This month I’ve spent a lot of time investigating the different platforms a non-technical person can develop a website on. This was for two reasons. My husband needed a new website and I’d heard there were lots of free ones on offer. And looking around for him made me notice my current provider is starting to look more and more clunky next to the competition.
Why should you be interested in this? Reading this blog suggests you’re interested in soap of some kind. You may have a family with sensitive skin, or you may have got side-tracked looking for a Christmas gift and ended up in blog-land. You probably want the sites you browse to allow you to easily see what’s on offer and pay for it.
I also enjoy looking at my customers website and all the different ways they promote their wares.
Just as not all soaps are created equal, not all web platforms are created equal. Although I’m from an IT marketing background I’m not a web developer. I don’t like to code (BASIC anyone?). So, when I look for a web platform I’m looking for something that make’s things easy for my customers and me. After three years with my current platform I’ve developed a list of what I want:
-free basic package
-easy to find (easy to SEO optimise)
-easy to see what’s on offer (Google-approved mobile friendly)
-easy to sign up to mailing lists without buying something
-easy to find more detailed information about soap for those who are interested
-easy to pay and accept payments
-integration with my payment and accounting systems (this one has turned out to be a lot less important than I thought – manual downloads are OK for a small business)
I love that my current platform is New Zealand owned, but I’m sorry that’s not enough anymore. You must also be good to my customers. People complain they can’t find me unless they specifically search on Hopi or Wellington and Google doesn’t like the mobile optimisation so won’t prioritise my site in searches (although it looks great and works well). Lots of new features, but they’re just making it clunky as no one has changed the overall picture. And it’s getting more expensive while other offerings are free for basic packages.
What’s a girl to do? Changing platforms will take ages (loading all those products!) and there is no way I’m tackling that until after the Christmas rush, so my provider is safe for now. But every time I find something else that my site can’t do and the competition can, it moves up my list of things to do.
P.S. Simon’s new website should go live tonight when he gets back from school camp with our son. I’ll add the link when it does - here it is https://www.arben.co.nz.
P.P.S. This isn’t shameless advertising for Simon’s website, I swear.