On the need for a website

I semi-frequently talk with people who are starting a project and think they absolutely need a website. They think it’ll be expensive, that they’ll need to hire someone.

There are a lot of possible misconceptions here, and every situation is different. And, as a person who builds websites as a career, saying that you don’t need a website is somewhat sacrilegious.

But, a recent case study. I was asked to advise someone who wanted a website. He’s producing electronic music, posting it on free sites and also a paid download site; he has social media accounts and a Linktree setup; he was starting an email newsletter. He wanted a place to centralize everything; one place he could direct people to so they could find everything (business requirements definiton!).

At first, I thought WordPress.com; blog posts can auto-share to social media, you can maybe embed the music players from free sites and the paid download site, etc. Probably not Wix, as I don’t like how its blog is organized and setup, plus it has less emphasis on sharing.

So, we started building that. And as we started, I realized that it just wasn’t going to work. Sharing to a new Instagram post, for example. It also couldn’t embed the audio players from his paid download site – at least without upgrading to a Business plan and paying serious $$$. Same issue with his preferred email newsletter system – Mailerlite.

Then we talked about what he needed again (technical requirements definition!). A one-page site, like the Linktree, but with audio embeds and a newsletter signup and ideally an Instagram feed.

At that point, I asked him to show me Mailerlite and what options he had for his email signup form. I’d used Mailchimp on quite a few projects, but hadn’t used Mailerlite before. And, we discovered that Mailerlite’s signup form for the newsletter is highly customizable and can do everything we needed.

So, we ended up using Mailerlite and a newsletter signup form. Form on the bottom, links above it to social media accounts, music player embeds above and below it; autoplay for one of the music players even!

An interesting case where a traditional website provider or system is the more complex option – Mailerlite could do everything he needed for free, and met all of his needs.