There are lots of opinions out there about what makes a good website. Some even argue that you don't need a website – you can build your whole business on Facebook, or Instagram, or Medium.
For me, a website is necessary for virtually any business. Even if it's just a simple one-page site with a listing of your products and services and a way to get in touch with you, your website is your hub. Having a website today is as important as having your phone number listed in the yellow pages was 20 years ago. Even though your site rankings will be subject to the latest search engine algorithm (essentially the ranking structure), you'll have control over your content and ultimately your messaging.
Along with your website, I highly recommend that you have a way to collect email addresses. Even if it's a contact form that sends you an email, and you keep all of those email addresses in an excel file. It means that you own your audience. You control the means to message them.
It's certainly easy to get started building an audience on a social media site, like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. People are accustomed to visiting these sites and finding content there. The downside of hanging all your marketing hopes on these platforms is that they're subject to change – or to disappear altogether.
Let's look at an example: If you grew up in the early 2000s, you probably remember MySpace. We all flocked to the site to find our friends, write on each other's walls, and argue over who got the #1 space on our top friends' lists. Eventually, bands started sharing their music on the site, building fan bases. It was the top social network site in 2006, but by 2008 had lost that position to Facebook. By 2013, all the personal interactions, like messages, photos and games were deleted, and MySpace tried to reinvent itself as a music discovery site. If you had built your business on the popularity of MySpace in 2006, where would you be today? My point exactly.
So, in this section, I'll share my insights into what your website needs to be your business home on the internet.