Stale Website? When to Update Your Existing Site vs. Building a New One

Your website looks dated. Sure, it sort of gets the job done. It says what you do and has your phone number, but no one feels better about your business after seeing it. If it’s really bad then it’s turning people off, especially if your competitors have better websites.

What can you do?  Well, you can either refresh your existing site or have a new one built.  There are pros and cons to both.

Refresh your website

This gives your site a striking new appearance and can also be combined with adding new content, making the site mobile-friendly, secure (HTTPS), and increasing the page speeds – these are all great for your search engine rankings, by the way. Refreshing your site is a fraction the cost of building a new site.

example of a website refresh

Before & after of a comprehensive website refresh by Key Marketing Group.

Build a new website

This is where you keep your same web address but have a new site built from the ground up. It will have the most modern programming techniques, be built in 4k resolution, and also be mobile- and SEO-friendly.

We do plenty of refreshes and new websites at Key Marketing Group. I’d say maybe 80% of the time we’re able to refresh an existing site unless it was built a long time ago or was sort of hacked together in a do-it-yourself website builder. Often when people call me and I tell them I can update their existing site, they say every other marketing agency said they needed to build a new site.

Here are a few scenarios to help you determine if your website can just be redesigned, or if a new website is needed.

  1. Your website was built less than five years ago by a professional programmer, although it doesn’t look all that great and can use some fresh content.
    Refresh existing site. 
  2. Your website design is okay but not amazing. Google’s free PageSpeed tool also shows that the pages are loading slow, which is not good for SEO.
    DIAGNOSIS: Refresh the existing site. 
  3. Your website is not mobile-friendly and/or is not secure (HTTPS). Note: Not being mobile-friendly is critical and can really hinder your site’s usability and search engine rankings.
    DIAGNOSIS: We can generally take care of this without a rebuild. The exception is if the site was built a long time ago in a now outdated programming language that doesn’t play well with mobile. 
  4. Your website has minimal or poor content, and was either poorly built or built a long time ago.
    DIAGNOSIS: Have a new website built. Think of it as if the foundation of an old house is falling apart. At some point it’s best to just rebuild.

The next time you ask, “Do I need to build a new website or can I update my existing site?” The answer is generally that an update will do just fine unless your site is pretty archaic. Whichever route you go, it’s also a good time to freshen up on your marketing messaging as well. Better messaging on an attractive website goes a long way toward getting people to pick up the phone.