5 Great Ideas Possible With A Website
It is unfortunate to realise that when most people think of having a website, they think in narrow terms. They have no idea what can be achieved with a website and therefore restrict themselves to the idea of having a website that simply presents information to website visitors.
In truth there is so much more that can be achieve with a website for your business; the only limit being your imagination. If there is a concept you can imagine taking place in daily operations at your business, the idea can most probably be successfully incorporated into a website.
In this blog post, I look at the vast possibilities available to your business through a website and specifically 5 great ideas that are possible with a website.
Due To CMS, Websites Can Be Very Versatile
The concept of a Content Management System, CMS is a a very interesting one. With a website built on a CMS a lot is possible with little effort and cost. The CMS provides the fundamental functionality of the website such as user and content management and is a framework for expanding the website.
The power of a CMS comes from its ability to extend by adding the desired functionality to a website. Most popular CMS have a community of developers that develop the extensions to that particular CMS which are available both freely and commercially. This means that there are a lot of website extensions already out there your website could use.
Thanks to the power of Content Management Systems, a website can easily be extended to perform almost any functionality imaginable. This can be achieved through existing website extensions or custom built ones for unique applications. The following are a list of some of the features you may consider integrating into your business’ website.
1. Ecommerce, Billing And Invoicing
Electronic commerce has seen rapid developments in recent times allowing us to shop online. With eCommerce functionality added to your website, site visitors can browse for goods and services and pay for them electronically by means of debit and credit cards or other means such mobile payment methods.
The transactions on an eCommerce website are made possible by means of a payment gateway which is a service often provided by a third party company in conjunction with a bank.
An eCommerce enabled website would allow your business to offer the ultimate virtual shopping experience that offers your customers convenience. Even if payment is not conducted on the site, the same eCommerce platform can be used to process orders that customers can later pay for either on deliver or by bank deposit.
2. Online Booking And Reservations
If your business is involved in taking bookings such as may be done at a travel agency or reservations in the case of a lodge, your website my offer the ideal electronic solution in doing so.
Taking bookings and reservations online is highly convenient as it reduces the work that has to be done by your reservation desk. It also means that you can take reservations and bookings at any time, be it day or night.
The booking and reservation system can be set up to incorporate an eCommerce component in which case you can accept reservation and booking payments online. This is convenience for both you and your customers.
3. Event Management And Calendar
Have you ever had an event and did not know the best way to book attendance? Your website can take on this role. Once you set up the booking system on your website, people can book for an event in real time and even pay online if such a functionality is provided on the website.
Setting up event booking online exposes your event to a wider audience and offers potential attendees the opportunity to book at their own convenience.
You can also place your business’ or personal calendar online through your website. The idea here is to make your calendar publicly accessible so that people may have your schedule at their fingertips.
You may go a step further with the online calendar by making it possible for people to schedule appointments with you via your website. This is convenient because the online calendar will automatically show people when you are either available or occupied.
4. Online Communities
Most of us are familiar with Facebook and similar websites and the online communities hosted on these platforms. In some cases you may want to have your own privately hosted online community that may be for a group such as a school or a church or your business itself.
It is possible to extend your website to host and manage an online community that is social in all respects, allowing for people to share their experiences and part of their lives.
There are certain advantages to running your own online community. For one thing; you will have ultimate control about how the community is ran without taking guidelines from some giant social media company. This provides a deep sense of freedom and autonomy.
5. Messaging, Chat And Forums
Communication is a vital part of any business and your website can be set up to be the hub of that communication process. The more channels you get available to your customers to communicate, the better will be your communications with them.
Your website can be set up to provide support by making use of messaging that works in conjunction with email. A chat functionality can also be provided for when you or your staff and the customer are both online.
Forums are also a great communication tool that can be hosted on your website. In a forum set up, topics can be initiated for which there is a query and you or your staff can respond to these topics with all conversation threads being kept in one convenient place. You can also use a forum to enlist the support of the general public in resolving common issues.
Adapt From Within
These are just a few and common ideas ideas you could implement on your website to make it more functional. Please note that the worst mistake you can make is to add a feature just for the sake of it. Any additional feature has to serve a clear purpose.
Instead, I encourage you to adapt from within your business or organization. Look at your processes and procedures and see which ones can fit if applied as a functionality on your website. The end result of this introspective process is that you will have a feature-rich and active website that makes your life a little easier.
Do you have any ideas possible with a website to add on to the ones mentioned? Please let us know in the comment section below.