Can My Business Really get a Great Website with some Simple Drag-And-Drop Tools?
Your business needs a website. Sure, you can use Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram to communicate with your followers except you don’t control those platforms. With your own website, you get complete control over your content, placement, and brand. Your website is where your potential and current customers can learn about you and your products and services, ask questions, get support, and so forth.
Unless your business is building websites, though, it’s rare for a business owner to have the experience to create great websites. This is why so many companies promise to provide the mythical “Easy Website Creator”.
Companies like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.com spend hundreds of millions of marketing dollars saying that with their platform, you just need to choose a theme, drag-and-drop in some pictures and design elements, write some marketing copy and you are done.
The truth is, if you are starting a new business, your work goes way beyond your great business idea. You need to plan it out, write a business plan, get your licenses in order, find customers and build awareness for your business. You might need to source supplies or manufacturing. You might need to raise money. Do you have time to build a website yourself?
The Hidden Costs of Building It Yourself
Any “Easy Website Creator” is going to take time to learn to use. There are many visual templates to choose from and, speaking from experience, it takes practice to understand how best to communicate visually with a website. You will need to produce the photos and graphics for the site and make sure they are the best quality. You have to write your own marketing copy.
Even after that, you need to become familiar with these additional jobs:
- If you have a logo, get that sized properly on the pages (if you don’t have a logo, get it designed)
- Prepare images of the right size and quality for the site using Photoshop or other tools
- Decide on a clear navigation layout for the site
- Hook up email sign-in options with a marketing email provider like MailChimp
- Add “Contact” forms so users can send you messages
- Hook up a payment platform if you accept customer credit cards
- Setup social media marketing
None of those are really that hard to do, especially if you have experience doing them regularly. However if you are starting out, you are already busy creating your new business.
Expanding your Team
Rather than trying to do every job at once, consider how you can get help. Websites like Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, and Thumbtack.com make it easy to find people around the world who can help with anything from logo design, photography, website design, and website maintenance for affordable prices. It is really straightforward to find someone to do one job for you or expand your team for an ongoing task like social media marketing.
If you bring in someone experienced at building websites, they can get everything setup and completed much more quickly than you can, even if they are using advanced tools and methods. Most of the steps to set up a new website are standard and a competent designer can perform them very quickly. They can then work with you to choose the look and feel of the site, showing you different variations. They can help you provide text and graphics for the site. They can setup all of the social marketing connections, setup email communication, and search optimization so Google and other search engines can index your site.
Beyond the website: Support and Maintenance
Once your site is live, it’s never really static. Your business will change and evolve as you learn what your customers need, you will have additional products and offers for sale. As your business changes, your website needs to change. Making those changes as needed takes time and resources and you can’t get that time back. Having someone in your organization, even on a part time basis, is invaluable to keeping your site fresh. You also need to make sure your site stays backed up and the site software is kept up to date. Having your website lost due to a technical failure or a security breach is a horrible way to wake up. Again, having help can take care of this problem.
To recap, you can use tools touted as “easy” to build your initial website and this can be faster than building the website by hand from scratch. But you’re better served by finding someone to add to your team who is experienced in website and social marketing to setup your site. The results will be better, the work will get done faster and you will have more time to generate more customer leads.