Let's start at the beginning: by asking “what kind of website should my company have” we are assuming that you have already made an initial decision. In other words, you have already decided that you want to have a website, instead of just having a presence on Social Networks. We start with this little clarification because we are approached by many customers with the question of whether it makes more sense to have a website or a facebook page. We'll leave the answer to that question for another article.
The quick answer to this question is: it depends on the experience you already have in digital communication…
Different companies have different needs and different budgets too. When we search the net articles on this topic, they typically follow this approach, which I would call a technique, to help answer the question “what kind of website should my business have”.
These are valid criteria but, from what we have experienced with Portuguese SMEs that want to have a web presence, there is an initial factor that seems to us to be just as or more important than that. What is your company's internal experience in this area of digital communication?.
The most important thing is the experience
Like it probably doesn't make sense to buy a Ferrari as soon as we get the license, it probably won't make much sense to create an Online Store, with stocks automatically integrated with the management software, if we've never even had an online presence before.
We're not saying that technically it doesn't even make sense, that's not it. What we mean is that if we are now going to start our online presence then, in addition to the associated technical aspect (which content manager (CMS) are we going to use, which domain are we going to register, etc) we must also consider the experience that already exists within of the company in the use of these tools, as well as in the very approach that we must have when it comes to being and communicating online.
Having a website is communicating
In the previous article about one page websites we have already mentioned that at Samsys we consider that developing a website is above all a communication job and not so much a technical job. Of course, there are technical specificities that, depending on the type of site, can have more or less impact. Anyway all the technique in the world is insufficient if we don't know how to communicate correctly.
That's why experience in different areas related to communication is so important to understand what kind of site makes sense to have. Even more so if this is the first online experience that the company wants to do.
Not sure if you have experience in communicating?
It will always be advantageous to have specialists in marketing, design, photography, among others, but even if you don't have them, for sure your company, if it is already in the market, has already had to communicate anyway. And it is to this experience that we can look.
How do you currently manage to win new customers? What characteristics do you see, in your day-to-day contact with the market, that are valued by your customers? And what support material do you currently use to communicate? I'm sure someone in the company has already made a small catalogue, which may not be fabulous, but it has worked. Or maybe you've even taken some pictures with your cell phone and that somehow already demonstrates that you do.
All this will help you understand what type of website you should have, as having or not having an idea from the beginning of what you want to communicate makes a big difference, both in terms of focus and in terms of investment value. When we are able to focus on a topic, we are usually more efficient and therefore the necessary investment is also better applied..
Past experiences help define the future
Another very important question is whether Has your company ever had an online presence experience?. The simple fact that your company has had a website before, regardless of whether the feedback was positive or not, has already allowed you to realize that the process of creating a website is a little different from what you might have been thinking (more focus on content and less on technique).
Likewise, it has already forced you to think, at least once, about the communication strategy you want to follow. And, from the moment you're online, you've already realized that the expectation of people who come to your website is that any contact that comes from it, will be answered in a time, which is normally expected faster than if that contact come from another way.
Furthermore, the employees within the company have already learned to deal with this new communication channel.. Perhaps your sales team has already started asking if new contacts have entered the site. Or your production manager has already sent you new photos to put on the website. All of this is an experience that comes into being within your company and that will help a new site to be more successful.
That's why we usually turn up our nose a little when a company that has never had any kind of online presence, be it a website, social networks, or other, which sometimes even uses a non-personalized email (for example gmail, hotmail, or other ), asks us to create an Online Store… technically we can do it, but typically it will be a long and busy process. With the same investment, you could probably create another more interesting digital communication solution with a greater possibility of return.
So what kind of website should my company have?
Bearing in mind everything we've said, this is a definition that usually makes sense to do together with the company that will help you create that site.
As specialists in development, communication and design, we assume it is our responsibility to help survey the needs of each company and analyze the experience in their respective areas, in order to advise on those that we consider to be the most appropriate solutions on the market.
Considering these factors, we frame the best approach for each company. Being that for us, at Samsys, something that is very important is to have a perspective that the website is an investment… you must pay yourself, and that means that knowing if it is an institutional site, portfolio, simple online store, online store, with stocks automatically integrated with the management software, or another option is something that will make sense to define together with a global communication strategy that leverages this new channel that your company is opening to the world.
Vítor Rodrigues worked for many years as a web programmer having developed websites since 1999. Since 2012 he coordinates the Samsys web team, which during this time has developed more than 100 WordPress sites, from institutional sites to online stores, including specific solutions for integration with other systems.
In the coming months it will publish a set of articles based on questions. Questions collected from the different conversations you had with clients or potential clients. If you have any questions you would like to ask, please fill in the form below.
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