The Future Of Business Websites – And Why Owning A Perfect Lead Generation Website Just Got Easier & Cheaper
Creating and sustaining a business website can be difficult, time consuming and expensive. Getting a website online is one of the major tasks involved with launching a new business, and keeping it functional, updated and relevant on a regular basis is no less demanding. While almost everyone recognises the importance of a company website for online lead generation and sales, it’s natural for business owners to look for a more straightforward and less technically demanding means of achieving the same result. Is there a better way of ‘doing’ business websites?
The transition away from open source, self-hosted websites
The traditional business website model involves leasing a domain name and hosting space through a web hosting company, known as ‘self-hosting’, and building the website either from raw code or, more commonly, through an open-source development platform such as WordPress. Once online, all website updates have to be rolled out manually and are the responsibility of the website owner or host. Then you have the issue of ensuring your website functions correctly and looks good on the latest generation of smartphones and mobile operating systems.
It’s a process that has remained more or less unchanged since the 1990s, and often involves high web development agency fees for even basic websites.
Websites as a Service
The future of business websites, fortunately, is far easier, cheaper, and more responsive, thanks to the introduction of the software as a service (SaaS) model into the web hosting market.
Platforms like HubSpot and Shopify have made it simple for SMEs to design and maintain attractive and high functioning websites, and to market their businesses to their target customers through a range of powerful digital marketing tools. These platforms include all the front-end and administrative functions needed to sustain a website, including hosting and web design tools, in one place.
Benefits of SaaS website platforms:
Let’s look at the benefits of this shift away from open source, self-hosted websites, and why the new approach makes owning the perfect lead generation website easier and more profitable for your business.
1) Customisable Designs
SaaS website services come with a range of templates that can be customised to meet the branding and website requirements of any business. Shopify, for instance, has more than 70 free and premium website templates available for their e-commerce customers, with over 1,200 more Shopify-compatible, ready to use themes purchasable through ThemeForest. This gives users massive design choices and saves valuable time and money at the design stage.
2) Responsive Design
It is essential that modern websites can respond to whatever device a visitor is using. As this may include smartphone screens of different sizes, tablets, laptops, TV-sized desktop monitors, and even tiny smartwatches, it is crucial that the website is coded in a way that automatically adjusts the layout and content to function correctly and look great at every configuration. With a SaaS website, it isn’t you who needs to do the coding – it’s taken care of by the provider, ensuring your website looks and performs the way it should, no matter what the device or OS.
3) Cyber Security
Online security is a huge concern for all businesses, and especially those that accept payments and customer contact details through their website. The new generation of website platforms employ full-time software developers who ensure your security is up to date, so the burden of cyber security no longer falls to you or your web host.
4) Regular Updates
Open-source websites have the irritating habit of going out of date extremely quickly, and while updates are usually available, these must be downloaded and installed manually. These updates cost you time and money and are notoriously prone to glitches. However, an out-of-date website is less likely to work on all website browsers, and may be more vulnerable to cyber threats, putting you in a Catch-22 situation. So, it’s one of the major benefits of SaaS website platforms that they roll out automatic software updates without you having to even think about it, ensuring your platform is always up-to-date and enjoys close to 100% uptime.
5) 100% Data Ownership
A common argument against SaaS services in general, and cloud-based websites in particular, involves the ownership of data. Who legally owns the content hosted on a HubSpot or Shopify website, for example, and what about the contact data inputted into your site by prospective customers? This is a legitimate question, as some social media blogging platforms (e.g. LinkedIn) stake copyright ownership of all blog content published through their platform. This isn’t the case for SaaS websites, however. All vendors currently recognise the ownership rights of each user to their data and content located on the vendor’s server, which means you can download and retrieve the data at will, conduct independent backups, and transfer your content to another server.
6) Inbuilt Digital Marketing Capabilities
With self-hosted websites, the responsibility for digital marketing falls squarely with the owner, which is why the majority of business websites are effectively invisible on the Internet. To gain online visibility, you need to invest in third-party promotional tools and expertise. SaaS-built websites, on the other hand, often have a range of inbuilt tools that improve their search engine visibility and allow synergy with other digital marketing strategies, including email marketing, social media, and paid advertising. The leading platforms in the market also have extensive third-party integrations, with dozens of apps and plug-ins to connect your website with your current digital marketing tools.
Powerful lead generation websites from JDR
Without a modern and effective website, digital marketing is impossible, so a core part of our work at JDR is ensuring each customer has a website that is tailored to the needs of their target customers, and efficiently promotes their products and services. To do this we employ a variety of web development strategies, from traditional self-host options to SaaS websites, or a hybrid option to meet your unique requirements. To find out more and to start moving your website strategy into the future, please get in touch with one of our marketing specialists today.
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