It’s always important for a business to consider the advantages and disadvantages of websites. This isn’t because there’s a conceivable scenario in which a business shouldn’t have websites. These days it seems like every business has websites, and for good reason. The internet is where businesses can thrive on a whole new level.
If well thought out and well designed, websites can enhance all facets of a business and give it a whole new level of competitiveness. However, websites that aren’t as effectively implemented can significantly affect a business’ reputation. It is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of websites so you can make sure that you’re achieving the former while avoiding the latter.
That is why we’ve put together this guide to the advantages and disadvantages of business websites. Keep reading and we’ll tell you what you need to know.
The advantages of websites for your business
The advantages of websites come in the form of opportunities for your business to grow. When conceiving websites for your business, it’s important to consider a wide range of factors, including:
- What is the style that you want your website to emulate?
- What kinds of customers do you want to attract?
- What functions does your website need vs what sounds cool
- What are the values of your business that you want to communicate?
Basically, websites are another platform for you to present your business to a wider audience. Below are examples of how business websites can do that.
Store all of your information in one place
Websites have always been simple repositories of information, and that remains the same in a business context. Depending on how you structure your websites, anybody can easily find out:
- Who you are
- What products/services you provide
- Why they should purchase from you
- When you started
- Where they can find you
- How they can get in contact with you
On top of that, business websites also implement features such as a Knowledge Base or a Frequently Asked Questions section where customers can find solutions to any of their problems.
Communicate with your audience – anywhere, anytime
Nowadays, customers are not going to put up with a business that they have to jump through hoops in order to get customer support from. Websites make customer support easy, because they provide a wide variety of avenues for contact, including:
- Listing all of your company’s contact information in an easy to find location
- Providing functionality that allows customers to phone call, email, video call and direct message your business
- A web forum where your customers can regularly interact with one another
- Various social media platforms where you can interact directly with your customers
Outdo your competitors
Content is key. Content comes with all kinds of advantages. Content lets your customers know what your business is up to. Nothing engages your audience like images, videos, blog articles, written posts, podcasts, etc. Not only that, but content allows you to distinguish yourself from your competitors in a simple yet effective way.
Sure, you can list your products and services, as well as any accolades and history you might have, but regular content communicates the personality of your business in a way that the former details can’t. If you can entertain your audience, they’ll likely want to buy what you’re selling.
Make transactions with your customers
Another one of the huge advantages of business websites is that they make it infinitely easier to sell a product or service. Customers can select and buy their products from anywhere in the world, using third party services such as Paypal or Google Pay to not only finalise their payments, but also store their account details for later purchases.
Additionally, it is easy to facilitate sales and promotions on a website. You can generate discount codes that can be used during checkout, you can create members-only products that only certain customers can access, you can make it easy for customers to customise their orders, etc.
And make new customers while you’re at it
Websites have been an absolute blessing for marketers, providing all new and innovative advantages to market businesses and products to all kinds of potential customers all around the world. There are so many ways to market a business website, such as:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Email Marketing Drops
- Starting (and regularly updating, of course) a blog
- Collaborating with content creators so you can get your products in front of their audiences
- Using social media to engage new potential customers
- Submitting your websites to online directories
- Posting on forums to entice enthusiasts to engage with your website
- Engaging in outreach marketing
- Cultivating your website’s online identity
- Or even simply making good quality content
Advertise your business in new and innovative ways
Not only do you have fully fledged services such as Google AdSense and Media.net to help you create fully realised online advertising campaigns for your business, you have access to a wealth of creative advantages that you can use to create unique and imaginative advertising campaigns that audiences won’t soon forget.
While there are all kinds of tools to provide you with advantages and statistics on who is engaging with your websites and who you should be targeting, there are all kinds of artists and creators who can help you with content to effectively engage those audiences.
Find new employees as well
You can do more than reach out to potential customers with your website. Do you have a space in your team that you need to fill? Your website can host job listings that interested people can look at and apply for. You can also connect your website to your business’ LinkedIn page, making it even easier for professionals to find your business and see what you’re all about.
Additionally, websites make the process of applying for a job that much easier. It is simple for an interested person to email you their CV and cover letter, especially when the website means that they have easy access to the job listing at any time.
The disadvantages of websites for your business
Yes, there are disadvantages when it comes to owning business websites. However, none of these are deal breakers. Instead, they should be considered when you take on a business website.
