Websites and blogging
Some thoughts about websites and blogs, from
- what you need to know before getting one and things to consider when doing the planning for one,
- to design aspects and development issues to
- actually running and managing one.
The answer depends on who you're talking to. It also depends on exactly what performance / functionality / traits you are looking for.
So how did we arrive at the decision to focus on Joomla as our CMS of choice?
When we sat down to choose a primary CMS, we didn't start by listing all the systems available. We started with a list of what we wanted the system to be able to do.
Remé is in charge of programming and technical issues in our business; he's our resident techie. He “makes things work.”
I'm in charge of marketing. As such, I need to be able to translate geek-speak into something normal people can actually understand and show them how it can be useful to them. I'm not a techie. I can help myself pretty well when I have to but I'd much rather be writing and talking to people than being stuck in lines of code.
So we each came at the question of which system is best from a different angle:
"I know I need to get a website for my business but I'm not good with computers and don't know what I'll be getting into. I'll do something about it later."
Sound familiar? Every day a business owner delays in getting his business known on the web is a day his competition gets to reach clients and make sales that could have been his. So why wait?
Let's take a look at one of the main reasons why a website experience can be perceived as confusing and complicated and show you just how quick and easy it can be...
“How does it all work, this website and internet marketing thing you’re talking about?”
We’ve found that just about nobody goes to the trouble of explaining the steps involved and people usually fear looking dumb / unintelligent (everyone knows what a website can do, right?) by asking, so they rather just keep quiet. But this lack of basic information is not only frustrating, it can also end up being expensive!
Two other common misconceptions about having a website are
- “I’m / my business is too small for a website” and
- “I’ve got enough work at the moment. I don’t want to do anymore advertising now because I won’t be able to cope with the work.”
Websites aren’t about advertising, they are about building relationships. Good and lasting client relationships are essential for long term business success. A website gives your client a place to come back to, a place where they can tap into your valuable advice and expertise, a place to see what you have to offer, even when you’re not physically available or your shop is closed.
A lot of small businesses have a constant battle between trying to reach enough people to make the business survive that month and keeping up with the work that does come in.
Let me ask you something slightly personal: Do you send the same birthday card every year?
Of course not!
But if it's essentially the same message (happy birthday) you're sending each time (just the numbers get bigger!) why a different card, a different look, different words?
It's simple really. You take the time and trouble to wish someone Happy Birthday in a new way every year because you want to get your specific message for the year across.
People grow and change from year to year and by choosing a different card each time, one appropriate to the person's age, gender or specific "landmark" birthday, you're showing you are aware of their changes and development - you're acknowledging the person's current time of life and the status of your relationship with them. That's what makes each birthday card so special to the person who receives it, the fact that you've taken the time to recognize them as an individual.
One of the things that business owners don't seem to get much time for is the planning of a decent website - one that will help the business market itself better and sell more. And what little time is available is spent in the debate around whether you should spend the time and trouble and try to do-it-yourself or whether you should just get it done professionally.
I thought that sharing a rather personal story with you might help you decide which option will work best for you....