"Judge A Book By Its Cover. Covers Matter"
Everyone says, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. And then everyone does just that. When it’s surrounded by clean and bright competitors, few people choose the run down restaurant with hand-drawn signs, no matter how good the food might be reputed to be. A business’ online presence is no different. Given a choice between a tiny template site that looks like every other website ever built for under $100, and a well organized, user-friendly site that offers a wealth of product or service information in a unique and visually appealing setting, very few people will choose to invest their time and money in the former.
We’re fair people here at Amplify, and we won’t recommend services that are more than our clients need. The flip side of this is that we’re quick to speak up whenever we feel a business is about to make a mistake because they’d rather do something cheap than do it right. With all the free/inexpensive website creation services on offer, it’s understandable that some small and medium sized businesses would be hesitant to invest in a professional, custom built website. But for any business, the only realistic choice should be the professional one.
A quick, cheap (or free) website tells potential customers a lot about your business, and none of it good. The lack of customization and advanced functions will quickly become frustrating for any business owner who chooses to use an unprofessional website, but far more frustrating will be the loss of customers who choose to work with the company with the professional looking, up-to-date, and easy-to-use business site.
The choice should really be a very simple one: do you consider your business to be unique, professional, and above and beyond the competition? Then you had better have a website that shows everyone how you feel. If this is how you see your business, but to potential customers you still present a quick and dirty site that under-serves and underwhelms, then you might as well grab a magic marker and a piece of cardboard. Those professional, lit-up, glass and metal signs looked too fancy on your storefront anyway.
(Today's title quote courtesy of Nick Thacker.)