When deciding to have a website designed for your company you may ask yourself ‘Which is the best website to have’.

Well, that all depends on what you want your customers to do when they find your website. You can have any function you want in a website – you just need to think about what you want your website to bring to you? Is it phone calls, website enquiries, direct revenue, names and addresses, questionnaire results, etc. By the way, be aware that the current data protection laws are changing in March 2018 regarding capturing data.

A website is an extension of your company and isn’t the same as a brochure, a sales leaflet or your human sales team (if you have one). Instead a website touches every aspect of your business and therefore it’s your company representative before you’ve even met your customer. If you can imagine that your website is your reception front desk, part of your sales team, possibly even your accounts department, market research / advertising team and your PR too. And as soon as I say marketing, advertising team and PR, please don’t think this doesn’t apply to you, because if you run your own business, these subjects are very important for the continued success and health of your business. But don’t worry – they are all achievable through a well-designed and content-rich website.

So, if you have products you want to sell, ask yourself if you want your customers to buy them without you physically being there with them. Are the items you sell bespoke or off the shelf? If they are ‘off the shelf’ then an eCommerce website would work well for you. This allows you to add your products to the ‘shop shelves’ for your customers to buy 24/7.

Do I need a product catalogue or an eCommerce website?

Product catalogues are a bit like Commerce websites but there isn’t a facility for the customer to pay you straight away.

You may ask 'How do I know if I need a product catalogue website designer or an eCommerce website designer?' Well, here are a few examples. One of our clients is the leading designer and manufacturer of turbos and because their turbos are made specifically for the car and the way the owner drives (i.e. road or racing) they cannot be bought ‘off the shelf’ for safety and performance reasons so they have a product catalogue with an easy to use product enquiry for their customers to use. Then they meet the customer to design their bespoke turbo and the sale is complete. Another client of ours sells jewellery and clothing which is ready to buy off the shelves, so they have an eCommerce website (well, two actually) so that their customers can browse their online shop, add items to their shopping basket and pay at the till (online checkout). This way the company gets paid before the items is sent to the customer.

However, there are a lot of businesses that either don’t need or have no requirement for a traditional eCommerce shop. In those cases, you’d just need a CMS website – which is more like a brochure website but with bells on.

What does CMS stand for?” I hear you ask. CMS stands for Content Management System and if developed by a professional website development company will allow you to instantly add, edit, delete, disable and enable content throughout your website, with ease. A CMS website should also let you add multiple pages and edit the navigation links too.

Why is a CMS website so important?

If you want your website to work well and have a strong position in the natural listings of SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages), you need to ‘feed’ your website regularly with fresh home-grown content.

What I mean by home-grown content is that your website content must be unique and not copied from other websites or publications like newsletters/leaflets,etc. Otherwise, with the billions of websites that are getting fed with great content, your website will be too small to compete. A CMS allows you to add content whenever you wish. However, I appreciate that it can be tricky to come up with fresh content about what your company does, so that’s when a blog within your website is invaluable. Contact our website designers in Wiltshire to find out why a blog within your website is a fantastic way to enhance your website – and it’s fun too! And f you don't have time to write that fresh unique content regularly, then ask us about our website copy writing services.

So, which is the best website for your business? Find out from our professional website designers who are here to help and advise you. Should it be a CMS website, online catalogue website or eCommerce website for your company? 

Written by Kirsty Paget