There’s a saying made popular by the Dutch philosopher Erasmus. It goes “Websites: can’t live with them, can’t live without them.”
We’re paraphrasing liberally, of course.
However, that’s just how many people view websites now: as something they need to put up just because it’s the thing to do. While there’s nothing wrong with having a website that you can brandish around, misunderstanding its real purpose could be harmful to your business’s bottom line.
Those little decisions made by business owners who don’t understand why they need to get a website are what we call “website myths”, a series of outdated and misinformed notions that some people abide by when putting up a website.
To be fair, website myths were understandably common back when even casual people had trouble grasping the idea of the internet.
So, what are the common website myths that still refuse to die today? Well, we’re listing some of the more common ones below.
Myth #1: Having a website makes everything “fine”.
“Cool card, bro.”
Or as we’d like to call it, “I have a website so my business card would look even more freakin’ impressive.”
And you know what? It’s totally understandable how a website can provide you with that necessary ego boost. It’s like, “My business is online now, so that makes it even more official!”
Except… what if someone does decide to visit your website? Would you be really proud of showing to everyone all the things that they would see there? Or is it just because you decided to lease an online space and seeing where it goes from there?
Not having a definite plan and goal in mind can be perilous in what you want your website to achieve.
For one, you have to plan out the primary reason why you’re putting up a website. Regardless of the kind of product or service you are offering, realize that your website should lead to something.
Are you banking on creating a new platform to sell your products? Or is it simply to make people aware that you have something worth looking into deeper?
While a website makes things easier, it still takes plenty of preparation and, yes, work to get it to look and function the way you envisioned it in your head.
Now that we’ve got it out of the way, let’s go to the next most pernicious “myth” that prevents anyone from contracting just about anyone to help them for their website…
Myth #2: Putting up a website is an ultra-super-complicated process.
Girl’s got healthy teeth, at least.
Or, in other words, starting a website is like doing brain surgery.
Like building a website, performing brain surgery calls for a specialized practitioner who has a handful of years doing similar work under his or her belt. With that said, you might not be able to write code (or, well, operate on a brain), but that doesn’t mean you can’t be made to understand the process.
This is probably the biggest hurdle anyone not accustomed to how the modern internet works encounters: with the number of terminologies you get slapped with right out the gate—imagine struggling to know what “CMS”, “Web Hosting”, and “Domain Name” means for the first time—and it’s really easy to assume that website-building is manned by a cabal of programmers whose ways are secret from us polite society folk.
However, just like with anything else, website-building involves a process that can be easily broken down; if we’re going to be reductive about it, it’s simply design made real through programming. Though of course, there are many components that you also need to keep track of like hosting, which Content Management System or CMS to use, copy, etc.
[A little tangent here, but we’ve got a separate post detailing why WordPress is the easiest CMS to use for beginners here.]
In a way, having to monitor how a website is built is similar to overseeing any large project—there are lots of moving pieces to keep track, but it’s not exactly impossible to know who’s supposed to be doing which. Which, ironically, leads us to the next myth…
Myth #3: The more stuff you put in your website, the better.
Including the kitchen sink?
One of the cooler aspects of getting a website built is that you literally can put anything you want in there. Unlike using social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you don’t have to worry about sticking within any limits because… well, a website is your own platform.
Granted, that also means the temptation to go crazy to designing one is always there. While no one’s going to prevent you from throwing all the bells-and-whistles you can think up of on your website, there’s also a reason why many, save for a few media-reliant websites, are keeping their website designs simple.
Here are some of the main reasons
Let’s admit it: Can you even imagine reading ten pages on a book without getting distracted by your smartphone on your pocket?
Indeed, one of the more popular studies that regularly gets cited on this matter is StatisticBrain.com’s infamous “eight-second attention span” study, which—in another ironic instance—is itself disputed by several experts.ihkhkh
But you get the point, right? That’s just how today’s web browsers are wired; their attention needs to be grabbed immediately. Otherwise, the people who would be going away from your website quickly could even contribute to your website getting ranked lower on the search engines (and it’s something we’ll be getting to around soon on another post!)
In fact, today’s website users might even appreciate a simpler web design, mainly because smartphone users are almost outnumbering desktop users in terms of internet usage globally.
Besides, here’s a handy tip to keep in mind whenever you’re about to start a website: Having a nice website design must come with a good website speed. having it respond conveniently to the user’s needs matter as much as how pretty it looks.
Or, better yet, just keep it simple.
[For a more in-depth article on branding by way of web design, read up here.]
Of course, the work doesn’t stop there; you still have the matter of attracting visitors to your website and doing all the legwork to promote it. But that’s another topic we can discuss on another post!
Regardless, with these above myths busted, we hope you might have a better idea of what you want your website to look and feel like.