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Is it Becoming Less Critical For Businesses to Have Websites?

Can You Be Successful Without a Website?

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I don’t think there’s any question that you need a web presence to survive in today’s business climate. But do you still need a traditional website, or has the web moved on in that regard?

Do you still need a website to be successful online? Share your thoughts.

First off, let me be perfectly clear in that I’m not advising anybody not to have a website. That said, there are a lot of ways to have a web presence without actually having a site, and let’s face it – maintaining a site (let alone a successful one) takes time, money, and resources.

According to data from Compete, Facebook has become a bigger traffic source than Google for some sites, and for many others, it is right up there with Google as a major traffic source. If it can drive the traffic, then that means the people are already at Facebook. You can be on Facebook without having your own website. Businesses can build a Facebook Page, complete with analytics provided by Facebook itself, and they can spend time making that page a good one. Here are some tips on how to do that. Facebook pages are perfectly capable of being found in search engines. In fact, they are often right on the first results page.

You know what else is often right on the first page? A set of local search results from Google Maps, courtesy of Google’s Universal Search integration. Within those results (which are very often right at the top of the SERP) are links to individual businesses’ "Place Pages". From here, users can find coupons, reviews, store hours, etc. There is a very good chance users will find this before they find your site anyway.

Local results for coffee

Google is actually going to great lengths to get people using these Place Pages. They are even sending out stickers with barcodes for stores to hang on their windows. When a user scans this barcode with their mobile phone, they will be taken to the business’ Place Page. Social media profiles can also appear on these pages (although so can website links of course).

I probably don’t have to tell you that the web is rapidly becoming more mobile. Smartphone usage and mobile broadband subscriptions continue to accelerate, and people are using a variety of devices, operating systems, browsers, and apps. Making sure you have a site that looks right across all of these is no easy task. This is not so much of a worry when it comes to Facebook pages, Google Place Pages, and other third-party entities.

In many cases, it seems that small business sites are becoming harder to find through organic search. If you look you can find them, but users want convenience, and they are probably not going to look too hard if they can find what they are looking for on the first search results page (or right within Facebook where they’re already spending their time).

Social profiles show in up in search, and often early. The very nature of social media is viral. If one Facebook user becomes a fan of your Facebook page, that user’s friends are going to see it. Then, maybe a couple of them also become fans. Then maybe a couple of their friends become fans, and that trend can continue on and on. The more people who become fans, and the more exposure that page gets, the more chance that page has of acquiring links, which of course can lead to better search engine rankings, not to mention a larger presence on Facebook itself, where a large percentage of Internet users are already spending a great deal of their time. Your reputation and following within the social networks themselves may do your profile well in the eyes of Google too.

If you sell things online, there are obviously many different options out there without having to sell from your own site. In fact, even Facebook and e-commerce are on the road to becoming more and more closely attached. People can buy/sell physical goods through Facebook.

A great deal of focus has been placed on Facebook in this article for the simple fact that it is the world’s most popular social network. That could all change in time. But that doesn’t mean the points would not sill apply to other services. Google is going to be placing a lot of emphasis on Google Buzz this year, and it’s going to become integrated with more and more Google products. Currently, Google profiles are kind of the central place for a Buzz presence. Users can include any links they wish right into that profile (Facebook page, Twitter account, blog, eBay/Amazon listings, etc.)There’s no telling how big Buzz can be, and there’s always the possibility that something else will come along and take the world by storm. And that is one of the reasons…

Why it Still Pays to Have a Site

Can you be successful without a site? I think so. However, having a site gives you a more stable foundation, and still creates more opportunities than if you didn’t have one. When you have a site, you have control. You don’t have to adhere to the policy guidelines of any third-party platform. If Facebook decides to shut its Pages down (as Yahoo did with GeoCities, for example), you still have your own site that they can’t touch. For that matter, having your own site certainly lends credibility to your brand.

Still, social networks continue to work on making data more freely able to flow among one another via a number of open standards like Activity Streams, AtomPub, OAuth, PubSubHubbub, Salmon and WebFinger. "The idea is that someday, any host on the web should be able to implement these open protocols and send messages back and forth in real time with users from any network, without any one company in the middle," says Google software engineer DeWitt Clinton. "The web contains the social graph, the protocols are standard web protocols, the messages can contain whatever crazy stuff people think to put in them. Google Buzz will be just another node (a very good node, I hope) among many peers. Users of any two systems should be able to send updates back and forth, federate comments, share photos, send @replies, etc., without needing Google in the middle and without using a Google-specific protocol or format."

