Getting a website - Part 1: Decide why you want a website

We get a lot of calls from people who have decided that they need a website, but aren't really sure where to start. We've put together a guide to help demystify the process and provide you with the information you need to make educated decisions about your website project. This guide is presented in several instalments, of which this is the first. At the end of this article you'll find a link to the next article in the series.

Why do you want a website?

There are lots of possible reasons why your business should get a website. Are you clear about your reasons for getting a website - and what you expect it to deliver for you?

Fuzzy thinking at this stage about what a website can do for your business will lead to bad design decisions later - which will cost you time and money and eventually leave you wondering why you got a website in the first place.

Focus on the bottom line

A website should be like any other investment in your business. How will it generate an acceptable return on investment?

There are three basic ways your website can generate a return.

  1. Generate enquiries or leads that you can turn into customers and sales
  2. Sell your products and services directly via an online store
  3. Promote other websites who then pay you a percentage of the sales you help them generate

If your reasons for getting a website don't include one or more of these, you probably aren't ready to leave the drawing board.

Do you actually need a website?

If you search the web, you can find plenty of articles extolling the virtues of getting a website for your business, and suggesting all manner of bad things that will happen to your business if you don't have a website. You might expect us, as a website development company to be among them. But frankly, there's nothing we enjoy less than building a website for a client that we know will not meet their expectations, nor justify their investment. Sure, we get paid but it's not the basis for a lasting relationship.

So do you need a website for your business? In most cases, we would say that having a website is a good idea. But if the likely return on investment is not enough to justify the cost of the website, our answer will be no.

But before you draw that conclusion, we would encourage you to work though this series of articles so that you understand what is involved - and what is possible - with a website. You might be surprised at the results youc an achieve with a well-designed website. You can also call us on 0800 126 222 to discuss your options in more detail - no obligation.

Next steps

To find out more about getting a website, read the next article in this series, What does success look like? or call us on 0800 126 222 to discuss your website requirements.

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