How to Build a Business Website - The bottom line is a decision between a build your own website or hiring a web designer. The best answer may surprise you.
How to Build a Business Website
Your Three Choices
- A DIY website builder
- A WordPress Site
- A Custom Coded HTML5/CSS3 Website
How to Build a Business Website - Use a DIY Website Builder
If you own a small business, you no doubt have seen commercials for the "Free" DIY website builders - Web, Go Daddy, Squarespace, Weebly and the rest. They pay millions to advertise on network, cable, and the Super Bowl (usually 3-4 of them pay $18 million a minute to advertise on bowl day).
Would you pay millions to advertise a product that was free?
I thought not.
The bottom line is the "free" site has large colorful banner ads and footer ads for the website building company. The back end coding (that Google looks at for search results) is also for the website builder and not your business.
What would you think if you looked for a doctor and his website said "This website was built free on Wix. Start your Website Today!" With a big ass button to go to the Wix site.
You may want to look for another surgeon.
Now to get rid of the banners and footers, you need to pay. And if you want any SEO tools (not that they work very well) you need to pay even more, and customization is non-existent because you cannot edit any underlying code on any DIY builder.
And here is the rub. The payments NEVER stop. And the day after you miss a payment? Your website is gone, replaced with a re-direct to Wix.
And it's the same for any other DIY website builder. They make money. And lots of it. That's how they pay for those super bowl ads. Worse, the coding that makes the drag and drop so easy doesn't play real nice with Google.
Google "my wix site disappeared from google" and take a look through the nearly 4 million returns.
DIY Website Builders
- Good for your son's Little League team (but not a for a real business)
- Payments never end
- No "real" SEO tools
- Unable to handle a blog or updates/news page
- You can't do content marketing
- No SEO for images or video
So then you look for a website designer. Because once it's built and paid for, you're done. And in most cases, a sloppy DIY website will cost you more over the long run than a professionally built website.
And here is the shocker.
Many "Web Designers" charge you somewhere between $500 and $1200 and simply buy a domain for $10-$20 and build your website...on a DIY site!
Just a few days ago, I talked to the owner of a pet supply shop (that has a tub on site for you to rent to wash your dog). She had talked to a "web design company" about a new website "built on the Wix platform" for $1000, which sounds nice to a business owner, but all it means is they charge you $1000 to build a site using the same drag and drop Wix website you can log onto. On top of that, she will be paying $69 a month for "hosting". Well, not really...real hosting costs about $10 a month give or take a dollar.
Every industry has a notorious "rip off".
Web Designers who use a free drag and drop online website builder is ours.
If your only takeaway is to ask your web designer "what platform will you be using to build my website?" you will be way ahead of the game.
Let's look at your second option.
How to Build a Business Website - WordPress
As of late 2018, just over 1/3 of all the websites in the world, are built on WordPress. In the US, WordPress powers over half of all websites.
Including many you may visit on regular basis, such as;
- Microsoft News Center
- Entertainment Weekly
- The New York Times
- Wall St Journal
- And Many More
WordPress is a great choice. The SEO tools are phenomenal and as opposed to the DIY sites, they actually WORK.
And since WordPress is so popular, as well as the fact it predates Wix and all the rest, there are thousands and thousands upon thousands of free templates (which are all easy to customize by editing the code - Yes - You can actually edit the code on WordPress). And there are also inexpensive paid templates by the thousands as well.
Your options are truly unlimited.
But, it's not drag and drop. In fact, it's pretty difficult for a person who is unfamiliar with WordPress. And the WordPress SEO tools are the very best available and leave the DIY tools in the dust.
And if your web designer says "I'm going to build it in WordPress" you are miles and miles ahead of a DIY site.
And you are in good company.
How to Build a Business Website - HTML5/CSS3 or AMP
The Google Search
Google looks at nearly 200 factors in a split second to assemble a list of search returns to a query. Google never tells anyone what they are, but they do talk about two of them. Mobile Responsiveness and Page Load Speed. So since Google even maintains websites to check for each, it's safe to assume that these two factors must be very important to SEO.
In the world of website building, an HTML5/CSS3 site is truly a custom built site in every sense of the word. It all coding.
And the biggest benefits?
The HTML5 makes your page load very quickly and the CSS3 makes it mobile responsive.
If your website is being built in HTML5/CSS3 it's really the cream of the crop.
Now we mentioned AMP, but AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) are intended to be a "lite" mobile version of a "heavy" website. That's why many news sites have gone AMP since their sites have so much info and graphics going back years if not decades.
So for most small businesses it's not a viable option.
If a web design firm talks about taking your 6-10 page small business site and converting it to AMP - Hang up.
The best options for a small business owner