May 2, 2018 6:52 PM4 Minute Read
Many would agree that a professional, modern website is an essential component of doing business — and has been for years. Then, there are those who don't fully recognize the value of having an online presence. In fact, we tend to encounter four different mindsets when discussing websites with business owners. There are those who are content to think:
"I don't need a website because I don't sell anything online."
These are the individuals who stand to miss out on the most opportunities, but we'll discuss that more in just a minute.
There are the idealists who think:
"I don't need to worry about my website, I paid for one 10 years ago!"
Then there are those who just want to "check the box" and say:
"I 'know' it's important to have a website, so I had my friend/family member throw one together in WordPress."
This is better, but it doesn't always hit the mark, as we'll see below.
Finally, there are those who understand the importance of their website and take the necessary steps to ensure theirs is properly planned, implemented and maintained.
So, why is a polished, responsive website so important?
Your Website is Really an Employee
Working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your website is always available when your customers come calling. With that in mind,
For instance, how long would you tolerate an employee who couldn't answer a customer's basic questions like "what's your phone number?" or "what do you do?" What if your employee met a potential client looking disheveled and only had information on your products/services from five years ago? Even worse, what if your employee couldn't be found or never showed up at all?
You'd waste a lot of time and effort convincing your customers that the employee they dealt with did not reflect the values and caliber of your business, if you even became aware of the failed interaction in the first place.
If you wouldn't tolerate that type of behavior in an employee, you shouldn't promote it via your website.
Your Website Helps Your Customers Find You
Websites aren't just for selling goods and services — they are the global business directory of today. Showcasing your company, providing contact information and setting the tone for how you do business, websites are the platforms people use to find you and serve as your first impression to new customers.
In fact, ConsumerBarometer.com reports that 78% of people in the United States go to the Internet first when they need information and, given the option, 53% prefer to do tasks digitally.
Even if your products/services are the best, your competitors could be winning business from your customers just by having an online presence when you do not.
What About WordPress and Other Template Solutions?
The good news for DIY enthusiasts is that it has never been easier to go to YouTube, watch a video on how to register a website domain, install WordPress and get up and running with a website. If you look around, some claim it can all be done in as little as 30 minutes.
While WordPress templates might appeal to you — as many do look quite professional — they often have hidden costs:
1. Limited Customization — When using WordPress, you are forced to remain within the general design confines of a template, making your business' website and brand conform to someone else's vision. For some, that may be acceptable. However, if you're investing in a website, don't you want to have complete control of the look, feel and functionality to ensure it turns out exactly how you envision it?
2. WordPress Market Share — There's no denying the success of WordPress. As of the time of this article, WordPress claims that it "powers 29% of the Internet" — but what does that really mean? Anyone with 30 minutes can "be on the Internet," but it's rare to find major brands and large organizations using template solutions like WordPress for their websites. That being said, knowing that 29% of the Internet — perhaps even one of your competitors — define their brand and digital presence from the same exact pool of templates, wouldn't you want to proudly stand out with your own, customized website?
In the End
The importance of your website cannot be overstated.