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How to build a small business website? You’ve been lied to!

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Who and what to choose when you need a professional business website

When it comes to building a small business website, you are being lied to. The advertising messages are so strong, you won't even know you are being lied to.  

Sounds familiar?

"Create your own professional website with just a few clicks." or "Professional website in 5 minutes."

I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but YOU WILL NEVER BUILD PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE, not on your own, not in 5 minutes, not in one hour. Not even in ONE YEAR!

Unless you are a web design professional.

Strong statement? Stay with me:

In this article, I’m going to reveal the truth that no one seems to point out when recommending different ways to build a website for your small business. Either yourself using DIY platforms like WIX, Squarespace, Weebly or using WordPress, or using and hiring web design firms or Freelancers. 

Let's explore our options

FACT:

Every single business in the world, small, medium or large, established, years in running, starting or thinking about starting, has to have a website. There are many different reasons why, most of them are obvious, some of them not so much.

You do have a few options when it comes to building a website. 

1. Do it yourself. (DIY platforms)

Most likely, you’ve heard of platforms like WIX, Squarespace, Weebly, and others. Their message is simple and clear:

Create a professional website in minutes. Create a professional website with no coding experience, no design experience and with just a few clicks.

There’s one major problem though …​

YOU WILL NEVER CREATE A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE with any of these DIY website builders unless you are a PROFESSIONAL WEB DESIGNER who knows what he’s doing.

And by NEVER, I mean NEVER, EVER! All their advertising is to make you believe, how simple and easy it is to create the perfect website for your business on their platforms.

Don’t shoot the messenger! See what real customers are saying:

You’ll get super excited about their pitch, their celebrity-packed commercials to the point where you’ll take out your credit card and start exploring their website building platform. With hundreds of small business website templates, dozens of customization options, choice of colors, sections, pages and so on, it’s just a question of time when you find yourself lost.

EXCITEMENT TURNS INTO ANGER

You get so angry at yourself and at the company, that you either give up or continue to struggle with the already screwed up website design you’ve made so far.

Here is a list of just a few things you will come by and start asking yourself ... what, what is it, should I, really, how?

  • Is your website fully responsive? (mobile and tablet friendly design)
  • What about SEO? Did you place your text properly in H1, H2 a p tags? (Basic!)
  • What about the content itself.
    • Did you come up with it on your own?
    • Are you an SEO expert?
    • Do you have any experience with writing text for a website?
    • Wil your customers and GOOGLE understand clearly what is your website about?
  • IMAGES
    • Are your images optimized and most importantly RESIZED for the web?
    • What about properly naming your images? 
    • Do your images have ALT tags?
    • Are you using the same images for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices?

Bet ya had no idea about some of the points mentioned above! And that’s not nearly all!

What about website speed? How will you go about optimizing your website for speed? Do you know how to make your website faster? It’s one of the most IMPORTANT FACTORS when it comes to user experience, not to mention SEO.

A professional website needs to load fast! Period.

And what if you’d like to share your website on Facebook? Or WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter? Did you know, that FB uses Open Graph, Google uses different tags and Twitter has their own Twitter meta?

Are you still with me?
What about CDN? Security, page caching?

Love me or hate me, all the elements mentioned above are very important components of every single PROFESSIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE.

Even if the DIY platforms have a way of adjusting any or all of the above mentioned IMPORTANT elements to have on your website … do you know how to set them up? Are you willing to spend your precious time and learn everything about building a small business website from scratch on your own?

Real-world example:

You go to IKEA to buy a shelf for your home. Yes, you can probably assemble it and attach it to a wall yourself. However. You also go to IKEA to buy the whole kitchen. IKEA, in their advertising, will make you believe that you can install the whole kitchen yourself. But, on the second thought, there are many things, you don’t think about right off the bet when deciding on a new kitchen.
This includes: Electrical wiring, hot and cold water placement, sink, oven, stove, trash, sometimes washer and dryer (mostly in Europe), cabinets, lighting, choice of countertop, drawers and the list goes on. Do you still think that you can install and build the whole kitchen on your own? Using tutorials, how to’s? Probably NOT, unless you are a PROFESSIONAL, or someone who is willing to learn how to do it and has most likely done it before.

My point? YOU WILL NEVER BUILD A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE using website builder platforms like WIX, GoDaddy, Squarespace, and others unless YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL WEB DESIGNER! 

Anyone, any article, video or advertising who is recommending and sending you to try out these platforms an AFFILIATE PARTNER and receives a commission when you sign up for their service.

2. Create a website for free using WordPress

#disclaimer: My company is building small business websites with WordPress since 2004! In my opinion (and not only mine) WordPress is the best thing that happened to the internet. However …

You are being lied to!

