Website Refresh vs Website Relaunch: The Difference Matters

While there’s no hard and fast rule about how often a website needs to be updated, keeping your business site fresh helps you stay relevant and competitive in a swiftly changing technological landscape. How comprehensive should a reboot be? It depends. 

A website refresh is like a new paint job or a new haircut: it’s a way to liven up your site without making complicated changes that take a lot of time and resources. If your site is performing well and you’re happy with its functionality, then a refresh will revitalize its look and feel. If, on the other hand, your site is extremely outdated, lacks responsive design, and regularly frustrates your visitors, then it might be time for a website relaunch (or website redesign). 

In this article, our team of development and design experts explore the differences between a website refresh and a website relaunch and show you how to do both. Your business website will look contemporary and revived in no time! 

Website Refresh

If you opt for a refresh, the core of your site will stay the same with the structure and functionality intact and you’ll still have a satisfying sense of having revived your site to look and feel more modern. 

Website Refresh Step 1: Explore Your Site

Begin by navigating your website just like a first-time visitor would. For example, maybe it’s obvious to you that your company’s contact info is at the very bottom of the page—you’ve scrolled there a thousand times! But would it be obvious to a user who has never set eyes on your page before? Are the menus easy to find? Take notes on what works and what could use a little fixer-upper magic.

Website Refresh Step 2: Set Goals and Budget

After you’ve thoroughly analyzed your site, it’s time to outline your goals, which will give you a clear indication of what your budget will look like. Ask yourself: what do you hope to get out of your refresh? Do you just want your site to feel more current? Do you want to enhance brand consistency? Drive more traffic? Rank higher on Google? 

These are all valid goals, but you should prioritize just 2 or 3. If, after you’ve looked at your site and settled on your aims, you realize that more comprehensive changes are necessary, then a full overhaul might be in order (we address relaunching your website below).  

Website Refresh Step 3: Update Content

Since industries and technologies evolve at a breakneck pace and successful businesses adjust to keep up, it’s likely that the content on your site could use an update. 

  • New directions. Do you have brand new projects to add to your portfolio? Is any information outdated or no longer relevant? 
  • New company info. More mundanely, maybe your hours changed post-pandemic, or you have new team members. Think about switching out your testimonials so your regular users can see that you’re still going strong by making clients happy. Don’t forget to update your copyright date, too!
  • New keywords. Remember that well-ranking keywords change all the time, so it’s important to regularly update content in a way that optimizes it.

Website Refresh Step 4: Rethink Your Design

Design trends come and go and following the herd is neither necessary nor smart. Still, no website refresh is complete without a few design tweaks to improve the user experience.


One of the easiest ways to make your site feel brand new is to upgrade your images. If you were using old stock photos, ask yourself: do these images truly represent my brand and my team? Cookie cutter images feel outdated and weirdly distancing, while authenticity is on-trend and helps build trust. Play around with crystal-clear images of customers, team members, or products.

Layouts and Colors

Does your color scheme feel relevant and clean? For example, textured backgrounds may have seemed fun in 2007, but nowadays, minimalism is the name of the game. A simple, clean site is easy to navigate and feels up to date, so opt for a solid background, lots of negative space, and a clutter-free layout.


Are your calls-to-action clear and easy to find? Make your visitor’s journey as smooth as possible by signposting what you want them to do: make an appointment, fill out a form, or browse. The longer your visitors hesitate while trying to figure out what to do, the likelier they are to take off. 


Sometimes, simply adjusting your fonts and font size can give your website an entirely new feel. A sleek font can help achieve a clean, contemporary look, especially if you give your text some space to breathe. 

Website Relaunch

If a refresh was like a spring cleaning or a fresh coat of paint, then a website relaunch or website redesign is like knocking down a few walls and installing new flooring. While a relaunch includes revitalizing your website’s look, it’s aimed at overhauling the structural aspects of your site to improve functionality. Here are the top indications that it might be time to commit to a website relaunch: 

  • Performance. How well does your site stack up against the competition? If your conversion rates are low and your bounce rate is high, a new site might improve your numbers. 
  • Functionality. How quickly does your site load? Is the navigation seamless and intuitive? Is it mobile-friendly and responsive? Are there a lot of broken links? 
  • Rebranding. If you’re taking your business in an entirely new direction, your current site might no longer serve those needs. Some rebrands require complete site revamping—it’s an exciting opportunity to redefine yourself to your existing audience while attracting new clients. 
  • Feel. Even if everything works, some websites just feel dated and no longer seem relevant to today’s tech-savvy users. If you built your site before the dot com bubble burst, complete with splash pages and flash animations, it’s definitely time for a reboot!

