So, how do you determine whether or not you should establish a full custom website vs a blog site? Or simply create a Facebook page?
When deciding which direction to take your business presence online, it is important to keep in mind these 4 Deciding Factors:
- The type of business you are. I.e. floral shoppe, self-representing artist/professional, start-up, small business owner, corporation, organization, non-profit organization, foundation, hospital, etc.
- What is the purpose of your online business presence? I.e are you planning on selling products from your website? Or perhaps show case your artistic works?
- What do you hope to gain by having an online presence? I.e. is it to generate more sales? Connect with clients? Find a new business opportunity?
- Budget. It is important to establish up front what type of financial investment you can afford to make, in today’s market we have a multitude of selections to choose from, so don’t be deterred and think you can’t have a fabulous online presence, just because your wallet is sparse.
There are 4 main website types, and the following list will help explain what they are, and hopefully help you pick the right one for your purpose:
1. BLOG sites
A blog site is usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject. However, in the recent years “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have also developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. For example MABs from newspapers, universities, interest groups and similar institutions also account for an increasing quantity of blog sites. With the large amount of theme options and easy non-HTML publishing features, a blog site is perfect for the self representing artist, to the person managing the social media marketing for a small business, with limited time to focus on website maintenance. A popular option is to register a domain name (i.e. race-point.com,) and have it mapped to the blog site, so that it displays a clean URL such as i.e http://www.race-point.com instead of http://www.race-point.wordpress.com. Blogsite providers such as WordPress.com, Wix.com or Blogsite.com have a large selection of pre-made themes, and I find their range of free themed options quite impressive.
This website type is for the business owner who wants to generate and process sales, online. This site involves credit card processing with shopping cart. I.e. Amazon.com is a type of e-commerce website. An example for affordable solution for e-commerce based websites is the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace is Etsy.
3. CUSTOM Website
A custom website is a site that is tailor-made to fit your business specific needs in terms of UX, UI, and all graphical elements. I like to think about it this way: Let’s say you are a home buyer and have a very specific criteria in mind and looking for i.e. a pink house, with black shutters, a yellow front door, 5 bedrooms, a dine-in kitchen with a fireplace, a wrap around screened porch, a guest house, with views overlooking the mountain … The likely hood of finding this specific type of house is very slim. So, if you can afford to invest in a new construction, you design and build your own home specific to what you are looking for. It’s the same with a custom website. Usually, the businesses that fall into this Website Type are the larger sized businesses, corporations, internet-based businesses, agencies, in short — The professional business owner (but not limited to.)
An example of a Custom Website designed for a town in southern New Hampshire.
4. Social Media Websites
Social Media Websites, and also known as Social Networking sites, are such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Today, there are over 200 well-known social networking websites. (Listing of social networking sites available.)
Quick facts about Facebook:
- Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work , study and live around them. To date, Facebook has over 1.06 billion monthly active users, and not only is it a great way of connecting with friends and family located in various parts of the world, but it can also be an invaluable tool for marketing your business simply by establishing a Facebook Page.
- A Facebook page allows you and your client to connect, and interact in real-time without much fuss, and is a fantastic addition to your web/blogsite to help promote your product/business.
I hope this information was informative and helpful when choosing which website type is the right one for your online business presence. Thanks for reading.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post written by: Anita B. Carroll, Visual Designer and Founder of Race-Point.com