Website Vs. Webpage – Is there a difference?
Websites used to be the classic method. Then blogs made things easier. Now things are even simpler. Social media pages and and posts offers both ease and functionality.
So as things stand today, creating a webpage online does not necessarily mean going the traditional route of hosting a site, though still comes highly recommended because that too has become a straightforward DIY process.
Today there are many ways of creating your first webpage. And the good news is that most are free of cost to start with.
Let’s go over the best options to create a web page.
Let’s face it.Your business needs a web presence to take advantage of all that it has to offer. Read our previous post why you needs a webpage.
Let’s start with the social media options and then explore the more conventional methods of creating a webpage, although there is nothing conventional about them anymore. They too offer functionality and do it yourself is that was unthinkable a few years ago.
The reason I am mentioning social media pages is that they have their potential of making a strong image online. They offer extensive functionality and for most part they are free to use.
Social media is getting saturated
Different platforms are more suitable for your purpose depending upon your content. Although it is a sad reality that all social media platforms are becoming alike because they are all trying to emulate the most popular and profitable content. The result is that they are all encouraging content on the lines of tick-tock and Instagram.
Build a webpage outside of the social media
However, I will say this, and this is important,. Build a functional webpage for yourself before you start promoting yourself on social media platforms. The reason is simple. Having an independent webpage outside of these platforms gives you more control over what you want to do and how you want to handle your visitors.
I know there are influencers who exist only on social media. But these are usually people who only have content for those platforms. They have no use for a webpage outside of that environment. Example, TikTok video makers.
But if you are selling something, create a product or a service, you probably want to have more control over your potential clientele.
Content management platforms offer the same simplicity and ease as social media.
There are several platforms that offer the simplicity of creating a web page without having to know very technical know-how. I mean kids in primary school are able to make websites now. You might think they are smarter because they know more about tech and computers but that is simply not the case.
The truth is that it is just that simple to create a web page now using one of the plethora of services. I will cover some of these services also in this list of places where you can create your own webpage.
Most of the services use drag-and-drop editors and ready to use themes that make your webpage look absolutely great and professional right from the beginning. They offer complete functionality like having people get onto your mailing list, send emails, sell stuff through your own integrated e-commerce store, process the payments for you etc..
All this is possible and this is why I recommend creating a web page on one of these using one of these services that allow you to have more control.
Algorithms and rules change all the time
Social media keeps changing according to what they deemed to be profitable for their usage. They use your information and the information of the people there to profit themselves. That is basically the end game.
They can change the interface, the rules and algorithm on the basis of how things work. The result is that very often you have to keep working on your social media accounts in order to keep them functional.
Social media may look easy but on the other hand it is constant work. On the other hand blog might seem like a lot of work but then it tends to be a lot more stable and does not require those many frequent inputs from you.
Every blog has something called evergreen content which ranks for years. It is content that never really gets old because of the value it offers. This kind of content keeps pulling in visitors years after years on its own without you having to work on it.
1. Making a web page on Instagram
Instagram is a media focused social media platform, that is, the content has to relate to photographs or videos. Does this work for you? It doesn’t quite work for me because my content is written. It is not a visual media.
Who are the people who use Instagram to build their online presence? If we can discard the light entertainment stuff that people post in form of tick-tock like videos and Instagram reels, Instagram is a favourite for audio visual artists like photographers, singers, performing artist as well as publications like National Geographic.
Writers and painters can also use Instagram to gather a followers.
Believe it or not… Instagram is not for everyone
You need interesting content to share on a regular basis to be successful on Instagram. If this is not something that is happening organically as a way of what you do, it can get stressful and difficult to generate content for Instagram on a persistent basis.
Therefore, don’t try Instagram just because everyone seems to be on it. There may be other social media platforms that are better suited to your needs. For example, Pinterest and Facebook work for me much better.
Organic followers might be sometime coming.
Keep in mind that generating followers can be a very slow process. Most of the people have a way of referring people from their other social media accounts like Facebook where they have their friends and extended circle to start an Instagram following.
