As I teach in my online course, there are many things to consider when starting a business, above and beyond the client work that you’ll actually get paid to perform. For me, creating a spectacular website at the beginning was paramount but I didn’t have the budget to hire a professional, nor did I know how to create one myself. At the recommendation of a friend, I turned to Strikingly, a “plug-and-play” product. For those first few years of entrepreneurship, it did exactly what I needed; even today, I continue to recommend the platform to anyone starting a business. (In my online course, I even provide a discount).
As a former colleague would often say, don’t get hung up creating something fancy before you can test drive it. I needed a nice looking website, but I didn’t yet need all of the bells and whistles. At the beginning I had high hopes that my business would succeed, but I didn’t know for sure that is would; the investment in Strikingly seemed appropriate for the time.
Luckily, my business has only grown since.
Last fall I knew I needed to make a change to better support my expanding ventures – including an online course that I was hosting on a third-party platform (and giving that same platform a considerable cut of my hard-earned money). I inevitably turned to WordPress, with the help of web designer.
The reasons were numerous.
Is totally customizable (I was able to integrate my branding colors, photographs, and special CTAs);
Is Responsive (…lookin’ sharp on desktops AND mobile)
Has integrations galore (like MailChimp, Social Warfare, and Learn Dash); and,
Provides more control to the owner (and I really like control).
I also was able to bring my online course, The Savvy Soloist, over to my own domain…instead of sending students to another website. My hope it to expand my online offerings in the coming years – having a ready-made subdomain will now make that easier than ever.
Refreshing a website is no walk in the park. Aside from the countless hours of design and coding – best left to a professional – there is a lot of work to do drafting language, selecting photographs, and testing.
As technologies advance and user behavior changes, websites must also adapt. Heeding that advice, be astute in your initial web investments, but when you gain solid footing in business ventures, be sure to upgrade.