Do I need a website?
by Jeff Shields 2022-04-18
Are you thinking you need a website? Where do you start? What are your options?
All are good questions. If you want to get yourself known and possibly sell your services or product or even just share your thoughts or ideas, having a website is a necessity today.
Can’t I just use Facebook or other social media?
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc all can help you promote your website but are only one piece of the puzzle.
What about email?
Another piece of the puzzle, but doesn’t stand alone.
Your social media presence, email and website all work together to funnel people to your message.
Consider social media as your day to day method of staying in contact with people interested in your message, whatever that might be. Email is a great way to let your followers know about a particular message. Your website is where your message lives.
OK so I need a website. Now what?
You can do it yourself if you have or wish to learn how. You can use drag and drop website builders, free or paid. You can hire a designer and developer. It all depends on your skill level, experience, budget and time constraints.
Talk to those you know who have websites and find out what they did and how they did it. Talk to a designer or developer to get an idea of costs.
Do I need a domain name?
Not necessarily, if you are using a website service but it will make you standout better if you do. Domain names are inexpensive, usually under $20/year, cheaper if you purchase multiple years at a time.
Do I need web hosting?
Yes. This is where your website lives but there are free options such as Google webpages with a drag and drop editor. Hosting costs can range from a few dollars a month up, depending on your needs. Often cheaper by the year. Heavy discounts can apply for the first period but can increase dramatically for subsequent periods.
What about email addresses?
You can have your own email address under your domain name or use public services such as gmail, hotmail, outlook, yahoo etc. Many services such as mailchimp do not allow you to use public email addresses for sending bulk email. You have the option to use your domain name along with the some of the public services. For instance you can use Google Workspaces which allows you to tie your domain name to gmail. There is a cost for this service, currently $7/month/user. You do get a larger amount of storage than a regular gmail account. You can do similar setups with Microsoft Office 365 service.
There is a lot to sort out when you want start your first website. It is important to do your do diligence. If you have a message, product or service it is time to get going today. Enjoy the process, it can be fun.