I love working with start up businesses! New entrepreneurs are a special breed of person, full of energy and purpose and drive. If society could bottle the enthusiasm of new entrepreneurs, we would have no shortage of energy in our country!
One of the first things these excited owners do is pick a domain name and get to work on a website. Some decide to hire a web designer/developer, others roll up their sleeves and put their creative energy to work, building a site themselves. I’ve seen really well done DIY sites, and other not so great DIY sites. While generally true that sites can be continually improved, I am a huge proponent of not launching a site unless it will put a brand’s best foot forward. And since one should never consider their site “finished,” I think the decision of where and how to build a great DIY website is important.
Proceed with Caution – Downsides to Drag ‘n Drop
Consider carefully the platform that you are using when developing your site! With so many “drag and drop” web builders available, it is very tempting for new entrepreneurs to hit go, and devote hours and hours of effort into creating one of these websites. The problem comes when you want to add functionality or incorporate more custom branding, as the drag ‘n drop platforms are limited in these areas.
For some clients, the drag ‘n drop platforms are fine in giving them an inexpensive brand presence. This has been most effective for the clients with a better design eye, and when the brand has other assets that make the website appealing. The problem for the entrepreneurs who are less design adept, is that they end up with clunky, unattractive, wordy and brand-less sites. And what is the whole point of a website, if not to represent the best that your business has to offer!
WordPress, Even for the Web Newbie!
I am a huge proponent of WordPress sites. Even for the “drag and drop” inclined entrepreneur, there are FREE and easy templates. There are many reasons why it makes sense to go with WordPress! The first is that your future business & marketing consultants and their web teams will love you. At Arlington Strategy, we are often working with clients on extending their brand’s online presence. My WordPress clients are already poised to allow a consultant like myself easily have an impact without needing to do costly redesigns. And more importantly, the site can grow with the business, easily adapting between templates, adding capability and customization that would not be available in the drag ‘n drop variety of site. Building a DIY website in WordPress gives an entrepreneur a lot of versatility, and will not lock them into one web host.
I applaud new entrepreneurs for their drive and desire to launch a website. But do caution new business owners to consider that a poor design and clunky user experience will hurt their branding more than no website. Yes, a website is important, and yes you need to launch a site if you are launching a brand, but do take your time to do it right. Do not be intimidated to learn WordPress instead of your web host’s drag ‘n drop web builder. You may even spend the same amount of time, and you will have knowledge of a much more powerful tool that will serve your business long into the future!