Okay so let’s talk websites, at first glance starting a website for a business seems straight-forward and while it can be there are things to think about.
Firstly, purpose and destination, before you even choose a platform provider you need a good idea of what you want your website to do. Your website is a tool in your business used correctly it can be the heart and soul of your business.
Depending on the type of business you are in as to what role you’ll need your website to fill, is it simply a portfolio, or an e-commerce site do you need a blog are you planning to run mailing campaigns, are you using business email.
Once you identify the role of your website in your business and look at providers a couple of things to check out.
Do you have ownership of your Domain Name?
This is needed to move your web address to a new provider or set up professional business email.
Do you own your email subscriber list?
Your subscriber list is the way you are going to send all your customers and clients your amazing offers for this you need access to their actual email, a list that you don’t own will run like a Facebook list a company owns those details not you and therefore ties you to that platform forever.
I.E Leave the platform lose your contact list.
There’s nothing wrong with creating a free account and playing around on a platform to see how it works.
Know the different between WordPress.com and WordPress.org it’s more than a country thing.
WordPress.com was originally designed for non for profit companies and people who wanted to blog or wanted a portfolio, unless you take out the Business Package you can’t use plugins you also can’t upload your own affiliate banners (advertising banners from other companies) SEO tools also require you to take out a paid package.
WordPress.org is usually accessed via a shared hosting company such as Bluehost, Fast host, etc you pay one fee to the hosting company, this removes restrictions you choose which plugins you want on your website, I recommend the basic version of Yoast as a base, then anything you need, some plugins cost extra. So again, worth considering which services you need.
The other option I haven’t covered is having your website design for you, there are plenty of companies that do this and costs can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand depending on your requirements, work may also take months to complete so you’ll want to agree a timeline and will need an idea of what you require. The Main thing to check with this route is do you retain access to update the website yourself our not. Again if all updates are to be updated by the website company you may want to agree a timescale for this too as it can be inconvenient if you have to wait on someone else to change information for you.
The main factor in your choice is likely to be cost, it is a good idea to look around check out your favourite site the designing company is usually named at the bottom of the screen then google their website. Your website is the centre and for many the face of your business and it’s worth taking time to get it right.