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Here’s 21 website myths that you should know about, and how to overcome them. All too often, people have these walls that prevent them from starting a website, and I’m here to break down these walls and reveal some website myths.
Ever been held back from starting something due to fears and uncertainties? The very things that makes us cringe or scratch our heads, may be the things that lead us into the opposite of innovation and embracing change.
Myth #1: If you build it, they will come
– Not true. Once you build a website, you must actively market it through social networking, (SEO) search engine optimization, link building and other means. Putting up a website is just the beginning, and if you don’t update your website on a consistent basis, you may not see much traffic as a result.
I’ve put up dozens of websites in the past that I stopped updating, and the traffic patterns have gone down dramatically. For some blog posts, I’m still getting traffic but it’s not growing anymore. My advice is to keep adding valuable content to your website and market it as much as you can.
If you market it, they might come.
Myth #2: There’s too much competition to start my own website
– Although there are about 7.3 million new web pages created each day (according to Chacha.com). But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own “mark” or web presence on the internet. If you have a unique product, service or idea then you can start your own website and build a fan base around your specific niche.
Even if you don’t have a unique product or service, you can still build a website if you can provide a unique spin on your topic of choice.
I already know that there are many other websites out there that talk about building a website, but I put my own spin into this blog. Not only that, but it’s my own words and voice on this topic, as well as my own experience and opinions that make up the content I am providing for you, today.
Myth #3: Websites are complicated
– Websites don’t have to be complicated at all. If you want to get technical and understand how to create a website from scratch, then it can be difficult at times. But if you’re the average person who needs or wants a website but doesn’t necessarily want to develop one and design it from scratch, then making a website can be simple.
If you need a website for your small business, blog, or personal website, I recommend using WordPress [ Related Article: What is WordPress? ]. I want to help you in this, so I’ve made a tutorial for you on YouTube. If you want, just go to my website at www.markammay.com and you will see a banner that says, “Build a website, a Do-It-Yourself Guide to building a website“. You can’t miss it, or you can go to www.markammay.com/yourwebsite
Myth #4: A beautiful website is a good website
– Not so fast… although I am an advocate of beautiful web design, it is not totally a necessary factor needed to have a good website. The truth lies in the quality of the content within the website, and how easy the site is to use and navigate.
Having a flashy website may attract visitors to your website, but if the content sucks, then you’re site isn’t all that good.
Myth #5: You must spend thousands of dollars for a website
– False. You don’t necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars on a website; leave that to the big companies with huge databases and money to burn. For you, I’d recommend starting with your own budget. How much can you afford, and how much are you willing to spend on a website?
On average, a website can cost as low as $54 (if you DIY or do-it-yourself), and this can be achieved by purchasing web hosting for $3.99 a month from IX Webhosting and purchasing a Premium WordPress theme to get you started. My website tutorial I mentioned earlier at www.markammay.com/yourwebsite, will guide you through this, and I want to thank you in advance if you use any of my affiliate links to purchase and start your website.
Also, if you still have questions, feel free to leave a message through my voicemail system, and you can find that on the right side of my website. You should see a tab that says something like, “Send Voicemail”. If you leave a voicemail, I will respond to you, and may even answer your question through my podcast, “Websites Made Easy“.
Myth #6: You must hire a web designer or professional web design company
– You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional to design your website, but it’s an option. If you want something totally custom, then yes, go for it. But in many cases, what you can do is use an existing Premium WordPress theme that you then can customize and change to your desire. The reason why I suggest purchasing a Premium WordPress theme, and not a FREE one, is because you will get more options to style it and customize it. Also, FREE themes are probably used by many others since it’s free, but people need to pay for Premium themes.
If you have a question on how to customize your Premium WordPress theme, I would first suggest you contact the theme developer, visit the forum or search around on the web for tips. Most themes have a link for you to view the documentation, but you can also just try to pick through the theme options yourself.
Myth #7: You can just hire your nephew
– While it’s true that almost anyone can start their own website, be careful on just letting anyone do it. If they don’t know what they are doing, they may end up doing you more harm, than good. Especially if it’s for business, then you want to have your website built as best as possible, whether or not you do-it-yourself or hire a professional.
I make websites both from scratch and through CMS systems like WordPress, for a living and as my passion. I always first recommend that people try to do-it-themselves if they have the time, and I always recommend WordPress for their CMS. But those who want something more and have the budget, I recommend them hiring a professional company or person to do their website, if it’s necessary. Not everyone needs a huge website, most individuals will do fine with WordPress.
Myth #8: You need to know how to code to make a website
– Coding is good to know, but not necessary when it comes to building WordPress websites. The best part of WordPress is the ability to manage and add to your website on the fly, by logging into the admin section and doing it yourself. You don’t have to code, or pay someone to do this for you, unless you want to.
Myth #9: Your web developer must update your site
– On the same token as Myth #8, you don’t necessarily need a web coder to add content to your website, especially if it’s using a Content Management System like WordPress.
If you currently have a website where you need your web developer to make simple changes like text or adding links, then you may want to consider asking them to convert to WordPress. The upgrade to using WordPress may cost some money up front, but well worth it. If you’re low on budget, then you can still convert to using WordPress by purchasing a pre-made Premium WordPress theme from Themeforest.net
Myth #10: Once your website goes live, you’re done
– This is not true, because 99% of the time, starting a website is just the beginning! Like I said in Myth #1, you need to actively market your website as well as add value for people. Once your website goes live, it’s time to start promoting!
