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Basic Websites

Basic websitesSmall busi­nesses often ask for a “basic” website. That’s fine, but what does it mean? You may be sur­prised how much defin­i­tions of basic web­sites vary.

Sites with a blog or news section (i.e. simple “Pro sites”) and e‑commerce web­sites are popular, but not “basic”. Still, they tend to do far better in search engines. So if you want cost-effective advert­ising, just click one of those links.

Truly basic web­sites have a fixed number of pages that (usually) aren’t easily editable. They used to be the norm, and can still be effective in a few cir­cum­stances. Oth­erwise, the most “basic” website that a small business can really benefit from is an editable “bro­chure” website.

True Basic Websites — Static Sites

Non-editable, or “static” web­sites limit on-site SEO options, but can be useful when:

  • You need a fast, affordable website for the short term and plan to invest properly later (e.g. “proof-of-concept” sites)
  • You prefer to pay to get vis­itors through ads or other digital mar­keting, instead of bene­fiting from free search engine traffic
  • You’re so busy that it’s more cost-effective to pay someone to do the updates for you
  • You just need a simple site to list on offline advert­ising, like business cards and vehicles
  • You don’t need any fea­tures more complex than a simple contact form

Static sites can then act as effective contact points, presenting a pro­fes­sional image and vital inform­ation to your potential cus­tomers.

These sites don’t neces­sarily look dif­ferent from editable ones. If built properly, they can still adapt to dif­ferent screen sizes for mobile use, too. They can’t easily offer a blog or advanced e‑commerce, though.

Still, being simpler than editable sites, static sites are more secure, so require less main­tenance. If con­structed well, they can be faster, too. I build static web­sites on my Basic Hosting Plus package.

So whilst more advanced sites tend to be more cost-effective, a small static site may offer a more affordable website option in the short term.

Brochure Websites

Most basic web­sites are bro­chure sites. These are simple web­sites con­sisting of several pages of inform­ation, like a company bro­chure. Most also have a contact form to gather leads and feedback. Some manage with just three pages — the home page, contact page and an “about us” page. However, many add extra pages for each main product or service offered, and often a gallery or testi­mo­nials page, too. So, most bro­chure web­sites have at least five pages — and often ten or more.

In fact, the more content you have, the better. Why?

Well, suc­cessful web­sites are built for their target audience. They must be easy to find, easy to nav­igate, and contain the inform­ation your audience is looking for. The more effort you put into deliv­ering value to your target audience, the more they’ll feel appre­ciated. That builds trust — and trust drives sales.

Editable Brochure Websites

So, whilst static sites can work as bro­chure web­sites, vis­itors want up-to-date inform­ation. Sec­tions of these sites can be made easy to edit to achieve that.

Still, you need to plan for growth. So being able to add more pages easily can be a big help.

Also, search engines act­ively promote reg­u­larly-updated sites. So being able to do those updates yourself offers another big advantage. That’s also why “Pro sites” make it easier to compete. Having a blog or news page makes it easier to add engaging, rel­evant content reg­u­larly, without clut­tering up your main site menu.

Adding pages requires a  dif­ferent kind of website, built around a database. Such “dynamic” sites need more ongoing main­tenance to stay secure. So I build these on my Pro Hosting Plus package.

One-Page Sites

One-Page Sites have a nav­ig­ation menu that scrolls down to display screens of content instead of loading new pages. They present a limited amount of inform­ation, typ­ically ending with a simple contact form. Most single-page web­sites are really just small bro­chure sites, presented in a novel way.

Landing Pages

Landing Pages are highly-focused one-page sites with no nav­ig­ation menu. They present a spe­cific offer with a single, clear “Call To Action”. Most offer freebies as “lead magnets”, in return for news­letter sign-ups. Often, a single landing page will lead through to a “funnel” of further landing pages up-selling extra options. Usually, the only traffic they get is from paid ads, so they focus entirely on con­verting vis­itors into action-takers (e.g. cus­tomers).

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