You don't need a website
social-media-as-website-alternative
social-media-as-website-alternative

Online presence without a website

Are you sure that you need a website? Have you considered all the alternatives to building a website first? Perhaps you can save that money on the website and spend it elsewhere where your investment goes a long way.
nilead-author-vu-nguyen
by Vu nguyen
April 14, 2019

We are a web agency, kind of. Why does a website agency tell you that you don't need a website? Because sometimes you actually don't need a website. When people come to us asking for a website, our first question is: why?

Why do you need a website?


When we ask our clients these questions, the most common answers are:
  1. I want to be found online when people search on Google.
  2. I want to showcase or sell my products and services.
  3. I want to impress potential investors.
  4. I want to reach a remote audience.

Sometimes there are strange answers such as:
  1. My competitor has one so I guess I must have one.
  2. I need to print my business card and I need a website asap so I can put on the card.
  3. I want a website just because.
(The business card reason pops up more often than you think)

Now, there is nothing wrong if you have so much money and do not know where to spend it. You can decide to spend it on having a website. It's cool and many agencies will gladly take your money.

Goal, Goal, Goal


Most businesses have limited resources and need to achieve their goals in the most optimal way possible.

Creating a website can be relatively cheap nowadays with so many options. Maintaining a website to generate profit is time and resource consuming.

I have a two-and-a-half-year-old son myself. The time and effort to raise him up is tremendous. I could neglect him (can be a crime in many countries), but the chance that he grows up to be a good person is slim in that case. He requires constant attention (and now that he can "order" me to put down the phone, he has become more demanding than ever). I need to spend time listening to him, read to him as much as I can, spend good money to send him to private kindergarten. (I should note that the main reason I spend time with him is that I love to do so).

I know it may sound weird comparing raising a child with maintaining a website. What I want to stress is that you cannot expect a great result without hard work.

Take a simple company website, for example, you need to:
  1. Regularly check and update your website for security to avoid hacks.
  2. Ensure all the things on your website work (the contact for should send customer requests to your admins and the content should display correctly on the customers' devices).
  3. Spend a good amount of time writing useful content for your target audience who can then find out about your business through these blog posts and articles.

If you cannot find the resources to maintain your website, then perhaps having a website is not a good thing for you yet. An outdated or broken website can hurt your business. Customers may question the authenticity of your business. They may wonder if the business is still in operation at all because the last time you updated your site was 2 years ago.

What you save from paying for a good website project, you pay by your reputation and potential business.

Online presence without a website


There are alternatives to consider before investing in a website:

1. Use social media pages

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn can be your home online, you can customize the content and look to a certain extent.
Pros:
  1. Free or relatively low cost.
  2. Huge customer base.
  3. Can reach the interested Target audience.
  4. Updating or adding new content is relatively simple and quick.
  5. Have the technical maintenance taken care of.
Cons:
  1. Can get affected by social media policy and their reputation.
  2. Can be limited in what you can customize.
Be mindful of the target audience, however. If you want to target corporate customers then LinkedIn is a good place to start, if you care more about the younger fashion audience then Instagram it is.


2. Use single web page services

Services such as about.me allows you to quickly create a very simple, single page web page with the most essential information about you and your business.
Pros:
  1. Free or relatively low cost.
  2. Updating or adding new content is relatively simple and quick.
  3. Have the technical maintenance taken care of.
  4. More control over your website content and layout.
Cons:
  1. Not completely free.
  2. Can be limited in what you can customize

3. Use Market Places for eCommerce

If your purpose is selling online, then you can utilize market places both local and internationally such as Amazon, Etsy, etc...
Pros:
While these market places have commission fees you have to pay, they have:
  1. An existing base of customers that you can immediately tap into.
  2. You can also enjoy the trust that your customers have in these market places. This is extremely useful if you haven't built a name for yourself yet.
  3. Warehousing and other extra services within the Ecosystem.
Cons:
  1. High commission fee
  2. Difficult to build up your brand name and loyal customer base

One quick tip for using these services is that you can purchase a domain, most of the time very cheap. You can then redirect your domain to the page on your social media or your market place. This way you can use the domain in your marketing materials. In the future, when you are ready for a website, you can always redirect that domain to your new website.

4. Use Messaging Apps

Another quick way to connect to remote customers anywhere on the world is through private message apps such as WhatsApp, FB messenger, Viber, Line, and many others. They are all free and convenient way to immediately talk to potential buyers.

If I managed to talk you out of doing a website already at this point, congratulations, you saved yourself at least a few thousand dollars. If you still think that you need a website then it means you now make an informed decision knowing all the alternatives.

There are many options when it comes to creating a website, I discussed website builders and custom website in on our blog. If you are truly serious about succeeding online, consider our fully managed website service where we take care of everything a-z for you with unlimited changes. Our approach to website design and development allows rooms for changes and improvement even after the site deployment so that you don't have to be right on your first try.

about the author


nilead-author-vu-nguyen
Vu Nguyen
Vu Nguyen is an entrepreneur, a developer, and a founder of nilead.com. While his love is in the backend website development work, his experience covers eCommerce (being both a real online store owner and a developer), Search Engine Optimization, UX Design and Content Strategy.

Since 2005, Vu Nguyen has led and directed UX design, full-stack development teams on projects large and small for corporations, start-ups, individuals and more. He was involved in every task of each project, from idea to concept and vision, prototype, detailed design, build and deployment.

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