Gone are the days when some companies had a web presence and others didn’t. Even companies that don’t do online commerce (and even these are rare now) still have an information hub online – and that means a website setup.
But not all website setups are equal, and not all of them suit the same set of needs. If your company is a small business, but hopes to grow into a bigger one, then you’ll need something that fits the limitations of a smaller outfit, but has the ability to scale with your success.
But how is that best achieved? Do you spend money on a professional build? How much? Do you do it yourself? Do you have the time? The know-how?
Don’t worry. There is a solution out there that is right for you, and it is easier to find than you think.
Template-Style Sites: The right pick for you?
There are a lot of ads out there for template-style, do-it-yourself website generators. These use a template to start, and have some customisation features to brand the site and make it do what you want – in most cases.
For a lot of small businesses, these sites are enough, but if your dream is to grow your company, and you don’t want to have to switch up your website in the process – especially if you’ve invested time and money into getting it ‘just right’ in the first place – then some choices are better than others. Let’s look at a few.
SquareSpace, WIX, and GoDaddy
Each of these has its strengths and weaknesses, but in general, they are designed for the complete novice. One attractive feature for many users is that they require no coding. In fact, inserting custom coding can sometimes interfere with the site working properly, and can cause problems that the companies are not willing to help you with – it’s kind of like opening up your iPhone to try to fix something yourself: Once you do it, your warranty is void.
The sites are quick to set up, can include eCommerce features, online support, and they look pretty good fresh out of the box. In most cases, the cost isn’t too bad either.
The problem is that they have limitations on the degree to which they can be customised, so sites tend to look a bit ‘samey,’ and changing up your template can mean losing all of your formatting and style work.
Balancing your Time, Money and Expertise
If you are a small player now, but want your company to grow, there is an option out there that gives you the versatility you need, without requiring a computer science degree – or a lot of money spent on IT specialists – to get you up and running with impressive style and reliable function: consider WordPress.
Just in case you think these are empty words of praise, consider this: WordPress is currently used for 32% of ALL WEBSITES on the Internet. That’s right, about a third of all websites use WordPress – and that number is growing. Their market dominance means that WordPress isn’t going away, and will be there to support you in your business endeavours.
So why the dominance?
WordPress does provide templates (called ‘Themes’) to get you started, and you don’t need to be able to code to use them. In this sense, WordPress isn’t a lot different from those other providers.
The difference is that WordPress is designed to go further. It is designed to allow for professional website design and building if the money and the need are there. It is also designed to let you build your own site when you’re small and struggling, and then bring in pros later on – if you need them – to build in special features and increase the wow factor.
In short, it allows for you to apply as little, or as much effort as you want, so you can allocate your time, money, and expertise to those places you feel they will be most effective. If that assessment changes, your WordPress site can change with you.
Best of all, the service won’t break the bank.
The Backup Team
The website itself isn’t all you need. Most template-based sites include hosting, so it looks like a single product, even though it is a bundling of services. With WordPress though, you can choose your hosting service, which means you can tailor that to your needs too, taking advantage of premium hosting services that can benefit your company and help it to grow.
Premium hosting benefits include faster site speed, better security, more automation and control in terms of WordPress updates, and world class customer support. Let’s consider a couple of the best ones.
If have a relatively simple and static website (like this one), go with the entry level plan from Kinsta.
If you run a WooCommerce store, I recommend using something tailored to Woo stores like WooCart.
If you are on a budget but still want high performance, I recommend using Cloudways. You can pick between Google Cloud, Amazon, VULTR, Linode and Digital Ocean servers. I recommend going with a VULTR High Frequency (HF) server.
HUGE websites that get millions of visitors
If you have a highly dynamic website that requires lots of resources then check out Pagely. However, if you truly can’t afford Pagely, then I highly recommend JohnnyVPS. They can likely handle any website regardless of size, traffic and resource requirements. Johnny from JohnnyVPS is the definition of a performance expert. Check out my review of their services.
Just so you know I use Kinsta and love it! I use them because they are all about performance. Kinsta uses the highest performance C2 machines from Google Cloud. Unlike other hosting providers (e.g. SiteGround) that only use Google’s general purpose machines. Their plans are a little more expensive though. But worth because everything is done for you. Unlike Cloudways that requires a little bit of tech know-how.
I also recommend Cloudways, which I still use to spin up concept websites and play around. Cloudways is also performance focused with access to cloud hosting providers including: Amazon, VULTR, Linode, Digital Ocean and Google Cloud. Cloudways is cheaper than Kinsta but you need to know or at least feel comfortable with a little sysadmin.
Check out my full list of recommended WordPress hosting providers.
Your Web Support Arsenal
By using WordPress as your platform, you build your web presence on a solid foundation of security, simple construction, and all the versatility that you need to grow – when you need it.
Website Setup Summary
Setting your small business up with a robust, high-quality online presence doesn’t need to be intimidating, difficult, or expensive.
By choosing the right tools, early on, you’ll be able to have what you require now, and to develop it while allocating your time, money, and expertise as best suits you and your company.
This website setup can grow and change as your needs do, and you won’t need to change platforms, hosts, or any other tools to support your growth. It’s the market’s best offering for those small business owners with the ambition to become big business owners.