What is a website?

So what is a website, anyway? No seriously, what exactly is a website. Sure, there’s the super simple answer. It’s just a collection of HTML files on a server and a domain name pointing to that server. But in reality, a website that’s going to help your business grow is so much more than that.…

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So what exactly is a website? No seriously, what is a website?

There is the simple term that we’ll go over here in a second. But a website that’s going to help your business grow is more complex than you might think it is. And it’s going to require a bit more planning in order to get it right.

So today let’s really break down what a website is and how it can help your business in this online world.

Before we get started, if you want to see the rest of the videos in this series on creating a website for your business and more videos on digital marketing, ecommerce, WordPress and other website related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.

Now let’s get started!

What is a website in simple terms?

If you were to go to the dictionary, specifically the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you would find this as the definition of a website.

A website is “a set of related web pages located under a single domain name, typically produced by a single person or organization.”

That seems simple enough, but really we can technically go even further with our simplicity for the definition of a website. Really, all you truly need to have a website is web hosting, a domain and just one, single HTML file, usually named index.html.

That’s all you technically need for a website. Just an HTML file on a server and a domain pointing to that server.

So websites are actually really simple and creating your new website should be really easy, right?

Well, I would keep watching before you run head first into a brick wall trying to create a website to help your business.

What is a website for a business?

So let’s dive a little deeper: what is a website for a business like yours?

The reality is that in today’s world, your website is how your business is going to get found online. And it’s going to be the key for how your business is going to grow.

Did you know that 46% of searches in Google are for local businesses or services? Or that people you attract from local searches to your website are more likely to convert into customers, upwards to 80 percent of the time according to WebFX?

In short, your website is your business’ storefront on the main street of the internet.

So with that in mind, a website is something that you really have to think about and plan to figure out how it is going to help your business.

Will the goal just to let people know that you exist? Do you want to sell products on your website? Do you want to generate leads for the services you offer? How is this website going to help your business grow?

Those are just some of the things you’re going to have to think about in order to create a successful website.

Don’t worry if those questions feel overwhelming now. We’re going to go through how you can create a plan for your new website in a few videos.

But just know that a website that’s going to help your business grow isn’t something that’s going to get built in a single weekend.

A home for your digital marketing efforts

One odd thing I’ve come across relatively recently is that some people think that a social media profile or page is more important than a website. And that’s just not the truth.

A website is the base and foundation for all of your digital marketing efforts.

Everything you do is going to lead right back to your website. Your social media posts will have links to your website. Your email marketing will be built on your website (how else are you going to get email addresses for an email list). Your content marketing obviously will involve your website. And any online ads will link back to your website.

So you really need to take some time to get your website right before you start really working on those other areas of digital marketing.

Does the website need to be perfect right from the start? No. You can iterate on your content and design as time goes on and you have analytics to tell you what’s working or not. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

But work on the website first and get that foundation built correctly before you really start to focus on social media, content and email marketing and online ads. Those things can wait. A website cannot.

Types of websites that you can create

Finally, I want to briefly discuss the different types of websites that you can create to show you what you can really do with a website.

Obviously there is the basic brochure-type website. This website basically lets people know that your business exists. You might have a contact page for people to reach out. But for the most part it’s simple and small. It’s a good way to get started online if you don’t have a lot of time to pour into your website right now.

The next type of website is an online store. This one is pretty self explanatory. This is a website where you can sell your products online. This website is a bit more complicated and takes more time to set up. You will need something like WordPress and WooCommerce or Shopify to power your online store, and you will need to think about how you’re going to process and ship orders, among other things.

Next up we have a membership website. This is where some, if not all, content is locked behind a paywall. People will have to pay a membership fee to view the content. This will also take a little bit more work and require the use of a content management system, like WordPress, to help build.

Also there are newspaper and magazine websites which produce a lot of articles and blog posts. These are simpler than a membership website (unless you want people to pay to see content), though the homepage might be a bit more complex than your typical homepage since you’re going to want to show a lot of stories.

Another type of website is a community website. This could be for a location-based community or a community based on interest. Here you’re probably going to need a forum system so that people can converse with each other about whatever. Again, a content management system is going to be a big help in making this easier for you.

You can also create a personal website. With social media platforms coming and going, it might be worth having your own personal website to host your photos, videos and other content so that you control it all. A personal website doesn’t have to be fancy or anything. It can just be your home on the web.

Finally there is a directory website. This is where you can list a bunch of businesses or websites on a website either for free or for a fee and people can come here and find what they need.

But really you can basically do whatever you want with a website.


So that’s it for today. What questions do you have about what a website is or how to create a website for your business? Be sure to leave them down in the comments section below.

If you’re looking to get started on creating a website for your business right now, check out one of the Small Business Website Starter Kits. You’ll get a website built using WordPress with a design to match your business that will give you a great digital foundation that can help your business grow. And your website will be live in less than two weeks and for a price that will fit your budget. Check out the Small Business Website Starter Kit at the link down in the description below.

Next time we’re going to talk more about why your business needs a website. But until then, I wish you and your business the best of luck

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