Every day in my business I connect with people who either need a website or who have one they aren’t happy with. If you are in this situation here are 8 points to consider before you make any decision about how to proceed.
A Website Is Vital
You may think to yourself, well do I really need a website? If you are trying to connect with people online then the answer is yes. Social media profiles aren’t sufficient, and furthermore you don’t own them, so if any site changed its terms, or the algorithm altered, you have built your house on sand. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use social media -but use it to promote your own real estate and from there get people interested in your business and on your mailing list.
A Free Ride Often Comes With a Price
Your mind then might turn to whether you can build a website using a free site builder platform. Considering your website is your shop window on the world a free site doesn’t really give a great air of professionalism. The designs on these sites are usually very rigid so you aren’t able to make it look as you would like it to, plus they often don’t rank very well in the search engines. Want to get found online? You are going to need some search engine love ♥
Rigidity Soon Becomes Redundant
Over the years I have changed the look of my sites many times – that’s natural as you grow and evolve and furthermore it strengthens your business. What would have happened if I had built my site, or had it built, using a site builder that had no flexibility built in? I would have been, to use a technical term, stuffed ☺All the data I had in my site would have either been lost or I would have had to find a way to export it.
That’s the main reason I recommend building a site on a self-hosted domain using the WordPress.org software. All your data remains in the site but you can always make changes to the design by changing the theme, or to the functionality by adding plugins. For more on this pop over here and watch my short video.
A large majority of people will view your website from a mobile device, whether that’s a phone or tablet. It is therefore IMPERATIVE that your site is mobile responsive. Google in fact de-ranks sites now which aren’t mobile responsive. If you have a site already, check whether yours is responsive at this link and if you are building a site make sure that yours will be. Any theme for WordPress that I use or recommend will always be mobile responsive.
Change is Necessary
I can guarantee that even if you think you have everything covered when you first set up your website there is going to come a time when you want to change something – maybe add in an additional service or product or include some further information. You are going to want to do this quickly and easily and if your site is built on some clunky software – that’s going to be difficult. With WordPress.org it’s easy to add and remove pages and do updates quickly – it’s also an easy interface so you can learn how to do it yourself if you wish to.
Don’t Be Tied Down
Some websites are built on software which is installed on one PC and it’s going nowhere else. WordPress.org is web based and therefore can be accessed anywhere. On holiday and want to make a quick change? You can even do it on your phone. Need a team member to log in and add a blog post? You can all have your unique user names.
If you have a website that can only be accessed and changed from one PC what happens if that hardware is out of action for a while or breaks completely? Let me just say that will be a very bad day, and a glass (or 2) of wine may be needed that evening.
Want a Static Website, A Blog or a Store?
Maybe you don’t know the answer to that yet – so choose a platform which offers all three. You may need a static site right now, but who’s to say you won’t need a blog or a shopping cart further down the road. Don’t get stuck with something that doesn’t have those options available to you when needed.
Your business will change over time and thus your website should be able to do the same. It’s easy to think that once your site is up, that’s you set, but the truth is your tastes and desires for how you present yourself will change as your business becomes more successful
Cost Is Not An Issue
If you want to get started with WordPress, you can literally buy a domain for $10 for a year and then pay for hosting monthly at around $7 per month – that’s how I got started – on literally $17 and then all my other sites have grown from there. The company I recommend has some great hosting options and very helpful support.
Yes I did put in a substantial amount of time to learn WordPress (in the days when WordPress was far less user-friendly than it is today) but now there are courses which walk you through it step-by-step – check out my Let’s Work WordPress Course where I’m there to answer questions as you progress – if you want to learn to build a site yourself. Alternatively if you don’t have the time to invest, you can have a site built for you, so you can be up and running much more quickly.
Of course WordPress is not the only option but I see lots of people with websites that aren’t performing for them or which can’t be changed – and therefore I believe it’s important to make an informed choice before you move ahead with one of the most important elements of your business.
If this post raises any questions for you, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer them. Or share it with a friend who you think may need this advice before they dive in to the world of website ownership – you can do that by hitting any of the share buttons below (there’s even one for email).