Do you really need a website nowadays?
I’ve been asked this question a couple of times lately “Do you really need a website nowadays?” and thought I should answer here properly. So when social media is massive and largely free to set up, and when there are well established selling website’s such as the likes of Etsy, why would you pay to have a website designed?
Well, just before I answer let me address the elephant in the room, Twizzlebird is a web design company, so I’m bound to think that all businesses should have a website. But I’m here trying to talk as a business owner, to you, another business owner – so I’m not going to talk about the many things you could do with a website but simply why you should have one from a business, not a design, point of view.
There are two very powerful reasons every business still should have a website;
OWNERSHIP & CONTROL
Ownership offers stability
You can own your website in a way you can never own a facebook page or other social media profile. This means that on your social media profiles or 3rd party websites you have far less say in how it works and how it impacts you and your customers. To put it strongly you are at the mercy of the will of the owners and shareholders of those sites and so if you have no other information online about your business that can feel pretty risky and unstable.
Ownership offers a saleable asset
A website can also be sold with your business, if you go down that route. Though Good Will developed via other channels is assessed as part of your company’s value, a website of your own can act as more than ‘good will’ especially if you sell directly through it.
Ownership avoids baggage
Ownership comes with a responsibility, as the owner of the website people will place full responsibility with what happens on it. A social media or other website comes with baggage. To use Facebook as an example; some members of the public choose not to have a profile because they don’t want to interact with people in that way and so by showing you only share information on that channel will be a little off-putting to them immediately. Sharing your Facebook page with potential customers comes with a little bit of the Facebook baggage (good and bad) attached. Where as your website is all yours so the only associations attached is what you’e created.
Control of your customer’s experience
Though you can manage the content on your social media channels etc, you don’t have control on how they work and what surrounds your content. The other website’s have their business interests at heart and so the introduction of advertising, changes to terms and conditions etc can effect your customer’s experience of your business. A website allows you to have full control of your customer’s entire experience of your brand, which in turn enables you to differentiate what you offer from your competitors and create an experience that is designed to appeal to your target market, making it potentially much more effective.
Control of your content
Beyond customer experience there is also the level of control you have over the content you share, the facilities you give to your customers and the way you interact with them. Even with a simple marketing website the control you have over the formats of content is far far greater on your own website. You can also build-on additional features as your business grows and completely tailor it in line with your business plan, making it a much more on-brand and efficient communication tool.
So there are just a few of the reasons why nowadays you should still have a website. Without doubt you should be engaging in other channels, the exact ones depend on your business and your target market. But a website offers you a channel of communication that you can have the greatest ownership and control of and as a business owner that is a potentially a very powerful and valuable asset.