So you’re a business. If you’re an existing business, no doubt by now you will already have a website which if you’re looking to upgrade, you’re probably looking for a solution that best suits you based on your experience so far with having a website. You will either be looking for a solution that is either constraint by budget, so you’re looking for lower cost or if your website is a main provider of income you’re looking for a more bespoke solution you will have a more realistic budget in mind. In this article I’m highlighting basic choices. There are now many choices available and many providers both locally and also online solutions for the lower budget. We here at Virtualnet Marketing in our 16 years of trading have seen bespoke at the beginning becoming less used by smaller businesses but used more for the medium and larger businesses. We don’t advocate any, we just try to slot the right peg in the right hole depending upon your requirement and budget.
There are providers out there that will give you a “free” website as part of your domain purchase/email solution. These are for start-up businesses and if you have little or no budget, they will at least give you an online presence. Problems with these sites are: Due to web marketing principles, these solutions will not mean you will get anywhere in search results, so the only traffic getting to this type of website will be the traffic you send there from people seeing your web address on your business card or letter head etc (though you could use Google AdWords to get traffic). Being free they come with an interface to drag and drop logos and add text etc, if you’re a technophobe or a busy person, you won’t want one of these. Also these websites tend to be very basic in look and functionality. Providers like Go Daddy and 123 Reg offer these.
Low Cost Websites – monthly rental
The next most economical to purchase are the online “ready to propagate” websites from providers such as 1&1 Website, Moon Fruit to name just 2. These website are adequate for a quick solution but again you will need to propagate and manipulate the website “engine” to “make your own” website with these resources. On the positive side, the admin functionality for “building” your own site using their fixed templates is easy to use. The issue is again search engines, I’m yet to find one of these website in the top 10 of a Google organic search. This is because the sites are usually coded in a way that isn’t search engine friendly. Moonfruit, for example, uses a “Flash Generator”. A flash generator turns your content – images and text – into Flash, which means Google is unable to spider and index the content. This, obviously, is bad for SEO. Cost is good here if you are a new business with little budget – the cost of these solutions is often a low cost monthly rental – but you’ll never actually own the site you “build”. We do not offer this solution, best to go direct if you are looking for it.
There are some sites on line that you can purchase that are already designed and built. More, these sites are already responsive and will work on all web formats including desktop, tablet and mobile; resizing to match each screen resolution. These websites are very economic to purchase, and then require manipulation to match your branding and content. Often template designed websites can be easily bolted on to any Content Management System (CMS) such as a WordPress or a Magenta admin system. We have found this solution becoming more and more popular a choice for our new clients. We are happy to explore this option with you. We can provide example designs based on your requirement and often propagation of content and text/images etc is a low time consuming task and therefore lower cost than a bespoke solution. The benefit is also that in our manipulation of a pre designed template, the “uniqueness” of code can be manipulated by us to get round any search engine issues. In other words we can make these sites work in Google!!!
So if you’re an established business and already have experience of online and have a successful website with established functionality, maybe it’s an ecommerce solution or a site with a lot of administration, you will probably want a bespoke solution to cater for your requirement. In this case you will want a bespoke design and a bespoke build. We have 16 years’ experience here and a whole host of clients who are still with us and look to us for regular updated solutions. These sites work best in organic search results due to their “uniqueness”.
- Free Website = FREE but beware
- Low cost Websites = often a low monthly rental from £10 a month – but beware
- Template Website = from £1500 to £2500 typically. The template its self will cost less than £50 but it’s the propagation and time spent by our team to get the site ready to go live where the cost lies.
- Bespoke Website = “how long is a piece of string?” but as a guide from £3,000 to £15,000 is typical for us.
Loads to choose from locally or online, “blowing our own trumpet” we would say we’ve been developing sites and maintaining them for clients for 16 years and the team here is experienced. We like to think we have a good track record or we wouldn’t still be here right? Contact us today to discuss your solution.