Your website is one of the biggest keys to your success. Your website is your #1 marketing tool. It is how potential customers will find you and judge your business. If you do not have a professional looking website, customers will presume your business is not professional or trustworthy. Investing in your website is something that you have to do to continue to grow and elevate your business.
Some businesses do not have a website yet, or even worse, one that drives customers away because it looks shabby or outdated. The quality of your website will reflect how customers perceive the quality of your business. Not having a website at all sends off warning signals to people searching for your business. Why doesn’t this business have a website? Are they even legitimate? Having a site that looks outdated also makes your business lose credibility with customers. Business is all about trust, and customers who trust you are more likely to do business with you.
Does this mean you should settle for a website made quickly and without regard to what your business offers? There will always be people or companies willing to build you a website for next to nothing. The problem with hiring a code mercenary is that no research or planning goes into building your site. Hiring your nephew or niece to build your site might save a few dollars up front, but the result is lost sales down the line. A professional web designer will always research your business goals, your competition, and your unique offerings before ever touching a line of code. A quality site looks modern, communicates a cohesive message, and inspires the customer to take action.
A website is a business cost that should be planned for, but one that can pay for itself quickly in the form of building customer trust, increased revenue and profit.
Facebook Pages are great, BUT an inadequate solution if you only rely on it. Social media platforms should be used as a complement to your website, not the main platform. Facebook constantly adjusts your Page visibility to your followers. Only a certain percentage of your Facebook followers will even see what you post (unless you pay for Facebook Ads). Facebook also owns everything you post there; they consider it their property. Anything that you post on your website is your own copyrighted material, and each page on your site has the potential to rank highly in Google and be found by potential customers.
Your website is the face of your business. People will judge you by it and spend their time and money accordingly. Once you have a site built and deployed, you should budget to have it refreshed every few years. Many things change as time goes on, such as coding best practices, design conventions, social media platforms, and the needs of a business as it grows. Investing in your web presence is investing in the infrastructure of your business. It is a necessary cost, because your website is important to the survival and growth of your business.
Other than the cost of developing your website, there are other services that go with keeping it up. These services are in the least:
- Hosting: Hosting is a recurring annual or monthly cost. Depending on the complexity of your website and how much bandwidth you are using, your website hosting costs could range from $5 a month to $250+ a month for personal to a small business website.
- Domain Name: your domain name (or URL or website address) cost can start at about $15 a year.
- Website Maintenance, Security, Monitoring and Backup (optional): This is for a service where someone will regularly scan your website, detect any malicious activity, update the framework, do monthly backups, etc. This is very important for your investment, and this is why it is recommended.