Small businesses have to deal with lots of risks. The risk of managing a company with a small amount of capital. The risk of dealing with customers who might give a bad review. The risk of striking a balance between future growth and current stability. The risk of allowing social media whims to damage your business.
While many of these risks come with the territory, the last of these can be mitigated. Using a social media website such as Facebook for your primary online presence might work for a time, but as your business grows, eventually you will need to invest in your business - and ensure your online presence is determined by you, not a giant company.
The main issue is that you can’t reliably predict how your, for example, Facebook Business Page will be served. The algorithms and systems that manage how different posts are served to users are completely opaque, with little to no information on how to manage your presence on the platform. This means that at any time, your ability to interface with customers could be damaged by no fault of your own, but mere whims from the social media company that hosts your business’ online presence.
The biggest benefits of a social media page to host your business’ online presence is the simple fact that it is cheap and economical. This matters most when your business is just starting out, and every small boon can make or break your business. However, once you’ve grown a bit, leaving your online presence in the sole hands of a social media company may not be the best way to manage your business for the future. Building your own website allows you to take the fate of your business into your own hands. It’s not free, and it’s not always cheap, but a website allows you almost limitless options to interact with your customers. Whether you want to run a store, host a blog, or just provide a few simple pages which showcase what services you offer, a website allows your business to have a place owned and managed by you, and not subject to the whims of an algorithm that is not designed to prioritize your work, but rather anything that will generate engagement on the platform.
A website builder lets you build a website with little or no knowledge of the inner workings of web development. Often these systems are What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG), where you can manually design your website with simple tools.
Website builders also often have templates that you can use which simplify the process of building your own website even more. This makes getting up and running even easier.
The downside of this method is that website builders are generally quite rigid, with little room for customization beyond the most generic changes. This is the trade for the low cost and ease-of-access which can allow you to transition to a website at almost any time, with few problems.
WordPress and Drupal are Content Management Systems (CMS) for websites which allow you to add a theme or template to customize the way the final website looks. Because these systems are designed to make it easy to add new information to your website, such as post blog articles, managing your website is easy. Further, WordPress is one of the most popular solutions in the world for creating a website, which means that there are hundreds of thousands of possible themes to use for your website.
Creating a WordPress (or Drupal) website is much more flexible than a WYSIWYG, and might even be easier because all you have to do is find a theme that you like then add your website’s content. If you just want a quick and easy website with no frills, this is probably the option for you. Despite this, if you want a customized website, designed specifically for your business, you’ll have to employ someone to design a theme specifically for you, which can mean this ends up being costly all the same regardless of the benefits.
Want to get started with WordPress? One easy option is to use a hosting website such as bluehost which will help you get started and manage your website once you set it up.
If you want a truly customized website for your business, the best way to get it done is to hire someone. Experienced professionals can help you through all the steps in developing your website, developing your brand or inspiration into a website worthy of your business.
This option lets you ignore all the menial work and focus on your business. Having someone to manage the development, maintenance, and quality of your website is valuable because you save your time to focus on your company. Not only will many website design and development companies help you create the perfect design for your website, then create it for you - they’ll manage it and make sure it’s always available to provide the best value for your customers.
While not the cheapest option, hiring a web design company to build your website ensures a level of quality that even some of the nicest premium WordPress themes or long hours of toil building your own website using a WYSIWYG can never provide.
Want a completely customized website? Contact us at Kodrick to begin your journey now. We’ll guide you through every step of the process, from ideation to design to implementation, and build your website to help your company flourish.
There are a number of differences, and almost all of them come down to how your company’s information is displayed on the internet. Using a social media page only allows a relatively small amount of branding and customization. You can set a few pictures to capture some of your business’ ideas, but a website allows you to customize potentially every aspect of the experience to maximize your company’s potential. You can tailor the entirety of the website to fit your standards and ensure your brand is represented exactly how you want. In contrast, social media has no assurances for experience or even quality. A dedicated website also creates a level of professionalism and that cannot be matched with a social media page.
With a personal website, businesses have full control over their content, layout, and user experience. In contrast, social media has the power to change algorithms, policies, and even shut down pages, leaving businesses vulnerable to sudden disruptions. This removes the ability for a business to manage itself, and can mean that a company takes significant damage to their business through no fault of their own. Making your own website takes your fate into your own hands.
Social media interfaces are designed for social networking rather than a seamless browsing experience. Websites offer better navigation, organized information, and improved accessibility for visitors. Additionally, social media often profits through providing advertisements to users, which can clutter the page, or create associations that your business may not want to allow. Coupled with the idea of increasing engagement, allowing a social media page to serve as your primary method of contact with customers can create many small dissatisfactions.
Unlike social media pages, websites can be optimized for search engines, allowing businesses to improve their visibility and reach a broader audience through organic search results. This makes it much easier for customers to find you, potentially even when they don’t know how to search for you or even what exactly they’re searching for. Organic search means that customers can find you organically, as a natural extension of their searches. This sets your business up for success by allowing them to slowly increase their audience simply by enabling that audience to find them using search engines.
Businesses can expand their website's functionality by incorporating e-commerce capabilities, blogs, customer support systems, or other features tailored to their specific needs. Social media pages, on the other hand, have limited customization options and predefined functionalities. This allows your business to grow over time, meeting your customers needs, rather than dealing with the constraints of a social media page.
Having a dedicated domain name enhances credibility and builds trust among potential customers. A well-designed website with quality content demonstrates a higher level of professionalism compared to a social media page. This can be extremely important for a customer’s first interaction with your company, especially in the modern age where scams are as common as grass. Some completely legitimate companies may be mistaken for scams simply because they do not have an official website.
With tools like Google Analytics, businesses can gather valuable insights about their website visitors, understand their behavior, and optimize their marketing strategies accordingly. Social media page analytics, while helpful, are limited to engagement metrics within the platform. This lets you interact with your customers in more meaningful ways. You can gain a better understanding of what your customers actually want, and how you can bring value to them.
While social media platforms can evolve or lose popularity, having an independent website ensures that your online presence remains intact, regardless of external changes. This ensures you always have a way to interact with your customers, even if your customer base migrates away from a social media platform.
While not as simple as using a social media page, creating a website opens many opportunities for you and your business that would otherwise be impossible. You can create a better way to interact with your customers, grow your business to provide different services, advertise and grow your business, and even gain a better understanding of your customer base. All of these make it significantly easier to manage your business, and additionally make it safer. With a website that you have control and ownership over, the whims of social media cannot, for whatever reason, lessen or minimize the traffic given to your business.
Are you looking to create a website for yourself or your business? Contact us and we’ll guide you through every step.