Hey everybody, Jeff Helvin here with Ballen Brands and we’re often asked the question, do I need my own website? And the short answer to that in our opinion is absolutely YES!
Why We Need Our Own Website
There are a few different reasons why that question may come up. One maybe if we’re working with a real estate agent and they’re provided a website through their brokerage.
And another maybe if we’re working with a local beauty salon and they do all of their business through social media, maybe they have a Facebook page set up. These services, such as Facebook business pages or a broker provided site offer the basics.
They offer you the ability to display your information, where you’re located, what services you offer, maybe even what your hours of business are. They may also offer your contact forms as a way to communicate with you or to book an appointment.
Facebook Business Page
All of these are absolutely great, they’re functional for doing general business. However, what they also have in common is that they’re not yours. You don’t really control what you can or can’t do with these sites. And a lot of times those services are going to change over time as well.
Let’s just say you are primarily on Facebook and you have a Facebook business page. You can create events, you can have some custom content, you can do Facebook advertising. These are all great ways to conduct business.
However, you’re still somewhat limited and things may evolve over time. Of course, Facebook continues to fight for market share as new social media platforms rollout. In the case of real estate brokerages, maybe you don’t continue to stay with that real estate brokerage.
Maybe you move to another one, lots of different scenarios that basically will cause you to have to rebuild. If you do build a following, which is our goal in business, you have marketing, you have customers that are reaching out to you or keeping up with you and you have to change your primary marketing platform where they can reach you.
Then, of course, that’s going to have some negative impact. Ultimately, one of the biggest reasons to have your own website is that you own it. You don’t have to change where people can access you, or where they can get that information from.
Domain Name | Website Hosting
That being said, that also means that not all websites will provide you that particular option. And what I mean by that is, there’s build it yourself websites – do it yourself websites that you can build on your own – such as Weebly or Squarespace, GoDaddy has one, there are lots of different ways to basically get an online presence.
If you don’t own the actual domain name, however, or maybe you are on a proprietary platform, again such as GoDaddy, and for some reason you don’t like their customer service or their support and ultimately you want to move away from them, well now you’re going to be in that boat of rebuilding again.
Our recommendation is always to have something that, again, you own and that’s flexible.
This is why we choose to build on WordPress primarily, as it’s not a hosted platform, meaning it is meant for website development and to allow you to be able to make updates to your website. It’s one of the most widely available and supported platforms out there.
Let’s just say you have a problem with your website host. Well, you can change hosts to somewhere else. Let’s say you have a problem with your domain names registered at a registrar, you can register your domain somewhere else.
Website Theme | Layout Content
Let’s say you want to change your theme and you want to update it to be fresh and new. There is no shortage of themes out there that you can choose to update your website or to have someone custom build.
Choosing an open platform, something that’s easy to manipulate, is going to give you your best advantage. Then the next question of course really becomes, well, can I do it myself? Well, absolutely.
If you’re somewhat technical at least you can install a theme, make the updates, get it hosted, there’s lots of documentation, lots of videos out there that can help you get started. Where we come in, using a professional service like ours, is really going to be more about our experience and what we’ve learned, what works, where the navigation goes, how to layout content.
These are all things that you’d need to learn outside of your business if it’s not something you already understand. Many times it does make sense to work with a company such as ours where we can easily get you set up with best practices, get you to put in place with your best marketing options.
In addition, we’re in business, we work with a lot of businesses, so we oftentimes have suggestions. “Have you thought of doing this?” “Have you tried that?” “Maybe this content could be a little bit better if we were to add this or structure it that way.” It’s a lot more than just setting up a site or installing some files or adding some content.
Branding | Offline Marketing
Lastly, you never know where your business is going to be in six months, three months from now sometimes – especially within a couple of years! You want something that’s going to be flexible.
Things can change, like your brand or your identity. All of these things are fairly easy to accomplish on your own website when you have easy access and control to change that information digitally.
If you do offline marketing and maybe your business hours change, or your store location changes, and if you print all of that on the offline marketing material, then that all becomes irrelevant.
But if you’re driving people back to your main website, one that you own, that’s your domain, then you have the most flexibility to continue to evolve and change that information and have people stay up to date.
Even if you’re on Facebook or Instagram, these different places you can advertise your business online, leading them back to the website where you have your latest content, the latest branding, where you have the latest details about your business, will be much easier and more cost-effective.
Owning Your Own Website is Valuable
The reasons are endless on why owning your own website is valuable. We’re happy to have these conversations with you more specifically, to make sure that you have something that makes sense.
You definitely don’t want to just spend money for the sake of spending money or just have a website because I told you so. We want to have it in a way that’s going to be effective for you in your marketing. We’d love to help you here at Ballen Brands.
Have Questions? Ask Ballen Brands!
If you would like, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org, and of course you can visit our website at BallenBrands.com for all of the latest and greatest information on what we have to provide. We look forward to speaking with you!