You Don’t Need a Website

29th Jan '183 of your Earth minutes

You Don’t Need a Website

I came across this Reddit post the other day. The gist of it is:

Websites are an expensive necessity that companies hate paying for

And you can understand why sometimes. Some organisations just have a completely absurd view of who the website is for and how to make it a success:


The top-voted comment on that Reddit post (at the time I read it) succinctly replies:

People never want to spend money on things they NEED.

They only like to spend money on things they WANT.

I agree in principle with some of this statement but it does make some assumptions — assumptions that I have also made at times — which I’ve been mulling for a while.

First off, I have to say that I find most of the web dev/coding subreddits I follow to be quite negative and there is a general malaise towards clients, new ideas or even just sharing helpful tidbits, which I find depressing. So I usually take comments in those threads lightly. But this one struck a chord for some reason and I was suddenly inspired.

To be clear, I’m not picking this comment apart – I’m elaborating on it. I am fully on the OP’s and this commenter’s side, I just want to take it a little further.

Firstly, let’s deal with the want part. If you don’t want a website, don’t buy a website. I don’t buy lots of things I don’t want, even things people say I need. I can only imagine I’m much happier without all of this stuff I don’t want.

Secondly, the need part. Let’s take a look at that again:

“People never want to spend money on things they [think they] need.”

This is an interesting statement because it’s multi-layered. But I’m going to focus solely on the context of the discussion at hand: it suggests that people/organisations NEED websites.

As you can see I’ve added a little qualifier to it. The last 20 years or so have clearly shown how the Internet can benefit a business. It has become one of the first things new ventures think about doing almost before anything else: “We MUST have a website to [appear legitimate/let people know we’re open for business/tell people our story]!”

I want to set the record straight:

You DON’T need a website!

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things you don’t need a website for:

Sure a website may make some of these things easier, but it won’t be the website that makes or breaks your business. That’s on you.

A website should be a clear part of your marketing strategy and budget. You should know when and why your website should exist, what its goals are and have in mind a strategy that will make it successful.

If you’re convinced that you need a website but can’t get behind the idea of having to spend money on it, then don’t get a website. You’re in the wrong headspace to make it a success.

If you can honestly interject a ‘but we’re a special and unique snowflake,’ then put your money where your mouth is and do your ‘special and unique’ self some justice: spend the money to get a website that is worth a damn and get behind it 100%!

#notadesigner • Please don't © me

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