects the company’s vision and direction.
  • The site may not effectively engage the business’s target audience.
  • The design is not up-to-date or attractive.
  • Site navigation and/or organization is terrible.
  • The site is outdated or difficult to use.

Website optimization differs from a redesign in that you are choosing to change specific elements of the site to better achieve your goals and objectives. Instead of changing all the content on a website, optimization might focus on certain specific pages. These kinds of changes are based on specific data in your website analytics that indicate which areas need to be improved.

Knowing the specific pros and cons of website optimization vs a website redesign could save your business from wasting valuable time, money, and energy in producing the wrong results. 

Pros of Website Optimization

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Choosing website optimization means that your business is looking to get specific results based on specific changes you will make to your site. With internet traffic rising as much as 70% in 2020, being able to convert those visitors is becoming increasingly important. Or, you could have seen your ads have a high click-through rate but no one downloaded your lead magnet. 

When you opt for website optimization over a redesign, it will take less time to complete all the changes, since you are focused on specific elements rather than an entire site overhaul. Your turnaround times will be faster, and you can start seeing results much more quickly to determine if your efforts were worth the investment. 

Because it will take less time and effort to complete the changes, you will likely save money. This could lead to a higher return on your investment if your changes end up yielding significant results for sales and conversions. 

Another advantage of website optimization is that you are making changes based on data you’ve collected from the site. By analyzing your visitors’ reactions to your site, you can pinpoint any further problem areas and make the edits needed to solve your issues.  

Cons of Website Optimization

The problem with website optimization is that it doesn’t provide a holistic approach to fixing your issues. You may make changes to the site’s copy to improve low conversion rates when, in reality, visitors don’t have the option of navigating to the right page because of your site’s structure. 

When creating new branding for your site you could simply switch out colors and your logo, but if your audience doesn’t feel the same connection to your site’s message, it will have long-term effects on the site’s performance. Because a redesign is a larger investment, business owners can opt for an optimization that saves money but may disregard the larger picture of what is needed.

Pros of Website Redesign

A website redesign from a reputable web design agency can be a big upfront investment. However, if you can solve some of your biggest problems, you can reap long-term rewards. An outdated site or one that is hard to navigate cannot be fixed by optimizing a few elements on a page. You may need to reorganize how you categorize your menu and how your internal links are placed. 

A new design on your site allows you to tackle big conceptual problems such as a rebrand for your business. If you are changing aspects of your brand that help your audience connect with your message, such as your logo or color scheme, you’ll benefit by going with a complete redesign.

As the internet continues to progress, and search engines like Google continue to update their algorithms, you might need to redesign your entire site for outdated technology. A total of 57% of internet users don’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Mobile optimization is a large factor in how audiences use and perceive your site, and if yours has poor mobile functionality, it will deliver a poor customer experience.

Sites now serve a specific function for bringing in new customers and converting them into paying members. If your site wasn’t effectively set up to move potential visitors through the sales funnel, a redesign may be essential to maximize your site’s performance. 

Cons of Website Redesign

One of the major cons of a website redesign is how much upfront time and money you’ll be spending. If you don’t have the funds for a full redesign, it can take away valuable resources from other areas of your business. It takes a significant amount of time to complete a redesign, so it might delay other areas of your business, like seasonal promotions or discounts. 

With website redesigns, it can also be hard to measure how the changes have positively impacted your business because elements such as improved site navigation can be hard to fully measure. These changes can also take time to show results. You likely won’t see results the day after your redesign is implemented. A website redesign is most useful when you have substantial website issues overall and are willing to invest in improvements long-term for big returns in the future.

To Optimize or To Redesign

Decide what metrics you are looking to improve on your site, and you’ll be able to make an educated decision. If you’ve identified a few key issues you want to update based on specific data you’ve gathered, then website optimization will be more helpful. If you feel like your site is outdated or offers a poor user experience, however, then a website redesign is likely more appropriate. Continue to read the Best Web Design Services Companies blog for more tips on web design and development.