Myth #11: You can make money with ads once your site is live
– This is something many of my clients ask me and they insist on putting ads on their website right away, to earn money. But the truth is, it’s not that simple. The biggest hurdle for most websites at least when they first start, is building traffic. You want to at least get 500 unique visitors or more per day, to even consider adding ads like Google Adsense to your website.
If you don’t have the traffic, or your website isn’t made to have ads in it, then you will struggle to gain anything from placing ads everywhere on your website.
For tips on making money online with your website, listen to podcast episode 007 at http://www.markammay.com/007
Myth #12: You should have the latest cutting edge website
– While most of us would wish we had this, not all of us really need this. What is a cutting edge website anyways? Is that Amazon? Is that a website that uses the latest web technologies?
The only exception is if you’re using archaic web technologies like pure tables to create your website, or “not” using CSS for your styles. But I’m starting to get technical here, and that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. If your website is not being properly indexed by Google or it’s hard to edit because of old web technologies, then it’s time to upgrade.
Myth #13: The more features the better
– The more features on your website, means more things to worry about and manage. You want to focus on what your website can do best, and leave the rest. If you don’t need a plugin that you downloaded before, get rid of it. Anything “extra” will just take up space and potentially slow down your website.
Myth #14: Flash is good
– Flash is still not as SEO friendly as it should be, and that’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t recommend using Flash for your website. The only exception is if you are a Flash Developer, or need to incorporate some Flash into your website. But in general, I’ve stepped away from my Flash days, and now just look back at the days when I got paid to make Flash websites for clients!
Only a small amount of developers can execute a nice looking Flash site that is equally SEO friendly as an HTML site. Anyways, just be careful when adding Flash to your website!
Myth #15: You should have animation on your website
– Back in the day of the scrolling marquee of your name, and snowflakes falling on your page, animation was huge. That was because it was new and cute. But doing that now will probably hurt you more than help you.
Try to avoid anything too drastic, especially if you’re trying to portray a professional website and brand.
Myth #16: You can do anything with your website
– No, you can’t do “anything” with your website. You are responsible for your own website and if you do shady things like try to scam others or post copyright material, you can get your website taken down or you can even get sued!
Not to scare you or anything, but your website is also an entity, like a brick-and-mortar business. Just because it’s on the web doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want.
Myth #17: It is okay to use Google images
– Again, using copyright material without the written permission of the owner can get you in trouble. Simply going to Google and grabbing a photo and using it is not acceptable. Although some get away with it, legally it’s wrong. Even if your site is a personal blog or non-profit, you are still not allowed to steal content or images!
My advice is to either look up free images that have a creative commons license to it, and you can google the search term “flickr creative commons”. There are some rules here, like properly giving credit to the owner of the image, but in general this would be the place to start if you need free images.
Then I would recommend paying for images to use. I use a website called 123rf.com, where I buy images ranging from $1 to $20, but I usually get a subscription to lower the price to about 50 cents an image. You can use my affiliate link at http://www.markammay.com/123rf
Myth #18: It is okay to copy other website’s text
– Just like Myth #17, you can’t copy someone else’s text or content. First of all, it’s wrong to steal someone else’s works, and secondly Google will know if you copied text or not. I don’t know exactly how Google does this, but I do know that they can see who created the copy first, and who copied it. That is why I strongly urge people to write things in their own words and with their own twist, to avoid copyright infringement.
Even for product descriptions, you should try to come up with your way to talk about things, instead of just copying and pasting. Again, you don’t want to copy text even if you’re allowed to! Search engines don’t like pages with DUPLICATE CONTENT.
Myth #19: You must submit your website to search engines
– Before you did need to do this, but now-a-days search engines like Google can easily crawl and discover new websites fairly quickly. Especially if you properly market and promote your website and link to it through social media, then you shouldn’t need to submit your website to search engines.
But if you want to, it doesn’t hurt.
Myth #20: Getting first on Google is the most important thing to do
– Many people have the notion that being first on Google is the best thing to do and is what they strive for. Although this is a good thing, you don’t necessarily need to be on Google in order to have a successful website. In fact, most professionals out there advise that you look into doing more than just trying to rank high on Google.
Other important things to consider is referral links from other websites in your topic or niche. If a popular website links back to you, this will give you link juice and help you out. If you promote and send out links on your social networks, then you’re on your way to more traffic. But being first on Google is not the only thing in the world.
Myth #21: You can build anything with a WordPress website
– Some people swear on WordPress and think that it’s the answer to every website need. But the truth is, although WordPress is very popular and powerful, it’s not the only solution out there. For example, huge companies wouldn’t want to use WordPress solely, because they need more then what it can offer. Companies that need proprietary or custom work done to it, more security and more options, would never choose WordPress.
I always say that WordPress is great for smaller businesses and individuals who need a website that they can manage. If you want to make a blog, portfolio site, company site or even a shopping cart, WordPress may be the solution for you.
If you want to become a web developer, I would recommend you make a website from scratch, or crete your own WordPress template by yourself. But if you need some complex program to do something else, maybe WordPress isn’t right for you.
Bonus Myth #22: Your website must be perfect
– My biggest advice is to get started now. Don’t wait for your website to be prefect, or wait for that perfect idea, you want to start now and build from there. It usually takes months and even years to really establish your website and get a good amount of constant traffic, so starting now is crucial.
What are you waiting for? To learn more about how to start a website using WordPress, and if you want to see what you need to do, before you do it, I recommend you check out my YouTube channel by going to http://www.markammay.com/youtube
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