March 28, 2024 by Monique

Do I Need A New Website

A Guide To Understanding When Your Website Needs a Refresh or a Rebuild

Websites are like the movie “Field of Dreams.” If you build it, they will come, right?

All you need is a website, and then here comes all the traffic and all the sales. Woohoo!

Not exactly.

SEO wouldn’t be a thing if all you had to do was build a website, am I right?

But even if your website is wonderfully optimized and has lots of great content, websites, like people, get old and begin to show their age no matter how well they are built.

Why? Because technology changes, your website (again, like people) needs to keep up with it, less becoming a Luddite or an old fuddy-duddy.

I like to tell people websites are like building a house. You buy the land (the domain name and hosting) and build the house on it (your website). But at the time you built your house, maybe it was just you – a young, single bachelor.

Now you have a husband, a dog, two electric cars, a Vespa, and some chickens. To accommodate all these changes in your life, you will need some new things like a two-car garage, a chicken coop, and an upgrade to the electrical panel. You see where we’re going with this.

Similarly, consider how your business has changed in the last few years. Did you expand services? Build out new funnels? Integrate new CRM software? All of these operational changes will impact how your website looks and functions.

Website Refresh or Full Rebuild (Glow Up)

When we use the term “refresh,” we’re talking about getting under the hood and making some tweaks here and there. When we say “rebuild,” we’re basically talking about building you a new website.

Don’t worry! A new website doesn’t mean downtime for you or your business.

We work with you to create the new site in a “developer environment” while your current website stays up and functional. When it’s time to go live with the new site, we do a little switcheroo and blam! Your new website will be visible to the world.

In our experience, your website should probably be refreshed every three to four years to keep up with modern business practices, technological changes, and enhanced functionality.

But don’t just take our word for it. If any of the following apply to you, you may need a refresh or a rebuild.

Outdated Design

Just like fashion trends, website trends come and go. Unlike fashion, an outdated or visually unappealing website doesn’t come off as vintage and cool; it just seems unprofessional or out of touch. If you’re unsure if your website is dated, contact us, and we’ll take a look.

Refresh or Rebuild?

This can go either way, depending on how dated your site is.

Poor UX (User Experience)

Your website may look great and get a ton of traffic, but if you have high bounce rates or low conversion rates, then there’s a chance that users are not having a good experience on your site. If your website is difficult to navigate or lacks mobile responsiveness, users will likely leave without engaging with the content. No bueno.

Refresh or Rebuild?

We’re often looking at a full glow up here (rebuild). We’ll want to examine how users interact with your site and then make changes accordingly. But YMMV, and depending on the issues, we may be able to get away with a few tweaks.

Slow Load Times

Search engines love fast-loading, mobile-optimized, and user-friendly pages. Slow loading times frustrate users and erode SEO efforts. Not sure how fast your site is loading? Visit Google Page Speed Insights to see how it performs on desktop and mobile.

Refresh or Rebuild?

It depends. Sometimes, there are a few small changes here and there that we can make to speed up your site. But depending on your site’s architecture, there could be picture changes that have to be made.

Limited Functionality

Returning to our house analogy, you may have decided that your “home” needs more things to accommodate your business. Contact forms, landing pages, e-commerce functionality, or social media integration could improve your operations but may not be integrated into your existing website. These integrations can be designed into a new website, improving workflow and data management.

Refresh or Rebuild?

Depends. (I know. We’re saying that a lot.) Most of the time, if your site is built on something straightforward and robust, these integrations can be a matter of just some quick work getting the applications to talk to each other. Sites with more delicate architecture might need a complete rebuild to incorporate some of these changes.

Lacking Search Engine Optimization

Hopefully, by now, you’ve read some of our tips on DIY search engine optimization, but if you haven’t done it or feel overwhelmed with SEO, we can help. Although rankings aren’t the end all be all, a website not optimized for search engines makes it harder for potential customers to find you.

Refresh or Rebuild?

Usually, it’s just a refresh. We offer SEO services that include technical SEO and content management. Depending on where you are with SEO and your site’s architecture, you might just need a few of these services instead of a complete rebuild.

Website Regulatory Compliance

Your website should comply with current regulatory requirements and data protection laws (e.g., GDPR, CCPA) to avoid legal issues and maintain trust with your audience. Additionally, search engines like to know your site is trustworthy and will look for compliance on your site.

Refresh or Rebuild?

We’d consider this a refresh. Most compliance issues need simple changes in code or the addition of pages to adhere to legal requirements.

Website Security

Older websites tend to have limited protocols to deter hackers and prevent security breaches. An outdated website can make you vulnerable and put sensitive customer information at risk.

Refresh or Rebuild?

Most of the time, we would consider this a refresh. Many security issues involve upgrading code or adding security features. Occasionally, we will see a site built on a very shaky architecture that might benefit from a full redesign.

Your Business Has Changed

Maybe your business has changed. You used to do X or really talk about Y, but today, you’re all about delivering A, B, and C. As your business evolves, your website should reflect changes in style, messaging, and values. That’s a lot of copy and content changes that need to be made.

Refresh or Rebuild?

This is where a rebuild might be the best option. Consider re-doing your website to reflect your business’s new messages and core competencies.

Analytics and Tracking

Websites should be integrated with analytics tools to track user behavior and measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts. One tool we like is HotJar, a heat mapping tool that allows us to examine how visitors engage and interact with your website. This allows us to optimize it accordingly to provide the best user experience.

Your site should also leverage basic (and free!) tools like Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Google Search Console to monitor traffic.

Refresh or Rebuild?

Let’s call this a Refresh. Tools like GA4 and Search Console can be installed independently. However, more sophisticated analytics and tracking will require software licenses, proper implementation, and regular monitoring.

Content Management

A frequent complaint from clients looking for a new website is that their old site is built on a cumbersome content management system (CMS), making it difficult to update content regularly. A new website with a user-friendly CMS can streamline content updates and improve overall efficiency and user experience.

Refresh or Rebuild?

Rebuild. Changing the content management system of a site is similar to changing the layout of your house (but not as costly!). It can be done, but it is certainly something better left to the pros.


Something that we always keep in mind when building a website is accessibility. Is your site inclusive and accessible to all visitors with disabilities and other impairments that may require specific tools to read your site? Some everyday things we see that limit the accessibility of websites are missing alt-text, improper heading structures, and color contrast issues.

Refresh or Rebuild?

Many accessibility issues can be fixed with a refresh. We’d review your site, identify ways to make it more accessible and recommend or implement changes accordingly.

The Cost of A Website Refresh or Full Rebuild

How much does a website refresh or rebuild cost? Well, how much does a house cost?

You’d say it depends, right? A house in downtown Detroit doesn’t cost the same as one in downtown Denver. A two-bedroom house doesn’t cost the same as a six-bedroom, five-bath house with a pool and sunroom. You catch my drift.

Each project is unique, and depending on the needs of your situation and timeline, each project will cost a different amount.

Okay I think I need a Refresh/Rebuild. What’s next?

Get in touch! We’re happy to take a look, answer any questions, and scope out what a project might look like for you.


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