Are you thinking about bringing your offline business online? Read on to discover what to consider when building a website. In this article, I point out some of the benefits and important aspects that you may want to consider.
It’s not just about Facebook!
I have noticed that some business owners appear to think they will just get by with only having a Facebook page and no website. I think they are really missing out and doing themselves an enormous disservice. Let me explain why!
First of all, having a business website, will bring you:-
- significant engagement along with your customer base,
- more visibility amongst your competitors,
- allows you the flexibility to create sales online,
- also, make appointments online,
- not only that but, the opportunity to collect and grow your email list.
Why Growing an Email List is imperative!
You can grow an email list by connecting with your audience via your contact form or an opt-in, from your website. Putting in place a sound email marketing strategy will give you a way to personally connect with your audience, build trust and offer quality services and information, which can lead to sales. But, more importantly, this customer base belongs to you. But, with Facebook, your contacts belong to Facebook. Owning your own email list not only creates better engagement, but it is also crucial when it involves building your brand, and above all, your email list will definitely increase further as time goes on.
Make Your Website Mobile Responsive
All businesses will benefit extensively from having a well-designed mobile responsive site.
Mobile web use, in particular, is increasing rapidly. When monitoring google analytics for my clients, I would say, half of the traffic to their websites will be through mobile. I spend a fair bit of time on my own mobile, and even more, time ensuring each desktop design is also fully functional and responsive on mobile as well as on different browsers.
You will be giving your customers an exceptional experience when they visit your site on their mobile, and because of that, it will increase the time they spend on your website, which all helps to improve your rankings in the search engines.
What is a Content Management System?
Depending on your needs, there are websites which will cost a fair bit, maybe thousands of pounds and they may also be difficult for owners to manage. Thankfully, with modern developments, we have Content Management Systems that enables business owners to make and maintain their own websites.
So, what is a content management system (CMS? Simply put, it’s an application that is used to manage your web content. It allows different users to be able to log on and create, edit and publish on your website. Adding text is quite simple, it’s just like typing in a word document. You can also upload images, videos etc. There is so much more you can do, but that’s for another article.
What CMS platform should you choose when building your website? There are many to decide on, some are completely free, and others like Adobe Business Catalyst charge a monthly fee.
Adobe Business Catalyst
Adobe Business Catalyst sets a high standard when it involves Content Management Systems. I’d say, plenty of individuals might not make use of it properly and only use it to set up a fast website by way of a template and then, on occasion, they update said website. This can be a method to try and do the minimum I guess, However, Adobe Business Catalyst does provide added features beyond website set-up and hosting.
One of their appealing factors is for the merchants out there. They have a built-in eCommerce feature which makes both the inventory and payment gateway less difficult to set up and use. Their email marketing system is pretty good too and helps business owners target into untapped pools of recent customers in just a few clicks. Moreover, they provide a good selection of assorted templates (free and paid) for you to pick from. The user is in a position to make edits to the design and layouts with HTML and CSS editing plus, of course, social media integration. Meaning nothing will be lost when business owners finally commit to and switch from solely employing a Facebook page.
The only real drawback to Adobe Business Catalyst is in its price. It’s a monthly commitment that has got to be paid to make use of their features. If the value could be a factor for you, there are other options for business owners to contemplate like free WordPress.
Why I Love WordPress
I love WordPress. In fact, I build all of my websites powered by WordPress. I’d go as far as to say, WordPress is the number one open-source Content Management System of all.
On my, about page, I mention that I discovered WordPress back in 2006 after I started blogging. In fact, they have been around since 2003 and have kept themselves in the forefront of technology with their regular updates and development.
There is also the added bonus of the 5000 plus and varied free themes, which can certainly make it a hard job for you to pick one. More importantly, it can replicate the bulk, if not all, of the functions of Adobe Business Catalyst by way of plugins. At the time of writing this article, there are more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins available.
Maintaining your WordPress Website
Maintaining a WordPress website does not have to be tricky. WordPress likes to keep everything up to date, and continuously creates newer versions for more features and bug fixes to keep the platform secure and well optimised.
Once you have built your WordPress website, a decent maintenance service will provide security to keep backups, updates and any security concerns at bay.
If you decide to go with a WordPress website, and I do highly recommend it. However, I feel I need to emphasise the potential issues you will have with security if you are not maintaining and looking after your site.
I have seen, time and time again, most owners don’t take the security precautions with their sites seriously, so run into issues later down the road, which ends up costing them more in the long term. The answer is (in some situations) as simple as having a powerful password and username. But it is far better to place in situ a maintenance service and have that peace of mind your site is running securely and effectively. For a really reasonable monthly fee, you will eliminate virtually any concerns or hacking issues.
Don’t overlook the benefits of having a website. In just a short time with an affordable investment, any business owner can fashion and set up a productive and beautiful website without too much delay, providing them with continuous success within the years to come.
What CMS platform would you choose when building your website?