Mistakes Business Owners Make When Setting Up Their Website

A couple of decades ago, businesses only wanted websites for vanity purposes, mainly because the Internet wasn’t as widely used and building a presence online didn’t really have much of an effect on their operations. Fast-forward to today and you’ll see that having a website is almost always a necessity. Businesses find themselves missing out on opportunities for branding and marketing straight to their customers all over the globe for a fraction of the costs of an extensive marketing campaign in other platforms and media.

However, too many businesses fail to maximize the benefits of a website because they commit one of several big mistakes when they first set up their websites or in really unlucky cases, commit all of said mistakes, leading to an online presence that is not only failing to provide any benefits to the business, but is actually turning out to be detrimental. If you want to make sure that you have not committed these mistakes or want to avoid committing it in the feature, you should take a look at the following list of mistakes business owners make when setting up their website:

1. They Don’t Have a Top Level Domain Name

Many businesses fail to realize that free hosting services and the sub-domains they come with only have one benefit: it’s free. But that single benefit is negated by all the cons that come with a sub-domain, some of which include:

A. Your website loses credibility – people, and search engines themselves, don’t put a lot of weight on sub-domains. It reeks of amateurishness, and it shows that the owner doesn’t care enough about the site and what it represents to even bother investing on their own domain name. A multinational company that is still using a free subdomain URL will almost always get beat by a basement blogger who had the smarts to build an online presence around a top level domain name.

B. You’re stuck with that URL forever – or at least, until the host goes out of business or decides to take away the sub domain for whatever reason they may like (and really, they can take it away for no reason at all simply because they OWN it.) All the traffic and reputation you’ve built for that site on that sub-domain? It’s gone. You can move to a new host and finally get a TLD but you’ll have to start from scratch when it comes to building traffic and search engine ranking.

C. You don’t own the domain name – as mentioned above, your business doesn’t own the domain name. For such a vital part of your business’ online presence, it is a dumb idea to not have any control over it. There are many things that could go wrong and you’ll be a sitting duck. You won’t even be able to move to a bigger or smoother host without leaving the sub domain behind.

2. Giving Full Control of a Website to a Third Party

Granted, sometimes businesses don’t have the budget to maintain an in-house web dev team. It’s perfectly fine to outsource web development to a third party, but where they go wrong is that they leave the control of the entire website to the third party, never taking steps to ensure that they have the ability to lock down the site on their own, should the need arise. This is made worse by the fact that businesses who are cheapening out on web development costs tend to hire freelancers who have cheap rates.

You know the old adage, you get what you pay for. Sometimes this results in a website that is poorly done, but there are also times when the site is held for ransom by the developer, with the business left with no choice but to comply or have their website defaced and their reputation ruined.

Ideally, you need to ensure that a website is developed in-house, but if you’re short on budget, don’t use price as the sole factor when choosing freelancers. There are also steps that need to be made once you have a freelancer at the ready. Get your own domain and hosting, and just give access to the developer. Don’t give full control over to people you have no full control over, if that makes sense at all.

3. Not Using a CMS (Content Management System)

Back in the 90s, it’s perfectly fine to have a static website. But these days, choosing a static design over something powered by a Content Management System is not a very smart thing to do. Static websites are wasteful when it comes to hosting space, and updating them will require a lot of work every single time. What’s more, if the site design is complicated enough, updates need to be done by someone with technical knowledge.

It’s different with a CMS. You just need a single tech person to be the administrator, and he can then give author access to just about anybody in your company that needs to make content updates to the site. No tech know-how needed. Imagine the savings on time and manpower if the boss himself can post timely updates wherever he is instead of the update having to go through several people before it appears on the site?

The Bottom Line

When it comes to businesses and websites, one of the biggest mistakes and the main gist of all the mistakes above, is to not have control over your online presence. Giving away control to a third party or to chance can prove damaging to a business’ online reputation, and these days that online reputation seeps in to the real world. It’s just not something that can be ignored nowadays.

So to keep your business covered, get your own domain, get your own hosting, and make sure your business doesn’t give away full control to anyone when it comes to maintenance and administration of the sites.


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