In this post, I’m going over five reasons why you might not be ready for a website. A lot of people come to me for website design and getting their business set up on the Internet. Unfortunately, I do have to turn to quite a few people away, and these are some of the reasons why. So, what are 5 reasons you don’t need a website?
I’m going to start with the budget. Unfortunately, web design is often something where you get what you pay for.
Naturally, if you’re looking to hire someone from your local college and you’re looking to give someone an opportunity, then you can expect to have a much lower budget because they’re someone who’s just starting out. They’re basically practicing on your website.
Unfortunately, there are going to be pitfalls with that. Reliability can be an issue. Sometimes it can take longer to get your website completed. Additionally, there may be steps that they don’t even know they should take. Search engine optimization might not be something they’re aware of. If their school doesn’t teach them about accessibility issues, they may not know how to take care of those things as well.
So, you definitely want to plan out your budget ahead of time. If you are looking for a $500 website with 13 pages and e-commerce built in, I hate to tell you this, but you’re probably not in a place where you’re ready to have that website. $500 may get you a single page website, in the right environment with the right designer. But unfortunately, for the most part, $500 is going to be a pretty sketchy starting place for a website.
You’re often looking at $1,000, $2,000 for a full website with e-commerce capabilities and that’s just the starting point. They can really go up from there based on what your needs are. However, a good designer will have that discussion with you about what your needs are and are not; what things should be included or omitted within your quote.
When you see website design packages quoted on a website, often it is what it is with no room for change. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, so long as what those things align with your needs. However, if you’re looking for something and you don’t see the package, you can either contact the designer, or you may have a step back. They may not offer it. That’s often why we offer packages; so that we have a preset standard procedure to expedite and streamline the design process.
4. You’re looking for a “magic bullet”
The next thing is if you’re looking for a magic bullet. If you are expecting to put a website up and the day after you launch this website you’re going to get 12 leads and that this website will consistently deliver you 20 leads a week, you may need to take a step back and reevaluate what your expectations are.
Realistically, you can have a website that does immediately get you some return. That is not unheard of at all, especially if you already have a small audience built on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or you may already have a mailing list that you could pull in and have them be part of your launch process. To that extent, sometimes those share capabilities – the glory of viral Internet sharing – can do you some favors there.
However, you should also be aware that things like Google, Bing, Yahoo, the search engines of the world, those are going to take a little bit longer to catch up. You can submit your website to them, and that will help to expedite the process, but it’s going to take some time for your website to build the reputation necessary for you to start climbing the ranks on search engine optimization or SEO.
If you are expecting overnight results with no effort going into the website maintenance, you’re really not ready for a website because you’re simply going to be disappointed.
3. You don’t plan to update or maintain it
One of the things that Google and the other search engines look for is, “is this website active? Is it alive? Are there changes being made? Are there updates happening?” When you have a website, it might be the most beautiful website in the world, and it can be performing very well very quickly, but if you do not maintain that website – you’re not adding content, updating your schedule when it changes, adding changes to your services – on a regular basis, you’re not going to be seen as relevant by search engines.
If your website is on WordPress, ensuring that it has the most recent versions of the WordPress platform as well as all of the plugins, is of vital importance. Maintaining a healthy website and having that constant update of information tells search engines that your information is still relevant and so you’re going to be seen as a higher priority in search results.
To that end, if you’re not going to maintain it, there’s a higher likelihood of someone going in and taking over your website. That is how websites get infected, in part, is because people do not keep them up to date.
We’re all familiar with the credit reporting agency (who shall remain unnamed, much like Voldemort) who had a massive website hack and security breach. They didn’t update part of their website, and it was an out of date security patch that wasn’t added to their website that helped cause that breach.
Certainly, you are probably not as large as that particular company, and Heaven help us if you have the same level of information as they had! However, it’s still important for you to keep your website secure. Because at the least, once something does happen, it affects your search engine results for a while even after you fix it.
