Helping Entrepreneurs harness digital tools to move their business to the next level.
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Technology is often weighed down by lots of jargon and acronyms that to everyday website owners may not make sense. Many business owners also will sheepishly admit that they don’t regularly update their website because they don’t understand how or make it a priority. The following are a selection of the most common questions I receive by email.
A website refresh is a yearly update of software, content but also business processes and goals along with possible appearance or branding. This basic self-care is recommended for any website:
Older than 2 years (Life moves quickly in today’s world! Business goals change, audience changes, new staff, new products… does your website reflect that also?)
Running any Flash based code (this is no longer recognized by current internet browsers so displays as blank space!)
Is not Mobile Responsive (meaning the website automatically changes the size of your information to display fitting the device). Hint: If you have to pinch to zoom to see the website on a phone or the edge of the page is cut off, it is NOT responsive.
Needs to be Disability Friendly ( Most websites are only partially American Disability Act ADA compatible, meaning people using adaptive technology can access and navigate your website information easily. Learn more about this compliance, how it affects your business and solutions here.)
Websites have long ceased to be static brochures of a business. Today, customers and clients expect them to be interactive, evolving extensions of the business you run. Your ambassador online, the first impression that most will see of your business is your website, make it work for you!
As technology advances, websites appear deceptively simple, just slap up text and images in a weekend and call it done. But when you design a website with a goal, aimed to speak to your target audience, it becomes an experience which is not so simple to craft off the cuff. (Your website is working for you isn’t it? Gone are the days of static brochure!). We as humans inherently expect interactivity and connection which is why some people feel frustrated when they can’t figure out how to “build a simple website”. It’s a lot more strategy than people realize. It requires an investment in time and resources to really understand your clients or customers, what problems can you help them solve and how you can continue to serve them in the future.
When it comes to creating a better, more efficient professional website, everyone’s “better” can be different. The following statements are ways others have found a website refresh made an impact on their business:
Lowering my stress levels and developing better balance in my life because I understand my website, every program is updated so I know exactly how much time to dedicate to my daily tasks and can create a reliable routine.
Working within a supportive mindset, to invest in and readily ask for help from the available support chat, saving time and stress not always defaulting to DIY.
Having more time to spend with my children, partner, family, and friends that slow, outdated programs needing constant maintenance were eating away extra time outside of business hours.
Making more money by exploring and diversifying income streams possible through the website.
Making the money I have go further by being proactive, stopping the money drain drip by drip when hiring ad hoc IT services to bandaid fix problems as they crop up.
Feeling more in control of my day-to-day life and the hours in my day because many repetitive tasks are now automated.
Your “better” will be a unique combination of some of those reasons and, probably, many others. A website re-design is far more than just moving some content around and making it look pretty. Your website should be working for you 100%, if it isn’t than it’s time to make it happen and take your business to the next level!
The similarities between Wix and Squarespace are obvious: about same price (monthly or annual plans), same drag and drop editors and great customer service. So what are the subtle differences?
Editing Tools. Some people feel Wix is more obvious with better control over exact placing in a layout. For others Squarespace feels logical and better option for copy + paste preserving a great layout.
Templates. There is a large social debate over the differing styles. Many describe Wix templates as creative, fun but also homemade and unprofessional. While Squarespace templates have been refered to as sleek, polished but also cold, sterile and generic. Themes are only a starting place and can greatly customized so this shouldn’t be your main decision when selecting which platform to use.
Plugins. The final difference is the ability to add special features or outside tools such as accordians, forms, shopping carts, donation buttons and gmail. Wix allows other companies to build plugins, free but limited and most you pay small monthly amounts that can add up to be expensive over the course of several years. Squarespace on the other hand, develops all of it’s own features in-house. If you want something that isn’t available than you can pay to have it custom coded or go without. There are a handful of companies that specialize in small snippets of code specifically for Squarespace that while cost more upfront, in the long run are more affordable.
I usually recommend opening a free account on both, select any theme and start playing. One of the two you will quickly prefer. Go with that platform. Because the name of the game being a sole proprietor is will you use it? So many demands pull at us when we wear all the hats, if there is even the smallest hesitation, you will avoid editing and your website will suffer.