Just about every business needs a website these days, for selling items, for credibility, or for just letting folks know you EXIST!
A recent survey contained the following quote:
“It's still surprising that so many businesses don't have a website. This ignores the fact that most Americans are on the web, looking them up. Studies have shown that over 70-80% of people will research a company on the web before making a purchase decision, usually by visiting its website. Even having a one-page website can establish credibility. It shows that the business is actually real and has taken the time to put out a presentation.” – Rehan Fernando, CEO at EIGHT25MEDIA
Having a website with contact information goes a long way toward establishing credibility, and is a great springboard and foundation on which to build informational and product oriented pages to sell your wares.
However, trying to find a good solution for establishing a website can be confusing and costly in terms of time and money. You can spend THOUSANDS of dollars and MULTIPLE frustrating hours researching website-related information, and wind up knowing no more than you did when you started---and that's wasted time taken away from developing and seeing to the needs of your business!
There are the matters of domain registration, finding and working through the details of the right website hosting for your needs, building your website, buying and learning to use good CMS software (which can run into hundreds of dollars and hours itself), and a host of other perplexing and frustrating issues that must be taken care of to finally get your website up and running!
Further, web hosting services will try to sell you all kinds of expensive add-ons you don't need, and they are REALLY GOOD at it, making it sound like their additional products and services are essentials which all their SMART customers buy---their base sticker price is GREAT, but the additional costs can rack up into the HUNDREDS of dollars FAST! They are also good at tucking in additional hidden costs. And while some of those services are essential (depending on your business needs), other costly services are NOT!
It's difficult to know the difference if you're a newcomer in this perplexing and confusing website world.
Recently I had a client who wanted to call and purchase his own web hosting and domain. He went to one of the leaders in the industry, and ended up paying almost $400 after by the time he was off the phone. I purchased the domain registration and hosting for this website for a year for $11.88. That's less than a dollar a month! (You can see a copy of my bill here.) And there is no difference between the practical applications of his website and this one. They sold him a bunch of unneeded bells & whistles. The same thing happened to me with my first website purchase many years ago.
The moral of this story is:
YOU DON'T HAVE TO SPEND THAT KIND OF TIME AND MONEY FOR THE SAME END-PRODUCT!
As I've inferred, I know because I've "been there...done that". In the early days of starting a small, home-based business I came to the conclusion that in order to get it off the ground in today's internet world, I needed a website. I had no idea what I was getting into. I spent literally hundreds of hours plowing through the process, and learned much useful information on the way. I also spent a lot more money than I needed to in order to get my website up and running. I experienced the costly pitfalls associated with not having a clue what I was doing. I learned what I should and shouldn't have done, and where I could have saved hundreds of dollars along the way.
To this day, I wish I had found someone knowledgeable who could have helped me through the process. If I had, I would now have considerably more in my bank account than I do!
And I know that there are thousands of people who NOW are where I was THEN...on the brink of trying to start such an enormous and cumbersome task without understanding just what they are getting into!
So I decided to put my experience at your disposal, and help you through the process so that you don't have to run the risk of going out of business just letting the world know you exist!
The WebWumper (that's me!) can cut through all of that, saving you HUNDREDS of dollars in costs related to just setting up your domain and hosting! (In fact for a limited time, you can spend as little as $95 to have your website up and running in just days! Check out the sale on our SHOP page.)
"A website is the necessary means of doing business in today's world. Your website gives you credibility and instills an aura of stability in you and your service, generating confidence in potential customers---a commodity that will increase your sales and elevate you in the eyes of those from whom you want to draw business."
Plus, these days it is crucial to make sure your website is "mobile-friendly". Joe Ardeeser of Jordan Crown Web Design comments:
“We now know that smartphone users are rivaling desktop users in many reports. There are more mobile buyers than desktop buyers. As a result, a huge amount of the market will be left with a website that's hard to use on a smartphone because it requires zooming in and panning. If the competitor's website is easily accessible and their product works, a customer will choose them. Again, there are hidden costs here: a business will lose money because their page isn't mobile-friendly.”
Many well-intentioned folks sign up with the plethora of online stores and "DIY websites" that have flooded the market to take advantage of people like me when I started my business. I read the testimonials of those who had made piles of cash and now lived the good life. I dreamed of being one of those glowing testimonials someday.
However, I soon found the pitfalls of such sites. First of all, I was buried among millions of other like-minded wanna-be entrepreneurs. I was literally lost in a sea of anonymity. It was like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. The chances of anyone ever finding me with a simple search were astronomically against me, and I had trouble myself just finding my own products on their websites!
Add to that the fact that they charged me monthly for their services, constantly offering me costly "upgrades" that would supposedly make my products more visible to consumers, and charging me comparatively costly commissions for handling and selling my merchandise in the event that product was sold.
At one point, I bit the bullet and "leased" space in their online store program, which gave me the benefit of collecting my products on one page (previously scattered throughout the thousands of like products on their website). And to save money I could sign up for a year, which would cost me less than the monthly plan!
I was throwing bad money after bad.
I may as well have been sitting in the middle of the desert far from civilization selling sand.
I never received so much as a single inquiry.
Since having my own website, I am easily found and contacted by potential and now-active clients. This would never have been the case if I had stuck with the above model and venue of business operation. It was a completely unproductive approach for me. I spent far more than I would have if I'd just gone ahead and hired a webmaster at the beginning.
So, the bottom line is: setting up your own actual website with product and informational pages that are mobile-friendly is crucial in today's market place, and an area where you can save lots of time and money, both of which you can use more wisely investing in your business and family.
Now, most decent web designers and webmasters start at a flat-rate charge of about $75 per hour, and go up from there! And if you only need a tweak or two that doesn't take up an hour, you get the $75 charge anyway.
I charge $25 per hour for website development and maintenance, and that cost is broken down incrementally by the minute. If I spend 9 minutes updating your website, you pay me for 9 minutes of work (which would be $3.75)--- no base fees, no hidden fees, etc. As I always say, I'm not out to make a killing, just a living, and a modest one at that.
So, do you need a website?
The answer is, you'd have no idea of the services I have to offer if I didn't have the website you're looking at right now.
You are practically invisible in today's world without one. It's the way people discover you, and how they get to know and trust you in this universe of hyper-space. Your website is where customers can find you when they've lost your business card or pamphlet, by just doing a simple search for you on the internet. And it's a way for them to get in touch with you or view your merchandise 24 hours a day.
It's like having a brick-and-mortar store where people on the information highway actually pass by daily!
A website can help verify your business’ existence, increase your credibility, and relay accurate information about you and your business. And, it can bring in new customers who are searching online for what you have to offer!
Obviously you have been thinking about your need for a website since you are here reading this now. So, if it's time for you to consider that all-important step for your business, get in touch by contacting me. Together we can explore the possibilities for your unique situation and business dreams. I'm glad to help, and you'll be glad you made the decision to explore new avenues for exposure by having your very own website. Why not get started now!
Thank you for your time.