First off, let me say that there are MANY good reasons you should build a website. It can change your life, open new doors, help you explore your creativity, reach new audiences, help people, grow your organization’s influence/reach, create a new income source, and much much more. Building/having a website can be an incredibly positive experience and is probably something that everyone should have. However, before you start your next website, we recommend that you consider these 5 reasons not to start a website.
Based on the fact that we here at Mint Plugins are in the business of selling website tools to help you make your website amazing, it might be surprising to see a blog post titled like this one is.
The truth of the matter is that we like to see websites succeed. We don’t want to just sell you a bunch of things you don’t ultimately end up using. So we’ve created a list of the top 5 reasons you should NOT start a website. If this list doesn’t phase you, then you’re ready to build an amazing website. But if this list makes you less excited about your website, it might be a good time to think your website idea through for a bit longer and let it “bake” until you’re truly ready to go for it.
Without further ado, lets get into the list!
1. Websites take up time.
No matter how you slice it, even with WordPress (installs in 5 mins), and one of our Themes (installs in 2 minutes), making a website that is valuable takes time. While WordPress and our Themes will make it very easy for you to have an amazing looking website, what you ultimately have is a STARTING point – not the end. It’s like you’d have an amazing foundation for a beautiful house – but the house is up to you to build now. It’s like you have a book with a beautifully designed hard cover and crisp pages – but you need to write the words that go on those pages.
What does building the house look like in this analogy? It’s things like writing text/blogs, uploading photos, making videos, and creating content that is useful to your targeted audience. If it isn’t useful in some way to your audience, why would they ever want to come to your website? If your website is supposed to be educational, educate people constantly. If it’s supposed to be about comedy, make people laugh constantly.
2. You haven’t pondered who your target audience is yet.
A target audience is similar to a target in archery. Without knowing where the target is, it’s going to be very hard for you to hit it. It’s like putting on a blindfold, having your friend spin you around 50 times, and then firing off arrows hoping you’ll magically hit the target. Your chances of success are very low. That analogy might seem funny, but that’s exactly what you’d be doing if you started a website without knowing what/where your target was.
Now, it’s entirely possible that your website doesn’t need a specific target audience – or that it needs time to develop an organic audience. While rare, these websites do exist. All I’ll say is if that’s you and you don’t think you need to know who your target audience is, make sure you know WHY you don’t need a target audience. Make that decision after giving it some thought.
To help get you started on thinking about your target audience, here are a few possible examples:
– 20 -25 year olds
– 20 -25 year olds on their phones
– 75 year olds using a tablet at home
– 25 – 35 year olds on a desktop at home
– People of any age interested in your topic
The list can go on and on. Once you nail it down to a few, try combining those to further aim at your target. The more you know your target, the higher your chances of hitting bullseye. And again, your “target” could be either very narrow and defined, or very broad. Just know your target.
3. If you want to “set it and forget it”.
The internet is still like the Wild Wild West. But instead of cowboys running rampant, there are hackers waiting to take advantage of websites that people set and forget. Aside from insecure passwords, the #1 cause of hacked websites are ones that aren’t up to date. You will need to log into your WordPress at least once a month to do updates or there’s a good chance that you’ll get hacked at some point – or something will break. Make sure that when you set your website, that you don’t forget it. A good motto might be to “set it and remember it”.
WordPress makes updates amazingly easy. Simply log in at YOURDOMAINHERE.com/wp-admin, click on “Dashboard” > “Updates” and click “Update”. Do that at least once a month.
4. If you don’t want it.
This is similar to both 1 and 3 as it relates to time. However, this one is more of a moment of self reflection. There are a lot of things in life that you could do. As children we are often told we can do ANYTHING we put our minds to. However, while you can do anything you put your mind to, you can’t do EVERYTHING. There are only 24 hours in a day and unless you have money to pay employees, YOU are the one who has to put in the extra hours after your “real” job – working instead of relaxing. This is something that is easy to do at first, but after a while you can start to get burnt out. Make sure that if you are serious about a website idea that it is something you’re willing to trade in relaxation time for. Make sure you’re willing to put in those extra hours. Otherwise, you may just end up wasting money on your domain, your hosting, and your Theme as your website sits dormant while you move onto other things.
Don’t expect your website to “take off” right away. It usually takes some time for a website to start gaining traction – even if you’re dedicated to maintaining it. There are so many competing websites out there that are already getting traffic and you’re freshly breaking onto the scene. Your website will take time to start “ranking up” on Google – but if you stick at it, you will eventually get traffic. Sometimes it may not seem that way but the sites that make it are the ones that keep making valuable, fresh content and don’t quit.
Here’s the thing, not wanting to “stick with” a website doesn’t make you lazy – it likely just means you weren’t as passionate about the website as you first thought. And that’s okay – sometimes we need to pursue ideas to find out they weren’t worth pursuing. But before you dive into your next website, do yourself a favour and ask yourself some of those tough questions about how much time you are willing to dedicate to building that idea – and the other things you’ll have to say “no” to in order to make time for this “yes”.
5. You don’t want to spend any money.
The elephant in the room is that running a successful website will cost you money to start up and also to maintain. Even a new website with few visitors costs money to host every single year. While websites are relatively cheap to start up, if you are expecting it to be free, you’ll be in for a surprise when you need to spend somewhere around $100/year hosting it, $10/year for the domain, $5 for each email account using your domain name (like firstname.lastname@example.org etc), and $79 for your theme.
These are simply your start-up costs. If you want to do e-commerce as well and want it to appear professional, expect to pay about $200 for plugins to make things like credit card processing work smoothly. There are definitely ways to cut down on those costs (like using Paypal Standard to accept credit card payments until you make more money – which comes free with Easy Digital Downloads – which is also free).
I’m not saying it WILL cost you all that much, but I’m saying to prepare yourself that it COULD. Every website is different any unique so your costs could be lower or higher depending on your needs.
Is it time to start your next website?
If none of the things on that list scare you – but instead they excite you, then it is probably a great time for you to roll up those sleeves and get started. You probably have a really successful website idea on your hands and the required gumption and passion to make it happen.
However, if any of those things is something you didn’t expect to hear, I recommend giving your website idea some thought. If you have any questions, leave a comment and lets have a discussion about it!
We are on your side and we want your website to be successful. Thanks for reading this honest/blunt article and here’s to building truly successful websites!