I’m now on the third generation of my personal web site. It’s been a while! And even though it’s 2022, I’m still a fan of web sites. As social media shifts and changes, more people are looking at what web sites can do for them.
How does a web site compare to social media for an online presence? There are four ways in which web sites can win. I need to note that these apply to a current and good-quality web site. Nowadays, you can expect a site’s technical foundations to stay stable for three to five years, and to update your front page design frequently.
A web site is user friendly
We often expect that people ‘know’ how to use social media. They do, but for people who want specific or foundation information, that can be surprisingly hard to find in a series of social media posts. A web site provides focused information and a navigation structure to help people find it. You can even build in a search function.
Effective web sites don’t have to be long to accomplish a goal. My site is concise and focused – I’ve reduced the pages over time. I did decide to keep them separate instead of creating one long ‘accordion’ format page. But that is another option.
A web site won’t suck up your daily time like social media
One steady group of my web clients is creative people living the dream with small businesses. They value web sites because the sites represent their work without requiring daily maintenance. Any influencer will tell you that creating good social media posts takes time and effort. A web site is forgiving of a major updating gap.
A Web site is Stable Long Term
I’ve been supporting clients who have gone through two or three generations of web site while working with me. But their URL remains the same.
And a consistent yet updated web site is one of the best ways to have good SEO for your business or name. After having a site online for fourteen years, one of my clients was doing so well at SEO for their field, they asked me to make them harder to find! They were desperate to reduce the deluge of queries they were getting. Instead of doing that, I adjusted their content to represent who they are now. Which brings us to…
A Web Site Truly Represents You
This is why I took the time to update my web site at the start of 2022. More than any social media format, it’s a chance for me to say, online, “This is who I am and what I do.” I’m not boxed in by a social media format – and neither are you.
A Note about My Update
Web site foundations change often. Some developers are trying Squarespace or seeing what the page functions of e-commerce platforms like Shopify and HubSpot try to offer. Others are returning to stripped-down hard-coded sites, independently hosted, to be free of ‘software as a service’ fees.
For my update, I took the middle ground. I kept my independently hosted site – you don’t have to be hosted by WordPress to run WordPress. And I took the plunge into WordPress’ block editing functions with their Twenty Twenty Two theme.
As much as I enjoyed an evening coming to grips with it, I’m not in love with it. It’s extremely focused on including lots of graphics, and it’s very challenging to edit text outside of one paragraph. You may see the design of my own site morph over the next few weeks as I try new things. Wish me luck!