This is where the ‘paid promotions’ come in. You can gather in a week what you might take a year to build if you have got the budget for it.
Your Instagram is not about followers to begin with.
But it needn’t be about followers to begin with. What you are trying to do is create a profile for yourself and your business, showcasing what you do. There is a good scope for writing long descriptions with each photograph or video that you post.
The only issue is that people are now used to counting followers as a measure of stature. Anyway, everyone has got to start somewhere.
Think visual media from the start.
The fact is that all social media platforms are veering more and more towards the visual media.
I am only now getting into using a lot of pictures as a visual aid on my articles. I am calling these picture posts where the entire article is written in a picture format with each picture picture telling a part of the story.
I think that with this new format of writing I could finally begin to leverage Instagram as one of the social media platforms where I share the content from my blog.
Anyway, I am just trying to present the idea that you can use Instagram as a way for creating a webpage for your business. I am very certain you are aware of what this very popular social media platform is all about and the people who use it, how they use it and towards what end goal.
You too should consider whether you can put some kind of a spin on your work to make it shareable on this much loved online sharing platform.
Personal vs. Business Social Media Accounts
Instagram, like Facebook, has the option of creating a personal or a business profile. The business profile has the added advantage of letting the users see some more information and analytics about who their visitors are. Also, if you ever intend to use paid advertising on Instagram, you can only do it if you have a business page.
Sometime back you also needed to link your Instagram account to Facebook ads in order to advertise. I don’t know if that is Still the case, at the time of writing this article.
2. Make Your Web Page On Pinterest
Now we are talking about the social media platform that I currently use the most. It’s strange to say that because Pinterest is also a completely image-based social media platform. However, there is a very big difference between Pinterest and Instagram.
With each image that you post, you can link that image to a webpage. So this makes sharing the content from my blog very possible.
For people who got onto this platform before 2020 experienced the immense reach and boost in their website traffic if they shared good quality content on the site. This was organic traffic which means it was completely free. Now like other social media platforms Pinterest has also started promoting their ads to their business accounts users. The result is that organic reach doesn’t work so well anymore.
Pinterest is a search engine
But nevertheless, Pinterest is still one of the most prominent social media platforms out there. The reason why it is so powerful is that it is more than just social media. It is almost a search engine within its self.
People come looking there for information because people post all kinds of content on it. So it’s a great find it’s a great place to find information on a large range of topics in one place. Also it is different from a regular search engine because number one, it is very visual.
If you are getting onto Pinterest only now, you will probably have to take advantage of their new algorithm which promotes idea pins over regular pins. That is if you do not want to promote your content through paid advertising on Pinterest. Idea Pins are self contained pieces of information that do not link out to any other website or web page.
Of course many people are discouraged from using these kind of Pin because they cannot link out to their or substantial content which is where their monetisation models might be functional.
However, these are still good to get you exposure on the platform and to gain followers which, in the long run, can increase your traffic, since the URL to your website will be mentioned in your account profile, if you have one to mention.
Pinterest As Standalone Content
Many people do not link out to any other website and in fact use Pinterest as a standalone platform where they promote themselves. Think influencers and short videos.
You can do this as well. In fact Pinterest offers two kinds of accounts, personal and business. You can only link to a website if you use a business account. There are many other advantages of having a business account such as seeing the analytics of how are your Pins are performing.
However, personal accounts may have some advantage because the ability to advertise your pin through paid promotion is not available to personal users. Therefore, Pinterest might be extolling a more organic reach for personal users which it doesn’t anymore for the business users.
However, content can catch and become popular. Even though it is becoming more and more difficult to do this organically. The most popular content on Pinterest right now seems to be short videos. This is in keeping with the kind of content that is popular across other media platforms as well.
3. Make Your Web Page on Facebook
Well, now we are getting a bit warmer. Facebook comes closer to giving you more leverage in creating a Customisable webpage. You you have more control over the design and functional elements, although in my opinion, the UX design has taken a hit in the couple of years.