Cultivating your business’ online presence is a lot of responsibility. It’s not a one-off process, and it can significantly affect your business success, particularly if you don’t take it seriously. That is why we’ve listed all of the disadvantages of business websites below, so you have everything you need to know at the ready.
Websites aren’t free
That’s putting it mildly. There are many costs and disadvantages associated with a business website, such as:
- Technical costs such as domain name registration and renewal, hosting service packages, etc.
- Website design, whether you decide to build it yourself using one of many CMS’ with their own subscription costs, or you hire a team to develop it for you
- Plugins and maintenance costs
- Marketing costs (all of the marketing methods mentioned in the previous section have their own costs)
Like with any significant business expense, you need to budget for a professional business website. That doesn’t mean websites will blow out your budget, but it means you need to be conscious of where you are spending your money and ensure it will result in a return on your investment and not a series of insurmountable disadvantages.
You have to secure your website
If your business website does not have a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, don’t expect as much business. Professional businesses that expect customers to enter their payment details on their website need to be able to communicate that their website is secure. If they can’t, they are at a major series of disadvantages.
There are many different types of security disadvantages and threats for business websites; from hacking, to scammers, to spammers and everything in between. Luckily, there are many tools available to help you secure your website, but it is up to you to learn how to use them.
You have to actively engage your audience
There’s no point in your websites if they’re going to sit there dormant until you feel like updating them slightly a few months from now. If you want your audience to interact with your website regularly, you need to be updating it regularly.
Of course, don’t just upload content for the sake of uploading content. Your posts need to be frequent, but they also need to be high quality in order to attract attention organically. Your customers aren’t sheep that you’re trying to herd around, they’re people with problems that your business can solve. It is up to you to communicate that fact regularly using your website.
More tasks will be added to your daily operations
There are many tasks that need to be regularly performed once you have an operational business website, such as:
- Creating and uploading new content
- Facilitating customer orders
- Responding to customer enquiries
- Ensuring that the website is working properly
- Updating product/service information, etc.
Even if you hire staff to share this workload, one of the disadvantages of a business website is that you still need to regularly coordinate your staff, meaning you have to have at least a cursory knowledge of the tasks you are assigning. That means more time that you will need to dedicate out of your schedule to ensure everything is running smoothly.
You have to consider the ethics of your website
You have to consider the ethics of your business in general, but don’t be one of the many businesses that neglect this aspect when it comes to their website, as that attitude results in all kinds of disadvantages. You need to consider all kinds of ethics related factors, such as:
- The security of your customers’ data
- The moderation of your content to make sure it’s appropriate
- The needs of your customers
- The copyright details of any images and text that you appropriate
Many businesses get caught in scandals involving an errant post or an ignorant action that ends up alienating customers. Don’t fall into this trap.
Your content needs to be planned out
Many businesses plan out their content weeks in advance. There’s a reason for this. It’s a lot easier to stick to a content plan than risk posting content that deviates from your business’ brand identity; or worse, offends the sensibilities of your customers. The amount of disadvantages that come from poorly thought out content cannot be understated.
Additionally, content plans allow you to be consistent in your posting. Keeping a regular schedule of quality content is the best way to maintain customer engagement, as opposed to sporadically posting content to try and win back customers that might have moved onto one of your competitors.
Websites need maintenance
Technology is ever dynamic, and the internet is no exception. Whether it’s your plugins, your theme, your domains, or any other part of your website, you will need to regularly check and perform maintenance to make sure it is running smoothly.
The worst thing you can do is neglect maintenance and end up with a website that doesn’t work. Sure, if a problem arises, you can fix it. But, in the time it takes for you to fix that problem, you’re risking losing customers to competitors with a more functional website. While you can certainly argue that it might not take long to fix said technical issues, it also doesn’t take long for a customer to consider taking their business elsewhere.
Should I get a website for my business?
The answer to this question is unequivocally yes.
A website is an invaluable resource that offers an immense wealth of advantages for businesses that want to attract customers and remain competitive in the constantly changing business landscape. To not have a website is to severely handicap your business.
However, keep in mind that starting a website is as big a commitment as starting a business. It’s an important factor that you need to constantly be aware of and you need to be prepared to put a lot of effort into if you want to experience all of the advantages a business website has to offer.
Where can I get the best quality website for my business?
Organise A Free Consultation with Us
If you want a good business website, you need to consult with professionals that can help you make the most of the advantages that a business website provides. Digital Treasury have used their expertise to help many different startup websites break away from the clutter with elegant and effective website designs.
Get in touch with us to talk about your website design for startups