You have a small business that you poured everything in to get it up off the ground. You worked long and tedious hours to get it to where it’s at. Now you’re going strong, you’re seeing some success, and you have a chance to breathe a little. So, you start looking around to see what it is you could build on next, and you realize your business still doesn’t have a website.
You hop online and start checking out some of your competitor’s websites. Good idea! You see what their sites are like and you get an idea about what it is you’ll need. Maybe you head over to Google and type in “how to build a website.” And you’re immediately stunned.
There’s a lot that goes into making a good website. It’s an extremely involved and complicated process — especially if you want to have one that’s relevant and can stand up to your competition. But you’ve got a business to run. You don’t have time to build one yourself. So, what’s the solution?
If you aren’t a web designer or web developer by trade or training, it really boils down to two options: You have a company or freelancer design and develop a website for you or you subscribe to a website as a service (WaaS).
Traditional Web Design and Development
You realize that there’s a lot that goes into building a site, even if you hire a company to do it. But let’s take a more in-depth look at what it takes to actually have your site built from the ground up.
First up is the actual design of your site. To even have an agency start working on your site, you’re going to need to fork over a pretty large sum. At this point, the design process will begin, and there will be a lot of back-and-forth between you and the agency’s designers to get your design how you like it.
After that, you’ll move on to the development. This will take even longer than the design part. If you plan on doing any sort of commerce on your site, expect your site’s development to potentially take months.
It’s great that you can get exactly what you want, but between your site’s design and development, it could literally be months before your site is ready. But at least it’s done after that, right? Wrong.
Once your site is completed by an agency, it’ll be handed off to you, at which point, you’ll need to find a proper host to host it on the web for you. This is even more time and more cost to you. And even when you do find a host, it doesn’t end there. You’ll have to continuously worry about security, updates, patches, and regular website upkeep of your site. Not only does this cost you valuable time, but there’s a steep learning curve to the whole process.
The crux here is that traditional website design and development is great, but only if your business is very much focused on the web and you need a highly customized site to run it from.
So, now that we know what goes into getting a website designed and developed, let’s look at the alternative.
Website as a Service (WaaS)
In a nutshell, a WaaS is a means of subscribing to and managing your website, not as a product, but as a website service. The website itself is built, hosted, and maintained by the website service provider, all as part of a single package. A WaaS can be a great solution if:
- You run a small business and have fewer resources.
- You don’t have the knowledge to build or manage a website.
- You have too many other responsibilities to worry about.
A website as a service is usually a solution that’s industry standardized. They’re quickly and easily built and are extremely affordable to have developed, meaning that you can get a website up and running for a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time as a traditional website. Even if you already have a site, transitioning to a WaaS is fast and affordable.
Generally speaking, a website that’s hosted on a WaaS platform has everything you need by default. Most services will come with:
- Various functions, such as search, calendar, and contact forms.
- Integrations with other software.
- Software for website analytics.
- A content management system.
While a lot of WaaS companies offer various templates, others can even offer a custom website design, and they’re still much quicker than a traditionally designed website.
When you subscribe to a WaaS, you generally will pick a certain tier for your site. This will determine how much initial development you’ll want and need. If you’re creating a new site, there will be a certain amount of design/development, but it’s not going to cost you anywhere near what traditional design/development would. If you’re moving your old site to a new site, depending on your site’s complexity, you may need to have some extra development done, so that’s something to keep in mind.
The best benefit and the number-one choice for going with a WaaS is that everything after your site launches is taken care of by your service provider. This means updates to your website to make it compatible with ever-changing browsers, making sure your hosting is safe and secure, and providing the software that runs your site with any necessary updates.
With all this time you save on website upkeep, patches, security, updates, and added development, you’ll be able to focus actually on the stuff that you wanted the website for, to begin with: Content and engaging with your audience. With the money and time you save, you can build a content strategy, market your website and business, and drive traffic to your site to produce more leads and customers. After all, this is the whole point.
So, who’s a WaaS for? If you’ve read this far, it’s probably for you. A website from a WaaS provider is an excellent solution for small or medium businesses that just don’t have the time or resources to build and manage a complicated website. Websites are unquestionably important, but if you’re running you’re business and you want to keep on doing just that, consider our Managed Website as a Service (WaaS) Plans to save you time, money, and lots of headaches.