Many people come to us in need of a new website. And while we certainly appreciate the potential business, there may actually be times when we recommend that a company not get a new website. There can be any number of reasons for this, but below is a short ‘test’ to help you determine whether you really need a new website.

First things first: ask “Why?”

  • Why do you want a new site?
  • Is something wrong with your current one?
  • Is it not accomplishing the goals it should?
  • Is it hard to edit and maintain?
  • Does it cost too much to run?
  • Does it need a design refresh?
  • Is it unfriendly to mobile users?
  • Etc.

Of course there are many questions you can ask here, but make sure you understand the reasoning behind your decision. If you simply want a new website because “Everyone else has a new site,” or “It’s been a while since we last updated it” – you may want to think more deeply about moving forward. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. It only means that if you’re going to spend substantial time, money, and effort on getting a new site, you should have a clear understanding of your motives. This will also provide a useful metric once the site is built. In other words: you’ll be able to know if the new site fixed what was broken/wrong/lacking with the old one.

Reasons you SHOULD get a new website

Here are several good reasons when it makes sense to get a new website:

Design is extremely outdated. It’s okay if your site doesn’t have all the latest design trends. But when it looks like something from 1997 (or even 2007), it’s likely time for a redo. The simple fact is: Design matters. It communicates a great deal about your brand. If your site looks junky and lame, people will believe your company is as well. Nobody wants to date the guy with tattered sweatpants, disshelved hair, and ketchup stains on his shirt. Similarly, people will have a hard time trusting you and buying from you if your design is extremely lacking or outdated.

It’s not optimized for mobile devices. Over 50% of people’s time online is now spent on mobile devices. Which means that if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, it will hurt your users (they’ll have a harder time using the site), and it will also harm your search engine optimization rankings. The reason? On April 21, 2015 Google announced that “mobile-friendliness” will actually be considered a ranking factor.

It costs too much to maintain. We’ve worked with clients who were paying a sizable monthly cost just for someone to host their site, and then paying exorbitant fees each time they needed an update to the site. If this is the case, it may be time to switch, simply due to cost alone.

It’s hard for employees to edit or make changes. Websites evolve over time: the copy needs to change, pages must be added, images need to get replaced. If you don’t have a relatively simple way for your team to edit the site, you might need a new one. Employees need to be empowered, and you shouldn’t have to call (and pay) a 3rd party provider every time you need to tweak your site.

It’s not sustainable for the future (5, 10, 25 years ahead). This is especially true for larger websites (e.g. a major newspaper, massive e-commerce store, or site that’s planning to greatly expand). If you only have a 10-page website, you can pretty easily scrap it and build something new. But the minute you start to get hundreds or thousands of pages, you have to make sure your platform is sustainable for the future (i.e. easy to maintain, update, scale, and change the design). You don’t want to get 5 years down the road and have to completely rebuild everything from scratch.

The user experience is broken. This one could go either way. In other words, you may be able to improve your site’s user experience without building a brand new website. However, if the user’s desires aren’t being satisfied – and your business goals aren’t being met – you might consider a complete redo. For example, if your users can’t find what they need, the “user flow” is confusing, it’s hard for visitors to take the appropriate action, or the site is convoluted in general – these are signs it might be worth investing in a new site.


There are likely other reasons why you might need a new website, but these are a few of the biggest ones. The key thing to remember is that you must first ask “Why?” Make sure you’re building a new site for the right reasons. You don’t want to spend all that time, money, and effort unless it’s truly worth it. However, on the flip side, a new website really can radically transform your business. It’s up to you whether it’s time to make the switch.