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To Rebuild or Redesign a website?

Things move fast in the world of the web and what is considered sophisticated design one year may seem overused and clunky the next – think about the hit counter that used to be so popular! Changes in design, best practices and developments in functionality, may leave some sites looking outdated – even if they’re not that old, but keeping up with the latest trends doesn’t have to be costly.

If you’re not satisfied with your site and think it needs a refresh, we’re going to look at whether you need a rebuild or a redesign. There’s a distinct difference between the two, and while rebuilding is costly and time consuming, a redesign may be a cheaper and quicker option that achieves the same goal.


The most common reason for a redesign is that a company has updated branding and wants their website to reflect the new look. There’s a lot more to a redesign than just changing a logo though, it can involve introducing a new colour scheme, layout and structure – all of which can be done without needing to rebuild the site from scratch.

All modern websites are built on a content management system (CMS), allowing designers and developers to easily access templates and stylesheets, documents made up of code that determines what the site looks like to visitors. Redesigning the site will involve accessing the CMS and changing this code, and can be done in the background so that visitors will continue to see the old look until the new one is completed.

A redesign is all about changing the things that are on the surface – basically, colours, images, shapes and text formatting. All these are factors that will improve the user experience of a site but without altering the core functionality.

If your goal is to implement new branding while retaining the same functionality, or to introduce a better website structure, a redesign is probably the best option.


Sites that have bugs which can’t be fixed by a redesign fall into the rebuilding category. These problems may include a site that loads slowly, is difficult to update because it doesn’t have a CMS or has one which is not user friendly, or new functionality is needed that isn’t possible because the CMS is outdated.

Sometimes website owners try to update the site themselves and in updating the CMS, it becomes broken, and needs an expert to fix. In circumstances like this, an expert’s help is required in order to, where possible, recover a broken site or in the event it can’t be saved, develop new one.

For sites which haven’t been updated for more than a couple of years, or before responsive design became essential for SEO, rebuilding a website can be a good option. Often it’s better in the long-run to start from scratch with websites that require extensive redesign work to make them responsive or have a CMS which hasn’t been updated for a while. A rebuild may also be the only option if a developer has a left a project and the website owners are unable to even access the backend of their site.

Rebuilding is more time consuming as it will involve redesign as well as development work, and requires more time to ensure all functionality is working correctly. If your site has issues that affect its functionality, and which can’t be fixed by changing its design, then a complete rebuild is probably in order.

While it’s impossible to predict the future, and what the next big thing will be, every website Vu builds is designed to be as future-proof as possible. Not only will it be responsive, which isn’t a trend but a necessity in a world of mobile browsing, but it will be built in such a way that any future updates can be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If your site is in need of a rebuild or redesign get in touch with Vu today, if you’re not sure which you need we’ll help you to define the scope of the project and determine the best course of action for your business. Where possible we can take on an existing site, saving the client time and money.


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