Don't Waste Money On Your Website

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Don't Waste Money On Your Website

  1. 1. website price guidedon’t wastemoney on yourwebsiteHow much a website costsand other facts that can saveyou thousands of dollars andhours of frustration.by Sugar Websites
  2. 2. Introduction:Don’t Waste Money On Your WebsiteHave you got a website that you can’t manage yourself ordoesn’t do what you need? Are you afraid of getting a sitebecause of what it might cost you in time and money?Are you wondering: • How much do I need to spend on a website? • Can I get a website for free? • Can I build one myself? • Why doesn’t my website do what I need it to do? • Am I being ripped off by my web company?The good news is, you’re not alone...With the wide range of “website building” tools readily available to non-professionals, almost anyone can build a website - but building a websitethat really works is another matter...At Sugar, part of our mission is to bridge the gap between the ‘online’ and‘offline’ business worlds through education.This eBook is written as a guide to answer your questions about websiteprices and the factors affecting price. We hope it saves you both time andmoney!Warmest regards, Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 2
  3. 3. ContentsFACT #1: Different Types Of Websites Have Different Price Ranges......................... 4FACT #2: Websites Are Rarely FREE ........................................................................................ 5FACT #3: It Takes Many Skills To Make A Website That Really Works ...................... 7FACT #4: Not All Web Developers Are Made Equal ........................................................... 8FACT #5: Visitors Judge A Business By The Quality Of Its Website .......................... 11FACT #6: To Turn Visitors To Customers, A Site Must Be Built To Sell ...................... 12FACT #7: A Website Is Useless Without Visitors .................................................................. 13FACT #8: Websites Require Ongoing Support ...................................................................... 14Summary: Save Time And Money By Working With Website Professionals ........... 15About Us: Sugar Websites, The Small Business Website Specialist .............................16 Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 3
  4. 4. FACT #1:Different Types Of Websites HaveDifferent Price RangesThere are a number of common types of websites usedfor different purposes. The variations in price range areaffected by many factors, particularly the complexity ofdesign and development required.Website Price GuideHere’s a guide to the average price range for different types of websites:Website Type Low High Range Range“Free” Or Template SitesOften called “Free” because there are no set up costs, but may require hosting or otherongoing fees. Usually only temporary as they don’t allow for expansion or custom design $0 $800and require the user to set up everything themselves. Commonly, the cheaper they arethe fewer features and design options are available.Static “Brochure-Style” SiteA website that does not have allow any user interactivity. These websites do not rankwell in search engines or give a professional image to visitors. They are slow and costly $1,000 $3,000for a designer to modify and keep updated.Content Management System (CMS)These sites allow the owner to easily add and modify content on their website with littletechnical knowledge. A CMS saves time and effort in keeping it up-to-date and managing $1,500 $15,000large amounts of content, which also helps with being found in search engines.Fully-Featured eCommerce SiteThese sites are specifically for selling a wide variety of goods and include standardfunctionality that online shoppers have come to expect, such as product reviews,recently viewed items, multiple size/color options and more. $5,000 $100,000A Shopping Cart feature is different to a fully-featured eCommerce site as it can beadded to any website systems, often for a lower cost. It is suitable for selling a smalleramount of products and has less functionality.Custom-Developed ApplicationsThese sites are for serious businesses who require features that are very specific totheir niche and need to be built by a team of developers over a period of time. They are $15,000 $300,000generally large-scale projects that vary greatly depending on the project requirements. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 4
  5. 5. FACT #2:Websites Are Rarely FREEYou may have been offered a “free” website, but doyou know what features or services you’re likely to bemissing out on (or having to tolerate) in compensation?What You Are Likely To Lose With A ‘FREE’ WebsiteQuality of DesignThe success of a website relies heavily on the quality of many aspects,especially design. A ‘free’ service relies on design templates that are usedby hundreds of others. You may lose your unique identity and not haveaccess to make design changes yourself or the skills required to do so.Personal ServiceSometimes a phone call can save you hours of effort in resolving atechnical problem. The majority of ‘free’ services do not provide personalcontact, service or training. Most often, the best you can do is fill in anonline form and wait for a reply...Your Own TimeBe prepared to invest your own time into every aspect of your website.From learning the system you have purchased, to arranging the layout,design, content and ongoing management, all of these tasks must be doneby you. Keep in mind, your website will only be as professional as the skillsand system used to build it.Ability To GrowAs your website business grows, you may require more control over thelook and content of your site including features, improved design quality,and other functionality. You are likely to have to start over again withanother provider or pay a higher price to have access to more options. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 5
