When starting our business, we want a website presence in the least amount of time, with the least effort and at the lowest costs.
When taking the first steps of creating our web presence, we want peace of mind, we want to balance efficiencies, costs, and know that our web presence is able to grow with us.
Introducing Options When Wanting Our Own WordPress Website
First we need to decide whether our business presence on the Internet is merely our online business card. Meaning we only have our business profile and contact details online for easy reference?
Costs would vary from low-cost options to being very expensive.
Based on our experience when creating a website for our online business, the experience would either be easy or daunting.
Here are two approaches or options when creating our website presence:
Each of these options has pros and cons and is fit for purpose based on what we require from our web presence. Whether we want a free plan, whether we are able to work full time on developing our own website are some considerations.
Would we want to work from home and thus start a home-based business online?
Each of our decisions and the options we take has various pricing plans.
Another consideration is whether we want our own custom domain name for our website presence. Would it suffice and be suitable to use a combination of Social Media networks (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube for our business?)
Complexities come in when we want an online store, want to earn affiliate commissions or want a full-on content management system like having a WordPress website.
Once we look at WordPress as an option, and we want to build our own website we have WordPress website builder software to consider, like Divi — The Ultimate WordPress Theme & Visual Page Builder.
Depending on the complexities of your requirements, your own time, your available funds, and whether you are able to implement your online business requirements in phases, each of these impact the choices you make and the options you consider. There are thus many considerations and implications of how to start an online business.
And when wanting to start our online business or want to extend our business online: Service providers in the WordPress website industry run specials continuously. They offer seasonal specials, weekly offers, and various discounts.
For instance, here is a limited time period offer for a Simple & Cost-Effective Social Media Marketing Tool – based on the Covid-19 pandemic; You Are Not Alone: We Want to Help. When we start out with our online businesses, we find such nugget offers everywhere, and sometimes they are few and far between – it is thus prudent to always be on the lookout.
And a free Social Media tool, Recurpost Social media management that is effortless. (with a premium version.)
When we set out with creating our website presence, we don’t know what the future holds and we want to select an option based on our budget, our available time, what we know, and when we want our website up and running.
Option 1: Low-Cost Option For Our Website Presence Fully Branded
When looking at how to start an online business, and when you want to build your own website, you would want to use the best website builder. This might include you starting a business from home and you want to keep costs low and have spare time on hand.
The best website builder means any of several things; software to build a website with, a company with a website offering where you are able to easily build your own website, and also that you obtain a best of breed company that has the best website builder and knows how to make a website for you.
Let’s focus here on a company that provides website building software that makes it easy for you to develop your own website. Keep in mind such an offering would be most suitable if your requirements are fairly basic. The more complex your requirements are the less suitable such software would be.
Therefore based on your requirements, if they are basic, a low-cost option would be the best website builder: You might be quite happy to go with one of the many low-cost offerings.
A free basic or almost free option is Google Sites. With Google Sites and their Google website builder you could dig in over a weekend and create your website and be up and running in no time. The almost new Google Sites website building software is evolving continuously.
Google provides the Classic Google Sites version. This established version of Google Sites has more features, with templates. Bear in mind the Classic Google Sites version is already dated, without support for building responsive websites. Google Classic Sites would eventually be deprecated and be replaced by the Newer Google Sites.
With Google’s products, your site is automatically desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile-friendly, and mobile responsive, thereby catering for the Google desktop site.
What if you want to add being able to use emails that contain the domain name of your online business?
Do you want to access your emails while on the go, then Google Gmail is a free option, and provides you access while on the go?
Taking email a step further, say you want your email branded to your domain, to match your custom website domain name – thus from day one you’re building your brand.
Enter Google’s G Suite, where you start building your brand from the first day. The combo of Google Sites, Gmail, and Google’s G Suite provides a low-cost offering with very little time required to set up and configure. The configuration takes into account and includes a secure socket layer by providing SSL certificates making your website presence safe.
On top of Google’s offering is Google Drive which provides lots of cloud disk space even with their free basic plan. Google Docs is another on the go option, this is their office productivity suite.
With these offerings from Google, you’re basically online almost overnight with using their basic plans and mostly free features.
There is a risk though, what if Google’s systems go down, how would that affect our business productivity? Here is one of the many reviews and comparisons when considering an online offering. G Suite vs. Office 365 is one review that covers various aspects.
With the above Google option, your business is fully branded, and accessible on the go, with the lowest monthly costs.
Almost all costs are included, ranging from the tools to develop our website, to branding our emails to the name of our business, and the costs of hosting our websites and email.
There are a plethora of low-cost options providing easy to produce website tools and packages. What we need to keep in mind when we take such a low-cost option, are these:
- Are we able to fully brand it to our business?
- Are the emails provided by the option we select, accessible on the go?
- What happens when we outgrow our chosen product offering?
- Are their product offerings extensible to evolve with our business requirements?
- And if they aren’t able to grow with us, is this a show-stopper, we would then need to find another service provider and move our web presence there.
- Another point to keep in mind, would their drag-and-drop website builder provide certain options we would require in the future. Keeping in mind, when we start out, these future requirements would be unknown to us, therefore we won’t know whether the website service provider’s package caters to such services. It is something to be aware of and to take note of from the outset.