Website Relaunch Step 1: Analyze it

Just like with a refresh, begin the relaunch process by critically examining your site. Use benchmarking to compare your site to your competitors and determine where you stand. Scrutinize your performance data and solicit customer feedback, focusing on the following:

  • Site traffic
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rates 
  • Top performing pages
  • Ratio of visits to leads
  • Conversions (these include sign-ups, followers, and purchases)
  • Ratio of mobile to desktop users
  • Top customer questions (for example, if users are constantly asking whether you offer a certain service or how to accomplish a certain task on your site, you know those are snags to unravel)

Website Relaunch Step 2: Set goals

Now that you know what works and what doesn’t, it’s time to brainstorm with your team to determine time limits, budget, and the scale of the changes you hope to implement. Prioritization is key here since you won’t be able to accomplish everything at once. For example, if your main priority is to add new functionality, drive users to specific pages, or make the site easily navigable, then focus your efforts and budget on achieving those aims without getting distracted by other goals. Tell yourself that you’ll get to them—next time.

Website Relaunch Step 3: Plan it Out

Out with the old

Since you’re not building a site from scratch, decide what to throw out. Make a list of the new pages you intend to add, and how they’ll link to your existing pages. This gives all stakeholders a chance to evaluate your planned site structure. Compare your new functionality requirements with what your current content management system (CMS) offers—if there’s a key functionality you can’t live without, a migration to a different platform might be in order.

Fix what’s broken

If you’ve ever clicked on a video that doesn’t play or followed a link that takes you to that irritating “Oops!” error message, then you already know how much it impacts your perception of a website’s quality. Broken links and missing content look bad, period. They’re a quick fix that makes a massive difference to user experience. 

Map the journey

Create a map of your user’s online journey through your website. Visitors shouldn’t be aimlessly scrolling your site, so have a plan of where you want them to end up. Make sure navigation between pages is smooth and effortless, no guesswork required. 

Design details

Decide how your site will look, considering all design aspects from fonts to typography to colors. Think carefully about how your brand vision and values are reflected in your site design, what mood you want to create, and what emotions you want your site to evoke.

Organize content

To create a smooth, intuitive user experience, it’s important to organize content into a hierarchy that aligns with a clutter-free and up-to-date aesthetic. Be strategic about headers, subheaders, and CTAs. 

Website Relaunch Step 4: Update for mobile and speed

Mobile friendly

Since most website traffic comes from handheld devices, the majority of your visitors will likely be using smartphones to access your site. If your site isn’t already optimized for mobile, then now is the time to make those essential changes to see your traffic soar and improve your search ranking. 


Did you know that more than half of your visitors will abandon your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? Google will also penalize you if your site is slow. 


It’s becoming the industry standard to create a responsive site—meaning that it adjusts automatically to look good on all devices and screen sizes—rather than building a separate mobile site. Remember that mobile users have small screens and rely on their thumbs to interact with your site, so everything should be easily readable and clickable.

Website Relaunch Step 5: Protect SEO 

For well-performing pages, it’s vital to preserve your search engine ranking. Here’s how to relaunch without losing what you’ve already built up:

  • Keep the site URL structure. It’s especially important for high-ranking pages to retain existing URLs, so unless there’s a compelling reason to change them (like adding a new brand name or incorporating keywords into the address), try to keep the same structure.  
  • Keep high-ranking content. If you have a page that’s ranking well for a particular keyword, keep it! Prune content carefully to make the page up to date while retaining what’s already working. 
  • Set up redirects. If changing the address of a page is a must, be conscientious about setting up proper 301 redirects so your visitors aren’t faced with a 404 error page. It looks lazy, Google hates it, and it erodes visitors’ faith in the competence of your business.  

