So you have ideas for a complex and possibly grandiose website for your small business. You’ve fallen in love with this idea.
The problem is that your website either doesn’t exist in any form right now. Or it currently looks like it was built in the 1990s. You’ve also had an offer for a simple site that can be built in two-thirds of the time of your complex website.
What do you do?
While the complex option will always be enticing, the correct course of action will be to start with the simpler website first.
A complex website doesn’t always mean better
I feel like this should be common knowledge, but sometimes what seems common isn’t always. But just because you have a complex website doesn’t always mean that it’s a better website.
Complex websites can look cool. They have fancy hero images or videos. They do complex animations. And they just seem like the websites that can bring in the money.
But I’ve seen complex sites that are near next to impossible to use. They delay actions. They move things around. It’s hard to figure out the flow of the website. And the most important part, the content, tends to get buried.
Also, with accessibility finally moving more towards the forefront it seems this year, complex websites make for less accessible websites. Because they do “cool things”, the normal flow of the HTML, which is what keyboards and screen readers use, gets thrown out of whack. And it limits the potential customer base.
Like the old adage says, there’s more to the book than just the cover.
Tell the Story of Your Small Business With a Website
Every small business has a story. And every small business needs a website to help tell it. A website allows people to find you online, serves as a home base for any marketing effort and can help you tell the story of your business. So if you’re ready to give your business its first website or are ready to take your site to the next level, let’s get started on making that happen.
Iterations are great tools
Also, there’s a concept in design and web development (and other areas of work as well) called iteration. This is where something is built out, then looked at to see what could be done better and then those changes are made and the process repeats itself.
The end goal is the best possible product. And it happens because something is getting made rather than just sitting an idea until the very end.
In the same way, you can iterate on your website. You can build out the simple site first and then continue to iterate on that site until it reaches the end goal. Plenty of sites have done that.
It helps you get something out there and keep that goal of that website you’ve always wanted alive in the background. A win for everyone.
Getting something out there is better than nothing at all
And most importantly, the biggest thing you need to do is get something out there, especially if you have nothing or an old-looking website currently. Something simple gets you online. It gets you online, able to be indexed by search engines and a place to point customers outside of your brick-and-mortar store.
There’s no point in waiting months or, God help you, a year for a website if you currently don’t have one or have one that looks like it’s from the 1990s. Seriously. I don’t care if you have this cool design. If it’s not online, it doesn’t matter.
Even if it’s just a placeholder for something else coming down the chute later, something is better than nothing. You need something to get started and a nice, clean simple website, even a prebuilt theme, is a great place to start.
So if you’re waffling between going for a big, complex website right now or something simpler to get you online, pick the simpler option. You can always come back to the complex option. But getting something up right now is vastly more important.