Okay, everybody is online. Your friend just got a website for her business, another friend of yours started a blog recently and it is gaining traction and you want to join the Bandwagon and own your own website. That sounds like a good idea and will give your business a professional look. But before you get lost in the euphoria of getting a website, you’ve got to sit down and count the cost to see if you are ready for it. And when I talk about counting the count, I don’t just mean money. I mean the total requirement to get a website up and running (without breaking).

You see, a website can be a great way to boost your business and increase sales because unlike a brick and mortar store that is location-based, a website can be accessed by anyone, anywhere on the globe. That’s exciting to know right? But if this opportunity is not harnessed well, a website can be a nightmare to your business. You won’t just spend money endlessly on your hosting company and developer, you may be creating the wrong impression of your business to the public.

And so before you commit a damn to build a website, you need to undergo these assessment tests without bias:

  1. Why do I need a website?

It is unfortunate to say, but it is true, that many people don’t understand their business especially as it concerns the digital space and as such, they don’t fully grasp the purpose of a website. I work with clients and so I know what am saying about this.

The journey of a thousand miles they say starts with a step. That step in the journey of owning your own website is to understand your business
thoroughly. Pick up a pen and paper and answer these questions honestly as they will help you to understand why you need a website.

    • Why are you really in business? If you start with this question, it will give a head-on to other things about your business. Are you in business for passion or just for profit-making? What drives you the most in your business? Do you have a business core value?
    • What are you offering? What exactly are you selling? Is it products or services? Are they essential goods or non-essentials? Are you into ostentatious items? These questions will help you identify the services that you offer.
    • Who are your audience? Are your audience computer literate? Do they own a smartphone? If your reach is just the people in your inner cycle or your neighborhood, don’t bother owning a website. Word of mouth will do that better.

If you can answer these questions satisfactorily, it means that you have understood your business to a great extent and that takes us to the digital aspect of your business. In getting started with a website, you need to provide answers to these questions.

Why do you need a website?

A website is many things to many people and serves different purposes. Some websites are just a personality website that tries to promote a person to gain prominence or to maintain prominence.

Many celebrities today have a personal website that is all about them and what they do. So you need to understand why you need a website. Do you want to increase your business visibility or make sales? Do you want to gain traction in the digital space or you want all these working at the same time? You need to explicitly provide answers to these questions.

What type of website do you need?

If you’ve been able to answer question #2 correctly, you shouldn’t have a problem with this. The purpose of a website determines the type that will be built or developed.

Here are some common types of websites:

    • Personality Website that I just talked about focuses more on individuals than companies e.g. Beyoncé, Pst. Gwamna,
    • Blogs. Many people do not know that a blog is a type of website with all the features of a conventional website but it focuses more on sharing information and educating the audience than sales e.g. Linda Ikeji, Vanguard, etc.
    • E-commerce websites. This is purely for buying and selling. Just the same way you go to a boutique to buy a cloth so you do here and
      they are mostly are large sites that offer a range of products and thus requires constant updating examples are Amazon, eBay, Jumia,
      Konga, Aliexpress etc.
    • Trading website: these are websites that trade virtual currencies like bitcoins, etheruim, and the rest of them. It’s like the stock exchange platform and requires a lot of monitoring.
    • Betting website are just what is called. Used for playing belt e.g. Naira bet, Bet Naija, etc. These are some of the common type of websites we have.

Who are your primary audience?

This is the most important factor to consider in designing a website. Apart from the fact that it determines the website designs and content, it will also guide you on how to generate traffic. Is your website for children, adults, women, entrepreneurs, Christians, or Muslims? A good way to answer this question is to do a customer profiling on your past and current customers using this guide:

    • Who are your target audience [men, women, children, professionals,
      pastors, Imams, activities]
    • Where are they located?
    • What language do they speak?
    • What is there age bracket?
    • What is their educational background?
    • What are their interests?
    • What do they want?
    • What is their cultural background?

All these will help you understand who you may be reaching out to with your website and will, in turn, determine the tone, design, and layout of your website.

What is the size of your traffic?

Traffic is a measure of how many people are on your website per time. Traffic determines a lot in the choice of a hosting company to host your website the choice of web space and many other things. For sites designed for low traffic, you don’t have to bother about getting big webspace unless you’re expecting it to grow quickly.

Where will your traffic come from?

There are a number of ways of generating traffic to your website like contact forms, social media pages, prints and so. The choice of traffic source will go a long way in determining the layout of your site.

These are some of the most important factors to consider in getting a website. The list is not exhaustive but these are the most important. Having settled with all these answers, you can now go on to talk about your website name, hosting company and the other thing needed.