Table of Contents
- Questions to Ask When Building a Website
- Choosing A Platform : A Breakdown of Your Options
- 1 Page or 5-7 Pages? More? Estimating the Size of Your Website
As a business owner or entrepreneur building a website, you want to be sure you’re getting the best possible value and making the smartest possible decisions. There are multiple platforms out there but it can be overwhelming to know which one to go with. Here we’ll break down how to decide the size and platform for your website, so you can feel confident you’re investing in the right digital home for your business.
If you’re reading this and aren’t sure yet why you even need a website to begin with, start with this related article : How a Quality Website Can Effect the Bottom Line of Your Business
Questions to ask when making the decision to build a website :
What stage of growth is your business?
If you are a small boutique business with plenty of clientele to keep you busy and you don’t plan on scaling up much, a cheaper option is probably your best bet.
If you’re a startup or a growing small business that’s feeling the pains of needing to establish yourself, be competitive and “stand out” in your market, a high-end web presence is the best possible investment you can make for your money in the digital age.
What’s your budget?
Different platforms were created with different types of web-using clientele in mind. Educating yourself on what each budget price point offers can help you make the most informed decision.
What do you need your website to do?
Are you selling a product? Booking appointments for a service? Showcasing photography, video or writing? Will the site need to generate its own traffic or do you simply need a place to funnel your already abundant leads? It’s important to know what the end results are that you’re hoping to achieve, and the specific actions you’d like your audience to take.
Where do you see your business growing in the short term and the long term?
If you start out small and choose a platform with less flexibility, such as Squarespace, you may find yourself needing to have your website re-created in the future.
Are you planning to manage your website yourself or will you have it handled by a brand manager?
For some businesses there isn’t much competition or heavy need for competitive visuals, so calling in help with branding and managing the larger picture isn’t necessary. For those who need to be 110% involved in their craft and don’t have much time for marketing themselves, brand management can be a game changer. Logo, fonts and brand colors can tie together across all platforms. Marketing funnels can attract your ideal clients and guide them through a semi-automated process. Blog posts can be well-researched, posted on your behalf and tied into a newsletter. Pages can be added and updated and much, much more.
Choosing a Platform
The world’s leading website platform, considered standard practice. Around 40% of websites are hosted here. It’s supported by a vast library of plugins that can expand sites to nearly limitless functionality. It’s so large and its community of users is so robust that it’s the safest bet if you want to make sure your website is safely & securely at home on the Internet for as long as possible.
Generally a WordPress site can be edited and managed by the business owner but is more typically hosted & fully managed by a Web Master, Brand Manager, Agency etc. It is not typical for a WordPress site to be handed off to a client to be fully managed on their own.
Some popular plugins :
WooCommerce – turns your site into an online store, accounts for 22% of e-commerce sites.
Yoast – Customized search engine optimization
Target Audience : Business owners who want to appear as serious and competitive as possible in their marketplace,
Pros: Ultimate customization, complete freedom in design and functionality, great for SEO & e-commerce, wide support & many add-ons
Cons: You can use WordPress to build your site for free, but you must pay to host it somewhere, slight learning curve, more expensive than all-in-one alternatives like Squarespace or Webflow
Cost : Free + Hosting ($3 – 30+ per month) + Web Master or Brand Management ($25-2000+ / month)
An all-in-one content management solution that combines easy to use domains, hosting, simple website templates and support.
Generally, a Squarespace site is set up for a client, then fully handed over as a “turn-key” solution.
Target Audience : Small boutique businesses, bloggers & solo entrepreneurs who need a simple shop or blog and don’t expect to grow much more.
Pros: all-in-one hosting and website building, very user friendly, great for beginners who need a basic site for cheap, great for SEO, support is included
Cons: Not as customizable as WordPress, limited design options, limited e-commerce
Cost: $12-46 / month
Target Audience: Similar to Squarespace. Looking for lightweight, simple, cheap, all-in-one solution.
Pros: Beginner-ready, SEO optimized automatically, Easy to create & edit
Cons: Can’t edit on a code level, so not as customizable.
For a deeper dive on the key differences between WordPress and Webflow, check out this article by Forbes, “Webflow vs. WordPress (2023 Comparison)”
1 Page or 5-7 Pages? More? Estimating the Size of Your Website
Pros : Simple and easy to use, cheaper and faster to build, Easier to update, can be expanded upon later
Cons: If there’s a lot of information, scrolling can become frustrating. Limited content. The more content you have, the less likely people may be to spent the time scrolling all the way down to the bottom to view it all. Search engine optimization is limited. (Harder to rank in search results and takes longer.) Analytics are limited since there’s less of your site to spend time on / attract more traffic.
- Landing Pages
5-7 Page Websites
The average size for a classic website layout. Includes pages like Home, About, Services, Contact, Testimonials, Blog etc.
Pros : More robust web of content is more likely to be seen & ranked by search engines. (For best results, add a blog.) Can showcase a lot of information, multiple business facets and a business back story.
Cons: Can be bulky to maintain, requires more updates.
- Small Businesses
- Big Businesses
- Almost any kind of website
10+ Page Websites
Typically these sites are for E-Commerce businesses with a large inventory of items, or small businesses with several types of offerings.