We think so… but like with anything in life there are no absolutes.
If your business doesn’t depend on a website to stay afloat, or if you are in a niche market that has a steady stream of word-of-mouth clients, you might be able to get away with just having your phone number listed in the yellow pages.
But for most businesses a website is an essential marketing tool. You can use it to reach a broad client base in your local area and beyond. And, if done well, a website gives your business the professional sheen it needs to be competitive in today’s digital market.
These days there’s a big difference between a business that has a website and a business that has a “good” website.
A good website is one that is quick to load, easy to navigate and responsive to a variety of different devices. Maybe you’ve heard the term “responsive web design” before. It sounds scary but the concept is really quite simple – a responsive web design is simply a website that adjusts to gracefully to fit a range of different screen sizes from desktop to smartphone.
If you’re going to have a website, having a good website that is responsive to your customer’s needs, location and device is an absolute must. By 2014, mobile internet use is predicted to overtake desktop computer use – meaning that the need for a responsive web design is even more important. If you don’t have a website, or if your website isn’t responsive, you are seriously limiting your customer base and the longevity of your business.
Building a website doesn’t have to take up months of your time. If you have a clear idea of what information you would like to include on your site and content ready to go, you could reasonably expect a new design to be up and running within 4-6 weeks.
More complex websites – those with e-commerce facilities, booking functionality or multiple pages – will naturally take longer, as will those sites that need a strategist to help plan the structure of the website. Even so, building a website isn’t – and shouldn’t be – a year long process.
Some custom CMS based websites (those you can upload content to yourself) can cost upwards of fifty or even one hundred thousand rand. Template websites can cost as little as R600.00 but you will spend more in time implementing these and getting them to work properly. Sometimes, depending on the template, you’ll never achieve what you set out to.
In the world of web design you often get what you pay for but in some instances you’re paying a lot more for services you just don’t need… or even services that are provided for free if only you knew where to look.
At Shift Digital Design we use WordPress for the majority of our designs. The framework is free, easy for our clients to use and can be customised in any number of ways to suit your specific needs.
As for cost – our solutions start at R10 000.00 so rest assured we can create something stellar to suit even the smallest of budgets!
Maybe your current website isn’t working for you. Perhaps it isn’t responsive to your mobile clients, or maybe your main message is lost. It might just be frustrating for your customers to use. Or maybe you just don’t like the look of it.
If you aren’t getting the business you expect from your current website, you need to find out why. Do you have analytics installed? Can you check at the click of a button where your customers are coming from, and see where they are exiting your website? Is your website not ranking on Google? Do you know if it is even registering with the main search engines? We can help you migrate your current site over to a more user, search engine and customer friendly option.
Or maybe you don’t even need a website yet. We work with each of our clients to determine what their exact needs are and offer a social media package that can have you online in a matter of days for as little as R5 000.00. It’s the perfect solution if you’re just starting out or testing the waters of a new idea.
Your website can and should bring in business – we make it our business to show you how.
Contact us for a comprehensive overview of your on-line and web design needs.