There are numerous free website building options out there, so if you are a small business that needs a website you may well decide it makes economic sense to build your own. Alternatively you may feel that Facebook can extend your online reach and you don’t have to build a website at all.
When we first started our business in 2005, we used a free website builder. The site looked okay but we soon came across two main issues. Firstly the site got hardly any visitors, and secondly when we got stuck there was no actual human on the end of a phone, or an email to help us. So we got frustrated, and concluded that the only way to make it work was to learn more about the mechanics of building and running websites. This takes time – time which many people don’t have. Whilst we were a marketing company and it made sense for us to learn more, for most businesses the time is better spent working on the core activities of that business whether it’s production, or delivering services to customers.
So, based on what we have learned along the way – here are 5 key reasons why you should pay a little (not a lot) for some web building expertise.
- Producing a web page isn’t that difficult, however getting it seen by others is your toughest challenge. Similarly, anyone can write a novel, but writing a best seller takes time, skill and an expert team behind you. There are thousands of millions of web pages out there, all vying to be seen, so the way you set up your website – actually your whole site – is your first crucial step towards success. Understanding the science of successful websites could well be a degree subject, and therefore getting some professional help, right at the start, will save you hours of trial and error.
- As soon as you are online, you will be inundated with companies offering you all sorts of software and services to help your site perform better. How do you know what’s a genuinely decent offer? Again, having someone there to run such offers by will save you time and money.
- Making sure your site is usable is vitally important, and again a degree-like subject. There are ways to lay out the content of your site, and link to your content that makes life so much easier for the people who use your site. You may think your site is pretty – but if it’s not intuitive you may as well not have a site at all. Advice from an expert will really help you set up your site in a user friendly way.
- Social media is becoming increasingly important in terms of getting your business online. However, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest and Twitter can never and will never replace a website. It’s a bit like having a shop which is boarded up and then advertising it in the newspaper, or via flyers. If people gain an initial interest about your business on social media, great, but you can’t possibly let them have a good look at your business and what it has to offer through social media alone.
- The online world has changed rapidly over the last few years and this will continue to happen. Even once a site is built there will be better ways to do things, and smarter ways to promote your business online. Having a professional on your side to guide you, and to keep you and your site up to date with the latest coding issues, or technologies will save you a lot of hassle in the future.
At BothyBiz, we are passionate about helping small businesses to get online and to thrive online. We can set you up for as little as £10 per month or £100 per annum, and with our ‘introduce and save‘ feature, you can effectively pay for only your first years’ membership and then never pay another penny by introducing other members to the BothyBiz network. And there will always be help and advice available, from a real human, whenever you need it!