Often times when you are shopping around for a website, or the best firm to help with your website you are looking for the best bang for your buck. However, often times, sadly, the reality is you are not. After seeing this happen time and time again I have decide to educate anybody I can to help prevent potential future blunders.
With the internet growing every day and the options for DIY getting better and more appealing, it is important to understand all of the pros and cons. There are 4 different paths that we can go with templates, and I am here to take you down all 4. The first of which being a newer trend of do it yourself, such as companies as WIX and 1and1.
Do it yourself websites are perfect for those just starting out, trying to hit the ground running and have a minimal budget. The back end is fairly easy to work with and the designs are quick and dirty. The prices can cost as 16 dollars a month (that is without the providers advertising). They even offer e-Commerce for a few dollars more a month. Sound too good to be true? The answer to that question is rather complicated so let’s dive deeper.
If you are looking for a super basic we are here website, with no real content other than maybe a paragraph of text and a home page, then this option is perfect for you. For $150 a year, the site is yours, it won’t be the world’s greatest website, but hey at least you’ve found your way to the web!
The next answer is a bit on the negative side of DIY websites. Say you have a website currently that you had made years ago and its out dated. You want to give it a fresh look and think Hey, this template looks pretty cool. So one night after dinner you decide do get down and dirty with a fresh new website. While it may look great on the outside, there is a large downside. For starters, your email. If you are not familiar with how domain names work and are lost when you hear terms like Name Servers or DNS, your battle is just beginning. Email, wouldn’t you know it, costs extra with these websites. For the sake of this conversation, lets assume either A) you figure it out, or B) you decide to buy the email. Okay so email is taken care of, what is next, ah a cool new feature you want to add to your website. A nice calendar that can show events. However the template you chose does not have that functionality, or you can not figure out to incorporate it. You have 2 options, pay the company to do it for you, or fall back to just an ugly list of dates for your website because the functionality is not included in your plan. Lastly these DIY services do not come on the best of servers. As a matter of fact, the servers are pretty awful. They guarantee that your website will be down no more than 43 minutes a year (99.9% uptime). For cheaper than you are paying monthly for your website, you can have a server that operates with a no more than 4 minute guarantee. Enough about DIY, moving on.
In the industry that Commit Marketing is in we often find companies who aren’t entirely truthful with their clients. Now you may be thinking to yourself, this was definitely not me. The scary fact of the matter is it just may be. When we send out a website proposal we break the website down by number of hours and if we finish under those hours, you are not billed for those hours. However, a lot of firms out there will do the exact opposite. Lets say, for the sake of argument, it takes 10 hours to design a website, 10 hours to develop a website and 10 hours to get the content implemented in to the website. Factor billing in at 100 dollars an hour and voila! You get a bill for $3000. But they got your website done and it looks good. Sadly in many cases you have been billed for 20 hours that were never spent on anything. Thats because the company said, Okay, we have a real-estate company and they need a website, well here is a $39 real-estate website, lets get away with giving them that. This takes the art out of custom and the beauty out of design when you have been lied to and basically stolen from. A lot of times companies advertise custom, and promise you a custom site, but change a few colors and give you somebody else’s template.
If you are a tech savvy person and grasp a basic understanding of the web and how things work this may be a great option for you. Using your own template that you purchased can be tricky, but if you have the time and the will, a few online video tutorials and you are well on your way to a new website. I personally am all for the self motivated lets build us a website on our own servers and figure out how to do this thing. However, naturally you must understand some basics and the rest is pretty straight forward.
At Commit Marketing we feel it is important to be transparent and we sometimes use templates for our clients, but it is usually for budgetary or time constraints and we make the client fully aware before proceeding forward. When we use these templates, we never claim them as our own and make our client aware of what we paid and what we are billing them for. Typically it is initial set up and content entry. We are very careful about which templates that we use, because some can break servers or load super slow. This is why we always recommend custom, because if there are any issues whatsoever we have written the code to know how to fix the issues that arise.
After what seems to be an endless blog post, we are almost through our online journey. Custom designed and developed websites are for those looking to offer a unique experience and design to their consumers. The website is hand crafted to match the needs of their end user and branded to be cohesive with the company’s brand. This option is the most sought after method of website development and should always be considered.
After all of that we are finished learning about template and custom websites and its time for a little more self promotion! Feel free to check out our web examples in our portfolio or contact usfor more information. If you feel that you may have been taken for a ride by a past web agency, we will gladly check to see if your website that you paid for is truly custom. For more information about uptime check out this link as it is super helpful.
Being a digital agency we feel its best to take the time to inform our clients and potential clients about anything and everything that we can.