Also, if you have any information on your website about the people who visited, and this can be something as simple as access to your google analytics through your dashboard, or especially information that comes through your contact form where you may have names, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses. That sort of information is personally identifiable information, and that can get you into a lot of trouble if that gets out. So you really need to make sure that you’re keeping your website up to date.
2. You think you “should” have a website
Now, this leads me to point two. If you are not planning on updating your website, and perhaps you don’t even have expectations of it performing well; if you’re only building a website because you’re told that you “should” have a website, you really shouldn’t have a website. Certainly, having an online presence is in my opinion, important. This is a digital age, and especially with the younger generations, (millennial speaking) internet use is probably not going to slide backward. We’re online more and more. You have services like, like Google Home and Alexa where you can be on the Internet with nothing more than your voice.
But if you don’t see the value on it and you don’t necessarily believe that you need a website, then don’t have a website. There are a million other ways to get your information across.
One of the things you can do is in-person networking. You can certainly go to your local Chamber of Commerce, join a BNI, Master Networks, or even one of the smaller local networking groups in your area. I highly recommend those. I do those myself; I’m secretary-treasurer of a local networking group, and I absolutely love it. I don’t need a website to have that word of mouth referral system in place.
Additionally, you have platforms like twitter, facebook, Instagram, Linkedin; these different platforms allow you to make the connections that you could only have with a website, previously.
So, if you’re only building a website because you “ought to” have a website, then you probably don’t need a website. You need to be invested in it, not just financially, but as a business owner – you need to take stock of what part that website is going to play in your marketing strategy. And if you can’t see a place for it in your marketing strategy, then don’t invest the money because it’s going to be a waste for you.
1. You don’t know your audience
Now, the last thing is if you don’t know who your target market is yet. Perhaps you are a brand new business owner, and you’re very excited that you are just launching and you are preparing to make your first sales. That’s fantastic, and it’s a wonderful place to be, but you’re probably not ready for a website at this point.
Again, some people tell you that you “should” have a website, but if you spend, let’s just say a thousand dollars, on a website that is fairly simple and straight to the point, and it’s a starter website. If it is geared towards the wrong people, it’s not only going to not help you; it can actually hurt you.
Say you were marketing things for mothers of young children in the millennial age group, but you didn’t know that when you invested in your first website. If a millennial mama gets “grandma” vibes off of your website or feels that it’s too corporate and looks more like something geared towards businessmen, then you’re probably not going to make that connection. Even if they visited, for example, your facebook page and liked what they saw there, visiting your website could give them a cause to second guess, and you don’t want to be in that place, so make sure that you’ve taken the time to figure out who you’re actually marketing to.
When someone comes to me for a website design, one of the first things I ask is, “Who are we building this for? Who do you want to look at this website and be drawn in?” Because what that answer is will really define what this website is going to look like, how it’s going to be laid out, and the various purposes that it’s going to serve. Without that information, this sort of falls into our last point where you “should” have a website, but you don’t really have a reason for it yet.
Do you need a website?
So, those are my top five reasons. If you don’t have a budget, if you’re looking for a magic bullet, your expectations are unrealistically high, if you don’t plan on updating and maintaining the website (or if you don’t plan on hiring somebody to update and maintain your website), if you’re only doing it because you should have a website, or because you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’re not yet ready to have a website.
And that doesn’t mean that six months from now, that might not change. Things happen all the time; we’re in a very fast-paced world. But for this exact moment, if you fall into any of those one categories – especially if you hit more than one of them – you don’t need a website. And right now, it’s not the time for you to have one. So take a step back. Make sure you go through that little checklist. It’s five items. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time to see if you’re on that spectrum, and hopefully, this has helped you to reevaluate where you stand.
Now, if you go through that list and you’re a solid “no” to all of them, then great. It might be a good time for you to get yourself a new website. Especially if you’re looking to say, rebrand a site from when your audience wasn’t well defined enough, and it’s time to give your website refresh. Great.
If you are ready for a fresh website, I’d be happy to discuss your needs.