How to decide if you need a website
Deciding whether or not to commission a website can be a challenging process if this is your first foray into the online world. These questions are tools to help you make that decision easily and painlessly.
Does my business need a web presence?
Most people use Google or a similar search engine when looking for business services these days, rather than a phone book.
Your website can act as a brochure giving potential clients the information they need to choose or access your business, eg. phone numbers, hours, services, location.
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, however a website can back that up by giving potential clients a feel for who you are and what you can do for them.
Do I need a website or a Facebook page?
Realistically you need both. While many people use Facebook to find goods and services, there is a limit to the amount of information you can provide there, and if you sell goods or services, you need an online shop.
Its easy now to integrate the two together – with plugins that will put your Facebook feed on your website and send new posts from your website to Facebook.
What about Twitter?
Twitter provides an avenue to quickly update your clients about your latest news. This is great if you are selling goods and want to let them know about today’s bargains, or if you want to let them know about available appointments.
If you don’t have a need for rapid updates, Twitter may not be a useful tool for you.
What sort of website would I need?
Basically, websites tend to fall into a “brochure” , “blog” or “on-line shop” format.
A brochure style website is exactly that – an online brochure about your business.
If you have products to sell, then an online shop with secure online payments is the way to go.
All websites can include a blog – a way to update your customers with news from your business. Some websites are based around that communication and interaction, and the main landing page can feature your posts (updates).
Some service-based businesses also incorporate an online appointment booking system, though this depends on the type of services you offer and your preferred booking system.
What will a website cost?
Domain Names: The name of your business website will cost between $15 – $20 per year, depending on the extension you prefer (eg .com, .com.au, .net etc)
Hosting: The people that host your website (put it out in cyberspace) charge between $35 & $500 per year – depending on the size and type of website you create. I recommend an Australian hosting company called Serversaurus who are based in Australia & provide reasonably priced, secure hosting, with an environmental base.
Web Design: A simple brochure-style website, individually designed for you will cost between $600 and $1000, depending on the site’s complexity and how much of the content you can supply.
I use WordPress software to design and create websites. It is flexible and has a very user-friendly interface, so that you can do editing of content and pictures yourself, if you so choose.
The clearer your thoughts on your website and the more prepared you are with content, the faster the job will go and the lower the cost. I can also include training so that you can self-edit your site.
Online shops or integrated email databases will cost more for both design and possibly hosting, depending on the complexity of your needs.
What do I have to prepare?
- Call me on 0400 722 786 to book an obligation-free consultation to help you make the decision.
- Find some websites that you like the look of, to help you decide on the appearance of your site.
- Collect image files, logo, branding information (fonts and colours on existing advertising materials) and write your content.
- Collate all this on a USB.
I can also assist in developing branding, sourcing images, and writing content if this is required.
The beauty of a website is that it is not written in stone.
Websites can be fine-tuned or re-designed as needed, and can grow with your business.
Contact me today and we can start the discussion.