whyWhy have a website is a question I am often asked by new business owners (and by old business owners who are not using the internet).

The simple answer is that the internet is the equivalent of the old telephone book yellow pages directory and that websites are the equivalent of advertisements in those yellow pages.

A website provides a stable, detailed source of information about the services or products of a business. It provides contact and location information, and a readily accessible image and branding of that business.

Unlike print or conventional internet advertising, in today’s social media world, a website is what these other much more limited forms of advertising reference. A website is the face of a business to the internet public.

For customers, websites make shopping or finding services many, many times easier and much more of an accurate method of assessing a business than any other type of advertising.

Good websites make shopping, traveling and having fun easy.

There are exceptions, of course. A local bar or restaurant that deals only with clients in the community does not need a website. But one that deals with tourists or a large community, does. A store that sells snacks and beer on the street corner, with primarily walk in traffic, does not need a website. But a store that sells a specialty product or one that needs a large market for its customer base, does.

Any business that relies upon image recognition or a greater than neighborhood appeal needs a website in today’s business environment. Word of mouth, print advertising, Facebook, twitter and assorted commercial and charity sponsorships and social promotions are not cost (nor effort) effective for any business except the very limited. These processes can help short term but without the permanent, easily accessible and searched presence of a website and its associated branding, they provide little help in growing a business.

In setting up any business that depends on attracting a wide base of customers business cards are a necessity. In today’s world of instant information demand, a website is just as, or more, necessary.

Anyone who uses the internet knows the value of a good website.

Websites can be as complicated or as simple as a business desires. We here at Xlibre operate on the theory that a website should include all of the necessary information required by customers to find and access that business and it should reflect the style or branding of that business in a manner that shows more than just a simple listing of products or services.

Given these basics, we then take a website to the limit in design and Search Engine Optimization. A good website functions best when it appeals to its target audience.