4 Common Misconceptions That Are Keeping You From Paying For A Custom Website
“Only a handful of people will remember your storefront, but the whole world can see your online presence.”
Trying to sell my services as a web designer is like wielding a double edged sword. I’ve discovered there are 2 kinds of people in this world: 1) Those who consider their website an essential asset; and 2) those who don’t. For those who consider their online presence vital to their business it’s really easy to sell them a website with a high price tag because they know how powerful an online presence is. But for those who consider their online presence unnecessary (which is a misconception in itself), it’s hard to get them to even want to spend $100 on a website, let alone several thousand. The reason for this mindset isn’t because they’re cheap. It’s usually because they have misconceptions about the importance of a well developed and well designed website. And these misconceptions are enough to keep them at bay with no website, or even worse -a 90's style website that’s been outdated for 20 years or a self made website that lacks the context of their business and purpose.
And if that’s you, perhaps we can clear up these misconceptions and show you the necessity of an up-to-date, fully responsive and meticulously developed website and why it’s worth spending the money.
Here are the 4 big misconceptions I run into with potential clients all the time:
Misconception #1: My business doesn’t need an online presence
The truth is, you may be right on a very rare occasion, but most likely this isn’t the case. Did you know that 3 in 4 people are first going to search online for what your business is offering? Just Google the statistics. It won’t take long to convince you. The hard data shows that our world has moved away from local storefronts to online shopping. This means that the majority of your potential customers are looking for you and your products online. If you think you don’t need an online presence, then you’re dealing with two problems that will not go away.
“3 in 4 people are first looking for you online.”
Your first problem: You cannot be found. Sorry. Hardly anyone uses the phone book anymore. Bumper stickers aren’t going to cut it. Even “word of mouth” has moved into Facebook (which is an online presence in itself).
Your second problem: You are automatically losing to your competition. You need a quality online presence to stand a chance. Period. You need a website that will draw customers in, show them you’re legit and prove that what you have to offer is worth their money. 90% of people don’t trust certain websites because of bad design. So you definitely want to hire someone with quality skills and taste. Know this- your competition already has hired someone. Only a handful of people will remember your storefront, but the whole world can see your online presence.
Misconception #2: I have friends who can do it for cheap
Actually, you don’t. You may have friends who may be able to get some content online. But they cannot really “do it”, and if they could it, well, it wouldn’t be cheap. I know it’s easy to think of a website as an intangible, unimportant and irrelevant factor for your business that shouldn’t require a lot of money. But the truth is there is no such thing as a “good” cheap website.
Think about the physical appearance of your business in general. Would you hire cheap work to build your storefront? Would you hire cheap work to manage your financial books? Would you hire cheap work to represent your business? Likely not. Why? Because you know with cheap work comes the compromise of good and successful business. As much as we hate doctor bills, we’d hate to go to a doctor who says “he can do it for cheap”. I don’t know about you, but that just screams problems.
“There is no such thing as a good cheap website.”
A website is the same way. It’s more than just uploaded content. It’s like building a house. It involves hours of strategy, framework, development and design. A good web developer is not just going to put the content of your business online. He’s going to give your online viewers a memorable experience with your business through well shaped design and content, along with development that gives your website optimization to be found by search engines.
Weeks, maybe months, go into making a good website. It doesn’t just come together in a day.
Misconception #3: I’ll just use a template
While templates are a viable and affordable option for establishing an online presence, they do have their downfalls -especially in business.
“Templates can be just as expensive and time consuming as custom websites.”
First, templates are extremely limited. Let’s go back to the house illustration. Think of someone giving you only one shape to work with and you have to build your house inside of it. That could totally work, but it’s limited. You have to decide how limited you want to appear online.
Second, templates are redundant. In other words, you’re not the only business with the exact same looking website. Sure, you may be able to change a few colors, some graphics, and maybe the layout a bit, but ultimately your website will look like thousands of others out there all while your competition has hired a web developer to create something custom to attract your potential customers. Everyone knows a template site when they see it.
Third, templates are losing momentum. It’s easy to disagree with that notion. In one respect, template based websites are gaining momentum, but this is only for bloggers and businesses just getting started. Every business that succeeds ultimately comes to the point of forsaking the template and paying for something unique to represent their business. That’s why you’ll rarely see established businesses and corporations use templates. They’re all custom websites.
Fourth, templates can be just as time consuming and expensive. Truthfully, you still need someone to put all the pieces of the puzzle together in a template based website. Time is money, so you’re not likely to want to do it. And sometimes learning how to work in the box (of a template) can be more time consuming and expensive than hiring someone to work outside of a box. If that’s the case, why not guarantee your chances of paying for something custom and beautiful?
Misconception #4: I don’t want to pay extra for a mobile version
I know it’s hard to think that the website you paid for 5 years ago is already out of date, but it’s true. Why? Because in the last 5 years smartphones have come to dominate the internet realm and now a very large portion of your audience is viewing your website from a mobile device. The latest statistics show that 1 in 2 people will never return to a website that doesn’t load properly on their smartphone.
If you’re already paying a good web designer to maintenance your site, he might have already contacted you to create mobile versions for your site. If so, don’t hesitate. Pay him to do it. The investment is a hundredfold.
Here’s another tip. Don’t hire any web designer who does not do responsive design (mobile versions of your site). There are now a bajillion screen sizes out there with all the various smartphones. You need a web designer who can make your website look good on ALL devices. New studies show that the mobile web is starting its reign in 2015. You want to be on the bandwagon and ahead of your competition.
Whatever it is that is stopping you from investing money into a quality website, trust me when I tell you that you’re really just losing money. Website costs can seem shocking at first, but after considering how effective and powerful a good website can be you won’t hesitate to make the jump.