It’s 2019. If you don’t have a business website, are you even a business?
That being said, there’s still a lot of businesses that don’t have a website.
You don’t have to look far to find a business that is online without a website!
Take Doolittles of Covent Garden, for example. A London based flower shop that doesn’t have a website (at the time of writing this) but are listed on Yell.com.
But is a website really necessary?
Why Do You Need a Website in 2019?
There are two answers to this question.
- If you’re a business that is content with its current earnings and you don’t have a website, then no it’s not necessary.
- If you’re a company that is looking to grow or isn’t earning enough, then you absolutely should have a website.
We’re in the business of helping other businesses sell to more customers and reach bigger profits.
So let’s focus on subject number 2.
Here are 3 reasons why you need a website:
1. Increase Revenue
In 2018, local searches led 50% of mobile users to visit stores within one day (Source). Local consumers are constantly searching for local businesses to transact with, whether it be local restaurants, dentists or tradespeople.
If a potential customer can’t find your website, you are constantly relying on referrals and directories to bring you new business.
Having a business website not only allows more people to become aware of your business but also makes you more credible. Having a clean, well presented website lets the consumer know that you’re a legitimate business. For example, imagine you have the choice between two builders:
Option a) A building company with a brand name, a cleanly designed website, examples of their work and excellent reviews on their site.
Option b) A building company with a company name, no website, no examples of their work and no reviews.
Which company are you more likely to choose?
I would hope you’d say a).
3. Point of Contact
Having a business website can mean the difference between potential customers making an enquiry and not making an enquiry.
Let’s say you’re a local tradesperson and someone receives your phone number from a friend. They call you but you’re on a job and don’t have time to call them back. With a business website and an enquiry form, potential customers are more likely to write a message asking about your services.
So, it’s safe to say that if you’re a company that’s looking to make more money and want to grow, then you need a website.
And it’s good to see that among small businesses without a website, 58% plan to build one in 2019.
Why Would You Build Your Own Website?
This may come as a shock to you, but the answer is Money.
Okay, it’s not all about money, but the main reason anyone would want to build their own website is money.
Think about it. When your car breaks down, the only possible reason why you wouldn’t take it to the garage is money, or rather, the lack of it. Unless you’re a mechanic, obviously.
Paying a web designer or agency to build your website isn’t cheap. And it’s also not absolutely necessary. There are hundreds of guides and tutorials on how to build your own website out there but, as with all new things, there will be a slight learning curve. But it’s not impossible.
Another reason you may want to build your own website is so that you fully understand how to manage it. If you’re looking at doing your own content marketing, in order to rank highly in Google, you might want to know how to edit your website.
So what are the best ways to build your own website?
As a web design agency I shouldn’t really be telling you this, but you’re here now.
How Do You Build Your Own Website?
Building a website on your own can be tricky. But lucky for you there are some great tools available that will allow you to build one that looks good and does what you want it to.
These are a few of the best Content Management Systems (CMS) and website builders available.
In 2019, 32% of websites are built using WordPress. It’s safe to say, it’s a pretty good CMS.
So what makes it so good?
WordPress was primarily developed as a blogging platform rather than for building traditional websites. But now it’s used for everything from business websites to blogs and e-commerce stores.
However, one of the biggest benefits of using WordPress is that it is open source. This means that the code for it is freely available for people to use. You technically never have to spend a penny to use their CMS. (Although you do have to pay for your own hosting and domain name).
Alternatively, you can host a free website with WordPress through https://wordpress.com/. But here you are stuck with a non-branded domain name, and customising the website is quite limited.
But the main reason that WordPress is so popular is due to their themes and plugins.
Themes are pre-built templates that allow you to customise the layout of your web pages and certain elements like colour, displays and text.
There are over 10,000 WordPress themes, some free and some that will cost you. Hestia is a great example of a free theme with a good looking design. Of course, the theme you choose should depend on the design and ease of use.
Plugins allow you to increase the functionality of the website. For example, adding a contact form, or adding e-commerce functionality can be done using Plugins such as Contact Form 7 or WooCommerce. Again, some plugins are free with paid add ons and some require purchasing up front.
As I mentioned before, there are hundreds of free tutorials out there that can help you build a WordPress site, but I’m a big fan of online courses. My friend, Simon Coulson at The Internet Business School, has a fantastic online WordPress course.