Google itself, even has its own site dedicated to making user data for its various products exportable. That’s just Google, but the web in general appears to be moving more in this direction.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a site, or even that you don’t need one, but I think it’s an interesting discussion. For now, I’m going to say having your own site is still in your best interest, but has a more social Internet with more portable data made a standalone site less critical? Is having a website going to be less important in the future? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject. Comment here.

Is it Becoming Less Critical For Businesses to Have Websites?
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  • http://www.webpro.in Bharati Ahuja

    Having your own website is always going to be important. Today the trend is towards the social media and networking, in future when this trend changes all the foot prints created using this media may just get wiped away. (as Yahoo did with GeoCities, for example)

    If you have your own website you have total control and your identity on the net gets established.

    Participating and actively using the social media sites is like participating in exhibitions, seminars and discussions. In real time when businesses participate in exhibitions, seminars and other such events they do not stop having their own office.

    Your domain name, company logo and website are an irreplacable identity for your online business and presence. Every new such trend is supplementary and should be integrated with your website for maximum benefit.

    The web presence should branch out like a tree with the roots being on your own website.

    • Chris Crum

      So is the brand forever dependent on the domain name? Logos are portable. Brand experience is portable. What about after all of the good domains are taken?

      • http://webpro.in Bharati Ahuja

        Agreed logos are portable, brand experience is portable but there has to be some place back to link them to which is permanent and will not change according to the decision of the third party website owners and the internet trends which keep on changing.

        Can webpronews.com imagine to be only on the social media sites, news sites or other third party websites without having its own website where content and the identity of the company can be self managed, maintained and controlled thereby giving a enriching, quality, informative reading to its regular visitors .

        There has to be some place called home (www.yourdomainname.com/index.html) for your online presence.

        • Chris Crum

          I certainly agree in our own case, and definitely in the cases of many other businesses, but I’m not as certain that this applies to everyone or will continue to forever. As I said in the article, however, it is in your best interest to have a site right now.

  • http://dotcomreport.com SEO basics

    Don’t expect to see the website disappear anytime soon. Thanks for the info.

  • http://www.sitebyjames.com James

    Speaking from a trends perspective… No… having a website is becoming less and less of a “fad”. According to some people anyways. I highly doubt the general consensus or word on the street is saying that.

    Whether it is critical or not… That’s really upto the business owner to decide. You can choose to build a presence however you would like.

    There are tons of successful business and people I can name off, and I have never seen their website.

    I think the importance of a multi-media laden information package readily accessible and easy to digest is something that requires a little bit more than just showing up. In that regard, social media is only that.

    I don’t think Google will surpass the Yellow Pages in it’s delivery method as far as adding anything of significant value to business. As for them allowing people to export data, I think it’s the only way they are going to maintain software services without upsetting their users. Nobody wants to be locked in. Nobody wants to have to maintain several services either.

    Facebook is just a channel which people have not successfully branded… I have never seen Facebook as a good place to “establish” a business presence. It’s more like a venue which if you can catch the attention of the users, then great, your in business.

    Just my opinions…

    • Chris Crum

      Good comments James. I think for a lot of application businesses, Facebook has been pretty key in establishing a business presence. Not that they don’t have websites, but people become familiar with them based on their activity on Facebook. Facebook is only part of the equation though, and that equation is constantly changing.

  • http://www.royerseo.com Sam

    A nice mix of both is a great combination. Businesses need to take advantage of all the things social media sites bring to the table, but websites need to be a part of that as well. Websites are not expensive to create and there’s really no excuse not to have one.

  • http://markselectronicreconditioning.com/ Mark LaPointe

    Facebook is definately a great source of advertising. However it requires you have as many friends as you can get. For those business owners who are more local based facebook is very good. However it is crazy to even discuss whether, or not you need a website. Lets be real, presentation is the most important aspect of obtaining customers. You can only do so much through facebook. You cant go wrong with a great website. Unless you cant get hits. As a business owner, I have found getting hits to be easy, but time consuming. So yes, Im saying a website is equally, if not more important than facebook. I will also tell you, as stated already, get as many friends as possible. A simple method is to make a brief, but catchy message, then copy, and paste it will save you alot of time. Also let people know on your status different things you are selling,and when you are having sales, or specials

    • Chris Crum

      It would certainly go beyond Facebook. The larger point is that there are ways out there to have a web presence without having a site, and as smartphone apps become even more widely used, there are increasingly more ways to reach people online without a site.

