Why do you need a website?
Many business owners and individuals have a website, but they have no clue what it does for them. They were told at some point or another that they needed one, so they got one. Years later, they are still paying for a hosting account and a domain name registration. The not-wanting-to-update-website attitude may be explained as a reaction to the misconception of believing that having a website is a miracle cure: businesses will get loads of sales just because they have a functional website.
Why do you have a website or why don’t you update it?
“I don’t want to get my website updated because it is going to cost me too much money,” is a statement I hear quite often from people. If you can’t see value in what you already have, well an upgrade might sound like a waste of time and money.
It should then become a matter of getting a “website education” to make an informed decision by knowing the basics – unless you much prefer hiring someone to do everything for you, which is fine too as long as you are aware and know the basics. Having a website is just one step in the equation of getting more sales, traffic, clients, etc. from the website.
That it is going to cost money, it’s a fact, but how much? It all depends on what you want from your website.
Ask yourself this:
Why did you get a website in the first place?
If you don’t have a website yet, why do you think you need a website?
What do you want to achieve with a website?
It is my job to tell you that you need a website, because it will give me work and that’s how I make money :). But, let’s be honest here, not everybody needs a website. It’s definitely better to have one, but some people do get away without one (though they could probably get even more customers if they had one, so don’t let that fool you.)
I know business owners who have had websites but could not be bothered with them because they were doing much better with just a Facebook page and Instagram. For them, it is all they need and can handle. Some people simply do not what to hire someone to do a job they think they can handle tIt also greatly depends on what you are selling and how you are selling it.
Having a website is always nice, because it gives you options that you can’t have on Facebook or Instagram, and social networking is not for everybody. If a website does have some maintenance to do, social networking is a daily task. Even using a program to manage posts to your social accounts, you still need to sit down for a few hours every week to find or make the content you will be sharing on a daily basis, a few times a day.
A website is kinda like your online headquarters. This is where people who are not on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter will go. This is the place where you’ll have all your contact details and more information about you and your business, and you will have links to all your your social accounts, and whatever else you want.
It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. Sometimes a one-page website can do the job, and is enough for some people. Maybe you’ve just started your business and you haven’t got much to tell about the concrete slabs you do. Maybe you’re on a tight budget, but you still need potential customers to find you on the Internet. So, a 20-page website with bells and whistles might not be needed at first. It is still better to have something, than nothing at all these days.
What is the goal of your website?
Is it to get more sales? Is it to show off your products? Is it to build a mailing list? Is it to offer more efficient customer support? Is it to keep customers and potential ones updated about your products/services? Start making lists of things you want from your website even if it sounds unrealistic. Technology nowadays lets you do a lot of incredible things from a website.
One question most website owners will fail to answer is:
How much traffic goes to your website?
In fact, they know nothing about their website. They have no idea if it is build with WordPress or not. They have no idea how to check the traffic or if it has even been set up. They have no idea if people are joining their mailing list. They didn’t even know that people could sign up to a mailing on their website. They don’t know the website needs to be updated from time to time, if they even know how to login to the backend of the site … The worst one, is when the business owner doesn’t know that their website is full of malware and redirecting traffic to adult sites or pharmaceutical ones – yes, that happens too.
The above are just a few basics you show how about your website. If you don’t know, now is the time to figure it out. Realise that you are wasting valuable resources for your business.
What about the cost of setting up a website?
Talking about money is a scary thing. Who likes to hear they have wasted money on something that doesn’t do anything for their business? It happens, but once you know, you can fix the problem and learn about it.
A basic website can cost anywhere from $300 to $10,000. It all depends on who you talk to and the kind of website your business needs. There is no set price.
It doesn’t mean a $20,000 will be better though than a $300 one though. As for almost everything that is for sale on the Internet, there are also a lot of crooks. Be aware. Stay informed, and talk to different people: ask your friends or other business owners – though make sure they know what they are talking about. They might be like you and think their website is doing great. They might think they have a cool website, but it hasn’t been updated since 2015, and they have no clue what it does for them either. If someone promises you the moon, then double check their facts and do some research.
That is why you should know at least some basics about websites.
A real life story:
A new client contacted me because she paid $3000 for a new website that wasn’t working properly and looked terrible. I checked the website and who built it. I saw a few things that personally would not inspire me to order a website, but working in the industry it is easy for me to pick ups on off signs. My first question was ‘how did you find that person?” “I replied to an email offering web design.” I know the emails. I receive them all the time on my blogs. They are generic and gmail addresses. I didn’t even think people actually answered them. If they had a logo or using a business address, that would be a different story, but those they don’t, so why would anyone trust such a random email is beyond me.
Can you learn how to build a website?
Of course. There are a lot of tutorials out there to teach you how to build your own website for free. Unless you’re a wiz though, you’ll have to watch a lot of videos and practice a lot before you can get a professional looking website. Tutorials always make it look so easy. I often watch Photoshop tutorials. The video will be 20 minutes long, but I have to pause it so many times that hours, if not days have passed by the time I’m done with the tutorial. I don’t always get things first time either, and some thing are more complex to learn that others. Also, practice makes it perfect and I have quite a few blogs to practice with. But let’s not forget that these days, changes happen too often. What you learn last year, might be irrelevant today.
A real life story:
My daughter and her partner used to argue about cleaning their house. My daughter doesn’t like cleaning, and who does? But, it has to be done. Regularly. They both work full time and don’t get home until 4-5PM weekdays. They don’t want to spend hours vacuuming, mopping and cleaning bathrooms on their weekends, and who could blame them? So, they hired a cleaner to do just that: vacuuming, moping and cleaning the bathrooms. They have now more free time on weekends to do things they enjoy – and less arguments.
Watching videos on YouTube might be free, but is your time free? Isn’t there other things you’d rather do than sitting at home trying to figure out how to build a website? And once you’ve learned about how to build a website, then you’ll need to learn about doing SEO, how to do marketing and other things. You can also read books such as the The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Website or Blog With WordPress.
- Write down goals for your website.
- Make sure you have Google analytics or equivalent to observe traffic on your website to help you decide what should be done on your website.
- Don’t go in blindly. Talk to professionals, not your neighbours or family members unless you are 100% sure they know what they are talking about (Facebook is not a learning platform).
- No question is stupid. It’s okay to not know something about web design and marketing on the Internet.
Let me know below with a comment what you know about your website and how you learned about it. Is there any suggestions you can offer?
If you are wondering about your website and online presence, talk to me, I’d be happy to help you. Mention this post and I will give you a free one-hour consultation regarding your existing/new website.