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If you had asked me a couple of years ago whether or not small business websites were “dead”, I probably would have answered, “Not quite dead, but definitely dying.” Back then, the rapid rise of social media seemed to be leading towards the elimination of the need for a small business to have a website. Many small business owners had abandoned their websites and instead focused on free social media presences.

Small Business Website.

In 2016 though, my answer as to whether or not small business websites are “dead” is different than it was back then. Now I would say that small business websites are more alive than ever before. I often hear from clients that prospective customers frequently ask them, “What is your website?” If they answer that they don’t have one and direct the prospective customer to Facebook, for example, they are met with a reaction of suspicion from the prospective customer, a suspicion of the legitimacy of the business. It seems as if, to your prospective customer, your business is not a “real business” if it doesn’t have a website.

The ease at which social media presences can be developed by anyone seems to have created a generation of hesitant consumers who are now looking for proof online that a business is a legitimate business. Anyone can “create a business” in five minutes by slapping together a Facebook page and a Twitter profile, but it takes a bit more time and effort time to register a domain name, acquire hosting, and create a website. The very presence of a website reassures that prospective customer that you are indeed, a legitimate, fully-functioning business.

Now, there is a lot more to forming a business than just creating a website and just because you have a website doesn’t necessarily mean you are a legitimate business, but in the eyes of a prospective customer, a website validates your legitimacy. So, use a free online web-builder, hire a professional web designer, or learn to code a website yourself, but don’t do your business a disservice by not having a website.