So, you’re starting a new business venture, hobby, or other new life change and you think you want a website. The question is… are you ready for a new website?
You may think that sounds like a weird question coming from someone whose income comes from making new websites for people. But the truth is, a website is a great idea many people have, but not everyone is ready for the work that a website entails.
Making a website is a collaborative process
Yes, you are hiring a company to make your website, but that doesn’t get you off the hook. You must be involved in the process. And that involvement takes time, and in most cases, probably a lot more time than you think. You will need to have time to process requests, answer questions, provide feedback, and in many cases, write content. You would be surprised how many website projects get stalled because the person or company who needed it didn’t account for how much of their time they would need to allot for the project.
Ways your time may be spent:
Responding to requests. We’re experts on websites, but you’re the expert on you. That means we’re going to have a lot of questions about you and your business, and single word answers most likely won’t cut it. In order to create a website strategy that works, something that converts website visitors into customers, we need to really and truly understand what it is you do and what it is you offer. A lot of talented people can design something that looks pretty. But if you don’t understand who the target audience is and what they are looking for, then the website will likely not convert, no matter how pretty it is.
Writing content. One of the biggest holdups we see when it comes to your website is content. Every great website needs content, even if you’re a photographer. If you want to be found in the search engines, your websites needs content. If you want to convince anyone that you’re good at what you do, you need content.
Content doesn’t just write itself. Either you are going to have to buckle down and write it, or else you’ll have to hire someone to write it for you. We do offer website copywriting services, but even if you hire us or someone else, we’ll need to learn about you and your business, your services, and more in order to write effective useful copy for your website.
Providing feedback. We love creating new website mockups for our clients, showcasing how we think their web page design should look, but as we’re the designers and developers, and not the website owner, we’ll need your feedback. You have to tell us what you like, what you don’t like, and what changes you want in order for us to create something that you and your customers will love. It’s a process that involves your time and thought, and especially your concrete and specific feedback. Don’t expect to be able to take a few minutes, review it, and give us a few short sentences and carry on. Your dedication to the project is imperative.
So you know you have to be ready to be mentally involved in every step of this project, but did you know that once the website is finished, you aren’t done?
Websites need ongoing care
We are nearing the end of 2019, and if you haven’t learned yet, you can’t just finish your website and forget about it. Your website needs care, meaning you either need to do it or you need to hire someone else to do it.
The truth about owning a website is that it does involve maintenance. Not only will you need to keep your software up-to-date, but you need to make sure your site is backed up regularly (don’t make me give you a backup lecture!) There are many technical aspects of owning a website that don’t go away just because the design and development is done.
But more importantly, you need to keep it up to date so that when your visitors show up, it doesn’t look like you are out of business. If I go to your site and your last blog post is from 2015, that doesn’t look good. If I go to your site and see the most recent event is from last year, that isn’t good either. Your content also needs adjusted. If you change your services, have new projects to showcase, or new events to share, it needs to go on your website. Your website is often the first impression you’ll make on potential customers or clients.
Are you ready to market your website?
If you build it, they will come only works in the movies. In reality, especially when it comes to websites, that’s not the case. Having a website doesn’t guarantee anyone will see it.
It takes time and dedicated to plan a marketing strategy that will bring customers to your site. Will you use social media? Google AdWord? Something else? Putting your website on your business card is only helpful when you give out your card. What about the people who don’t have your card?
If you want your website to work, you have to get people there. And that requires a strategy, be it aggressive SEO, social campaigns, digital or other marketing. You need to be prepared to put your website out there.
Are you ready for the cost?
When it comes to web design pricing, you will quickly learn that you get what you pay for. You need to be ready to make an investment in your online presence in order for your website to be successful. Anyone can sign up for a DIY website builder for $7 a month and cobble together the information you want to share, but that doesn’t mean the website will be effective. It doesn’t mean the website will be successful.
A really good website that’s done well can recoup its cost in less than a year and then end up making you money as time goes on. You may look at the initial expense and think that it’s crazy to spend that much when you can login to SquareSpace and do it yourself. But ask yourself this: how many sales or new clients do you need to acquire for that website to be paid off? If your website doesn’t convince your visitors to take the next step, then it’s not doing what you need it to do. And you may have saved a few thousand dollars this year, but in the long run, how much will an inadequate website cost you in business?
At the very least, your website will require your time and dedication to get it done on time and done well. You need to be prepared for the work that will be involved. Creating a new online presence is a collaboration in order to have it done well, and our goal is to give you or your business the best website possible.
Do you think you’re ready for a new website? Contact us today for a quote.
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