Refresh or Relaunch to Maintain Momentum

Whether you opt for jazzing up your website with a new color palette or are ready to roll up your sleeves for a complete relaunch, your efforts are likely to boost traffic and sales. Why? Because staying current pays off. At Buddy Web Development and Design, we know how to help businesses keep up with technological trends while remaining true to their brand vision. If you want to talk about sprucing up your business website, explore our work here or fill out our form here and we’ll be in touch. 

Buddy Web Design & Development

Let’s Work Together

Let’s partner to turn your ideas into reality and build something great together.

Privacy Policy

We value your privacy.

This privacy policy applies to the use of all our web properties, including this site.

Log Files and Cookies

This website utilizes industry standard analytics packages which gather limited information on visitors to our website automatically and stores this anonymous information in server log files. This information may include IP addresses, browser type, basic IP information, referring pages, operating system used, and date/time stamps. This information does not identify individual users; it is used only for site administration, as well as for analysis of website usage and trends.

Additionally, cookies may be used to provide easier and faster access to website features such as logins and/or repeat visits.  Cookies are very small text files that are stored on personal computers for reference purposes. We do not store in cookies to any personally identifiable information in cookies.   

Links to Third-Party Websites

This website may contain links to other sites that are not controlled in any way by us. Please be aware when you click on any such links, we are not responsible for the privacy practices and/or policies of any website other than our own. Consequently, we strongly suggest that you review the privacy policy of every website you visit, whether or not they are linked to by our site.

Registration and Use of Personal Information

Registration is not required to use or access this website. However, we may make forums, blogs, message boards, or similar features available to our visitors. You may be asked to register for using these features, particularly if you wish to leave comments or publish content.

Please note that if you post comments or articles to any forum, blog or message board on this site, any personally identifiable information you provide in those comments or articles may be read, collated and used by anyone viewing them. As such, we are not responsible for personally identifiable information you may choose to make available through these channels.


We follow accepted industry standards to protect any personal information you have provided to us. However, please be aware that no method of electronic storage can ever be 100% secure. Therefore, as is the case with any organization – we are not in a position to guarantee the absolute security of your information.

You may submit any questions you may have about our security procedures by emailing us

Legal Disclaimer

We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our website.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this privacy policy, please free to contact us.

Copyright Notice

We do not authorize anyone to copy materials published on this web site for personal, commercial, or non-commercial use. The sites to which our site links remain subject to their own copyright notice. These materials cannot be distributed, modified, posted on a website, or used for public or commercial purposes.

Permission to copy any portions of these publications or post any portions of these publications on a website must be obtained in writing by contacting us.

Terms of Use

These terms and conditions outline the rules and regulations for the use of Buddy Web Design & Development’s Website, located at

By accessing this website we assume you accept these terms and conditions. Do not continue to use if you do not agree to take all of the terms and conditions stated on this page.

The following terminology applies to these Terms and Conditions, Privacy Statement and Disclaimer Notice and all Agreements: “Client”, “You” and “Your” refers to you, the person log on this website and compliant to the Company’s terms and conditions. “The Company”, “Ourselves”, “We”, “Our” and “Us”, refers to our Company. “Party”, “Parties”, or “Us”, refers to both the Client and ourselves. All terms refer to the offer, acceptance and consideration of payment necessary to undertake the process of our assistance to the Client in the most appropriate manner for the express purpose of meeting the Client’s needs in respect of provision of the Company’s stated services, in accordance with and subject to, prevailing law of us. Any use of the above terminology or other words in the singular, plural, capitalization and/or he/she or they, are taken as interchangeable and therefore as referring to same.


We may employ the use of cookies. By accessing, you agreed to use cookies in agreement with the Buddy Web Design & Development’s Privacy Policy.

Most interactive websites use cookies to let us retrieve the user’s details for each visit. Cookies are used by our website to enable the functionality of certain areas to make it easier for people visiting our website. Some of our affiliate/advertising partners may also use cookies.


Unless otherwise stated, Buddy Web Design & Development and/or its licensors own the intellectual property rights for all material on All intellectual property rights are reserved. You may access this from for your own personal use subjected to restrictions set in these terms and conditions.

