Do you need a website?

Do You Need A Website?

Do you need a website?
Absolutely!

Whether you’re a small coffee shop on the outskirts of town, or you’re making soap and picture frames in your garage, you absolutely need a website.
Websites are incredible tools for many different things, even if you’re just starting your business.

  • Great Exposure.
  • With proper SEO you can reach thousands of organic/free potential customers.
  • A website allows you to share more information with people than you cannot on a sign in a store.
  • Properly designed websites allow customers to find the information much easier than social media platforms like Facebook.
  • Platforms like Facebook are very costly to expand your exposure beyond friends/family – while a website can get you better exposure for less.
  • If you’re a service-based business – a website can neatly lay out the services you provide and prices, as well as reviews and contact information.
  • If you are a restaurant or food/beverage based business – a website is a great place to have details on your menu and pricing, as well as business hours.
  • If you make something, you definitely want to have a website so you can sell your products! Whether it’s soap or car parts – there is someone somewhere looking for just what you have!

With everything happening online these days, you definitely want to have a website!
There are tons of different website platforms that you can choose from. This mostly just comes down to personal preference and cost, as well as your technical abilities. We’ll go over a few different options and what they are good at.


Website Alternatives

There are other options to having your own website. Such as Etsy or Amazon, which are places that you can list all of your products without having your own website. These are often great tools for someone just starting up. You pay per product listing, and the processing fees are a little high, but if you are just starting with a couple of products – it’s a good option.

Once you start getting a more noticeable inventory and have been building up your social media presence, I would recommend building a complete website for your business.

Even if you’re starting with an Etsy shop – we highly recommend getting a domain name.
It allows you to set up a professional email – and you can also set up domain forwarding.
Domain forwarding allows you to have your domain (such as www.cyntergi.com) that points to your Etsy shop. That way you can simply use your domain name when promoting your shop page with having to share the long Etsy URL.

This is helps, because in the future when your build your own website – all the old links you shared with your domain will now point to your new website.


WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms, and personally, I think it’s great!
Especially for a blog/informative website.
WordPress has WooCommerce for all of its e-commerce websites, which is very popular.
Let’s go over a few pros and cons for WordPress real quick.

Pros

  • Extremely customizable.
  • Very user friendly to set up and maintain.
  • Mobile friendly.
  • Great for SEO. There are really good SEO plugins like Rank Math or Yoast.
  • As a standalone platform, you can pair WordPress with whatever hosting you want – giving you much more freedom with your budget.
  • Thousands of themes – both free and paid premium themes.
  • Thousands of plugins, giving you immense flexibility.
  • Our website is built on WordPress.
  • Integrates with social media and analytics.
  • Easy and quick setup.

Cons!

  • Somewhat resource-heavy.
  • Not all 3rd party plugins are compatible with everything else.
  • It does not come preset like Shopify, so you’ll have to spend more time finding plugins to accomplish what you need.
  • With all the options, it could be overwhelming for someone with no web experience.
  • It does not have an on-page building like Wix, so you have to check the page preview frequently.

WordPress is perhaps the most popular website builder because it’s so flexible. It’s also free, so you can pair it with any hosting you want.
We prefer SiteGround or Kinsta for better performance, but you can go with BlueHost for the best hosting on a budget!
WordPress has more themes and more plugins/apps than anyone else but does not come set up out of the box. Especially for e-commerce websites that will be using WooCommerce, it takes a little bit more work.
WooCommerce has a plugin for their storefront theme that allows you to deeply customize the frontend of your website. Personally, I’m a big fan!


Shopify

Shopify is super popular for e-commerce companies! I know several businesses both small and large that have successful Shopify websites and love them.
It’s very similar to WordPress but comes much more setup out of the box. You can easily link it to your social media platforms. It’s super quick to set up shipping, and taxes, and get started with creating products very quickly!

