Satish Boppana is the founder and CEO of Sitefly, a Providence-based startup that helps small businesses create a simple website by pulling information straight from the company’s Facebook page. Since graduating from Betaspring’s fall 2012 accelerator class – when it was still called TouchVu – Sitefly has attracted more than 1,800 beta users and will officially launch out of beta on Nov. 1.
Boppana spoke with PBN about what his company is doing for small-business owners and where it’s headed next.
PBN: Why isn’t having a Facebook page enough for a small business? What does a dedicated website add to a company’s marketing strategy?
BOPPANA: Facebook is perfect for small businesses to interact directly with their customers and build strong relationships. However, a website allows businesses to convey the full breadth and depth of their business using their own unique style and descriptive content. With websites, you have full creative control and can fully optimize the site for search engines to get your business found online including growing mobile searches.
PBN: How does the time and money investment required to set up a Sitefly website compare with the investment required to build a custom website from scratch?
BOPPANA: Creating your website with Sitefly is at least 50 times faster compared with traditional do-it-yourself site builders, and only a fraction of the cost if you were to hire a web developer to create custom website. With Sitefly, you create, manage and host your website, and basic packages start at $10 per month. It’s not that only creating your site is fast and easy with SITEFLY, but maintaining your site is even easier because all the content you post in Facebook is automatically updated to your website. All your news, photos, events, contact info and “About” content from Facebook are neatly delivered as individual pages on your Sitefly site, and you can add many more custom pages using our super-easy-to-use site builder.
PBN: What customization options does Sitefly offer businesses looking to expand their Web presence?
BOPPANA: Sitefly offers beautifully designed site templates that are customizable to change the look and feel of the site by changing colors, fonts, uploading new logos, photos and more. Users can create custom pages to describe their products and services, and add various types of content including photos, videos, music and links. It comes with various tools to create a truly professional website including buying and adding custom domains, search engine optimization, integrating Google analytics, site traffic reports and more.
PBN: Do you see your company expanding to offer importing from other popular social media sites, like Google+ or international websites?
BOPPANA: Currently Sitefly allows you to link your site to other social networks like Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. You can also embed your YouTube channel or SoundCloud widget to your site. In the near future, we plan on integrating with other popular social networks to bring feeds from services such as Twitter and Google+.
PBN: What is your vision for Sitefly going forward over the next year?
BOPPANA: We believe all small businesses deserve to a have great online presence to grow their businesses. Our passion is in building super-easy-to-use tools to help small businesses succeed online. We want to continue improve the site builder product to make it more comprehensive and robust but keep it simple and intuitive.