      I will reiterate, however, that I’m not telling businesses to give up their sites.

  • http://www.buyersutopia.com RealEstateInvestmentGuy

    I dont know because i never try.

  • http://www.controldatainc.com Agency collection

    Having a website has two sides to it. Its fairly difficult anymore to have your site listed with prime keys. Pay per clicks are a joke and natural rankings with a decent key can take years. A lot depends on the industry your in. There are still many older businessman that dont even know where the on switch is on a computer. In some cases a website is your best asset in others it can be a waste of time.

  • sofakingdabest

    It’s a must. At the very least it’s a stand alone, static billboard with contact info.

  • http://www.theanimeblog.com The Anime Blog

    Websites are absolutely essential.

  • http://www.DaytonSEOservices.com DaytonSEOServices

    Personally, I don’t think it’s one or the other. Successful businesses need to be on both. I posted on my blog how SEO is like playing Monopoly. Your site is just one “piece on the board.” Facebook is another “piece”. Twitter another. Etc etc.

    If they don’t have time, they can easily hire someone to handle it all for them for a fraction of the cost of tradition advertising

  • http://fightthebigboys.com Doug Stewart

    Many small business websites are rarely updated. While social media content is fresh and new. Products, services and prices change and many small business websites still have static, stale web pages. Their old web pages litter our internet “super highway.” Clogging search engines with debris.

    The webmaster disappeared. The website design firm closed their doors. Or the “web guy” doesn’t work for the business anymore. Leaving the small business owner without any knowledge of how to update their website. They don’t know how to move their web hosting. Or even how to renew their domain name.

    These small businesses are better served without a website. If the business doesn’t make marketing themselves online a priority or a regularly scheduled activity, why create more pages of web trash to be indexed? If they can get a local Google listing, why pay for something that won’t stay up-to-date? But if a business owner really wants to work the web with an updated Web 2.0 website, that’s a whole different story.

    • Chris Crum

      Very valid points.

  • http://www.snerdey.com Snerdey

    A business has to use every tool in the box of goodies they can use to promote their businesses. If the companies did not have a website then Google would never have found the majority of the businesses right?

    Websites are the core of the business information. What’s on many search results is normally brief and limited. Loosing all the personal touches a well designed website can offer.

    Of course a business can make it without a website and websites are not for every business. But, if a business can find a niche then by all means expand your reach beyond the local means.

    What Google is doing is great and it’s just another tool for the “in the now” business thinkers need to use. The biggest issue is that there are just so many great tools one would need to contact SnapOn Tools for a custom virtual tool box to sort them in :)

    Have a great day!
    Snerdey

  • http://periscopic.com kim

    Websites will become obsolete for most businesses. Google local offers so much that you don’t really need a site (as long as you are a retail site, local service, etc.). It’s offers a map, contact info, store hours, description, photos, reviews, etc. The shop owner basically can operate a website from within Google. It’s free, easy, and ubiquitous to customers.

  • http://www.websuccessteam.com Websuccess

    A website is like a calling card. Would you show up for a business meeting without a business card or some form of leave behind?
    You can work your way around not having a website but your company would look far more professional if you had a nice website that represented your brand and your services and you don’t necessarily need to spend your life savings to achieve this.

  • http://www.danscartoons.com Cartoons Available For Your Usage

    It is crucial for anyone in the visual medium, to have a web presence. In fact, if you are a fulltime photographer, painter, illustrator, cartoonist or logo designer then it isn’t a matter of being “less” critical in this day and age, but moreover, it’s a MUST to have a web presence. I offer a daily web cartoon: http://www.danscartoons.com/online_dailycartoon_content.htm and offer over 3000+ cartoons that I make available for licensing to professionals via my image licensing database: http://www.danscartoons.com and I continually get requests to license my images for applications such as in PowerPoint, textbooks, newsletters, magazines, calendars, stationery, flyers, newspapers, web pages, t-shirts and much more.
    The web lends itself well for the visual medium and there is a symbiotic relationship between the technological world and “pictures” of all kinds. I can understand where it’s less critical to have a web site if for instance, you’re a plumber, and from a demographic standpoint you can rely on TV ads, your local newspaper and “word of mouth” to sell you in your local or regional market. However, I’ve had plumbers contact me, to license some of my plumbing cartoons for use in print advertising to get their message out to the public via newspaper ads.

