Your own website. Must have or unnecessary expense?
Answering briefly and (un)honestly.
TLDR: If you don’t feel like taking your time and reading all the pros and cons and whether it pays off, the answer is YES. Own website is a must have for every company, freelancers, agencies. Why? For an answer, I invite you to read more (I recommend it during your morning coffee).
Time for reliability
Are you wondering if your company needs a website? Or maybe you are a freelancer and do not know if such an expense pays off? Or maybe you will find another reason that I will recount with my arguments anyway? A website is a must if you care about acquiring customers and increasing the possibilities of scaling your business.
Imagine this situation: you enter the store and see empty shelves, and no service. This is exactly what your company looks like in the 21st century if it does not exist on the Internet. Someone has heard about you, but no one can find any information about your business. Well, think about it for a moment … What do you do when you need to buy something, find out how it works or what is the price? A small part of us in the case of hard-defined products or services will ask friends. But don’t fool yourself - you open a browser on your smartphone / tablet / laptop / other electronic time-eater and search for the information you need. That’s why you need a website that will be your online business card (do not confuse it with Google’s business card you can read about here), a reflection of you and your business.
For what and for whom
To answer in one sentence: for everyone. Just like that. But to convince you, I will provide you with the most common examples:
- For agencies (marketing, real estate, work, etc.)
On their website, customers will be able to see the services offered by the agency, the price list, read about what an agency does and get to know its team. What’s more, you can direct traffic from advertising campaigns to attract new customers as well as acquire them through organic traffic. Will you agree with me that in this case it is a must have?
- For freelancers
Here you could disagree with me, because freelancers can send CVs, look for jobs on industry portals, and why woult they spend more money if they can do it for free? Of course they can. But they can also have a page where they describe their experience, visualize the portfolio and say a few words about themselves. Nothing prevents them from having a website and sending a CV, and in it a link to their own place on the web - thanks to this they will increase its attractiveness and make a better impression on the potential client. I would also like to remind you about the benefits of organic traffic and, if you want, paid traffic directed to their site.
- For stores
Do you agree that no comment is needed here?
- For service companies (workshop, hairdresser, bowling, cinema)
Can you imagine cinema without it’s own website? Of course, they still exist, but crowds of customers still choose to go with popular cinema networks. Bad example? So I’ll use a car workshop. If we need to change tires from summer to winter, we need to find a workshop that offers such a service. It is most convenient when such information is available online. That is why companies on their website will be able to place information about the services they provide, their prices as well as (and maybe most importantly) will enable clients to book meetings online!
- For all those who for a moment wondered if they needed it
You can say that Facebook is currently a business card - sure! This is a very important medium that you must not forget about, but you will not personalize it under your brand and you will not present everything in such a beautiful way as you can do on your website. Also … the legend says that not all people have Facebook.
How much does a website cost?
The number of answers to this question exceeds the number of queries. There are so many factors affecting the price of a page that you’ll find the Pi ending number faster. I will use the example of the GasCar.eu company offering gas installations for cars. This is only a snippet of the homepage, but here you can see how extensive the site is and tailored to the needs of each type of customer in this industry. For clarity and convenience, I described the most important functions in green and brightened some elements of the page for better readability.
As you can see, the multitude of options is huge, which is why the components affect the price pages, divided into three main groups:
- What website will offer:
- online reservations
- account systems
- online payments
- products for sale
- contact forms
- real time chat
- a number of other features you would like to have
- How to build the page:
- using free templates like wix.com:
- using a drop-in solution
- personalization based on pre-made themes
- using popular Wordpress
- built from scratch
- What is the knowledge and skills of developers:
They will take care of creating your website, and the more knowledge and skills they have, the higher the price will be. The price will also be affected by their knowledge and if the website is built with compliance with Google guidelines on SEO issues and good optimization.
What to choose?
I will not give you an unambiguous answer to this question. If your budget is limited, you will be forced to use half-measures, e.g. Wordpress (I wrote about why your site on WordPress is probably bad here). Based on my experience, however, I encourage you to use the best solutions in terms of websites, because this is your business card and the most important element of acquiring customers on the Internet. In addition, some websites can earn for itself with free hosting. Besides, the more you limit the site, the more you will limit the number of customers you can acquire. Looking at it from this perspective, it’s worth spending more to earn even more? I will leave you with this question for reflection.
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