These days there are so many choices when it comes to creating a website – from DIY and free platforms to very high-end, expensive packages – and literally everything in between. With YouTube available to teach you nearly anything you want to know for free, why wouldn’t you just build your own website for free on a platform that literally walks you through the entire process?
Well, that’s certainly a valid option, and in some cases may even be the best choice to make. So how do you know if it’s the right choice for you? Lucky for you, we’ve received enough calls from people who built their own site on free/DIY platforms for whom it wasn’t the right choice to be able to give you some pointers and learn from their mistakes.
The biggest question to ask yourself is, “Will your website be able to grow with you and your business?” Take some time to make a list of all of the ways you envision your business or services growing in the next five years. Today you may only coach clients over the phone, or maybe you primarily blog about your expertise. But how might that grow in the next five years, and how will your website need to grow with it? Here are some of the most important things to consider before building your website:
- Taking Appointments Online: Maybe it’s easy enough for you to go back and forth with clients via email, text, and phone to finally schedule an appointment. But what happens when you get too busy to do that? Won’t it be nice to have all of that happen automatically through your website?
- Ecommerce: Do you ever expect to sell products or services directly through your website? This may sound simple enough, but it can be a big stumbling block for business owners. You’ll need to consider many details, such as website security. And if you’re taking credit cards, you’ll need to decide between merchant services or a service like PayPal. These are just a few of the things you’ll need to consider before accepting payments online.
- Events: Will you need a comprehensive online calendar to highlight what you’re up to, where people can see you speak, or to sell tickets?
- Membership: Do you want to be able to create programs where your clients can access exclusive content on your site via memberships, whether paid or free?
- Control: How much control do you ultimately want over your site? Many free platforms not only won’t let you use your own URL (yoursite.com), but they also have full control over updates, backups, and plenty more. Sometimes this means less work for you and can be very helpful. Many times, what they offer is quite insufficient for many businesses.
There are countless things that may come up as your business grows, and it’s important to make sure your website will be able to grow with it. It may cost a little more time, money, and effort in the beginning, but it sure beats having to start over when you find out a couple years from now that the platform for the website you’ve spent countless hours building can’t do what you want, and you have to start all over.
If you’re not sure where to begin or if you’d like a little help navigating your possible business needs, we are always here for you. Give us a call today and let’s discuss what your website needs to do to support your business in the most efficient and elegant way possible… for the long run. 202-409-8113.