  • http://fecnnews.com John Hogan

    Ya, Social Media is popular and NOT going away anytime soon. It IS however very limited in helping to propagate your mission or business as there are only limited features and functions you can do with ANY shared type resource such as a Free blog, Forum, or social media in general.

    Case in point: By using one of the webs many various Web Portal type systems for your site, you can take advantage of a TON of things you simply can NOT accomplish via any social media type sources or Shared type free blogs, etc.

    Such Portal type systems (which is ALL that we do as webmasters here) offer you the ability to allow OTHERS to actually create content FOR YOU.. Example: http://flagler-estates.com/news/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.52 Click on her Logo along the top to also load some HOW TO information encouraging others to add certain coding to their pages to embed this or that and the reason WHY this is important to them..

    Of course such Pages CAN be included in your usual Social Networking type services such as Facebook, Twitter, and others which further increases your OWN potentials within those networks as well.. This is effectively a DOUBLE WHAMMY for the site owner which is simply NOT possible via using social media alone!

    Also Portal sites at your own dedicated domain are actually CHEAPER to setup/customize than the ole style web 1.0 standard type sites of yesteryear. They offer advanced level services such as RSS feeds, Database Calls Anyone with a site can utlilize (self promoting), and all these things CAN be included in your social media sources.

    In short, although the old style web 1.0 standard type websites of the past MAY very well be moving on into the wind of change, the newer web 2.0 type standards are most certainly NOT. In fact such new standards make up todays most visited, most popular sites on the web at the time of this writing and will continue to do so for a very long time to come.

  • Zane Good

    Just to add my two cents to this: A website should be the final destination of those people we reach using social media sites like Facebook, Linked-In, or Twitter. It’s great to get the attention of those that find our banter appealing, but the real ability to engage and store a profile of our visitors is through a well designed website of our own.

    Think about it: Any contacts you have on social media sites are the property of those sites. Direct your contacts from social media to your website, engage them, and get their contact information as part of your own property. This is one of the purposes of a business-owned website, to gather contacts you can use.

    Without it, you can’t control your follow-up. What if Facebook were to go down, how would you contact all those who had shown interest in your business?

    Elementary, Dear Watson… elementary.

  • TalkingOutLoud

    It will always be about control; being able to control your own brand, features, functions, processes, and products. I think most business professionals would advise an owner to favor control over fads or short term inexpensive/cheap solutions. The risk to your brand is too great do leave in the hands of a “benevolent master.” While we may execute the order to implement such a solution, it wouldn’t be the first choice. Ah, such is life and the realities we all must face :-/

  • http://www.vectordisplays.com Tim Berkesch

    From my perspective in the trade show and events business, all business relationships start wtih a Web site. Most prospects who find our company find us online. Most prospects want to see examples of our work and images of the products we produce and they want to do this at whatever time they want and they want to do it online. In my view branding now begins with a Web site. A professional Web site is what business need to be taken seriously.

  • http://www.marketingmessageblog.com Stephanie Diamond

    I think this is a great discussion so thanks for raising it. Having been online since 1994 I know that fads come and go and people are always chasing the next shiny object. I think your argument that we shouldn’t focus on a specific tool but rather, what we need to accomplish is the right one. It could be a website or blog or a social network. If you have a valuable message, people need to hear it from a variety of channels. I think it’s best not to get fixated on the platform tools and just focus on getting the word out any way you think makes sense for your target audienc.

    • Chris Crum

      Well put.

  • http://www.wine-fi.com Robert

    I don’t have a Frontage store so yes it is important for me. There was mention of Google Local above, great if you’re only looking for local sales for your widget , not so good if looking for National or World Wide sales .

    Twitter – where is your shopping cart going to reside?
    – you blink that sales post is GONE ! And I’m sure you’d rather not rummage through
    hundreds if not thousands of post to find it again.

