We’ve heard a few horror stories from our customers related to their previous website providers, so here’s some thought to help your small business avoid the same mistakes.

As a small business, you need a website, and you generally have 3 options:

  • Do it yourself (Like Wix, Weebly, Godaddy, etc,.)
  • Business listings sites provide it (like Yell.com for instance)
  • Use a digital marketing company to do it for you, or help you.
 
1.       The DIY option:-

Many providers out there make it look really easy to design your own company website and save yourself a few pounds.  This isn’t the case.

Firstly designing for the web is difficult. Not only must you solve various visual problems and try and make your site look professional, but you have to rise to the challenge of making lots of pages, blogs and downloadable pieces of content cohesive and relevant to your customers across a wide range of different devices (desktop computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.).

The second reason not to DIY is you will defeat the primary function of a website – to get you more customers.  You get more customers by appearing higher in search engine rankings, and the key to this is SEO, in fact it’s the main way people will find your website to begin with.  Without it, there’s no point having a site as hardly anyone will visit it (or if they do they probably already intended visiting you anyway).  With a DIY website, implementing an SEO strategy is nearly impossible.

And (getting technical here) some DIY providers use flash or other means to help you develop your website, but this means that your site won’t render at all to anyone who has javascript disabled on their browser, and the search engines like Google won’t like this either.

But if you do want to DIY, then start with mobile.  The majority of websites are visited on a mobile phone nowadays, but DIY website builds often don’t cater well for this, and you may end up with a site that doesn’t work on mobile, or desktop, or either.  So build for mobile and do a lot of testing.

2.       Get a business listings site to do it.

Business listings sites like Yell.com, or other network or affiliate organisations often offer website services.

But beware – site ownership is often not yours, or there’s other means to tie you into them for the long term making it hard to get out if you need to, or to take control on what is arguably your greatest business asset.  Your modern day ‘shop window’.

These providers usually want to tie you into a contract, often 12 months in length, and once the aggressive sales pitch is done, you’ll hear little from them until you want to make changes to your site, which in most cases contractually the listing provider will own (and so have you over a barrel in terms of costs and being able to leave them).

The price can also be prohibitive, especially when you consider they are generally using templated sites.  You risk getting half the quality for twice the price, which isn’t great value where I come from (Yorkshire of course).

Lastly support is a nightmare with most of these companies, who often run their call centres in other countries with no website expert teams locally to understand your business and local area and be there to support when you need them.

3.       Using an Digital Marketing Company

Using a local company is your best option, and it needn’t be as expensive as you think.  Our model is a franchise model, so we have no overheads or costly developers sat waiting for work, and we have access to expert global expertise quickly and cost effectively.  In fact our prices stack up with similar services from the DIY providers, so why not give us a call to get a free online presence report and find out more about how we can help you.

What if you’re already on a DIY or partner site and can’t export it? No problem, we can rebuild your website on our wordpress platform, and you’ll have complete ownership once we’re done (although we’re happy to keep helping out if that’s what’s needed).

Have a look at the table below to find out how our services compare to some of the others out there that typically exist:-

DIY Options

Business Listings

Pinpoint Local

Mobile optimised

Sometimes

Sometimes

YES

You own the site

Sometimes

No

YES

SEO focused

No

No

YES

Freedom contractually

No

No

YES

Hosting freedom

Sometimes

No

YES

Analytics freedom

Sometimes

No

YES

Support locally

No

No

YES

Cost effective pricing

No

No

YES

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