We’ve noticed quite a few customers who run their company blogs on free platforms, like WordPress.com or Blogger.com, and it’s a HUGE mistake. Briefly, here’s why:
- It looks unprofessional to your visitors. What, you can’t afford your own website in the information age? You lose a ton of credibility with your customers if you send them to a free blogging host.
- While WordPress is stable, many of these free platforms are boom-or-bust companies. If they boom, you eventually get charged for using their platform. If they bust, you lose all your hard work because you usually have no time to respond to them going out of business.
- You have no control. If the company doesn’t like what you’re doing on your platform, they can cut off access to it at any time, and for any reason. And you have no recourse other than to ask them to restore access, which they may or may not do.
What to do Instead: Get a Dedicated Host and Use a Responsive WordPress Setup
When you have your own blog website, like http://blog.i5ww.com, you come across as so much more credible to your potential customers. Besides the credibility, though, there’s a number of other reasons to do this:
- The design is “responsive” and provides a good experience for all users. That means it’s guaranteed to display perfectly on all modern devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablet PCs). This may not be the case with a free blogger site.
- Every customer expects a blog. You don’t have to update your blog daily, but customers naturally look on your site for something called a “blog.” You have to update it at least monthly (weekly is good if you can). If you don’t do this, people don’t get to form a relationship with your company, and you lose their business. And, Google demands fresh content from every website in order to maintain good search rankings. Blogging is no longer an option.
- Your site loads faster. How fast your site downloads is of huge importance to how well your site sells. KISSmetrics, a digital marketing thought leader, found the following for each second your site takes to load:
- A load time of one second results in about a 5% decrease in conversions
- If your page takes two seconds or longer, that figure rises to a 10% loss
- If it’s 3 seconds, it’s around a 15% loss
- At 4 seconds, conversion falls by about 22%
What’s the value of an average sale to you? How many does your website make in a month? What could you make in additional revenue if that figure increased by 22%?
A Couple of Very Nice Blogs
You don’t need an elaborate web design to succeed – just a simple, organized, and fast-loading one. Copyblogger, a well-known internet company, has a simple web design that loads noticeably faster than other websites. You’ll notice very few graphics throughout that website. Hubspot’s website is a little more loaded with graphics, but still notice how simple it is overall.
Both sites have easy-to-use menus at the top, and they’re also very big so mobile and tablet PC users can navigate with their fingers. And the print is large so you can see it on a smartphone easily.
Building a User-Friendly Website Doesn’t Take a Massive Budget…
Good websites like these aren’t super expensive to design, even for very small businesses. These companies have more than $30 million in annual revenues each, so they put lots of money into their websites. You may not be able to get quite such a fast load time with yours, but you can get awfully close, even with a smaller budget.
A small investment in a self-hosted blog with a responsive framework will give your business the credibility and professionalism that readers and potential customers expect from your company. If you’re interested in starting a new blog, redesigning your old one, or transferring from a free blogging platform, contact us at email@example.com!