    So twitter as a sole business/sales platform I don’t see it happening

    FaceBook – again where is your shopping cart going to reside?
    – better hope you have 10′s of thousands of friends then get them to your Fan page
    – speaking of Fan Pages how often do you recieve requests to join a page then how
    often do you visit it?

    Oh BTW while you were on Facebook you missed another gazillion tweets, catch up on tweets you just missed a bunch of Facebook posts.

    And if web sites are thrown to the wayside think of all you/those SEO people out of work.

  • http://www.kenansbro.com Ken Ansbro

    I think having a web site is still very important to any business large or small. Even doctors and non retail business have web sites now. It

  • http://www.electrostandards.com/ Fiber Network Switch expert

    In the electronic switching industry we couldn’t live without it. We live and die by the internet and it’s as important as ever.

  • Brad James

    Websites will always be at the forfront of the Internet, but as an affiliate marketer the real thing about websites for us is list building, squeeze pages if you will. Just sending traffic to links is not good practice in this business because of the amount of time to attract site visitors. I really appreciate the good articles on this site from all the contributors, this one was really good!

  • http://www.ellefagan.com Elle Fagan

    Couldn’t care less – I just love my site! :-D

    To respect the question: YES – my site has literally saved my life,
    keeping me alive in my mind and in my work,
    when I was immobilized from an accident, a few years back.
    I thought I was done and “out”.

    Instead, I found the best associates, and the best new opportunities in my work, lifelong!
    I won “points” for my ability, instead of losing points for my disability.
    And today, my site just “works” for so many of the operations involved in my Fine Arts Business.

    Mended and given the green light to get at improvements in cash earnings, my site is likely to win for me again – Doubling earnings, and permitting me to offer my work in multiple formats, not possible otherwise.

    When I am dashing about in my world, and meeting people, I never have to bore them at an inappropriate time, but merely give them my url, and add whatever quick thought might inspire them to look up the site later.

    My family and friends and workmates have relocated through the years and yet they all find me for work and play, because of my site.

    So, in some businesses, it may be totally unnecessary to have some spot online, but not in mine!

    Saint Isadore, patron of the internet, must have been nearby on my “little bad day” and he’s on my desktop today, to say “thank you” and “maybe better stay around”.

    Elle

  • Pete

    There was once a time I believed you must have a website or web presence, but over the last few years I realised that in some industries this not the case. One of my suppliers has no website and only a listing in the back blocks of a US company and they are as busy as anyone selling products. And this is not the only case I have come across.

    Word of mouth still rules in some industries.

  • Kathy

    Being social media close minded. Websites are essential, as one person said in the comments. You can not purchase an airline ticket or a vacation or a credit card on Facebook and Twitter. You can not manage your bank account on FB and TW. And you surely can not keep things private. And comapnies like this will NEVER trust those sites to manage such secure purchases. Im on board and riding the wave, but the social media “revolution” has yet to see it’s day of reconing and reality. The people’s voice will become a major part of the way we think, but the once was great art of SEO seems to have been thrown out the window way too fast by the very core group who started it and they are jumping on the SMM bandwagon way too fast, when they should be staying true to Search and the grounding that the mass majority of the world still uses, while again artfully and reasonably giving rise to a new media of internet marketing. When SEO first became huge, there were those like you who said “toss out all your email marketing and traditional marketing”, and they were wrong, very wrong. It is small and narrow minded thinking, and it is not the thinking of a professional internet marketer.

  • Gar

    My God yes you still need a website! I get contacts all the time from hotmail, gmail and yahoo addresses that I simply ignore because 90% of them are not serious to do real business. Most of these people do not have a contact number, address, company name, profile, no history, etc. It is a great waste of time to our staff to have to sort through these garbage emails.

    Facebook business presence is bunch of garbage, no one uses facebook with their company name for business unless you are doing MLM stuff. And who is going to find you?

    Having a website shows us you are serious to do business and you have a a presence that we can read and understand and see what you are doing, when you did it and how much you made. Which are questions we always ask our buyers, if it is available on your website, we don’t need to waste our time asking these things. As a supplier we want to know what industry you are in to know if you can really move our products or not. I cannot count how many times I have gotten mails from people claming to have connections with someone in our industy who does something completely opposite. Is it possible, sure, but its certainly not probable!

    And most small businesses do update their websites, or at least hey, their is a phone number there that customers can call to. Without a website, firstly no one is going to find you!

