In the interests of fairness in regards to my last post, I thought it only fitting to look at some important reasons why you don’t need that brand-new website right now, or maybe ever. Because if you do a quick Google search of “Do I need a website?” you’ll find very few voices saying no. And that’s mostly because they’re trying to sell you a service. Fair enough but is it the right time or strategy for you or your business?
In fact, this all comes back to why you want a website to begin with, and whether you’d be able to reach your target audience with it. In this post I’ll play devil’s advocate and provide reasons why don’t need a website.
Here are the key reasons why you don’t need a website:
- Budget is tight
- Cheaper, easier alternatives to reach your audience (e.g. business listing site)
- Limited time available to maintain and grow your site
- Little to no interest/knowledge in digital marketing
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Let’s go over the obvious first that is your budget. While you can develop a website quite cheaply (there are cases where you can get one for free!), costs begin to mount when you begin to factor in things like custom domains, private servers, sophisticated plugins, etc.
Ignoring the yearly costs of your domain & hosting, getting your site designed and developed can cost a fair amount. The final amount can be wildly different based on a number of factors such as number of pages, features, whether it’s a freelancer, agency or company, the country they operate from, how quickly you need it, etc. Honestly, you could get a site done for as cheaply as £25 ($30) up to £3000 ($4000), with room to go higher or lower than that, it’s that varied. As is the quality of the site you’ll receive which doesn’t necessarily correspond to how much you’re paying for it in the first place.
There are a myriad of scenarios I could go over but the point is, you need to take a good hard look at your finances and decide if having a website right now is worth the cost. You can, of course, build a site yourself, but that becomes an investment in your time, rather than your money. And this is important: it’s an investment that needs to pay out more than you put into it. There’s no point spending hundreds (or thousands) on a site that isn’t bringing in the numbers to justify it. You’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it.
Reaching your audience
At some point you’ll need to ask yourself “is havi ng a website the best way to reach my target audience?” Think about your particular trade or profession. How do customers or clients normally find people within that trade or profession. Do they search though local business listings, or Facebook groups? Do they search through YouTube videos or simply use Google?
For example, if you’re a plumber, would it be better, cheaper and easier listing your self on a site like TrustATrader, rather than making a site that would present the same information? Or perhaps you’re a photographer; sites such as Instagram offer a worldwide audience of millions. Would a personal site be able to garner that much attention?
It’s important to ask yourself these questions as it could save you a lot of time and money if you forgo the website route entirely for these alternate options.
This is especially important if you’re working alone, but how much time do you think you’ll have to correctly market your website. Try to think about the time you have to dedicate to your work, family, social life, chores, etc. A website can only succeed if you get the marketing right early on.
A lot of people mistakenly believe that if you make a website, people will come, but that isn’t how it works. You need to generate traffic, whether through SEO, PPC or social media you need to ensure that your site is as accessible as possible to maximise your reach. This requires a good investment in time so you need to ask yourself how much time can you honestly dedicate to marketing your site?
Ultimately it all comes down to why you want a website to begin with because technology and the internet being what it is means that there are many different ways to achieve your aims so it might be worth looking at some alternatives first, and see if they will work better for you.