They have introduced a lot more features which has made the interface congested and cluttered. In fact, after logging in to my Facebook business page after quite awhile, it took me even some time to figure out how to post something new. It still does. On top of that there are different ways you can do the same thing.
For example you can write a post directly from your homepage or you can go into a new section they have created which they called business suite tools.
Then they have also added ability to link your Instagram account to your Facebook pages. So while adding hashtags to your Facebook page you can also add Instagram hashtags and share the same post automatically to the Instagram account as well.
Although, unless you are posting videos in vertical format,this is something that people are hesitant to use. The image sharing format on Facebook is landscape whereas for Instagram it’s mostly portrait mode. So if you are creating a picture post you need to create different ones for both Facebook and Instagram.
Create a Facebook Page
Creating a Facebook page is different from your personal Facebook account. But when you create a Facebook page it will allow you to do many things such as, post the link to your blog as well as various articles, post videos and pictures, create events and giveaways, create a poll, and even Collect email addresses by linking your email marketing service to your Facebook business account.
I have used GetResponse as well as Aweber on my Facebook business page. This sounds much more versatile than what some of the other social media platforms permit you to do. But the issue again is that of organic reach.
Since all social media platforms have a figure it out that people are making money through them, they have started charging people if they want to use the services for commercial purposes. This was, of course, always there endgame.
So while a few years back it was much easier to be discovered on Facebook and get followers, this is it happen anymore. Another reason is that a Facebook page actually ranked very well in Google search engine results for whatever topic you created it for, if you put some decent content on it.
Facebook is a high-authority site
Anyway, the point is that since Facebook is a high authority site, the web page that you create on Facebook has the potential of gaining more priority and interest from search engines than a standalone webpage that you create on an individual domain, provided that you make the Facebook page well.
Your individual domain might take time to start ranking higher up in the search engine results as compared to your Facebook web page. However, there are ways to boost your domain search engine rankings as well and that also has something to do with how and where you create the webpage for your domain name. We will get into that in a bit.
As I have already mentioned Facebook is a good place to put up all kinds of content. It also allows you a fair degree of customisation about how your Facebook page looks. It has the ability to synchronise with several other online services which further adds to the functionality of your Facebook page.
Why social media traction is getting increasingly harder
You might have often come across young entrepreneurs and started businesses comment that social media is hard. It’s the constant need to create new content for it that makes the process difficult.
This is something that makes posting on social media different to maintaining a regular blog. On a blog you can have something that is commonly called ‘evergreen content’ which is information that doesn’t get stale. It is as valid today as it was five years back.
But usually, if you want your social media account to keep seeing traffic then two things have to happen. Either, the content you post gets shared by other people and becomes slightly, or very, viral. Or you need to keep posting fresh content. And is the reason it is harder today than a few years back is because of an enormous increase in the amount of content that is being published.
I remember when Facebook pages first came about. They were a bit of a novelty and in fact, Facebook itself was still a bit of a novelty. People responded eagerly to new things they could do on Facebook, including following and subscribing to pages.
It all seemed very interesting and new and entertaining, not to mention promising. However, that enthusiastic phase of easy acceptance is long over. It’s all videos now. And frankly, I do absolutely zero video publishing. I do not have video content, nor have I gone to any great lengths to create it.
Look at this post. It is a few thousand words. No videos. Maybe my search engine rankings have taken a beating because of it. That’s how it is. This also makes social media hard.
Making video content can be difficult if you are expected to do something more substantial than. It is very time-consuming. But for many people do this seriously and regularly and religiously, it proves to be worth dating.
A Facebook Page Is Great For Sharing
One of the biggest reasons why people still create Facebook pages for their businesses is sharing and promotion. One of the biggest advantages of having social media accounts for your businesses is how easy it makes for people to share it with each other, and for you to share it publicly with everyone online.
