The problem with websites in 2021

I totally get it, having a new website built and keeping on top of it can be a frustrating experience. 

Managing and maintaining a website, creating content, and getting the most out of it after it’s launched can be a full time job that you just don’t have time for, especially when you have a business to run and also want to have a life outside your business.

Here are some problems with websites I’ve heard people talking about and that I’ve personally come across in the fifteen-plus years I’ve been building them that I think can be turned on their head.

Nobody uses websites anymore

With the rise of social media and other platforms you can use to promote your business, it can seem like there’s zero point in having a website for your business.

While I think this can work for some businesses, and there is definite proof out there that it’s possible to have a business without a website, I firmly believe that having a website for your business adds that extra level of credibility that could be the difference between someone deciding to do business with you, or going somewhere else.

Your website might not directly be the thing that facilitates people doing business with you, but even just having an awesome looking homepage that people can check out at a glance will make you stand out against businesses that have a bad website or nothing at all.

It’s common these days for a business to have a stripped back website with only the key information and no unnecessary features that acts as a way for people to easily find out more and get in contact with you without the distraction of social media.

Don’t stop when your website is launched 

Creating content and updating your website regularly is a great way to stand out from your competition and to avoid having a website that nobody visits.

It’s also super important to actively promote your website after it’s launched by having your website address everywhere people might see it in places such as:

  • Social media profiles (including your personal profile)
  • Business cards and letterheads
  • Email signature
  • Car and other signage
  • Branded clothing
  • Invoices 

There are too many website builder options

You might have started doing some research into the best way to build a website.

It can be daunting to find out how many ways you can build a website and you might have found that the more you look, the more options there are to pretty much do the same thing.

Everything from WordPress with a page builder like Elementor, Oxygen, Beaver Builder, and more, to SquareSpace, Wix, Click Funnels, and whatever other new tools have come out in the past 6 months. 

You’ve probably also found that everyone has an opinion and whatever tool that person uses is the absolute best thing out there and you’d be a fool to use anything else.

I’ve seen so many different tools come and go over the years, some have stuck around, some have gotten better, some have gotten worse.

Technology by nature is always changing and improving so there will never be a point in time when there is a 100% ultimate perfect solution. 

The best thing to do to avoid overwhelm and procrastination is to pick something that is known to be used by a lot of people and has overall positive reviews and run with it, otherwise you’ll never get anything done.

I’m regularly trying out and testing new tools that come onto the market so I can keep up with what people are using, what is the most stable, and perhaps most importantly, what is still going to be used and supported for years to come.

All websites look the same now

The past five to six years or so have seen an explosion in website builders which often include ready made templates that can make it quick and easy to get something amazing looking up and running very quickly. 

Add to this the plethora of free stock photos available from a range of different websites and you end up seeing the same layouts and images all over the web.

The problem with this is that you tend to see site after site that has a similar layout, look, and feel with a half baked attempt to customise it by plonking in some thin content.

I do see the benefit in using templates sometimes as a starting point or to get some inspiration for how your site might look, but to avoid your website looking the same as everyone else there are some things you can do 

You could hire a professional web designer who will work with you to build  a custom website that is designed to align with your brand and help connect with your target audience. 

You could have professional photos taken of you and your team instead of using stock photos.

You could hire a copywriter who will help you put into words the things that your potential customers are searching for in way that communicates what they need to know to work with you or buy your products.

Pre-made templates can certainly save some time in the early stages, but I think it’s important to spend a bit of extra time on making sure your website is unique in some way and communicates how you are different to your competition.

Websites are too hard to update yourself 

You’re excited! Your brand new website is live, you’ve got your admin login details, and you’re ready to start adding and updating content on your website pages or your blog. 

You log in and you see a complicated control panel that makes no sense at all and doing something as simple as adding a sentence to a web page feels like flying a space shuttle to the moon.

I can see how a website admin area can seem daunting if you’ve never used one before, but with the right person to guide you, it can be really simple, and once you do it a few times it will be a breeze.

A good web designer will help you after your website is launched and should be able to provide you with simple instructions that will make updating your website enjoyable and something you can do with ease.

Websites take too long to build

I’ve seen websites take close to two years from the time the project started to completion. You might have experienced this yourself, and I would have to say, it’s not your fault.

It’s not uncommon for a website to take way longer than it should to be built and launched. The number one reason I see for this is the lack of a clear plan for who needs to provide what.

As a business owner, you know your business better than anyone, so you know the best things that should be included in your content that make up the pages of your website.

The problem is, you’re not a copywriter so it can be like pulling teeth trying to write even three paragraphs for your home page, let alone and entire website and blog.

As a web designer, it’s our job to guide you through this process and help you understand the best way to create and provide your content, how to write it so it appeals to your target audience best, and what you should and shouldn’t include.

This could be something you do yourself, or it might make more sense to hire someone to do it for you to achieve the best result.

Either way, content creation is a crucial part of a successful website shouldn’t be an afterthought.

It’s impossible to find a web designer I can trust

I completely understand that some business owners have lost sleep over their website and I’ve heard some horror stories over the years, some of those from my clients and their experiences with past web designers that I’ve taken over from.

It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the reputation of an entire industry, and everyone has a different experience that can be affected by a number of different factors.

It could be that a web designer has taken on a project that is above their skill level and hasn’t been honest about it, resulting in a website that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.

It could be as simple as all people involved in a website project not being a good fit to work together for whatever reason.

My number one goal is to be as open and honest with my clients about what is realistic and achievable, and if I can actually help them do what needs to be done.

If I can help, that’s great! If I can’t, I’ll be honest about it and do my best to help point them in the right direction.

If any of this resonates with you and you would like help working out the next steps to having an awesome new website designed and built, contact me to arrange a chat.