Do you need profile pictures on your small business website?


After all what you look like has no bearing on your ability to do your job and deliver your services.

Think again. You're representing your small business and possibly starting from scratch. You go to those all important business networking meetings and make a whole bunch of useful contacts. You hand out your business cards with all your contact details. You've probably collected a few yourself. Well so has everyone else and your card and details are in amongst them. 

What do you do when you get back from that meeting with all those business cards? I sit down and look at the websites of the people I've met and I look at their various social media profiles. At this point, I sometimes find I'm having trouble matching the faces I've met with the details I've collected and this is where a photograph on a website or social media profile is essential. I never forget a face and I have been to many networking meetings where I've recognised the face of someone I've met before, but can't quite remember how or what they do. With this in mind the photograph really helps lodge that person I've just met in my memory.

Having a photograph on your website is one of the many small things that can help when trying to stand out from the crowd of the many others who are competing for your potential clients.

On the other hand your potential customer could have come across your website and got in contact with you. The next step is usually that all important first meeting. If you're a small business working from home, the chances are this meeting will be in a public place and not at your home. If nothing else that photograph helps your prospective client identify you and saves the embarrassment of accosting strangers in a coffee bar. I've done it!

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Content Management System (CMS) | Open Source or Custom


Developing a website from scratch using HTML allows you complete freedom with the look and feel along with the functionality of the front end of the website. The down side is that the cost can be prohibitive, not only for the initial development but also for the ongoing maintenance since you will most likely require a developer to add new content.

A CMS offers a less expensive solution initially and it is also likely to be more straightforward to maintain the site and keep content updated. But having elected to go with a CMS there are decisions to be made about which. Open source (or “free") CMS such as Wordpress or Joomla or a custom CMS which has likely been developed with a specific industry or business sector in mind.

Custom CMS

A bespoke, industry specific, CMS may well look appealing. It is however, likely to be expensive in the first instance. The cost of developing the CMS will be included in the fees associated with the initial design and build of the website.

Open Source CMS

With the above in mind it’s worth thinking about the alternative route using an open source CMS such as Wordpress or Joomla. The core CMS is free to install and use to develop your site. Additional plugins or components may need to be purchased to enhance the sophistication of your site, but the cost of these is generally low.

While you may not get the immediate functionality of the custom CMS that has been developed for your market, the open source community is huge and with a little research from an experienced web developer an extension or component can usually be found that delivers as required.

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