Tech Talk

Do You Really Need a Website?

January 2, 2018

If there is only one professional resolution you’ll stick to this year, make it about your website.

It’s 2018, and you really, truly need a website! Whether you’re a salon owner or an independent stylist, having a website will help legitimize your business and take it to the next level.

First things first—where to begin? If you don’t have a website, or are looking to overhaul, here are some options to get you started.

DIY

The least expensive, but most time consuming option is to do it yourself. We recommend taking this route if you’re tech savvy and eager to learn. Look into easy website builders like WordPress and Squarespace—no coding knowledge required! There are tons of online forums and YouTube videos available to guide you through the process.

Before diving into this option, do your research to assess if it’s a reasonable task to take on. It’s great to save costs, but only if your website can measure up to the competition.

Work With a Student

This is a happy medium between DIY and hiring a professional. Contact your local university’s web development department to seek out top students who want to build their portfolio. Students about to enter the workforce are eager for experience and will charge much less than a seasoned professional.

Meet with any interested students to evaluate who is best suited. Make sure to discuss ongoing upkeep of the website and future costs; they may want to increase their fee as they gain more experience.

Hire a Professional

If you have the budget and don’t want to get too hands-on, then hiring a professional is the way to go. Research local web developers and get quotes from at least three before making a decision.

It’s important to have all your ducks in a row before the development begins. Use these tips to help you prepare:

  • Outline all pages and features needed (i.e. online booking).
  • Ensure that your website will be mobile and tablet-friendly.
  • Have all text and imagery ready to go.
  • Provide the developer with websites you want to use as a reference.
  • Inquire about routine website upkeep and associated costs.
  • Ask if and how you can make modifications yourself (i.e. updating pictures, adding holiday hours).
  • Get everything in writing! All of the above (and more) should be detailed in a contract provided by the web developer.

You’ll notice a common theme here—research! Giving your business an online presence is a big step, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

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