In this May 21, 2013 file photo, a view of an iPhone in Washington showing the Twitter app, right, among others. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

More than one-third of small businesses do not have a website, according to the fourth annual Small Business Survey conducted by Clutch, a B2B research firm.

One in five small businesses are selectively using social media instead of a website in an effort to engage customers, the survey found.

Small businesses consider cost a bigger concern than the potential repercussions of not having a website.

Clutch found that social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram attract small businesses by cultivating a highly engaged user base. However, relying solely on social media may be a precarious business strategy.

“Whenever you put all of your eggs into someone else’s basket, it’s risky,” said Judd Mercer, creative director of Elevated Third, a web development firm. “If Facebook changes their algorithm, there’s nothing you can do.”

Facebook recently announced plans to begin prioritizing posts from family and friends over posts from brands, potentially increasing the risk for businesses using social media in lieu of a website

As a result, websites are projected to regain importance among businesses — as long as cost is not considered an obstacle, according to Clutch.

More than a quarter of small businesses surveyed say cost is a key factor that prevents them from having a website. However, nearly one-third of small businesses with websites report spending $500 or less.

Businesses that do have websites are moving en masse to mobile friendly ones, the survey found. Over 90 percent of respondents said their company websites will be optimized for viewing on mobile devices by the end of this year.

In addition to the 81 percent of company websites that are already optimized for mobile, an additional 13 percent say they plan to do the same in 2018.

“You don’t necessarily need to launch with your first-generation website,” said Vanessa Petersen, executive director of strategy at ArtVersion Interactive Agency, a Chicago-based web design and branding agency. “Maybe just start small.”

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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