As an entrepreneur building a website, what do I look for in a website development platform or hosting provider?
Firstly, I look for a simple platform, one that’s easy to use, not too expensive & one that won’t charge me if I have to cancel it. Lets face it, websites can slow up, interests change and if I start a new one I want a platform that will support that stage rather than hold me to terms & conditions.
I want to get the website up in one evenings work, thats my usual speed. A few year ago, I developed a side hustle selling office furniture and tech equipment. I built my websites in a single evening based on a template or theme I liked. I built one with Wix and the other with EIG. The later was a custom theme I had to buy for around $69. These platforms were really ideal for what I needed. I’ve built with GoDaddy, Squarespace and WordPress too.
I knew that my main job wasn’t working on websites, it was selling my products, so I wanted it done as quickly as possible to a pretty high standard. Well, something that wouldn’t alert my clients that I was working our of my bedroom! When it came to operating the site, most of the time I wouldn’t change the website a great deal (probably bi-annual updates) or if I have an announcement I would make it on the blog. The only area that these platforms really fell short for me isn’t any fault of their own doing… it’s really down to what they DON’T do for you. (We’ll get to that).
When you’re starting out, your business is lightweight and can turn on a 50 pence piece, meaning one minute you might be selling apples but it turns out the market doesn’t need anymore your website sells orange by next week. Starting small gives you that kind of advantage on the big guys. I need a platform that can make these kinds of changes easy for me. Another example is when I had clients as if i sold certain products that i didn’t… I would quickly go to the site and add said product. To me, its really important to work on a platform that helps you make these kind of moves in the early stages of a business. You never know what your next big break is going to be, that’s what’s exciting about starting-out small.
The area of add-ons is also very important to me. Specifically email accounts and access to them. I have used several providers for this and to be honest I want the least hassle possible. I want the mail on my desktop and iPhone home screen, I want quick and easy. That suits me best. I’ve always been quite a self sufficient entrepreneur so any added help with seo or marketing wouldn’t be necessary just be a cherry on top. It took me years to truly understand the impact that a strong search engine presence can do to your business over a long period of time. (and even more years to learn exactly how to build that presence!)
Non of the platforms I have built with a offered professional services like branding and marketing but I wouldn’t have opted in anyhow at the time I was build my small company. The one thing I did enjoy about WordPress was their Yoast seo plugin. That’s definitely an area that non coder entrepreneurs need help with. Its always great to have a straight forward guide to help you improve your site. WordPress really hit it out the park with their plugins, that the standout feature for any platform I’ve built sites with developed. It really helps if your building a blog. If you’re building a website for your business though, I wouldn’t recommend using a blogging platform.
With all platforms, they have their weaknesses. If I had my way i’d have plugins, built in seo, one click installs, domain, security, emails and content all managed from one control panel. You can add social media into that list. If you could combine all of these areas.. now you’ve got a service worth telling your friends about.
Aside from the software, I think most early stage entrepreneurs need help offline. If you’re a bedroom entrepreneur, you’ve likely got a plan for world domination. That’s a good start but wouldn’t it be great to have experienced professionals to watch over your efforts and throw you an alley hoop from time to time? I felt that although the major platforms gave you a nice set up to get going, where do you go from there? Imagine if there was a platform that helped you grow? developed it with you? Told you where you were going wrong? A service that not only gave you the tools but made sure you were using them correctly… dreamy I know. I imagined a partnership between platform and entrepreneur that meant getting online was only the start.
We started cloudrovia.com with goal to add more value to your business than a traditional web hosting platform can. We want to help you offline as much as our platform can online. So we assembled a team of business consultants from across the world to offer their services to our customers. All our professional services come free with our 1-year+ enterprise hosting plans. All you have to do to access them is buy a domain with us, host it with us and add on an email package to access the free services. Shortly after doing so you’ll recieve a message from our team to arrange a call with our consultants. We can help you brand your company, build your website (via our integrated platform from our friends at Weebly), develop an seo strategy, gather leads in your area, market your website on social media and more. Theres really no limit to what we can help you with. Our team is full of entrepreneurs who have developed countless internet businesses all over the world. We know the mistakes, we’ve made them all, so we know how to get the best out of your time. We’ve really got some of the best people in branding, business development and marketing at your disposal. (Our team have consulted for governments, corporations and everyone in between including for companies like Budweiser, McDonalds, HSBC, Odeon Cinemas and British Airways. We take your location, competitors and goals into consideration and leave no stone unturned. We want to grow your business with you. Can you imagine the massive boost in confidence that comes with knowing you have professionals on your side (at an affordable cost). At a time where tech sells but tech support sucks (apple being the exception, we love you genius bar!) we really want our service to be the difference between sales and support. Business support is where we see ourselves making the biggest difference to your business and ultimately, your life. Give Cloudrovia a try for your next venture or transfer your hosting to us now to see what could be!