On this blog we’ve talked a lot about how you can make a website, and what you need to get started. But we haven’t really answered the big question: why do people create websites? What are they really getting out of it, and if you made a website, would it be worth it to you? In this post we will cover why people create websites, and why you should too.
Money, Fame, Power
It sounds a little cliché, and perhaps a bit jaded, but most websites out there are looking for the same thing humans have always lusted after: money, fame, and power. We’ve always been like this, and perhaps, always will. But it’s not always a bad thing. Let’s look at each point in detail:
Why Do People Create Websites: Money
You can make a metric boat-load of money online. Last year, Amazon made $321.782 billion in revenue. People are getting used to buying everything from diamond rings to dishwashers online, and there’s every reason to keep doing it.
If you want to make a website to make money, you’ll have a lot of competition nowadays, but find a niche, market hard, and you too can be an internet super-star. (Totally unrelated side note: If you have no idea where to start with an online business, I’d recommended Tim Ferris’ controversial book The 4-Hour Work Week. It might be a load of nonsense, but it definitely changed my view on the internet and work in general.)
People are spending money online. So it makes sense to set up a store there.
Why Do People Create Websites: Fame
And who doesn’t want more followers on social media; Admiring fans to dote on your every tweet? Humans are hard-wired to want to be known and appreciated, and the internet gives us a very powerful (and very superficial) way to become famous.
A website provides a home base for these famous people. A place where they can control the message, and filter the conversation. A famous person’s website is their best advocate, where they can say their piece without anyone interrupting or downvoting them.
Why Do People Create Websites: Power
Ever seen someone run for president, but they didn’t have a website? Do you know of any giant corporations that don’t have one? A website is both a display of your majesty and greatness, as much as a way to influence people. Make them think the way you want them to.
Powerful website change the way we think about people or a topic, or even shape how we think. As the world becomes more digital, we become more reliant on the power of the internet itself.
Just like fiat currency, our belief in a website’s power makes it powerful. Just using the internet is a powerful (and privileged) action, but if you own a slice of the internet in the form of a website, well, it’s one of the most powerful statements you can make.
The internet is a place where humans can be humans. We don’t suddenly become better just because we invented the internet, we are still motivated by the same fears and desires. But choosing to shape the internet with your own content is the most powerful, popular, and potentially profitable thing you can do. So, why do people create websites? Because they can, and people will listen.