Build your website for FREE with WordPress. This is another huge misconception about building a small business website. Hey! Why not? WordPress is free and that’s all I need right?
You’ll find hundreds if not thousands of articles and companies who will teach you how to build your website for FREE with WordPress.

Every single one of these articles, videos and podcasts about how easy it is to build your website for FREE with WordPress is giving you misleading information. Why?  

Every single article out there about WordPress is directly or indirectly trying to sell you something! Even this one!

When building a website yourself with WordPress, here is what’s about to happen to you: 

FORGET ABOUT FREE! YOU WILL NEVER BUILD A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE WITH WORDPRESS YOURSELF unless you're a professional or willing to learn how to build a website with WordPress from scratch.

When you learn how to build a professional website with WordPress, hands down … you are a professional web designer!

Here is a list of things you need to know how to do and have in place to build a professional website with WordPress.

  • WordPress Hosting
  • Domain – connecting your domain
  • SSL certificate
  • Install WordPress
  • Set Up WordPress (not as easy as you may think)
    • Choosing the right WordPress hosting (how do you know that it’s the right WP hosting?
    • Installing WordPress (Yes, have you heard about the famous WP one-click installation?) What about cPanel? What about what directory you’d like to install it to?
    • Go through WP Settings
      • How you’d like your permalinks to look like? (what? What are permalinks?)
      • Set home page (I don’t have a home page yet! 🙂
      • Set language, timezone, date format, time format,
      • How will your site handle comments
      • Global settings for your media – image sizes
      • Set your Privacy Policy page
    • Set up a site menu
    • Create header and footer
    • Site logo
    • Favicon (what? What is favicon?)
    • Blog pages (if you plan on writing blog posts)
    • Blog archives (What is blog archives and how to set it up?)
    • Other things to consider and learn when creating a professional website on your own using WordPress
      • Security (yes, WP needs to have security in place and there are plugins for that)
      • Connecting to Cloudflare to make your WordPress website faster and secure).
      • Speed – there are many WP caching plugins to choose from (what’s Caching and why do I need that for speed of my site?)
        • More speed improving tweaks and perks (minifying, Gzip, headers expiration)
        • CDN – move your media, js and CSS files to CDN (why?)
        • Testing and improving (no website is the same)
      • Backup – yes, you should do that! Things happen and there are times when you need to go back in time. With WordPress, you can do that (but do you know how?)
      • SEO – there are a lot of SEO plugins out there. You need to optimize your website for Google and SEO overall, to look professional and to be able to share your website’s content on social media, WhatsApp, iMessage, Messenger and more.

I’m sure that I’ve missed or misrepresented a few points here and there. Remind me in comments and I’ll include them here.

My point? YOU WILL NEVER BUILD A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE on WordPress, unless YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL WEB DESIGNER!

3. Find a Web Design company or a FREELANCER to create a professional small business website for you.

Getting a Web Design company or a Freelancer to build your small business website is usually the next step after getting totally frustrated and burned out by trying to create a professional website for your business yourself. Either with website builder platforms or WordPress (explained above).

It’s also the scariest step, start looking and researching Web design companies and Freelancers. How do you go about it? Do you start looking online? Or do you go with a referral from your business partner? Or … and that’s not very uncommon … why not use your cousin who is in high school, he can build a website for you, right? (not really)

Here is what you may expect: (the usual scenario)

Great, you have finally decided on whom you will be working with to have your website built. If it’s a web design company, Freelancer or your second cousin, the scenario is sadly pretty much the same – most of the time.

  • You meet (in person, over the phone or online)
  • You get asked a bunch of questions about “stuff” (things you’d like to have on your website).
  • You get presented with choices of:
    • Website themes
    • Colors
    • Fonts
    • Banners
    • Images
    • Logos
    • Other functionality
  • Now you are about to run! What did I get myself into?
  • Based on your input, you get presented with pricing options.
  • Now you’re about to run again!
  • All of these take time. 
  • You pay a deposit for work and sign work order (not from your second cousin).
  • You receive a list of things you need to provide before work on your website even starts.
  • You are asked to provide:
    • Logo
    • Images
    • Text
    • Other information (I love this one)
  • Here is, where things hit the roadblock.

You have decided to use someone else to build your website and don’t have the time to provide all they ask for, mainly, because you still don’t have any idea where and how exactly it’ll be used on your website. 

After a number of email communications, going back and forth, one week goes by, two weeks, now it’s a month, three months and your website is still nowhere near to be done. Why?