Using Facebook Ads
Secondly, Facebook ads are powerful. Once again, with time, these have become more expensive than the used to be. I remember getting good quality clicks for one cent each when Facebook ads first started.
You can’t hope for a pricing like that today. In my opinion, Facebook ads have become very expensive and you need to have a solid offer that you are promoting in order for this to be profitable.
The potential for Facebook ads to reach people is huge. The ability to target a certain profile of user based on age, demographics, interests, gender et cetera is Jim on this.
Learn online advertising for yourself
But, if you are doing this yourself and I highly suggest that you learn to do this yourself, you are going to spend some money in just trying to figure out what works the best for you. When starting to promote your business through Facebook ads, it’s a very good idea to have some sort of a perspective on who you want to target with your advertisement and who is your target audience. This will help minimise the initial experimental expenditure.
The reason I suggest that you learn how to operate Facebook as yourself is twofold. One, even if you hire someone else to create and run these campaigns for you, you will not really know if they are doing a good job or not. Maybe you can get better results.
Save yourself ad expenditure
However, let’s say you hired someone really good with lots of experience doing this and a proven track record, how long do you want to pay them them to do this work for you?
The truth is that once you kind of figure out the baseline of what works for you with Facebook advertisement campaigns, you can run them and manage them yourself. IF you know what you are doing.
Many companies will continue to charge you and make money by making it seem like they are doing making substantial efforts to keep your Facebook page profitable.
They might also keep doing unnecessary things to keep up appearances that they are working to earn their keep. You can avoid all of this by getting a good understanding of how Facebook ads work yourself.
All online advertisement works on the same principles
The second reason is that almost all online advertising works in the same manner. Sure, their interfaces might look different but the principles are the same. You may get different results, but you apply the same process. For example, I learnt a lot about profile and targeting with Facebook ads. At that time I mostly used what is now known as Google ads.
Advertising through Google ads
Then it was Google Adwords. Back then, they did not have so many targeting options. But Facebook did. Now Google ads have even more. And while we are on the subject, I just want to quickly mention this. Facebook ads work for a lot of people in certain business genres.
But Google is wider in scope. And they have a huge potential for reaching people. One of the main reasons why people started using Facebook ads was that Google ads were getting very expensive. Well, that is true. But as long as you are experimenting, see what you can get out of promoting yourself through Google ads. Facebook advertisements are no longer cheap as well.
With both Facebook ads and Google ads you need to have a solid offer in place for the returns to be profitable in comparison to what you spend on advertising. It is very possible that your advertisement on Google tends to convert much better than your Facebook ads even though the advertisement cost is higher. This will bring you higher return on investment.
So like I said. If you learn to run online ad campaigns yourself, you can do this across several platforms. And since now all social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest encourage paid promotions across the board, learning how to do this has just become a part of the process.
4.Create your web page on Shopify
Of late I have recommended quite a few people to use the services of Shopify. There are a few reasons why you should consider using the services. If at any point of time you want to consider selling something online through your own e-commerce store then there is perhaps no more easier and complete solution to doing that then using Shopify.
The main selling point of Shopify has always been that you can set up an e-commerce store with a few clicks, along with a great looking ready-made themes that makes your site look great from the word go.
The ease of selling comes from the fact that things are easy to set up and the features and functions you need most come included in the bundle.
For example, Shopify processes your payments for you. The checkout process is integrated with your website.
Also, it is possible to create any kind of web site that you want even if you are not selling anything currently. You can even start a regular blog and add an e-commerce store later.
Basically, the advantage of having your site on Shopify is the ease with which you can start selling stuff.
They even have linkups with some major drop shipping services that helps you to start your own drop shipping business. These drop shipping services are also integrated with your website so you can directly link products from them on your site.
5. Create your web page on WordPress.
More than 60% of all websites on the internet are WordPress-based. We use WordPress as well. WordPress is what you call a content management system. In simple words, WordPress is where you go to start a blog.
