Launching a website can feel daunting. It’s natural to have fears: “It’ll take forever.” “It’ll cost a fortune.” “It’ll be hard.” But is there really an easy-fast-cheap button you can press?
I recently saw a commercial that claimed that by using their service, you can design and launch a website in under an hour. As a web professional for over 15 years, that came as quite a shock, because I don’t think I’ve ever designed a website in under 20 hours nevertheless one.
But I got to thinking about it. Do I believe it’s possible to launch a website in under an hour? I do! Here’s how I’d do it:
Step 1: Sign Up
I’d sign up for a website-building service that has hosting, domain registration and everything that’s needed included in the package. I won’t do any research because ain’t nobody got time for that, I’ll just use the first one that comes to mind or do a quick Google search and pick the top one.
I won’t spend any time worrying about choosing the right domain name, ThisIsCloseEnough.xyz has a nice ring to it.
Now I’m ready to get out my credit card and fill out the forms and get started building my web empire before dinner’s done.
Uh oh. I have no clue how to started. But that’s okay, I’ll watch this 20 minute tutorial in 5 minutes.
Estimated time: 15 minutes
Step 2: Pick a template
I’ve only got an hour so I’ll just pick the first one that looks cool. I kind of need to go to the bathroom but that’ll have to wait.
Estimated time: 5 minutes
Step 3: Customize the template
I’ve come to the part where I need to replace all the template sample text and images with my own text and images. Only I don’t have any text or images, hmmm. Never fear, they say it’s possible so it must be true.
I won’t have time to write anything, so what I’ll do is just keep as much of the sample text as I can and call it good. It sure looks nice anyway!
I won’t be fussy about the images, because that’s not the most important thing. Everybody knows the most important thing in business is how fast you can get things done. Besides, everybody always enjoys pictures of my cats.
Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for my images to upload, but if they do, I’ll just keep the sample ones. They look like nice people.
Estimated time: 30 minutes
Step 4: Launch
Whoo hooo. Ready to push the launch button and wait for my millions to roll in.
Estimated time: 5 minutes
Total time to launch: Under an hour.
Meanwhile back on planet earth…
A website doesn’t have to take forever, cost a fortune, or be unpleasant — but the truth is, if you want one that actually does something for your business, it’s going to take more than an hour.
You should be spending at least that much time just thinking about what you want your new website to do for your business, about your customes and what will capture their attention and inspire them to act, and how you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition.
Is it possible for you to create your own website even if you have very little technical knowledge? Yes! There are a myriad of wonderful tools available online that have opened doors for small businesses on tight budgets who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do it themselves. I’m not trying to tell you otherwise or discourage you from doing that.
But beware of the over-hyped messages that seem too good to be true, you’ll only end up frustrated when it turns out to be more complicated than it seemed or your one-hour website doesn’t do much to benefit your business. Remember, these services care about getting as many customers as possible signed up and they do so by preying on your fears and worries (“it’ll take forever, it’ll cost a fortune, it’ll be hard…”). But they don’t care what happens to your business after you launch.
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