- Are we able to soundboard our requirements and ideas with someone?
When taking a low-cost option when we sit out to create our web presence for the first time, we need to be aware that as our business evolves, our low-cost website offering would not cater to our new unknown requirements. When this occurs, we would need to upgrade to a more expensive product offering or move our website presence to another service provider.
Option 2: WordPress Website Fully Branded and Extensible
What if our web presence and emailing is merely the starting point.
When starting an online business one of your first thoughts might be “How to make my own website?” Soon after this first thought, notwithstanding our excitement, we might be overwhelmed with many other thoughts and doubts.
Like, what if we want to, slowly over time, expand, and extend our WordPress website with further requirements and features.
We might already know all our requirements, though we would want to know how long it would take to develop?
We might not know all our requirements, though we would want the option to cater to any unknown requirements and to evolve and extend our initial WordPress website continuously as we grow, how would we cater for this eventuality.
What if we want to soundboard business requirements and ideas, who would we soundboard such ideas with?
Therefore, when we start out we require a solid foundation that is easily extensible.
And, we want to be involved at the minimum with the web presence to mainly focus on our business activities.
How do we decide on what our ongoing involvement would be in our web presence?
The first is to have an understanding of our intention.
Once this is established, we’re able to move to the next step.
How do we go about finding an SEO WordPress partner to rollout our SEO WordPress website?
Specifically that our WordPress partner is able to take our business as it is rolled out, to different heights as our business unfolds.
It might even be that for our existing website presence we require a new WordPress partner to evaluate and grow our WordPress website with us.
Take a look at these tick boxes when considering our online business:
- Does our WordPress partner work with us and on the basis of us releasing payments only once the work is satisfactorily done?
- Does our WordPress partner work on the basis that they are guaranteed payment for the work they’re undertaking?
- Does our WordPress website partner understand us easily without too much effort from our side?
- Does our WordPress partner add value so our requirements are implemented efficiently, robustly, and in an extensible way while mitigating risk?
- Does our WordPress partner provide us with a budget spend option – meaning to evolve our web presence providing functionality within a fixed monthly spend?
Each of these tick boxes provides us with peace of mind.
Keeping in mind that from time to time the website evolution might not go exactly as smoothly as we would want it to.
Things are not always going to go exactly our way, causing us frustration. This is to be expected.
The WordPress website project is not an all or nothing affair, it evolves.
What about payment, are these done within Escrow payment governance. These payments are only released when satisfied with the work. And requires that both parties are reasonable. Moreover, there are no contracts, the work is done and paid for, as pre-arranged within the Escrow governance.
Let’s get back to our WordPress website requirements and questions:
- An important checkbox is that your website is fully mobile responsive. Traffic to all websites from mobile is steadily rising. This is not something you attend to afterward, it is part of each feature being developed, from the outset, and an important part of each release.
- While your WordPress website is being developed, you want to be focusing on the most important minimum viable product (MVP) at any given time. This means that you’re always investing where your return on investment (ROI) is in focus at all times.
- You do not want to be locked into the arrangement with your WordPress partner. Does your partner lock you in and you’re therefore unable to move to another WordPress partner? If this is the case, it is easy to be held hostage which is not healthy and does not mitigate your risk.
- Your relationship with your WordPress partner needs to be a peace of mind focused working relationship. Once the required checks and balances are in place, is the governance transparent and in support of you and your WordPress website partnership?
- Is your WordPress partnership something you need to endure, or is it such that it is easily embraced?
- When you’re at a crossroads with your WordPress website, are you able to soundboard ideas with your WordPress partner? This is what you want – to be able to soundboard options in an unbiased way. Would you want to pay for sound boarding – are such charges within reason?
- Is your partner accessible? What do you do when something that is important to you requires communication with your WordPress partner? Are you able to communicate and make contact relatively easily, either by Skype, Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp, and Email?
- Are you able to open support tickets, via a ticketing system, or via a project management system for clear traceability? Is such communication preserved for easy reference and access at a later date or time?
- Does your WordPress partner have the required infrastructure, while being cost-effective, without bloated prices?
- With the fourth industrial revolution right here, on us, are you able to move with it? Are you part of it, albeit slowly and intentionally within your budget capabilities?
When taking the more expensive option to work with an SEO WordPress website partner, our website presence is extensible and grows with us. When selecting such a partner, are we able to ensure that the web features being developed are to our satisfaction and that payments are safeguarded! When we are uncertain about a requirement, does our partner provide the option to soundboard ideas?
When we are in the market for a website presence are we aware of the options available to us? From the maze of options, we are able to categorize them into low-cost DIY options or higher-cost options where we work with a WordPress partner to create and evolve our WordPress website.
When we are in the market for an SEO WordPress website partner, for reasons of wanting to start out, wanting to move, wanting to work within a budget, whatever the reason is, it is daunting.
The best is to start a healthy WordPress website partnership for the long-haul, without any ties and without being locked in.
Do we want to be locked in when selecting either a low-cost web presence service provider or when working with a WordPress partner? Each of these options is fit for purpose when we balance what we know, our known and unknown requirements for the website we want, our budget, and our available time. Though either option is easy and daunting at the same time, it is best we arm ourselves with knowledge and peace of mind to make informed decisions.