Adapted and revised from our 2015 article.
When you compare a tech nerd and a stereotypical “car guy,” you probably have two completely different folks in mind. One is into Captain America and the other prefers Captain Morgan (don’t we all).
It may sound crazy, but websites and cars actually have a lot in common. We could get ultra-specific and draw similarities between a car’s engine and website servers or what have you, but we’ll stay away from getting too technical.
Here are four ways websites are like new cars:
1. They give off an impression of who’s driving it.
We live in an era when having a physical location for your business is equally (if not more) important to being successful as having a digital one—I.E. a website. Websites go with you pretty much anywhere you go, so instead of a website being a storefront, think of it more as a company car.
First impression is key. Visitors form their opinion of your brand within the first two-tenths of a second of landing on your website. Not all opinions are bad, they’re just inklings of who’s on the other side. To the tone of empathy (not being judgemental or stereotypical), you could assume that someone who drives a hybrid has different interests than someone who drives a lifted pickup. Visitors will make assumptions of your company based on not only the overall aesthetic but their ability to navigate your site.
2. You probably shouldn’t build your own.
A lot of us know how to do the simple things like changing the oil in our car or replace the lightbulb that just burnt out, but how often do we actually take the time to do it ourselves? Even if it’s cheaper to do it myself, I still drop my car off every three (sometimes four or five, don’t tell my dad) months to get the oil drained, refilled and the filter replaced.
It comes down to what we value more, our time or our money—and oftentimes they’re not mutually exclusive. I know that changing the oil in my car adds a few steps to my evening or weekend, along with a few hours of labor. But by allowing a mechanic to do it, the afternoon or weekend is free to work on other things that are more important and more lucrative to success. Websites are no different, letting someone else build your website and take care of the upkeep frees up time for what’s most important.
3. They will break.
I could buy a brand new truck tomorrow, knowing that it will last a long time—it may even outlast me—but without the proper ongoing maintenance, it won’t. Websites require a keen eye on changes to the internet, codes and scripts that allow everything to work properly. Even with ongoing maintenance, parts will break, the tires will need to be replaced and belts will need to be changed. We all know not to wait until the engine is smoking to take the car into the shop, and your website shouldn’t be any different.
4. People break into them.
If you’ve ever had your car broken into, you know that it’s the worst way to start your Monday morning—or any morning for that matter. No one ever expects it to happen, we even locked the doors! But nevertheless, our stereo is missing and our golf clubs have been swiped.
Handing your website’s security to a professional comes with the ease of mind that you’ll be covered when bad things happen. It’s kind of like a bodyguard who’s constantly scaring off the bad guys. No more missing nine iron, no more worrying about your website getting hacked.
Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. There will inevitably be issues with your car just like with your website’s security, servers and function, thanks to the ever-changing internet. When it comes to cars, we expect the worst, and when there are issues, you know who to call.
People tend to get their websites built and forget about it. They think that it will drive itself, and rack up conversions for new clients, but that’s a myth. It takes ongoing maintenance and security to make sure everything stays running smoothly.
Website guys and car guys might not exactly be a match made in heaven, but your car and your website really do have a lot in common.
Even though we think we prefer to do the dirty work ourselves, when push comes to shove, dropping the car off at the shop is better for a handful of reasons. In the same way, having a professional take care of the building, maintenance and security of your website will pay off in the end.
This article is a revamped version of our 2015 3 Reasons Your Website is Like a Car. (We couldn’t help it, the metaphor is just too good.)