Are you wondering if you really need to have your own website? The answer is yes. The world is so interlaced with online presence that you and your business can end up invisible without a footprint on the internet, even if your shop is on the corner of Main Street.
But why do you–a unique individual with a unique thing going–need a website “just like everybody else”? What will it help you do that you’re not already doing?
When Do You Need a Website?
You need a website when you’re promoting a product.
If you want your product to gain attention and do it quickly, there’s no better way to share it than your own website. Your product could be nestled in the food service industry as a restaurant owner, or maybe you’re a supplier for electrical or industrial equipment.
Even gym owners are promoting a product: all their equipment at one convenient location. And showing potential customers what they might be missing through your website can bring in a whole lot of business.
You need a website when you’re promoting a service.
Offering services can get even trickier because customers don’t physically see the work you’re doing, only it’s product. Either they won’t know who did the work, or they’ll decide they don’t need any expertise but their own. With a website, your consulting, medical, law, finance, or repair services can showcase your expertise and motivate people to partner with you for the best results.
You need a website when you’re promoting yourself.
You might be saying to yourself, “Isn’t that what my resume is for?” But a website can do so much more than a resume. Use it as a portfolio to not only state your qualifications but show them. As an artist, writer, or designer, your work is much more accessible to potential customers or employers, too, meaning you don’t have to wait to meet them before you can really prove yourself.
And look at politicians running for office: a site with all their credentials and platforms in one place is valuable when so many opinions and interpretations of their politics are circulating and trying to prove they can’t handle the job.
You need a website when you’re promoting a cause or idea.
Are you looking to get the word out about something? Town criers are out of fashion and newspapers, flyers, and brochures get you much less exposure these days. If you want your cause to grow and gain support, people will need something more accessible than your social media posts, too.
Whether you’re starting a nonprofit, sharing your academic findings, or blogging about your first-hand experience on a topic, a website is the place where people can learn everything they need to know, especially if you can’t tell them about it personally.
How Do You Set Up a Website?
Getting your website up and running can be anywhere on the spectrum of quick and easy to extensive and complex. It all depends on the amount of effort and, frankly, money you want to put into it. Take into consideration things like how much content you’ll have, how many pages you’ll need, and whether you’ll need an internal eCommerce system.
There are sites like WordPress, Wix, and Weebly that will let you create a site and use their Content Management System (CMS) for free. These come with minimal template and design choices you can configure yourself.
Mid-level web designers can also help out by customizing these for you, customizing one of their own special templates, or even building you a website. SmartlyDoneWebsites.com is one of these where you can get a top-notch website for a price that won’t break the bank. Some of these companies will also help you with content and marketing.
At the other end of the spectrum are companies that can make your site completely customizable with all the bells and whistles. These guys will make your site as sleek and shiny as possible. They’ll take care of every detail, but they will also come with a much higher price point.
So start small if you need to. With the right design, you’ll find that your new website is helping you make progress you couldn’t have otherwise.