When was the last time you updated your website?
Every business needs a website. The benefits of owning your own space on the web are great, but just because you have a website doesn’t mean your aren’t loosing out.
Forgive me for generalising here, but there are 2 types of websites. Those that are lively, up to date, tell a story about your cake business and are full of your latest creations. Then there are those that (like a gravestone) list your name, some basic details and a few photos.
Part of the reason that many small cake business do such a great job of managing Facebook pages and Flickr profiles is that they are a dream to use. Within 5 minutes of completing your latest masterpiece you can have photos of it online on your various social profiles. But what about your website?
If you say yes to any of the following questions, then this post is for you:
- You have to pay a web designer to have new pictures added to your website
- You have to wait a few weeks before new cakes can be added to your site
- You don’t yet have a website, but feel you need one
So what’s the best website for your cake business?
Now, you might be wondering why I would suggest you have a blog instead of a website. Or you might be wondering what is the difference between a blog and a website. Well, without wanting to bore the crap out of you, I’m going to skip the full explanation and summarise by saying, there is no difference between a website and a blog.
I’m going to recomend 3 different types of websites/blogs and the pros and cons of each. Here’s some brief points about these:
- The basic level is absolutely free
- Each one is only slightly more difficult to update than your Facebook page
- Each one will bring valuable visitors from Google
Option 1: Use Blogger or WordPress.com
You sign up for free and everytime time you’ve finished a cake, publish your pictures in a new blog post along with a paragraph of text explaining what the cake was.
Blogger and WordPress.com (there are other site available, but these would be my recommendations) have been designed to lower the barrier for people to create their own websites and start sharing information online. That means that they are an absolute doddle to use.
So these things are always easier to understand with examples, so here’s are link to a website that uses WordPress.com:
Pros: Costs nothing.
Cons: The website address will be long, having to also include the name wordpress or blogger, so it won’t look as professional on your business card or flyers. Because the websites are owned by another company, so do all of your posts.
Option 2: Use Blogger or WordPress.com with your own domain name
So the main con with option 1 is that you end up with a long winded website address that looks unprofessional on your business card.
Domestic Sluttery use Blogger with their own domian name:
Pros: Costs about £3 a year. Looks alot more professional.
Cons: The information on your website still belongs to someone else. Can be a little tricky to set up.
Option 3: Your own website using WordPress’s free software
As well as offering you a free website on WordPress.com, WordPress also allow you to use their software on your own website.
Why would you want to do that?
- Firstly, you get access to a ton of extra features that allow you to customise your site.
- All of the information you upload belongs to you. The only reason that your website would go away is if you take it down yourself.
- For a really sophisticated look you can even purchase a premium theme from a company like Woothemes.
Want an example of a website using WordPress software?
Pros: Costs are still low, from about $4 a month at this website (I’ve never used Host Gator, so please don’t take this as a recommendation). Google loves sites that use WordPress and there are free plugins that can make your site even more search engine friendly. There is a wealth of information on the web about using WordPress, if you get stuck a simple search on Google will turn up an answer.
Cons: The site will be a little more complicated at first, as there are a ton more options.
I appreciate that for any cake business a website is probably one of the biggest marketing investments you will make. The truth is if you are planning on spending a few grand on a getting a bespoke site built from scratch, you are probably wasting your money.
What I’ve told you in this post is the same information we share with all of our clients. Not only do these sites massively reduce costs, they are easy to update, can integrate all of your social channels and will bring you more customers.
Photo credit: Steve Parker
About the author: Rob Watson works for an Internet marketing agency in Northampton, UK. He’s been friends with Laura for about 10 years and loves her cakes – especially the one she made for his birthday.