    I have many businesses and each one has it’s own website. I would never do anything differently at least in the current mindset of most customers.

    Get a website for your business if you are serious, and make it look nice and professional, otherwise people like us with great products that you can surely make a profit on, will simply ignore you.

    • Gar

      I should mention that I do export and customers contact us to buy our products in volume. The problem is a lot of people who contact us we know nothing about, if you want to be taken seriously you need a website for us to look at so we know who you are and what capabilities you have.

      On the retail side, you also need to be able to portray to your customers that you are professional, and without a web presence it is very difficult to do so.

      I ask my customers who are their customers and how are they going to market to them, if their answers do not include by the web through their own website, we think they are not well connected and do not understand how important it is to have thier own credible website.

      Even for local businesses who are catering to a niche market, if you do not want new customers, don’t do the website, but if you want outsiders to know who you are and find you if they happen to be traveling through town, get a website. They are cheap enough to maintain and run even if you rarely update them, your contact information is there.

  • http://www.blackballonline.com Pittsburgh Online Marketing Services

    Want to be taken seriously? Get a site. Not just a site builder thrown together with a domain name. Some small businesses take more time to design their business card than they do for their website. This is a shame. It’s all about reputation. I would rather see a business forgo a website until they can put up something that inspires confidence in the consumer to use their services.

    Next, once your website is ready for prime time then go to the social media channels for support and traffic. Option B is to do the exact opposite. This may be the case for startups with little to no ad dollars. Go social first then build your stellar site. This can be done but the logical path is still to put up a solid site first. There may come a time when a website is not necessary but as of this post it’s still a must have for small companies.

  • http://bharatmamtora.blogspot.com/ Bharat Mamtora

    No its not becoming Less Critical For Businesses to Have Websites

  • http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2010/02/15/is-it-becoming-less-critical-for-businesses-to-have-websites Guest

    For any company looking for customer anywhere in the world then website is an absolute necessity but if have local restaurant with target as office workers in nearby community then what you need is traditional marketing.

  • http://www.hormonesolutions.com.au Lance Chambers

    NO you don’t.

    It depends entirely on your business model:

    What if you simply use affiliates to send e-mails to their lists with a link to the affiliates site with all the ordering info and systems on the affiliates site?

    What if you only use e-mail and print ads?

    If you answer YES to this question then you are saying that to be a success in a traditional business you MUST have a shopfront on the High Street. We all know that NOT to be true.

    The net is a new approach but that is no reason to forget about the old business models and how they may effectively be used online.

  • http://www.signature.gb.com signature image consultants

    Having your own website is as common place today as a business card. Sure brochure sites have given over to blogs and freespace template sites which now litter the internet like confetti, but there you go. As mentioned already, if your goalnis lead generation you need more than a website, however if you want to convert these web leads into sales you need a website where you control the message!

  • http://www.onlineenglishteacher.com Philip

    I think that websites are important increasingly.

  • http://www.anisotropic-studios.com Tony Ford

    Websites are very important in todays market no matter what the business. Those who say it only depends on the business haven’t really understood and underestimate the power of the internet. Websites are crucial communication devices for all businesses. Most important is that a communication strategy is in place before during and after the launch of a website. A communications strategy must me forward moving and forward thinking. it most be adaptable and never complacent.

    • http://www.anisotropic-studios.com Tony Ford

      Furthermore … a website must be combined with other elements of communication including email marketing, banner ads and in many cases traditional offline advertising that supports the web presence. In a nutshell – as important as a website is in should never be stand alone.

  • http://webtrafficinsider.com chris

    I think most if not all companies should have a website because at the end of the day you can control your own website and what is place within the site.

    With social medial properties they make changes and do not consult with the members. Take a look at the recent changes with faceboook and how everybody went nuts.

    Now if you are a small business or a 1 man shop and you do not have the resources to maintain a website by adding new content than maybe social media will get you through until you grow enough to invest in a website that you can maintain.

  • http://www.seopagepro.com/ nick

    Asking do you need a website, is like asking if you need a car? Although public transportation has tried to reduce the need for cars, cars still remain, and if you ask, why does someone need a car? you will get almost as many answers as there are people. Same is true with websites.

    Websites for business has reduced paper and the mailman, and there is no going back. It is a company’s marketing brochure, that can be easily updated.

