Journey from hobby website to microbusiness

Introduction: Do I need a website?

Before embarking on any web project, it is important to be clear about the objectives of the project. Do you really need a web site or do you need a web presence? The answer to the later is almost always a yes, while the answer to the former is that with the advent of so many different types of web tools, a web site may not necessarily be the best option to achieve your goals. In the past, having a web presence meant having a web site, but that is not true anymore.

For instance, if the objective of a site is to showcase videos and movies, a YouTube channel may be more effective than having a dedicated hosting site for those movies. It is also cheaper to do so because videos take up a lot of bandwidth which can be  expensive. Similarly, to showcase professional acheivements, a linkedin profile and active participation in Linkedin groups will work very well even without a dedicated personal site.

There are many cases where it is clear that a website is the way to go. Some cases where a non-web professional needs a website are:

  • To support a business: If you are running a business of any scale, the most likely source of enquiries will be web search, and a web site is important to support that. Such a site need not be large, but it must contain the information that people are looking for - typically address, working hours and contact info.
  • To show case unique/exclusive work: If you have your own unique ideas and thoughts, a web site is a great way of presenting and sharing them.
  • To earn from adverstising or other means
  • For selling goods or services: Selling goods may often require a website especially for businesses of a B2B (business to business) nature where options such as E-bay or Amazon may not be the best.

If it is clear that a website is required, the next step is to determine what kind of hosting is required for the site.

Next: Choosing Hosting