In 2016, research firm Clutch reported that 46 percent of small businesses do not have a website.
Not surprisingly, the two main reasons that business owners gave was:
- they did not have the funds to build and maintain a website,
- they simply didn’t have the time to put one together.
Website costs: don’t forget opportunity costs
But by not having a website, these business owners are actually costing themselves money.
Let’s examine why small businesses need a website.
- 81 percent of adults in the US have a smartphone
- 88.5 percent of all people use the internet
- The average American spends 24 hours a week online
- Most Americans begin any product search online
According to business experts, such as those at The Balance, there are 6 reasons why small businesses need a website to compete in today’s marketplace:
1. Phone books don’t provide the visuals that web search does
Most people in the United States don’t even have phone books anymore. When they look for the address of a certain restaurant, or for “the best restaurants near me,” they do it on the internet, from their phone, tablet or computer.
2. Not having a website is a major turnoff to most consumers today
Generationally, Millennials and everyone coming after that generation simply expect businesses to have a website – or, admittedly, at least a social media presence such as Facebook or Twitter.
3. A website is an efficient marketing tool
An online presence gives a business more ability to find customers. Properly used, a website can collect data and emails from visitors, giving you leads for marketing campaigns.
4. Webrooming is becoming popular
E-commerce sites – where people buy from online catalogs – are booming. However, brick-and-mortar sites also benefit from a website. People like to browse for items online, and will then come into the store to buy the product.
Once a business owner decides it’s time to build a competitive online presence in his or her industry, the first thing to do is learn the cost of setting one up.
How much a website costs varies depending on what it’s to be used for – and thus, how much power and how many capabilities (functionalities) it will need.
By knowing what’s needed, you’ll have a better idea of how to cost a potential website.
1. Domain name – typically the name of the business
2. SSL Certificate – an electronic certificate, the “Secure Sockets Layer” keeps data transfers secure. An e-commerce site needs an SSL certificate to protect the credit card data from customers, for example. With the amount of theft today, having a secure portal is absolutely critical. The cost for an SSL certificate can vary. Very simple ones are inexpensive, but those that provide higher data encryption levels will cost more.
3. Site hosting – Every website needs to be hosted somewhere. The host provides bandwidth (think of a 2 lane road vs. an interstate) and charges more depending on how much bandwidth the business expects to use. Most small businesses don’t need a lot of bandwidth unless they are e-commerce sites that have hundreds if not thousands of visitors a month.
Types of site hosts include: shared hosts, website builders, virtual private server, and the most expensive (at anywhere from $1,200 to $24,000 a year), a dedicated server. Typically, only websites that have over 100,000 site visitors a month will need a dedicated server.
A hosting provider needs to be available 24/7 to handle issues from its clients. If a website goes down, especially an e-commerce website, companies can lose thousands of dollars a day.
4. Site design – A professional site design saves money in the long run. A visitor that comes to a business site that looks amateurish and is hard to navigate is not going to stay around long. In addition, web crawlers actually penalize sites that have poor performance, which is an integral part of site design.
Check out SITESTR
There’s a difference between “cheap” sites and “inexpensive” sites. At SiteSTR, we set ourselves apart by providing several services integral to small business at an affordable price.
- The SITESTR web platform runs on an advanced version of WordPress. We’ve taken the best of the world’s most popular CMS tool and extended it to work for you.
- Our team of developers build powerful, SEO-Optimized websites right out of the box. With SITESTR, you’ll have a far better ability to compete on Google.
- Phone Support! When you need help arranging a page layout, or have a question about sizing an image, our team is ready to help.
- We make problems go away. We take care of all the backend software updates, configurations, and optimization so you can focus on running your business.
- And when you’re ready to take the next step and start advertising, we can help you there too.
With SITESTR, we worry about the hard stuff so you can focus on running your business. Give us a call today or contact us below. Let’s see how much time and money we can save you.