Because your Freelancer or Web design company is still waiting for you to provide images they asked for.  You haven’t had the time to check the text on your web or you have not provided the text at all! (Remember, you’re still running your business, finding the time to accommodate your Freelancer with all the requests he needs is not really the top priority on your to-do list.)

Yes, it’s your fault your website is not done yet. NEVER blame the Web designer! Dare you!

Speaking from experience (lots of building websites experience), it usually takes 3 – 12 months before a simple site is in its final phase. It’s very much the same sad story with every single one of our clients when we ask them what happened to their existing website.

Oh well, you know, they seemed like a good fit and they were recommended to me by a friend. But they don’t really have much time to work on my website, because they have lots of work and they work on larger projects.

Not to mention, that the money spent on having a website done by Freelancer or Web design company is money YOU COULD HAVE JUST THROW OUT THE WINDOW! And you’ll be better off.

I had no idea what they wanted from me. I gave them all the information they requested, but they kept asking for more images and text. I got really fed up with them.

4. What in the world should you do & conclusion

Here is the part, where I recommend using our service. Hear me out:

I have one easy answer and one not so easy.

Not so easy:

If you are looking to have a larger website built with functionality, that you know requires customization or larger online store, sales funnel, online courses, membership website, I definitely DO NOT RECOMMEND doing it yourself. (Unless you are professional).
WHY NOT? What are you talking about? Everyone does say, that I can create an online store with just a few clicks? Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, etc.

You will NEVER EVER CREATE A PROFESSIONAL ONLINE STORE, ONLINE COURSE SITE, SALES FUNNEL OR MEMBERSHIP WEBSITE YOURSELF UNLESS YOU’RE PROFESSIONAL.

In the case of larger websites or websites that require the above-mentioned functionality, like larger online stores, membership websites, sales funnels, online courses, I recommend hiring a professional. There are many resources out there with vetted professionals who are experts in building websites with custom functionalities. 

Note: If you are one of those professionals, comment below with a link to your portfolio.

Easy answer:

You know you need a website and you don’t want to go through all the hassle and troubles mentioned above. 

What if you could choose a website theme you like, have it customized to what you like or keep it as is because you really like the way it looks. What if you could have a professional website for your business the very NEXT DAY (tomorrow), ALL SETUP AND READY TO SHOW TO THE WORLD – WITH every single above-mentioned element already included?

The only sure way to how to get a professional small business website is to go with a company like Periscope Media.

Periscope Media LLC.

Periscope Media website banner

5 reasons why choosing Periscope Media to create your small business website is your best bet. 

1. You know how long it will take to build your website.

Time is money and when you place an order for your website with Periscope Media, you choose the delivery time. It ranges from 1 to 5 business days.

2. You know exactly how much your website will cost you.

Periscope Media has transparent pricing. Choose from available options at the checkout.

3. You know exactly what will you get. How your website will look.

Browse complete, turnkey small business website templates designed by the best web designers in the world. Your website will be customized to your business needs based on the website template you choose. Images, colors, font style, sections and any other special requirements you may have. Make sure you add and specify all special requirements when buying your small business website at the checkout. 

4. You are guaranteed to get the best customer support for your website.

Every single small business website created by Periscope Media designers, receives ongoing support and system updates. When you need to make a change or edit the content on your website, send an email to customer support and changes will be made immediately. 

5. You don't even have to provide any content. (if you don't have one)

Last and probably the most important point about why let Periscope Media build your small business website is your only option is, that you don’t necessarily have to provide any content. Periscope Media expert designers will create your website based on your old website (if you have one), flyer, business card, social media profiles, Yelp reviews, or any other available information about you or your business. 

Your small business website does not have to cost you arm and leg and you can have it tomorrow!

Conclusion

There are many options and many different ways to build or create a professional website. In this article, I’m going over the most common ways and reasons why you should or why you should not use them. The main point here is to differentiate between web design professionals and the end-user. A business owner (end-user) needs a website to run his business just like he needs a business card or a proper wardrobe. If you work as a business consultant or financial advisor, are you going to make your own suit? Hey! There are so many blogs and resources you can follow and probably design and make your own suit, from scratch. In all seriousness, no one thinks about it like that when it comes to building a website. 

100% of business owners are here to run their own business.  They’re not here TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE A WEBSITE. A restaurant owner is a restaurant owner and he shouldn’t be concerned about website security, caching plugins or SEO options. He should be able to place an order for a restaurant website and he should have it delivered. Just like business cards or refrigerator. 

Matt Vantuch

Matt Vantuch

CEO @ Periscope Media LLC. 2003 - present. Recipient of Web design award 2018, first to create a paid membership website on WordPress. Webmaster of the most searched WordPress website 2006 (Souce Google). WordPress community contributor.

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