A few years back there was a lot of distinction between a blog and a website. You could just look at one and know that it is a blog because it usually consisted of ‘posts’ i.e articles.
The definition of a blog is still the same. However, the difference is that, today, the WordPress websites can look like anything you want. They can look like a blog with posts or they can look like an e-commerce store, or both.
It all depends on what design and functionality you imbibe in your site. You can do this by deciding which plugins and themes to use.
The topic of starting a website on WordPress is an extensive one and we obviously have a lot to say about it since we use it ourselves. For this reason it is perhaps the best to cover this topic in detail separately.
Do go ahead and read this independent post on how to set up your first webpage on WordPress along with all the dues and do not, what teams to use, the perfect plug-ins to start with, wordPress approved domain hosts as well as some discount coupons to get you started off.
6. Create your web page on Google Blogger.
Blogger was the first on the scene of blogging. Wordrpess was there too but Blogger by Google had the lead. WordPress has come a long way since then and is one of the most advancded content management systems out there. Google Blogger hasn’t. It has not changed a whole lot and offers the same functionality that it did 10 years ago.
So why am I mentioning it? Well, it’s a Google product to begin with. Surely, they their own content mangemtn system will be optimized for thier own search engies, right?
Well, I don’t know for sure but I am planning an experiment very soon. I am going to shift some of my not so hot blogs, that are very content rich, but do not see much traffic, to Blogger from WordPress. Let’s see how it affects the rankings.
Blogger has limited functionality
But here is the problem. Even if your google blog gets a great ranking and starts getting traffic, what are you going to do with that publicity?
Ideally, you want to do things like show ads, capture emails for newsletters, sell something etc. All of this is hard with Google Blogger because of it’s limited functionality.
The backbone of the functionality with WordPress are the thousands of plug-ins from developers all over the world. Most of the them are free. There are no plugins for Blogger. There are hardly any 3rd party themes for Blogger which makes customisations difficult, until you hire someone to code for you.
Blazing fast webpage without any effort
So why am I mentioning Blogger, again? I love the speed of the site. But then that is a given because you are not running any heavy themes, graphics, features and plug-ins. The other reason why Blogger is blazing fast is because it it static HTML based and not the dynamic PHP.
The difference is that static HTML is always there once posted online. PHP generates the page every time a user visits it, using the server CPU and memory resources to do it. That is why you have ‘caching’ plugins for WordPress to make it faster.
These plug-ins create a ‘cache’ of your posts and pages in HTML, store it and serve this static HTML to a visitor, eliminating the need for page generation for every visitor.
Blogger is good for causal use. It is very simple to start with. You can link a custom domain to it. And I will post an update to the Blogger experiment that I am planing to run.
7. Create your first web page as a Landing page
Landing pages are actually a great option for creating your first webpage. What exactly is a landing page? Landing page is a single page where you direct online visitors to accomplish one or many specific goals.
This single page could be selling something, or it could be giving away a freebie that you are visitors are interested in. Usually this is where you convince people to share their email addresses in exchange for getting access to the freebie.
Several landing pages are created as a stand alone long length selling page as well. But usually, a landing page is used to get people to subscribe and join an mailing list, in exchange for a free giveaway.
Like I already mentioned, this free giveaway is something of value to the visitor, because of which they are willing to join your email list.
The reason email marketing is considered to be one of the best ways to convert visitors to sales is because you can reach this person with an offer multiple times. In fact you can expose them to multiple offers and increase your chances of a sales conversion.
I recommend using the landing page subscribers from one of the prominent email marketing companies because they have great templates and are already integrated with their own email management system. So it is streamlined and easy to set up. I use GetResponse and I recommend that you give it a try as well. There is a 30 day free trial available.
Landing pages usually come with ready to use, but customisable templates. For example, GetResponse has several templates based on different themes like digital, food, travel, ebook, newsletter etc.
With that we conclude the ways to crate a webpage for yourself online. If you have any questions, go ahead and post it in the comments section below.