As far as website builders go, WordPress is probably number one. But it’s not the only website builder.
Wix plays host to over 110 million websites in 2019. It’s easier to use than WordPress since it utilises a drag and drop system. They offer more than 500 themes for different niches such as business and portfolios.
It’s designed for people like you who maybe don’t want to pay for a web design company to build your website, whilst understanding that it’s important that you have a website.
The themes are all fully mobile responsive which is great for SEO. But the website builder does come at a cost, although Wix will host your site for free.
Here are their current pricing plans (as of 2019).
In the last year, Wix has introduced an Artificial Design Intelligence. All you have to do is answer a few questions and, using its algorithm, it will build a site based on your responses.
Instead of using plugins, like WordPress, Wix uses Apps via their own app store. However, since WordPress is the most popular builder, plugin developers have a larger audience to buy their products. With Wix, although the apps definitely work, they aren’t as advanced or as effective as a WordPress plugin.
As far as website builders go, Wix is the most simple to use but allows less overall customisation compared to WordPress.
Finally, another popular website builder is SquareSpace.
Similar to Wix, Squarespace comes at a monthly cost. However, they both come with their own hosting, unlike WordPress. And you also get a free domain with both.
Squarespace is a drag and drop website builder. Although it doesn’t quite have the flexibility of Wix or WordPress, you can learn how to use it within a few hours.
One flaw with Squarespace is that you can’t access all of the files in the backend. This means that if you did ever want some additional work done to your site, your options might be limited . In addition, you cannot transfer your site over to another website builder, which means if you ever want to leave, you would need to build the site again.
Squarespace is great for people who want to be able to maintain their own website. If you have a blog on your website, for example, the average person might find it easier to update on Squarespace, compared to something like WordPress.
Most website design companies, like DigiPlix, will build websites using WordPress. It’s the best CMS for coders but can also be used perfectly well with templates.
Why You Shouldn’t Build Your Own Website
Having a website is an absolute necessity if you’re a business owner who is looking to grow their business. However, as I wrote earlier, the purpose of a website is to generate more leads, and to drive more sales.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Whether you’re a local business or starting an online e-commerce store, your website should be helping you to make more money. The difference between a standard website and a custom built, fully optimised website can make the difference between a website that makes money and one that doesn’t.
You see, the job of a web designer isn’t just to build you a pretty looking website. A web designer is paid to build you a website that converts website visitors into customers.
When you count the fact that, on average, website conversion rates are a mere 2.35%, you’d better have a lot of traffic. (However, local business conversion rates are often a lot higher than the average, because people need a specific product or service from you).
Conversion rate optimisation can be influenced by multiple factors. It means optimising for your target audience, not just anybody.
Unless you want to spend lots of your hard earned money paying for people to come to your website by using advertising, you also need a website built for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is the practice of generating free traffic to your website via the search engines’ organic search results.
It requires meticulous planning and execution in order for your website to be a powerhouse in Google’s algorithm (the dominant search engine). Something that all web designers should consider when building a website for you.
Managing a website can be extremely time consuming. Planning and writing content for your website, building funnels, adding new services and products, and updating plugins can take an extraordinary amount of time. Actually, more than you’d believe.
But if you if you want organic search traffic, an endless supply of customers and more money, then these are the things you have to do, whilst also running your business.
Imagine this. You’ve built your website, using one of the CMS’s mentioned above. It looks great, people are visiting your website, you’re getting more phone calls, making more money, and boom!!! Something goes wrong.
Often, when you build websites with these website builders, there is a complete lack of support. I recently experienced an issue with a theme that wasn’t working properly. I put a support ticket in via their support system and they told me to ask for a refund. I can only assume they either didn’t know how to fix the problem, or they couldn’t be bothered to fix it.
Having a website is a necessity in today’s day and age if you’re running a business. But I think, more importantly, you need to have a plan.
There are so many companies out there that have websites that sit there collecting dust. In most cases, they didn’t have the capacity to maintain the website or realised that it wasn’t performing for them.
So, if you are going to build your own website, make sure you have a plan. Make sure you know:
- Who your target audience is.
- How the website will help your business.
- How you’re going to get people to see your website.
If you are a business owner, and you are thinking about building a website, please feel free to contact us at DigiPlix to discuss how we can help you build a website worth having.
And if you found this article helpful, make sure to share it with someone.