Should I have my own website as a small business?

Building your own website

You’re starting a new handmade small business, great! Congratulations on making a great decision! Should you start listing your products on Etsy? Amazon? Or create your website? That is the question.

 

Should I have my own website as a small business?

In short, the answer is yes, this is always my personal answer if anyone were to ask me if they should have their own website when starting their small business. But this may not be the simple answer for everyone or your business, there are so many factors to think about when you start your business and it’s not always the same answer for everybody.

When we started our small handmade product-based business Eden Body Care | Goat Milk Soap and Natural Skincare in 2019, we knew right from the start we wanted our own website instead of starting on a platform such as Etsy.

Why we picked Shopify for our small business?

Here are a few points we considered:

  • We wanted to have our very own platform and be able to design it however we please to serve our customers better.
  • We also wanted our own domain, a “Name.com” is always the best way to refer someone to your shop on the web
  • We needed a platform that’s handles many online transactions automatically, all we had to do was pack the order and send it out

And so, we picked Shopify.

Shopify is a powerful e-commerce platform that offers easy to use and customizable templates that can help you build your dream e-commerce shop on the interwebs.

Now in 2023, I decided I wanted to start a blogging business Hai Path and I chose WordPress because it is the best blogging platform and includes plenty of plugins and customizable options to help you grow your blog.

You need to consider what type of business you plan on running, who you’re selling to, what type of products are you selling? Let’s get into the details:

 

Pros and Cons on creating your own website:

Creating a website pros and cons

Pros:

  1. Full Control: When you build your own website, you have total control over its design, functionality, and user experience.
  2. Brand Representation: You can present your brand exactly how you want without restrictions imposed by third-party platforms.
  3. Cost-effective: Over time, building your own site can be more cost-effective than paying monthly fees to ecommerce platforms.
  4. Custom Features: You can add specific features to your website that are important to your business but may not be available on existing platforms.
  5. SEO Flexibility: You can implement your own SEO strategies and make changes as needed to improve your site’s search engine ranking.
  6. No Commission: Unlike ecommerce platforms that take a commission on sales, you keep 100% of your profits.
  7. Customer Data Ownership: You own and have direct access to all customer data, which can be leveraged for marketing and relationship-building.
  8. Flexible Scaling: As your business grows, you can modify your website to support increased traffic and sales.
  9. Integration Options: You have the flexibility to integrate with any systems or tools you need for your business operations.
  10. Unique User Experience: You can design a unique customer journey that stands out from your competitors.

Cons:

  1. Time Consuming: Building your own website can be a significant time investment, especially if you’re learning as you go.
  2. Requires Technical Skills: You may need to learn or hire for technical skills like coding, UX design, SEO, and more.
  3. Maintenance: You’ll need to keep your site updated and secure, which requires regular attention and technical know-how.
  4. Testing and Bug Fixing: You’re responsible for detecting and resolving any issues that arise on your site, which can be time-consuming.
  5. Cost Upfront: There can be high initial costs for website design, development, hosting, domain registration, etc.
  6. Customizing User Experience: Using a platform such as Shopify, there are tons of themes to choose from, however getting little preferences here, wanting a video box there, it can be challenging to uniquely customize it exactly the way you want without learning code.

 

Things to think about when considering to build your own website for your small business:

Building your own website

  1. Mobile Optimization: Platforms like Shopify, WordPress, and Squarespace provide mobile-responsive templates. This ensures your website will function well on smartphones and tablets, aligning with Google’s mobile-first approach.
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Each of these platforms offers built-in SEO tools. For instance, WordPress’s Yoast SEO plugin can help with keyword optimization and meta tags. Shopify’s SEO features can help your eCommerce site get found in Google searches, and Squarespace has built-in SEO tools for improving your site’s visibility.
  3. Fast Load Times: Shopify, known for its robust infrastructure, can provide fast loading times, which is crucial for eCommerce businesses.
  4. User-friendly Navigation as the business owner: Squarespace is known for its intuitive, user-friendly designs, which can improve user navigation – a key factor Google considers for ranking.
  5. Google My Business Integration: Shopify allows for easy integration with Google My Business, helping your site appear in local search results and on Google Maps.
  6. Google Analytics Integration: All three platforms enable easy integration with Google Analytics, allowing you to understand your website traffic and user behavior.

Pick what’s best for you

Just keep in mind that these tips and platform suggestions are like dipping your toes into the water. Your business is unique, and your choice of platform should totally be based on what it needs.

In my opinion, no matter what your biz is, it’s super important to have your own domain and website. Think of it like your own little piece of the internet.

You’ve got some fab choices – Shopify is amazing for all things ecommerce, WordPress rocks for blogs and content-heavy sites, and Squarespace is like the stylish all-rounder with serious design creds.

If you’ve got the time (and the passion) to create your own website, or if you’re cool with hiring a pro to make your website dreams come true, then totally go for it! But remember, you’ve got to think about the big picture too. Consider how your business might grow and change over time before you commit. Take a sec to think about your budget and how much time you can dedicate, and then go ahead and make the best choice for you.

Best of luck with your business adventures! I can’t wait to hear about what you decide to do.

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