A great web presence can do incredible things for your business.

Your website is much more than just a website. It’s your sales, your customer service, your marketing, your pricing, the customer experience - it’s your entire brand.

Small artisan businesses who are having success are the ones who have full control of their websites and digital assets.

Creating a website or managing your site is an overwhelming process. It’s intimidating, complicated and time-consuming.

As a result, many give up control and ownership of their site.

One of the most common mistakes we see are that many business owners hand over control of their site because they don’t want to deal with it, or worse, they put off doing anything at all. Unfortunately, many end up choosing an option that seems ‘easy’ or ‘inexpensive’ only to run into unfortunate consequences down the road.

Much of the ‘advice’ I see given in Facebook groups is not good. While most people and so-called 'experts' have good intentions, they are misinformed as to what a good website requires.

Getting recommendations from colleagues is a good place to start, especially because they have experience using tools in a business that is similar to yours.

However, it also means having to figure out how to separate the good advice from the bad. Which is nearly impossible for your average business owner.

Does this sound familiar?

You’ve noticed quite a few people using a particular website template or service, so you decide to ask around to find out what others are using. You also notice that there are even some ‘big names’ using the same service. One ‘guru’ even had a coupon code to share for ‘great’ hosting company that gives you unlimited everything for $5 a month.

It sounds great, and since this person is highly regarded you figure if it’s working for them then it will work for you.

You're excited about your new website and you can’t wait to get started. You jump right in and start setting it up. But what started as a quick weekend project is turning into a 70-hour nightmare.

The website template isn’t quite as easy to setup as you were led to believe. In addition there’s some technical issues that you didn’t realize you’d have to learn in order to set this up.

After spending hours searching Google and asking around in a few Facebook groups, you finally get the site up.

But after a few months your traffic hasn’t improved and your business is not growing.

Even worse, you’re now seeing those same ‘gurus’ – whose sites looked really good to you before – seeking advice in those same Facebook groups, complaining about web issues and looking for marketing tips. At this point you feel completely defeated.

I’ve been there too.

It’s so frustrating to spend hours and hours on a website, only to find out it’s not working and it’s not bringing you any new business.

I’ve tried so many website platforms and site templates. I’ve tried flash sites, designed my own websites, and hired numerous services. I spent so much time switching designs and figuring out why my site wasn’t working. I’ve dealt with hacked sites, slow sites, web hosting going down in the middle of a big product launch, broken templates, sites that were hard to update, sites that were bad for SEO, helping clients wrestle ownership back for their domain.

You name it, and I’ve dealt with it.

It’s hard to grow a business when you have to troubleshoot website problems all the time.

Having spent a fair amount of time helping photographers fix their websites as a result of really bad advice they received from so-called experts, this is something I feel strongly about.

Our latest Field Guide: Taking Control of Your Website was created for this very reason. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to your website.

The Field Guide covers important essentials and resources to help you create a successful website, whether you are creating a site yourself or whether you’re hiring a custom web designer.

That way you can spend time working on your business instead of your website.


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