Don't Buy a Website!
Don’t buy a website. Yes, you heard me right. As the world becomes increasingly intertwined with the internet, establishing your online identity seems like a no-brainer. So why would someone who earns a living developing websites advise against purchasing their services? Well, besides being a catchy hook, there are a few compelling reasons behind it. Allow me a few minutes of your time, and I’ll walk you through my thought process.
With the rise of templated site-builders like Wordpress, DIY website builders such as Wix and Squarespace, and the abundance of freelancers on platforms like Fiverr, launching a website for your business has become incredibly affordable. However, as the age-old adage goes, “You get what you pay for.”
Imagine this scenario: You have an important outdoor business meeting coming up, and you want to leave a lasting impression. As you prepare for the meeting, you come across two pairs of sunglasses on the shelf. The first pair catches your eye with its tempting $5 price tag. But upon closer inspection, you notice its blocky, tinted plastic frame, which feels flimsy in your hands. On the other hand, the second pair commands attention with its $200 price point. It boasts sleek and sturdy metal frames that exude durability, polarized glass lenses for crystal-clear vision, and even offers a prescription option for those who need it. To top it off, it comes with a lifetime warranty, ensuring quality for years to come. Now, envision yourself wearing each pair of sunglasses to the business meeting. Which one do you think would leave a stronger impression on your potential clients or partners? While a business meeting won’t hinge solely on your choice of eyewear, it may subconsciously influence their decision-making process.
Attack of the Clones
Representing your brand with a cookie-cutter website can be a significant pitfall. Imagine hiring someone on Upwork for a mere couple hundred dollars, only to end up with a generic, templated design. Your business is unique and deserves to stand out.
Let’s illustrate this with an example. Suppose you’re in search of landscaping services, so you turn to Google and enter “Landscaping Near Me.” As you click through the first five results, you notice a pattern. The first four websites all sport a white background, a green navigation bar, and cliché stock images of grass or lawnmowers. However, the fifth result catches your eye. It showcases vibrant photos of their skilled team on a freshly manicured lawn, accompanied by captivating typography and a compelling message. Now, ask yourself: which of these results would you be more inclined to explore further? Personally, I would allocate more time and attention to the fifth result, granting them the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t you?
User Experience “To The Next Level!”
User Experience (UX) is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but its meaning may not be clear to everyone. In simple terms, UX refers to how well people can interact with a website, app, or any other system. Many websites suffer from issues where their message isn’t clear, their navigation fails to meet expectations, or worse, it contradicts its own claims. While some may believe that good UX comes naturally, it’s important to remember that everyone thinks differently. While individuality is a strength in business, it can pose challenges when it comes to DIY website creation. Others might not understand what you intend to convey. This is where the expertise of a professional, who has studied UX, becomes invaluable. Moreover, slow loading times, broken links, and a disjointed Call to Action can further compound the user’s frustration.
If I had a dollar for every website I encountered that promised to take my business “to the next level” with a button labeled “learn more,” I could easily retire. Such a generic message not only hampers search engine optimization and accessibility, but it also fails to provide any meaningful information about the business itself—who it serves, what it does, and what sets it apart. While they may genuinely have the potential to elevate my business “to the next level,” I have no clue about their approach or whether their services are even suitable for my needs.
The Cure for What Scales You
Having a future-oriented mindset is crucial for your business. As a small business owner, it’s highly likely that you aspire to grow and scale your operations. You’ll need to adapt to evolving market conditions and seek new solutions to meet emerging challenges. This is a common goal shared by most, if not all, business owners. However, relying on a basic template or DIY website can quickly become a source of frustration in the long run.
A basic template or DIY site often lacks the capability to scale alongside your business’s growth. Investing in a professionally crafted website ensures that your online presence grows in parallel with your business’s trajectory. It allows you to adapt seamlessly to changing customer demands, industry trends, and technological advancements. By having a website designed with scalability in mind, you position your business for continued success and eliminate the headaches that can arise from outgrowing a basic solution.
The Power of Expert Web Development
While my previous words may have come across as slightly negative, please rest assured that I have your best interests at heart. If your business is small or new, and budget constraints prevent you from working with a professional web developer, then my honest advice is to prioritize other aspects of your business rather than solely focusing on creating a website. While a well-built website can significantly benefit your business in terms of visibility and lead generation, a poorly implemented one can do more harm than good to your brand image. I’ve noticed there are generally two camps of people: those who believe websites are not worth the investment, and those who view having a website as a checkbox item because “everyone else does it.” Personally, I’m not a proponent of following the crowd; I believe in pursuing strategies that yield tangible results.
However, if you have any questions about expanding your online presence or if you genuinely believe that my advice doesn’t apply to your unique circumstances and have the drive to achieve exceptional results through a new website or lead generation package, I invite you to start a conversation with me! Simply send me an email at email@example.com, and I’ll be more than happy to discuss your specific needs and explore the possibilities together.
Having an online presence is important for any business. A well-built website can generate leads, answer questions, and save time. A poorly constructed site can have the opposite effect. For some, it’s simply not worth going beyond something like a Facebook Business Page, for instance. Some businesses don’t have the resources to allocate toward a professionally done website and might choose a budget solution that looks cheap, utilizes cookie-cutter templates, presents user experience issues that frustrate potential customers, or simply doesn’t scale with the business’s needs. For those individuals, let me be the guiding voice that advises against buying a website or making one DIY.
By carefully considering your unique circumstances, exploring alternative options, and prioritizing the aspects that yield the best results for your business, you can make informed decisions that align with your goals and resources. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create a strong and effective online presence that sets your business apart from the competition.