During the last decade, building a website has continually gotten easier.
But that’s not to say creating a good one is easy, especially if its purpose is professional.
Moreover, there are now so many considerations — such as how well the website adapts on a mobile device or how fast it loads — that someone with no experience is unlikely to build a worthwhile website without much effort and consideration.
And these things really do matter: just a one-second delay in loading time, for example, translates into a 7% loss in conversions on average for a commercial website.
But forget having a good website. Most local businesses don’t have one at all.
Less than half of small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs) have any meaningful online presence, despite the fact that 88 percent of us consult the web before we decide which local business to patronise.
In other words, most of us are looking for local businesses online, even though most of them aren’t there. They are as good as invisible to today’s customer.
Business owners know this — that they need to go online. So haven’t haven’t they?
Well, most think it’s too expensive or time-consuming, or that they lack the technical know-how. Some of them paid a ton for a terrible website in 1999 that didn’t do much for their business and has gotten increasingly obsolete at an exponential rate; they are often wary because they’ve been burned before.
As small businesses account for roughly 98 percent of the entire European economy, most of the economy is behind in terms of technological development.
High-street storefronts all over the continent are in trouble, which are likely to be taken over by deep-pocketed corporate entities that already have slick digital assets at their disposal.
Indeed, the trend of punching what we want to purchase into our mobile devices is unlikely to waver any time soon (at last count, the average person touches his or her smartphone more than 2,000 times each day).
So small businesses must adapt to this new climate.
Let’s take a look at two web developers, WordPress versus UENI. Both offer a solution to this problem, but with very distinct styles.
Of the main website builders out there, WordPress is probably the polar opposite of UENI in terms of philosophy. That’s not to say it’s not a worthy service with unique advantages; it is. But its offering is best-suited to a particular kind of user.
In general, WordPress is on the DIY end of the spectrum, whereas UENI builds everything for you.
Here’s what we mean:
While WordPress has a relatively user-friendly dashboard, someone with no experience may need some time before he or she is comfortable with it. But if you’re willing to learn, there are a multitude of online forums, discussions and other great resources to guide you through.
WordPress was originally designed for blogging, and its basic functions are still best-suited for that purpose and format. But it’s also a highly customisable platform (see next point to find out what that means).
WordPress has been around since 2003, which may as well be the Cretaceous Period in terms of the Internet (that was well before Twitter or Facebook were even ideas).
Between 4-8% of the websites on the Internet run on WordPress, and there are roughly 17 WordPress blog posts published for every second of every day.
The advantage of this popularity is that there’s a pretty rich offering of themes you can use to design your page, and more than 40,000 ready-made plug-ins with all kinds of tricks.
If you want your website to be highly customisable, and are willing to invest the time (or money) to adapt its open-source code, WordPress is a clear winner.
WordPress.com lets you host your website for free, if you want your domain to be something like yoursite.wordpress.com. If you want your own personalized domain (which you should particularly as a business) then you’ll have to pay for the domain name and web hosting, which is typically £10/year for the domain and around £5/month for hosting.
UENI offers a custom domain name for free, but a subscription costs £1 per-day.
A large part of the cost of UENI is its ongoing management and improvement. Its subscribers can rest easy knowing that their website will have whatever up-to-date measures are needed to perform well (e.g. rank high on Google), because its product is constantly being optimised.
WordPress is less expensive, but you’re on your own. And the cost of hiring someone to build your website is much more than £1 per-day.
UENI is a disruptive startup based in London that aims to supply small businesses website with an easy, affordable and all-in-one solution.
Unlike WordPress, UENI doesn’t require you to build anything. In fact, they’ve been collecting data about businesses all over Europe for more than two years now, and purpose this information to populate websites for more than one million businesses and counting.
What UENI provides is a ready-made online solution. Subscribers can rest easy that their website will be designed and managed by tech experts.
Another advantage of UENI is that they not only create your website, but also launch your Facebook Business page, verify you on Google Maps, and list your business wherever on the web is relevant to your industry. Our subscribers can rest easy knowing they have all the right bases covered — we’ll make sure of it, and put each on the right platforms for their particular business.
WordPress is largely a blank canvas. If you can dedicate resources, you can realise whatever vision you have your website. You don’t have the same number of options with UENI to make your website look exactly how you’d like.
UENI emphasises simplicity rather than flexibility. It’s a relatively bare-bones format, but it does the job. It shows the location of the business, the services offered, and handles booking requests (after which it notifies the owner by SMS text and email). The sleek UENI website design is optimised mainly for three things: speed, adaptability and presenting the information customers are looking for as clearly as possible.
But UENI keeps it simple in all respects.
Case-in-point: When you change any information about your business on their platform, UENI will automatically update all your profiles on social media and search engines. So you can stay up-to-date in a single gesture.
Though WordPress and UENI are both options for business owners looking to build a website, the latter caters to them specifically but offers less flexibility.
If you’re a business owner, and you want someone else to worry about your online presence, then UENI is a good bet.
If you want to learn how to develop websites on a highly customisable platform, then WordPress is the right place for you to start.
In either case, best of luck!