You must not:

  • Republish material from
  • Sell, rent or sub-license material from
  • Reproduce, duplicate or copy material from
  • Redistribute content from

This Agreement shall begin on the date hereof. 

Hyperlinking to our Content

The following organizations may link to our Website without prior written approval:

  • Government agencies;
  • Search engines;
  • News organizations;
  • Online directory distributors may link to our Website in the same manner as they hyperlink to the Websites of other listed businesses; and
  • System wide Accredited Businesses except soliciting non-profit organizations, charity shopping malls, and charity fundraising groups which may not hyperlink to our Web site.

These organizations may link to our home page, to publications or to other Website information so long as the link: (a) is not in any way deceptive; (b) does not falsely imply sponsorship, endorsement or approval of the linking party and its products and/or services; and (c) fits within the context of the linking party’s site.

We may consider and approve other link requests from the following types of organizations:

  • commonly-known consumer and/or business information sources;
  • community sites;
  • associations or other groups representing charities;
  • online directory distributors;
  • internet portals;
  • accounting, law and consulting firms; and
  • educational institutions and trade associations.

We will approve link requests from these organizations if we decide that: (a) the link would not make us look unfavorably to ourselves or to our accredited businesses; (b) the organization does not have any negative records with us; (c) the benefit to us from the visibility of the hyperlink compensates the absence of Buddy Web Design & Development; and (d) the link is in the context of general resource information.

These organizations may link to our home page so long as the link: (a) is not in any way deceptive; (b) does not falsely imply sponsorship, endorsement or approval of the linking party and its products or services; and (c) fits within the context of the linking party’s site.

If you are one of the organizations listed in paragraph 2 above and are interested in linking to our website, you must inform us by sending an e-mail to Buddy Web Design & Development. Please include your name, your organization name, contact information as well as the URL of your site, a list of any URLs from which you intend to link to our Website, and a list of the URLs on our site to which you would like to link. Wait 2-3 weeks for a response.

Approved organizations may hyperlink to our Website as follows:

  • By use of our corporate name; or
  • By use of the uniform resource locator being linked to; or
  • By use of any other description of our Website being linked to that makes sense within the context and format of content on the linking party’s site.

No use of Buddy Web Design & Development’s logo or other artwork will be allowed for linking absent a trademark license agreement.


Without prior approval and written permission, you may not create frames around our Webpages that alter in any way the visual presentation or appearance of our Website.

Content Liability

We shall not be hold responsible for any content that appears on your Website. You agree to protect and defend us against all claims that is rising on your Website. No link(s) should appear on any Website that may be interpreted as libelous, obscene or criminal, or which infringes, otherwise violates, or advocates the infringement or other violation of, any third party rights.

Reservation of Rights

We reserve the right to request that you remove all links or any particular link to our Website. You approve to immediately remove all links to our Website upon request. We also reserve the right to amen these terms and conditions and it’s linking policy at any time. By continuously linking to our Website, you agree to be bound to and follow these linking terms and conditions.

Removal of links from our website

If you find any link on our Website that is offensive for any reason, you are free to contact and inform us any moment. We will consider requests to remove links but we are not obligated to or so or to respond to you directly.

We do not ensure that the information on this website is correct, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy; nor do we promise to ensure that the website remains available or that the material on the website is kept up to date.


To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, we exclude all representations, warranties and conditions relating to our website and the use of this website. Nothing in this disclaimer will:

  • limit or exclude our or your liability for death or personal injury;
  • limit or exclude our or your liability for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation;
  • limit any of our or your liabilities in any way that is not permitted under applicable law; or
  • exclude any of our or your liabilities that may not be excluded under applicable law.

The limitations and prohibitions of liability set in this Section and elsewhere in this disclaimer: (a) are subject to the preceding paragraph; and (b) govern all liabilities arising under the disclaimer, including liabilities arising in contract, in tort and for breach of statutory duty.

As long as the website and the information and services on the website are provided free of charge, we will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature.

Get Your Free Guide Now!

By submitting this form, you’ll receive an email to confirm we have the right address for you, and that you’d like to receive this free guide as well as periodic emails from Buddy. You may unsubscribe at any time.