Hi friends, it’s Jason. This week, I’m going to share the 5 things that web development companies don’t want you to know.
I’ve talked to a lot of companies over the years who are paying their web development company hundreds of dollars per month for hosting their website. For the majority of businesses, this just isn’t necessary. Don’t get me wrong, if you have an eCommerce website with a lot of traffic, you might have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month for secure hosting.
That being said, most companies use their website to share information and have about 10-15 pages of content. About 39% of all websites are powered by WordPress. We choose to host all of our client websites at Flywheel for $30/month.
And we don’t mark it up… our clients pay Flywheel directly.
Other companies may try to justify a $250/month hosting fee by providing you monthly Google Analytics reports (which you can get for free) and the promise that they will update your content for you. But when you ask for updates to your website content, sometimes it may take several days for them to get it done.
Next time your business is wanting a new web site, consider WordPress to power it…and Flywheel to host it. The WordPress software is free and hosting at Flywheel is $30/month.
If you go to a marketing company or professional graphics designer for a new logo, you will often see price tags in the $2,000 – $5,000 range for a small business with less than 100 employees. The most common complaint (besides price) that I hear about this is that you only get to see 2-3 logo concepts and then you get to choose one to modify enough until you like it. Ugh.
Another alternative, for around $300, is doing a logo contest at LogoMyWay.com. LogoMyWay is a worldwide community of graphics designers that compete in logo contests. The winner of the contest gets the prize money established by the company running the contest.
Usually, the contest prize amount is around $300, and you can expect to get between 40-60 logo designs from which to choose a winner. Many of the designers are from other countries where $300 will go a long way in their local economy. I’ve helped about a dozen companies use LogoMyWay for their logo and people have been happy with the results every time. You can check out current logo contests here.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say that their last website project took several months to complete. In the same breath, they talk about it being painful because of all the back and forth communication it took trying to get things right.
The problem in these situations is that the web development company often has several people with specialties that they have to bring together to finish a project. A salesperson. A graphics design person. A web development person. An account manager. A copywriter. And more. The coordination of all these people, along with communicating with you during the project, is a major undertaking and not an efficient use of time.
We do web development ON SITE. With you and your team. And on top of that, most of our projects end up taking no more than 3 business days across 4-6 weeks as schedules allow. All of the communication barriers come down because we’re sitting in a room creating your new website…TOGETHER. You ask for a bigger font, a change of color, or a new feature and it’s done in minutes instead of hours or days.
Our clients LOVE this process. The added bonus is that, by the end of the project, many of our clients feel comfortable knowing how to make basic content changes. Wouldn’t it be better if all web development companies did projects this way?
If your website is powered by WordPress, you can learn how to update the content. You hire someone. You fire someone. You add a product or service. Or you decide to take new pictures of senior management. Whatever the change in content is, it’s easy to update web pages with a system like WordPress.
The editor looks and works a lot like Microsoft Word. For example, there’s a toolbar at the top of an editing window. You can bold text. Insert hyperlinks. Add images. Upload PDF files and link them on your page. Embed a YouTube video. When you’re done with your changes, you click the big blue “Update” button and it’s live on the internet.
It’s all very straightforward. Often, the updates I’m talking about take about 30-60 minutes to complete depending on how much content you send. Some of our clients enjoy having us handle all of the updates for them so they can focus on other business tasks. And some of our clients have someone internally manage the website updates. Either way, once you have someone managing your updates, you need to start blogging on a regular basis. But that’s a topic for another post.
The phrase “template” gets a bad wrap. Templates used to be cookie cutter (they all looked the same), didn’t look very professional, and didn’t allow you to change much of the content.
The good news? It’s 2014, and the word “template” now refers to amazingly flexible frameworks called “themes” that are stunning to look at. You can change colors and layouts and they’re “responsive” (meaning that your website automatically adjusts to look great on mobile devices).
Forgive me if some of these points seem like a sales pitch for Blue Gurus. Sure, I’m proud of how we do web development, but my real motivation is educating you so that you don’t end up spending considerable more time and money than you need to.
There are a lot of web developers out there that do great work. My hope is that you work with someone that gives you the right information and charges a fair price.
If you’ve always thought web development had to be a painful and expensive process, now you know it doesn’t have to be that way!