You might think setting up a website for your business is an easy process. It can be. But first, you need to know what your business requires. Websites come in all shapes and sizes, but not all of them are created equal. Like any craftsman, you need to find the right tool for the job.
There is no point having a complex custom coded website if you are only using it as a place to for your customers to find you and to collect email addresses. So, before you can build your website, you need to understand what you want it to do.
These are the different types of websites you can choose for your business. Have a read through and see which will suit your brand the best.
Which Type Of Website Is Right For Your Business?
If you have simple online needs, or want a website because you feel you should have one, then the brochure style is for you. It is a sleek, straightforward way to start out on the web if you don’t make a lot of changes to your site.
There are two different types of brochure sites:
- Static – This is the most basic of websites as it is a non-editable site that basically contains the who, what and where of your business. It is a bit like an online business card.
- Content Managed – This is the same simple format as the static version, but allows you to update your content to add in your latest news and blog articles.
In reality, most businesses will not want a static site as it is important to be able to update your team pages, your About section, and if any details change like your location or opening hours.
Benefits: The brochure style website is perfect for any business who doesn’t have complicated website needs. Those that simply want a home page, an about section, contact details, some images of what they do, and maybe a blog. That could mean small businesses starting out, tradies who just want an online presence, or those with a small budget.
What Does Content Management Mean?
Well, a Content Management System (CMS) provides a platform that allows any authorised user to edit the content of your website. You could edit it yourself, your web developer could, or you could authorise other trusted members of your business to do it also.
The CMS makes it simple for you to update your day to day content and the interface looks a lot like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You add in your content, images and edits, then the CMS converts it into HTML and coding so that it appears correctly on the web.
A dynamic website will show users different content each time they visit. It is a distinct step above the brochure style website. It has all the basic functions, but it gives you the ability to offer more user engagement. These could used as a blog site, an information portal, or an e-commerce store – really any site that is updated regularly.
You can also choose to show different content to different users, such as providing a member’s only area with a secure login, or interactive content that changes depending on the time of day or the user accessing it.
Benefits: They can offer a more personalised and comprehensive online experience for your website users.
If you want to sell products or services online through a shop feature, then you need an e-commerce website. E-commerce sites range from the straightforward templates of Shopify, right through to a custom coded extravaganza! Each will need to have a payment gateway attached to it such as Paypal or Stripe, so that you can accept payment from your customers.
Before you dive into building a site, decide what you need your site to do. How many product lines will you have, will you have variants, do you need the website to integrate with a warehouse or fulfilment centre? Knowing these things will help you select the right kind of website without blowing your budget.
Traffic is key to an e-commerce website. After all, no one can buy from you if they don’t know that you exist. Don’t think that you can simply build it and they will come, this isn’t Field of Dreams! An e-commerce site requires more marketing and involvement than a brochure website. Be prepared to work hard for traffic and sales.
Benefits: If you have products or services to sell, then an e-commerce site is the most streamlined way of doing it.
Regardless of the type of website you choose, you need to make sure that it is professional, functional and user friendly. This is the online representation of your brand, so you need to you get it right. Keep in mind that more and more people are using mobile devices to browse the web and to complete purchases. It is essential that your website is mobile optimised so that the user experience is smooth across all devices – desktop and mobile.
Other than that, choose the type of website based on the function you need it to perform for your business.