You heard right.

Your website AND your car have a lot more in common than you may think. Simply put, they are both vehicles with a purpose. Both get you where you need to go and they both need maintenance and upkeep from time to time.

Everyone knows what a website is, but not everyone knows how to use one once they get it. I’ve looked up many definitions of the word “website” and most studies define it as a collection of interconnected webpages on the World Wide Web containing information and hyperlinks. That’s correct, but the question is not what a website is but what is its purpose? A website is indeed a collection of webpages containing linked information, but the purpose of one is what you do with the information and what you want it to do.

Let’s look at an example. We’ll use your car. Everyone knows what that is and have had a few of them throughout their lifetime. For some people, more than a few. You know it gets you where you need to go. That’s its purpose. To quickly take you from point A to B. You control where you need it to go, how fast you want to go and also carry your groceries. You drop your kids off at school and head off to work. Your car is a very important vehicle in your life. But can do you everything I listed above without a car? Sure you can, it would just be that much more difficult. There are other means of transportation that you can leverage. Public transportation like buses and taxis or even a friend or family members’ vehicles. But there is nothing like having your own car or truck to get you around where you want, when you want.

But remember, your car needs you care just as much as you need it. There are oil changes, flat tires, engine checks, transmission work, car washes, changing bulbs, oh and don’t forget the monthly car note and auto insurance. It’s necessary to keep the maintenance up on your car because you need it. So how does all of this relate to a website? Well there really isn’t that much of a difference.

Your website is your presence on the World Wide Web. So making sure it’s in tip top shape is very important. You need to make sure your content remains fresh, current and relevant. Whether it’s a business website, for charity, or even for social media, your website represents you in ways you couldn’t imagine. Like your car, you can probably do everything you need done without a website and get all the exposure you want, but having a quality website that represents you speaks volumes. Your website is your reputation.

Before you have one built for you, you need to define its purpose. Whenever I meet with a client who needs a website built for them I always ask them these questions:

  1. What do you want your website to do? Are you selling a product, offering a service, or just for informational purposes only?
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. How do you want visitors to interact with your website?
  4. Lastly, and probably the most important, Why do you need a website?

This last question is probably the one most people have the hardest time coming up with a valid response for. This is where you think about to how valuable your car is. Think about what make and model you have. Did you buy your car because it was pretty, or did you buy it because it was a reliable model to get you back and forth to work and you really don’t care about the custom trim package that was available for an extra charge? If you really think about how you want your website to work instead of what it looks like then you will definitely get a good, quality website for your money. But on the other hand, if your focus is strictly aesthetics, then chances are you overpaid for something that will go out of style before you know it. Unless… that was your purpose to begin with.

So remember, know what you want before you ask for it. Your website will determine how well your business or social life is represented in the digital world and ultimately, in the real world.

Happy hunting!