Brochure Website Design
On the face of it, “getting a website” seems so simple. You just need to add your text and images here and there, then make it look pretty — right? Yes, it can be that simple. It can also be an incredibly complex production process, depending on your business’ needs. The kind of website described above is known as a brochure website design. I’m here to help you make a decision on whether a brochure website is right for your business, or if there is a better solution for you. Let’s have a look at what defines a brochure website.
What is a brochure website design?
Brochure websites are, for the most part, static. That does not mean boring! There can still be bits that move, scroll or change colour, just like on any website. No, by static I mean that there are minimal changes to the website’s content over time. Of course, the benefit of a brochure website is that changes can still be made if needed. In comparison, making changes to a stationery brochure would need a complete reprint!
So what should you expect to find on a company’s brochure website? Primarily, informational pages about the company, their products or services, and clear details on how to make contact. If your business has a social media presence, links to that should be included too. Things you probably won’t find on a brochure website include: a blog or news section, a shop for selling products, a booking system, and a member or client area. These should only be used when a specific business need is identified. Note that including one of these features will require frequent involvement either from you, your staff and/or a web developer to get the most benefit.
Before deciding on whether a brochure website is right for your business, you’ll need to consider exactly what you need. Let’s have a quick look at the functionality you could add to your business website.
A blog or news section
Having a section for new articles on your website has 3 primary benefits. Firstly, you can offer your customers the most current help and advice about their purchasing decisions. Secondly, it provides an opportunity to give updates about new products, services or personnel changes. Thirdly, if done well, articles can be a major driver of a company’s SEO & marketing efforts. Remember, this will require additional work for someone in your business to research, write and publicise each article.
This one is self-explanatory — if you know you need an online shop for your business, you definitely won’t be getting a brochure website. Or will you? It’s worth considering what the most appropriate e-commerce solution is for you:
- Some businesses might prefer to use a selling platform like Ebay or Etsy for products but still keep a brochure website for business information.
- Other businesses might go all in on a combined solution like WooCommerce or Shopify. These include the brochure part of the website alongside their product pages.
- There is also a third option. You might have one or two products that could benefit from an individual brochure site as part of the overall marketing effort. These are often entirely separate from your main website, or sometimes added using a subdomain (e.g. www.separateproduct.onmywebsite.com).
A Booking system
Do you own a services business where you offer appointments? For example a masseur or a hairdresser? You might want to add an appointment-booking system to your website. Of course if you prefer to make bookings over the phone or via email, you could still consider a brochure website as your visitors would have access to your contact details. The same goes for holiday accommodation, or restaurants. Consider how you want to make bookings. Are online bookings something you might consider for the future?
A Membership or client area
Sometimes a business will offer client or membership services through its website. This will allow the client or member to create an account where they can access additional material and information which isn’t available to a non-member. For example, you might gain access to specialist learning materials, tests, and other member benefits. Again, remember this will require someone to spend time managing it. Factor that in to your decision.
“I don’t need any of those options. What now?”
I’d say “that’s great”! I would argue there are two primary benefits to a brochure website design. Firstly, you can set-it-and-forget-it. Once your content is on the website, you’ll probably not need to think about making changes again. Not often, anyway. The bonus is that you can focus on the rest of your business, including the other areas of your marketing approach.
Secondly, you minimise your ongoing website costs. The need to call on a developer to make changes to the site will be minimal, so future development costs will be small. Nor will you need to spend much of your valuable time thinking about changes. In addition, a small brochure site should be frugal for hosting costs, as long as you choose the right hosting service.
In fact, when using a website tool called a static site generator (SSG), you could even get your website hosted completely free. That’s the tool I’d recommend if you decide a brochure website design is right for your business. A bonus to this is reduced maintenance costs. With my WordPress and WooCommerce websites, I recommend a Care Plan to my clients. This keeps the site updated, backed up and secure. With an SSG brochure website, security risks are minimised and there are no plugins to update. Plus, minimal ongoing changes means less need for constant backups.