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4 common myths about building a website

June 17, 2015 CK Wong Category : , , , , , ,

Website is no longer an option nowadays but a necessity, be it just a static website, a CMS (content management system) or e-commerce website.

However, we have encountered many cases where website owners are still having the same mindset like, 10 years ago.

Hence, we summarized and clarified 4 myths what website owners commonly share, on building their website.

CMS / SaaS vs website builder

What is SaaS?

Back in the old days, many websites are built with "SI model", a customized solution by website builder, a project meant to deliver the website (software and hardware) with x amount of budget, then with the option of maintenance or support fees.

It's more common nowadays to adopt a CMS model, with self-serviced content management system for website owners to update the website content anytime they like. This has evolved into SaaS (Software as a Service) a.k.a cloud solutions, where the system is hosted online and website owners don't need to worry about upfront software and hardware investment.

Our perspective is CMS / SaaS model has an edge here. The myth is many website owners are still skeptical about paying the monthly / annual fees, but they might not understand that they are paying for both software and hardware maintenance.

Of course, some website owners have almost zero idea (or no resources) to setup and update the website content, hence CMS will be pointless so one-off model could come into rescue.

Mobile no longer is an option, but mobile app is

Mobile web vs app

Many website owners are still not aware of the importance of mobile-optimized website. The fact is, sooner or later more than 50% of your website traffic will be coming from smartphones.

The solution is easy here, just opt for a responsive website, where as the website will be served in the optimum layout to the devices (computer, tablet, phone).

For laymans, instead of mobile-optimized website the common questions are "Do you build mobile app?", "How much does it cost to build a mobile app?" etc.

Forget about the cost of mobile app development, yes you can drive mobile app installations via advertising but getting people to use your mobile app (activation) on regular basis is the big question you can ask yourself first.

So really, mobile app is not a must, responsive website should be prioritized first.

Website is for your users, not how you want it to be

Are you trying to just copy competitors?

If you are website developer, some of the popular requests that you might get is "Can you follow my competitor x look and feel?", "This site y design is nice, this is something that I want" etc.

There is nothing wrong with benchmarking your competitors or other good websites, but it is more important to prioritize the user experience for your own site visitors, rather than refer (copy) blatantly from others.

Many website owners are also requesting the website to be done according to their personal preference. Again, remember the website is for your users, not how you want it to be.

Solutions? Conduct A/B testing, user testing, or hire a user experience expert if this is something you are not familiar with.

It's not about the system, it's about the content

Content is King!

Many website owners are still emphasizing too much on system specification, website features etc. No doubt it is important but what's arguably more important is the website content.

It's not about how sophisticated your website is, it's about how good your content is, for both your website visitors and the search engine.

For search engine, basic SEO setup is a must but often neglected, for example setting up your website in Google Webmaster Tools with sitemap submitted, using important keywords at the right place of your website etc.

Most importantly the content is for your users to understand what you are offering. Always remember that users tend to browse rather than read, so visuals have higher importance than text.

In e-commerce context, you can read further on how Bellroy optimizes its website content for best user experience.


What say you?