    To say that some other form of online presence is going to reduce or eliminate the need for a website is looking at the situation from the wrong angle. It is like saying, there is no need for cars anymore, because the next evolution is electric? Electric cars without a combustible engine is still a car. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

    The basic premise for a website still remains, even if there are other forms, ie: a place where a business can keep all its public information readily accessible and up to date.

    Also, google gets almost all its revenue from websites. With no websites there would be little revenue. They must protect there cash cow, but I have to admit, they have been trying to diversify like crazy, so maybe after all I have said, there is a conversion going on that is fundamental.

    There was a time when everyone thought blogs were going to eliminate the need for custom websites. This did not happen, but it did reduce the need to pay for expensive web designers if all you needed was a simple website. Facebook has, in a way done the same thing to blogs as blogs have done to custom websites. They have taken it to the next level of simplicity for the masses, but it will not eliminate the need for a business website.

    • http://www.webpro.in Bharati Ahuja

      Well said Nick!

      Totally agree.

    • http://www.vanna-dream.ru Guest

      It’s true…

  • http://www.whatcom.it communicat

    Depending on your business model, you may need or not to have a website.
    Many corporate business models, where complex services are delivered to customers (like Saas, system integration, and things like that), demand for a website in a compelling manner.
    But there are some kind of business that in the social web era could actually live without having an official website. Thus, having a site or not can be considered as a part of the marketing strategy.

  • http://tomorriscat.ecrater.com/ ceebee

    a business that doesn’t even have a website in this day and age is one that is not going to succeed in the future.

  • http://hubpages.com/profile/dame+scribe Gin

    Since FB offers ability to start their own groups, business owners could also gather under related groups to capture more traffic. Strength and exposure in numbers. Just a thought. :)

  • http://www.anthemparalegal.com Guest

    your internet brand image lays it’s foundation on a dedicated website.
    Ever google yourself? Of course you have.

  • http://www.furnituremodern.com/ Guest

    It is absolutely essential to have a website these days. Most of our customers first want to see which products we sell, before making a trip to the store. Although we have an e-commerce site specializing in modern furniture, people still rather go shopping for furniture at the store; they save time and have a good idea as to what we have to offer.

    It does help to drive traffic, our web page is http://www.furnituremodern.com and it is growing day by day.

  • http://www.searchenginesservices.com seodaddy

    Website acts as your “virtual showroom” to display what you have in your business. Therefore, i would think businesses still need to have a website.

  • http://crimcheck.com ramosraymond54

    Yes, businesses do need to have their own websites as soon as they are created so that public consciousness will be heightened. Nowadays, the company that doesn’t have a website will be left behind in the earnings department.

  • Saurabh

    Yes, I think that any business needs a web presence to expand its space.

    its a competitive era where everybody trying their best to make a global presence in the market and in this case website playing a vital role to do this.

    its 24*7 days salesman which always open to everybody online .

    its creating a best impact on business on B2B, B2C, C2B, C2C network level.

  • http://www.marketyoursmallbusiness.com/ Stephanie

    Giving someone your website name is the same as handing out your business card. It is an expectation that you have a website and if you do not, it puts you at a disadvantage. In this technological age that we are now in – like it or not, if you do not have or do not plan to have an online presence, you will get let behind by those that do.

  • Will

    Are You Guys Crazy?

    This article leads me to ask the question, “How much is Facebook paying you to Post such a rediculous unqualified Article?”

    First off, you ‘Can’t control third party websites, especially the Privacy invasive Facebook that has released personal information to just about everywhere you can imagine. But, you Can Control Your Own Site!! If you need sites like Facebook it’s probably because you have ‘piss poor’ SEO formatting on your site and/or know nothing about it.

    WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO ‘DITCH’ YOUR OWN SITE OR SPEND TIME SENDING PEOPLE TO FACEBOOK?

    Post a Business site on Facebook then try and promote it agressively and what happens, you run the risk of getting your page removed permanently by Facebook. Post your private and personal information on Facebook and guess what Einstein, it remains there permanently stored in their data base for any official organization or marketing firm to eventually have access to. It’s great for high school kids to talk about their dates with each other, but to seriously think of using Facebook as a Website Replacement? You need brain surgery with an ice pick to even consider that stupid suggestion!

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