I get asked a lot about having web presence and technically speaking, it is one of the most boring and common question that I face.
People often think that for the time spent of Facebook, that should be enough. Well, technically that is a social presence and it’s not entirely the same as having your own website.
A web presence is really about having a website that says it all. It can be for your book, company, service or nanny services in which you provide real hookers for menage a trios outing.
You can call this an online brochure and for those who have no idea on what to do and where to start, there is always those free web sites on blogspot or wordpress.com which caters to your varied content needs.
But many of you do not need a CMS to have a web presence. There are so many alternatives to this, like in the case of wix.com and squarespace virtual real estate packages that come preloaded with templates for you to switch to.
Strikingly Dot Com
I have a site here and don’t pay a dime for it. But my site is my own calling card of sorts. I have test driven a whole load of these other hosting sites in the past and I have to admit, these dudes at strikingly have done a good job. And no, I have not been paid by them to say otherwise.
First, you have those clean templates which you can use for almost any type of site for any web presence requirement. Some are so well done that you’d only find it as a paid CMS template on WordPress.
For those who want to customize their needs to suit, say their books, seminars, portfolios, etc. You have to option of paying for an annual plan which to me, cost as much as you would in setting up a paid hosting service on WordPress.
Strikingly also offers great design options that are also mobile friendly. The templates have improved in time and today, you even have the option of adding a blog space to your site if you so wish.
Not everyone blogs. That much is true.
Some might not have much to say while others will wear you to the bone with their text. To create a successful web presence, it’s a toss between the two but people ultimately are visual creatures.
This is where the Template organization and usage comes to play. If the User Experience (UX) for the site sucks. You can be assured your visitors will opt out faster than they found your site link.
LinkedIn with Strikingly
Here is another good reason to build your own resume/CV without the confusing and often badly designed UI of LinkedIn.
I am not a fan of LinkedIn because the UX feels cluttered. Even if they sell themselves in a social manner, I never found the value of browsing someone’s LinkedIn file unless I was looking for people to hire.
Strikingly has a auto-import feature that will layout your LinkedIn profile into a proper web portfolio. Just import your profile and key in the missing details. It looks far better than the jumble mess you find in LinkedIn.
Cost Versus Effort
For as little as US$96 a year, you can have your own domain and email forwarding plus 50GB of traffic. Now, ask yourself….how the hell would you exceed 50GB of web traffic unless you are running a porn site?
And let’s not forget about the cost of having a designer or a webmaster of sorts to set up a CMS if you don’t already know how. Strkingly is a snap to set up as its visually designed templates allow that freedom to not hire someone who has better brains than you to set it up.
For example, to use forms, you have a visual interface to create it. No more having to install a plug-in on the CMS to get it running. Plug-ins will crash and depending on their security compliance code, can let hackers break in. But you wouldn’t know that unless someone told you about it.
Now Squarespace offers you loads more in terms of blog, e-commerce and stuff you probably won’t end up using for the same price. However there is no free ‘site’ option like in the case of Strikingly where you can create micro-sites to link to your own personal web presence.
Visual Content Matters
For me, having a visual web presence is far more important as people normally do not know what to write or say on a web site. I am sure you can pen a few words about what you wish to communicate to your visitors but trust me, having the right pictures to go with the site is all that matters.
The human attention span of the average web surfer is about 100 words. If you don’t hook someone for the next 100 words, he will click the nearest link to a porn site.
Visual marketing plays an important part of that psyche. It has to flow well. Look nice and the colors have to gel too.
A pure white and minimalist template often times do not work (sorry square space but you suck) and people might say that’s the safest option for your pictures to stand out. Going one up the ladder would be to be attractive than to be safe. How a UX is designed becomes important if you want to hold those eyeballs.
People on the Internet have a truckload of choices in which to spend their time on. Trying to be Zen in your layout just isn’t one of them unless they suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.
So start your web presence in baby steps. I know you hate to jump in and realize that you can’t swim. That’s how it happens sometimes so you have been warned. To build your own site with strikingly, start here.