#1 – Most people are after what I call a “business card” site
A Business Card Site is a one that says who you are, what you do and where people can find you. Getting a website up with just this content is very very simple. You do not need to pay someone to build you this. There are online tools called website builders that have “drag and drop” interfaces and guide you through the process.
#2 – Being locked in to a specific platform can be expensive to escape
The worst part is you probably won’t even be aware it’s happening. I wasn’t either the first time I had a website developed. So what does getting locked in mean? If you’re looking to buy a car, and you end up getting someone to build you a custom one from scratch, how easy do you think it will be to service or get parts for? It’ll be expensive that’s for sure. Same analogy here. Web sites can be created from scratch or can be build on the base of commonly used platforms that every web developer knows about and can work with.
#3 – Jargon can and will be used against you – unintentionally – but the result is the same
“You’ll get a fully responsive website on a world class CMS platform with a customised look and feel to suit your specific requirements” – Sound fancy? It is and it’s not a bad thing to be offered. But it’s also not something special or unique. The Fact is most website builders offer you these exact things for free.
#4 – A website by itself will not guarantee you customers
Just like putting your details in a phone directory like the white pages doesn’t guarantee you customers. It will allow them to find you if they are specifically looking, but that’s it. You still need to convince them to buy your product. I don’t know how many people I’ve spoken to who thought once they had the perfect website they’d be set and people would just roll in the door. Marketing strategies bring clients in. A website will be part of a marketing strategy by very rarely will it be the only part.
#5 – A Web Development Company is not a Marketing Company
Further from point #3, most Web Development companies will not be able to handle a marketing strategies for you. You will need to approach a professional marketing company for this. Web Developers will often offer you Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is necessary and all Web Developers should do basic SEO for you as part of a package – it’s not something “extra” or “special”. DO NOT pay a Web Developer an ongoing monthly fee for SEO without first consulting with a Marketing Company to determine if this is an effective strategy for your business.
#6 – You don’t need an absolutely perfect, amazing site on day 1
At the start it can be hard to know how your website is going to work for you. That’s perfectly ok. I know a lot of small business operators and most of them have completely overhauled their website within two years. Why? Because only after it was created and in use did it become clear how it could work for their business. It was only then they started having ideas about the functionality their website really needed. This is exactly why you should use a website builder and give it a go yourself first. Most website builders have a free plan or at least a trial period until you pay. You’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot of money to save. Just make sure you choose a website builder that you can stick with over the long haul.
#7 – Paying for a feature that is common and available free in almost all solutions
That’s right. I’ve seen sites where people have paid thousands for a feature that is available for free on some of the best platforms around. Why didn’t the developer put them on one of these platforms in the first place? We can only guess. Choosing a website builder that has world class features is important. WordPress.com does.