Over the years we’ve heard countless excuses from people who are bound and determined to save money on a website. Usually it comes down two things.
How Not to Save Money on a Website
All business owners want to save money on a website. It only makes sense. No one wants to overpay. But generally speaking, it comes down to two alternatives.
- There are “build your own” website builders.
- My best’s friend’s brother’s former college roommate builds websites.
And both will save you money. Right?
Nothing can be further from the truth.
How Not to Save Money on a Website
Let’s just look at a small sample of issues with the likes of Website Builders like GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace and all the rest.
- So you finally finished “building” your site (on a template) and you show your partner, significant other, or maybe even a neighbor. And they give a thumbs down. Guess what? If you think you can just transfer everything you meticulously typed into it in to a new template, you’d be living in a dream world. No. You start over at square one.
- They all tell you how easy it is, yet this is how they stay in business – they all offer “professional” help. Like THIS ONE. Now if that is a great site in 2016, I am the top-rated brain surgeon in the world.
- Opening a restaurant? Selling artwork? Selling any product or service at all? Well sure you are. We will guess that you know Google and Bing index images, video, PDF’s and more. This is done with HTML tags, and coding the alt and description info for indexing. Guess What? No image or video or PDF on ANY GoDaddy site has ever been indexed by ANY search engine. GoDaddy blocks indexing of all these by use of the “robots.text” but guess what? You can’t edit the code to turn on indexing. They actively block indexing. Isn’t that the reason you uploaded those files in the first place? So that they are SEEN?
- Speaking of blocking, they require you to use an “external” blog. What’s the point of blogging if that valuable content is not on your website? In a nutshell, you are locked out of any and all content marketing.
- Many of them, most notably Wix, have serious issues with Google even for text. page titles and URL listings. Doubt me? Google It. Isn’t the whole point of building a website and see it listed in Google searches? Apparently not with Wix.
- They “own” your website, and all its content. If you leave, it’s theirs, not yours. Since you are not paying for it anymore, it is simply not yours any longer. No one works like that in the real world of website design, btw.
There are other numerous issues such as limited e-commerce options, antiquated graphics such as Flash, offering no password protection for protected content, but we do have one more that blows our mind.
No email support – even after a phone call. “Gee that sound great, can you email me that?” GoDaddy Rep: “Ummmm no”. Yep. Only phone support (so nothing you are told is ever in writing. Hmmmm why is that?)
We could go on… It’s a ripe topic, because when you build your own website on one of those sites, it’s really not a true website.
But let’s talk about that friend of a friend who “builds” websites.
“But of course they do.”
- Owning a (legal) copy of Photoshop doesn’t make you a graphic designer, any more than owning a stove makes you a chef. Having a laptop and an internet connection doesn’t make you a website designer either.
- Most actually use….are you sitting down? A website builder. Honest.
- Some are actually a step-up and use WordPress (which actually runs some of the world’s biggest sites, but is small and nimble enough for small business). However, they use the same damn look on every site, and couldn’t write one line of code to customize it for you if their life depended on it.
- Speaking of code, unless they can build you a custom website entirely in HTML5/CSS3 (and those are real web developers), they are not website builders, they just “drag and drop” better than you do.
Too often people trust their online presence to amateurs, when they would never consider doing so with any other aspects of their business. They hire a sign company for the front of the building. They hire a chef for the kitchen and a professional wait staff, they buy quality products from proven suppliers, but struggle to create a Squarespace site or hire someone in their church or coffee clutch (who also does landscaping in addition to website design).
When a friend, associate, or someone’s former college roommate says he’ll build your site as a favor, or that college student says he can do it for free because he’ll get class credits, ask yourself if you’d let them do something else for your company. Create a sign and lighting outside? Neuter your pets? Where does it end? Stop and think…. You can be seen by any of the more than 3.3 billion people in the world with internet access (provided it wasn’t Wix!). Do you trust this person to create the online face of your business? Your passion? Your online presence? Your virtual front-door? Your 24/7 salesman?
Web It 101 has built educational sites, shopping cart sites with thousands of products, services sites, training sites, retail and non-profit and more. And you know what? Two things happen.
- You have a site that most likely saved money over building it yourself. By the time you add all the paid options for a business website (which are monthly forever)….your break even point is sooner than you think and money is now in your pocket.
- Secondly, you actually have a website that says 2017. It says now! It says you are up to date. It says you are user-friendly. It says a lot. Because it needs to. And Google Best Practices SEO?
Want to save money on a website? A real website?
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