Everyone and everything has a website these days – and for a good reason! There are over 4.66 billion internet users today, a figure that’s still growing. That makes it potentially the most significant and untapped market for your business. A business website presents the ultimate opportunity to advertise your business, connect with consumers anywhere in the world, and be a constant presence in their lives and minds.
This is true even if you own a brick-and-mortar business in Toronto or in fact anywhere. Today, most people Google or visit the website of a business before physically popping in. If they can’t find you, they will move on to the next result instead of potentially wasting their time.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of websites, what benefits they bring, and what you should consider so that you can pick the best option for your business.
This is the most basic type of website. Static websites generally consist of one to 5 pages with the typical pages we expect to see on most websites, such as:
Static websites are so-called because their content is not updated regularly. For this reason, they are also often called “brochure websites.” That’s because any new changes or content has to be added as code or markup in the actual HTML files.
That being said, static websites are often the cheapest and quickest websites to build from scratch. The only catch is the increase in the effort needed to develop and maintain balloons dramatically as the website grows and requires more features.
So, static websites are most suitable for basic, small business websites that don’t need regular updates, advanced features, and they don’t significantly scale over time. If you want a website to act as an online billboard for your business, it might be the most cost-effective option.
As the name suggests, dynamic websites are the polar opposite of static sites. They used advanced scripting languages like PHP to dynamically build websites as users are loading them. The content, layout, and other data are stored in databases and fetched at runtime to construct the complete website pages you see.
With dynamic websites, you can also take advantage of localization to target specific markets. For example, a web development company in Toronto can optimize your pages for Toronto visitors. Still, visitors from the U.S., the U.K., or any other region might see it localized for them.
CMSs, such as WordPress, are examples of dynamic websites. The advantage of these sites is that it’s easier to add new content to them or change the existing content, style, or layout. For example, a single change (to your brand color) can instantly be updated across the entire website without having to make the change in each HTML file separately.
When built from scratch, dynamic websites will be more costly and time-consuming to make. However, you can give up some flexibility, performance, and scalability by going for a CMS-built website.
Here are the other reasons a dynamic website might be best for your business:
- Particularly with a CMS, such as WordPress, you can create and publish your content, such as blog posts, products, etc., using the backend functionality – no coding knowledge required.
- You want to capture visitor information to be used for marketing, user profiles, lead generation, etc., as well as other website analytics.
- You want a blog, portfolio, etc., that can regularly be updated and added to.
- You have ambitions to grow your traffic and website with more pages, functionality, and content over time.
Because of their scalable nature, dynamic websites can be built for all kinds of businesses. However, they may cost significantly more to develop and maintain. Furthermore, there might be other ongoing costs to consider for premium themes, plugins, support, etc., when using a CMS.
An online blog is a superb business tool to have for several reasons. Content is considered one of the best ways to generate more organic traffic and grow your audience as a business. It also presents you with tons of opportunities to drive social engagement and proof and rank for search engines.
At the very least, it’s a great communication channel between your business and existing/potential customers where you control the narrative. It’s also never been easier to have and manage a blog of your own. CMSs, such as WordPress, specialize in making owning, managing, and publishing content on a blog a breeze.
A blog can easily be incorporated into any website. Any business today can benefit from a blog, particularly if you intend to grow your audience and potential customer pool. Or to keep up engagement with your existing customer base.
Do you operate a retail business? Today, you can sell just about anything online and find an online consumer market willing to buy your product or service, from physical or digital products to services to subscriptions, with relative ease.
Aside from different types of products, you can also have different types of e-commerce stores depending on your business model:
- Vendor marketplaces
- Bidding sites
- B2B e-commerce sites
- Private labeling
- White labeling,
- Booking and ticketing sites for events, etc.
Because they require many functionality, updates, and data, e-commerce websites are a specific type of dynamic website. However, there are specific tools available to make building an e-commerce store easier and to help you find success.
WordPress + the WooCommerce e-commerce plugin is one of the most popular options from a CMS perspective. It’s great if you want a website that you can manage and update yourself after it has been completed. There are e-commerce-specific platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify too.
E-commerce websites typically need a lot of additional security, especially regarding payment gateways.
You can also build an e-commerce website from scratch. This will give you ultimate flexibility in terms of features, performance, and looks, although it’s one of the most expensive and time-consuming websites to build.
Above all else, you must get your business presence online ASAP. There are already nearly 2 billion websites on the internet, with a significant portion of them being business websites. As consumer confidence on the internet grows, so will the only opportunities. In many instances, online platforms are already putting pressure on physical businesses, particularly in retail.
Get started on launching your business website today and ride the wave of this growing trend set to dominate the future of business.