Does your business have a website? These days an online presence is essential, so essential that any and all businesses should have a website. What this means however, is that in order to be unique, you need a website that not only works for you, but that will stand out from all the other competitors sites online.
This may sound daunting to anyone that isn't a web developer, (I know I have recently been there myself) but it has actually never been easier to get your own website up, running and looking fantastic! There are a large number of companies that offer pre-built website templates that you can customise in your browser. These have varying amounts of functionality, so do your research to find one that works for your specific needs. The two I can recommend from personal experience are: www.squarespace.com and www.wix.com.
Both offer templates that can look fantastic and professional out of the box, some great customisation and functionality options, as well as technical support and in depth optimisation tools.
While having your own website custom made is still probably the best option as it will truly be unique to you, the costs involved with doing this can be very prohibitive unless you are looking to heavily invest in your website as being a key part of your business strategy and need it to do things a template couldn't. If you do wish to get a website custom made, make sure you do invest in a good developer as this will ensure your website will give you a return on your investment and ensure its longevity. Too frequently I have encountered problems with custom built systems, and often they put strain on personal relationships with the developers that could negatively affect your site too!
The following are five reasons I think you should consider using a template website for your business.
As I mentioned earlier, cost is major reason to choose to go with a template site. You may have to sacrifice some bespoke functionality, but the trade-off is a far cheaper option that will look just as professional. The templates will also be supported and updated for the duration you have your site, so you know that you will always be up to date with the latest technology without needing to pay for expensive developer time every year to update, troubleshoot and bug-fix.
One of the great things about templates sites that attracted me to the option is the ability to update and customise them yourself! The template sites have a CMS (Content Management System) built in and are therefore incredibly easy for a relative amateur to maintain, but also keeping it looking professional. They are also well supported so if you have any troubles then there will always be someone that can answer your question!
It is essential to consider SEO when building your website, as where it appears on Google can be a huge factor in the success of your website, and subsequently your business. While you can hire the best SEO experts in the land to refine a site for you, this will cost some money! Now by no means are template sites going to give you great SEO, but what they do offer are some simple tools that are easy for anyone to understand, that will help to optimise your site so it will rank better.
I have touched on this already, but another great thing about template sites are the longevity they can give you. Now everyone is busy and quite often updating the website can be a low priority (it shouldn't, as your SEO will benefit greatly from regular updates!) but that is how it can be when you are running a business day to day. With a template site, you know your site will always be up to date with the latest security and browser compatibility updates without you needing to do a thing.
This will also save you from expensive developer time just to keep the status-quo on your site as time and technology move on! By no means am I saying developer time is bad, as the professional touch and expertise offered by a developer can often really make the difference and should be considered.
The last great thing about template websites in my opinion, is the flexibility they offer you to design and customise your own sites. Some people may think they need a radically designed site that is completely unique to stand out from their competition, and therefore they won't use a template site. This, in my opinion is a mistake. Unless you are willing to pay big money for a full website design and development, you will not need a radical new design.
What I have learned about successful web design over the years is that great design follows rules, and those rules apply to any site. A user expects certain things when visiting a site, or it won't work effectively, and a template is perfect for delivering that framework that users expect. In simple terms using a car metaphor, you may get awesome new alloys, composite materials, performance tyres and advanced technology in your wheels, but they will always be round. It is the same for web design. Design trends come and go but a great user experience is always at the core.
I would like to coincide this blog post with the launch of my new Entrepreneur Start-up Package. Quite often now I am finding that people will come to me asking for a logo or website or business related materials, and ask me how much they cost. It is always difficult to price up things as quite often different people want completely different things, but I have decided to create an all in one, easy to understand package.
If you are interested in any of the issues discussed, and would like to speak to me, please feel free to get in touch. You can comment below, email firstname.lastname@example.org or even give me a call on 07742 990524.