6 Top Web Myths: BUSTED
Myth #1: Building a website is really hard to do.
Starting a website may seem overwhelming.
As someone who can go from new idea to website built in under 2 minutes, I tend to forget that building websites isn’t like breathing to everyone else.
What’s the secret to my power? Put simply: WordPress.
- Why WordPress?
Here’s a few reasons you should check out WordPress if you want to get started with a new website:
- Extremely well documented (you have to be willing to read, though!)
- Thousands of people willing to help you on their help forums
- If you don’t like reading, there are a ton of video tutorials. Just search YouTube.
- Free themes and plugins allow you to build what you need without actually learning much of anything or spending money up front.
Myth #2: You need a lot of money to be professional.
I started by talking about WordPress first because of the number of free themes and plugins available to you.
You may eventually spend money on a customized theme or plugin, but when you first find your way aroundWordPress you can start with free (or cheap) tools.
That means that in order to get a professional looking website, all you really need is to spend a few hours reading tutorials, watching videos to learn how to use themes and plugins.
From there on out, it’s just a matter of finding what you want.
Not sure where to start? Keep reading.
- The difference between Themes and Plugins.
Themes: Changes the way that your website looks. WordPress manages all your website’s pages and posts.
The theme allows you to make the way that it shows up for your visitors appear different.
Plugins: WordPress comes with a set of built-in functionality.That includes basics like giving you the tools to write and store page information, blog posts, etc.
If you want to add something like a map, or a contact form, you can usually find a plugin that adds that functionality for you without making you learn how to code anything.
- Getting started with WordPress themes.
WordPress offers a library of free themes.
You can also search Google for terms like “Free WordPress Themes” – I recommend checking the current version of WordPress and tacking on the version number to your search.
Right now my search looks like this: “Free WordPress Themes 3.3″
If you’re looking for something specific, you can narrow it down with a keyword like so: “Free WordPress Business Theme 3.3″
- Getting started with WordPress plugins.
WordPress also offers a library of free plugins.
You can also search Google for terms like “WordPress plugin” plus the keyword of the functionality you’re looking for.
With plugins, it’s best to also do some reading before installing a new plugin.
Good keywords to research a plugin:
- “Best _______ WordPress plugins”
(where blank is the functionality you want, like “contact form”)
- “Review of _______ WordPress plugin”
(where blank is the name of a specific plugin you found)
Myth #3: You don’t need to spend any money to look professional.
With all of the open source software like WordPress around, you don’t need to spend much money to get a website in place.
That said, there are a few things you will need to spend money on for the sake of professionalism.
Most importantly: A custom domain.
Depending on where you get yours, you’ll spend about $6-$10 per year on a custom domain. Not expensive, but totally worth the expense.
You’ll also need to get hosting. That will run you about $5-$10 per month.
(Domain = Web Address, Hosting = Place To Put Website Files)
Getting one of those free websites on a subdomain isn’t worth the professionalism you’re sacrificing.
Myth #4: The web is a magical ingredient that will make you rich overnight.
If someone is guaranteeing you overnight success through the web (or anything for that matter), you’re being scammed.
There’s no such thing as a get-rich-quick scheme, there’s no immediate plan to get you from red to back in the black.
Getting your business online is a smart move – but it’s not going to save you if you run a bad business.
One of the best things about the web is how it’s changed our behavior.
That means that the web highlights the need for business owners to think outside of the box… to innovate.
You can’t just throw a website online and expect a miracle. The web itself is not a magic ingredient for success. It’s just a required one (most of the time). Which brings us to…
Myth #5: Your business doesn’t need a website.
Some people are on the opposite side of the last myth. They have become so jaded by hearing about websites, that they think they don’t need one.
Those people are wrong, too.
Just because a website isn’t a magical formula doesn’t mean that it’s not important.
The world is moving to a new level of digital driven information. My guess is that in about 5 years (10 years at most), if you’re not online, you’re effectively not on the map.
Do you really want your business to be like an elusive treasure island? One that can only be found by those who already know where it is?
Myth #6: There is a magical formula to be successful online.
We’ve learned that the web alone is not a magical ingredient to overnight success (even though it’s important).
Guess what: Neither is there a magical formula to be successful online.
There are a million different ways to be successful online: but each way will only work a certain number of times, for people who are in the right place at the right time with the right idea.
So what can you do?
1. Learn from observation.
Watch the people who have been successful and take your own notes – don’t trust everything you hear online about what is or isn’t successful.
2. Be creative.
Most of the people who have gotten big did so by doing something new, or putting a new spin on an old idea. Experiment and have fun.
3. Know that overnight is rarely overnight.
It is rare that anyone with success online did so overnight. There may have been a big jump in one night, but there is often years of work and experimentation leading up to that moment of success.
4. Have patience, and carry on.
Remember how I said successful people put in years of work? You’re not an exception. If something isn’t working, you’re going to need to learn when it’s time to keep pushing on, or cut the cord on a project.
5. Be prepared to fail.
You’re going to mess up and make mistakes. Get over it. It’s worth it.