There also tons of themes and plugins for Shopify, allowing you to customize your website. It’s very similar to WordPress in this.
Shopify has fixed hosting. It’s easier for setting up, but I’m not a fan of the lack of flexibility there.
Plans start at $29 a month, so it is not terribly expensive, but when you are just starting out that might be a bit much. Especially when you can run WooCommerce on a cheap hosting platform like Bluehost for just a couple of bucks a month.

Pros

  • Customizable
  • Easy to set up!
  • User friendly to set up, customize, and maintain
  • Great with SEO
  • Easily integrates with analytics
  • Very easy to link to social media and/or other selling platforms like Amazon
  • Capable of adding thousands of products
  • Almost 60 billion dollars have run through Shopify shops – I’d say Shopify must be doing something right!

Cons

  • Fixed Hosting (It isn’t necessarily slow or bad hosting, but at $30 a month there is better out there)
  • It does not have an on-page building like Wix, so you have to check the page preview frequently.
  • Fewer themes and plugins than WordPress
  • Most themes are expensive (10 free themes)

Shopify is much like WordPress but comes ready to go out of the box. You can get themes and customize your website, and it’s very easy to set up and maintain. Especially for e-commerce websites, Shopify is designed solely for you! It comes with most of the features you need and is quick to set up shipping, cc processing, and everything else you’ll need.

My biggest gripe with Shopify is that it starts at $29 a month, which includes hosting – however you cannot modify your hosting at all.
Most hosting companies have levels based on your monthly views – ranging from 10,000 to 5,000,000. This allows you to scale your hosting with you as you grow to ensure that your website will be super fast. It’s also easy to add CDN and security features to your domain.
$29 a month does not include a domain name either, nor emails.

For $15 a month with SiteGround, you can email, CDN, SSL, 40GB space, daily backups, and more… Allow you to run WooCommerce for $14 less per month than Shopify.

Shopify is a great platform for shops with at least a dozen products that want something simple. Shopify is a bundle with CC Processing, Hosting, and your website all in one central place so it keeps it simple. It’s capable of thousands of products, so it can handle lots of growth!


Wix

Wix is also incredibly popular. It’s a web builder at its core with its drag and drop style editor. Similar to Shopify, Wix has an all in one package deal. The smallest package comes in at $23 a month, which is a couple of dollars less than Shopify – although that does not include automated taxes which is a shame.

Pros

  • Amazing drag and drop page editor.
  • Easy to use.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Very customizable.

Cons

  • SEO capabilities are less than competitors.
  • Less than ideal for customer logins.
  • Less than ideal multilingual options.

Wix has a really nice drag and drop editor. This is perhaps the biggest draw that Wix has because it allows you to fully customize the page while looking at it.
There are 60 really nice totally free themes, but some places report that they aren’t all totally mobile responsive.
It’s less flexible than Shopify with languages, functional apps, and payment options.

If you’re a small shop, looking to have a really catchy website, Wix would be good to look at.


Hosting

Beyond simply having a website, you’ll need to have hosting. Platforms like Shopify and Wix come with hosting, but open platforms like WordPress, Magento, or WooCommerce require separate hosting.
There are loads of different hosting platforms that you can use. Everything from super cheap to more expensive top-of-the-line hosting.
Personally, we like to use SiteGround. They have cheaper options down to around $10 a month, all the way up to $2500 a month if you need something that will be hosting millions of viewers every week.

SiteGround is what we use for our website here, and for several other websites that we have built over the years. They are fast, and the customer service is great. We also like the fact that they can scale with your business.

Bluehost is another option that has cheaper plans.
Kinsta is considered to be the top-of-the-line WordPress hosting company but comes with a more premium price tag.


It’s also a great way to have a portfolio! Whether you’re a photographer or model, you can display your previous work as well as contact information and much more.

In our small business help section, we’ll talk about other website-related things like hosting and SEO.
We will also have some articles on creating a business, whether you need an LLC or Corporation, taxes, and much more!
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us here.

Do you need a website?

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