Three Reasons You Do Not Need A Website

Michelle MacDonald

By Michelle MacDonald

It may seem a bit strange for someone who makes their living from creating, analyzing, and updating websites to suggest that maybe you don’t even need a website. But for some businesses and organizations, this may be the case.

It is almost accepted as an inviolable truth today that any business or organization needs to be on the internet and that without a web site, failure is certain. That’s certainly not true. All of the reasons for creating a website certainly hold true, and the majority of businesses and organizations do in fact benefit from an internet presence. But that’s not a universal truth.

The first thing anyone considering a website should understand is that there is no such thing as a free ride when it comes to your internet presence. Creating an effective internet presence requires an investment. That investment can be in the time, in money, or in staff resources diverted from other efforts, but there is an investment involved. Even the lowest cost options – joining a “free” internet page service, or having your brother’s best friend’s son design and put up your page need your attention, and the time you put into it is indeed an investment.

Before automatically assuming that you absolutely need a website, consider whether or not any of the following apply to you:

  • You are not willing to make the investment for a quality website. Your website is part of your public face. In particular for potential or first time customers or clients, your website is often their first stop. First impressions are hard to reverse, and if you are not willing to make the investment for a quality website, it will show in the result. A poor quality website can actually do more harm to your business than having no website at all.
  • You expect that customers will flock to your door simply by putting up a website. If you expect that fame and riches will come your way simply because you have a website, think again. The old saying “build it and they will come” is nothing but a straight-out lie. A website does not build success – your business model builds the success, and your website is simply a vehicle to support your business. If your business model assumes that building a website means instant success, then not only do you not need a website, but you need a new business.
  • You want to build a website and never have to deal with it again. This is an unrealistic expectation, and anyone that develops a website with this approach usually becomes surprised and disillusioned by the result. Even if you are happy with your first effort, at some point you will want to make changes. Businesses and organizations evolve and change (particularly when they are young) and you will want your public fact to reflect who you are today, and not who you were last week or last year. Even if the business does not change, your customers change and technology changes, so your image and reputation have to change just to keep up. If your plan is to make a single investment in a website and never touch it again, then just save your money.

Before creating your website, make sure that you have realistic expectations. There can be great benefits in having a quality website that reflects and supports your business or organization goals. But, like any other aspect of your business, that does not come for free. Realizing that potential requires investment in quality, an understanding of exactly how it can help you meet your goals, and ongoing attention.

If you aren’t willing to make the commitment, then you’re better off staying away.