  6. 6. Control Over AdvertisementsImage or text link ads are commonly placed on ‘free’ websites. You do nothave control over the advertising content. This can significantly reduce theprofessionalism of your image and take visitors away to another websiteinstead of yours.Function And FeaturesIt’s hard to create one system that has the features to suit absolutelyeveryone. Do your research to find out what you need and if what isavailable will work for your site, both now and in the future.Terms And ConditionsSearch for and read the fine print. Most “free” products are provided on an‘as is basis’ without guarantees. So, if your “free” website were to go offlineor be damaged in any way, you may be stuck without any options.Hidden FeesBe wary of extra monthly fees that you may be charged unknowingly,especially for basic features such as a “search bar” or contact form, whichshould be a standard inclusion for any basic website without an extracharge.Trial Only RestrictionsTrial periods end quickly. So, be sure to test the system during the trialbefore you start getting monthly charges. Also, be cautious of the amountof time you spend setting up your website during the trial period. If youfind the system doesn’t work for you, the effort you will have spent insetting up your pages and design will be wasted.Domain Name And Email LimitationsMany ‘free’ options make you use their domain name e.g. www.mybusiness.freewebsite.com, and/or will not host email accounts denyingyou a professional image. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 6
  7. 7. FACT #3:It Takes Many Skills To Make A WebsiteThat Really WorksIt takes a multitude of skills to make a successful website,from strategy and content to design and development,marketing and copywriting to accessibility and usability.Unfortunately, very few developers have what it takes, or the time it takes,to do it all alone.Make sure you know the skill level of your web developer in each of thekey areas required in creating an effective website to ensure your sitemeets your goals.Essential Skills For Creating An Effective Website • Communication skills to thoroughly understand and interpret your needs and keep you regularly updated. • Marketing skills to ensure your site stands out from your competitors and turns your visitors into customers. • Content skills to structure and write your information to make it easily found, understood, convincing and in a format suitable for the Web. • Design skills to create a site that is both functional and leaves a lasting impression. • Development skills to ensure your site works properly across all web browers and devices and is optimized for search engines. • Support skills and availability to help you with content, design and technical maintenance on an ongoing basis. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 7
  8. 8. FACT #4:Not All Web Developers Are Made EqualWhether you are working with a freelance web developer,a web design company or a friend who says they knowhow to build a website, find out whether they have whatit takes to build and maintain your site.Ask plenty of questions to make sure you are working with someone whocan achieve what you need, when you need it, and at a price you canafford.Essential Questions To AskDo I have to pay to edit my own website?Being able to edit your own website is no longer a mystery. It’s a standardinclusion in modern websites and there are many resources available tosimplify the development process.Are you able to provide support and training when I need it? If yes, whatdo you charge?Websites require ongoing support. Make sure your developer will be therewhen you need them to update the website technology, make changesand help you as your site grows. Find out what they charge for ongoingmaintenance so you can budget for your website updates.What is your hourly rate?Some developers charge by the hour for the entire project or when extrawork is required. Ask about their hourly rate in advance. Here is a guide toaverage prices in the U.S.:Help By The Hour Low Range High RangeStudent $10 $25Freelancer $20 $150Expert $50 $200Project Manager $50 $200Company $70 $250 Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 8
  9. 9. Do you adhere to Web Standards?Web Standards are a set of guidelines developed by the Internet’s guidingbody, W3C, to ensure that websites are accessible across all browsers andmobile devices, and by people with different physical, geographical andsocial conditions. They are a must for any professional web developer.What browsers are your sites compatible with?It is important to make sure your site is tested and compatible with allpopular web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, GoogleChrome, Safari and others.Are your sites easily viewed and accessible on mobile devices?People are using mobile devices more and more to access websites.Make sure all the important information on your site is easily viewed andaccessible on all mobile devices.Can I move my website, or have another developer work on it?Find out where you stand in terms of ownership of your website code.If you’re working with a freelancer, make sure you have access to yourwebsite files and hosting account in case they are no longer available tosupport you.How do you keep up with industry changes?Web technologies are evolving faster than books are printed. It’s essentialfor developers to regularly read industry blogs to be able to keep up, andto ensure your site is not out of date.What size projects do you regularly work on?If your project is small, make sure you development team is not overskilled,and overpriced. If your project is large, make sure your team is equippedand experienced to handle it.Can I see some of the sites you’ve designed?Design is subjective, so get a feel for their design capabilities before youdecide. They should be able to show you completed works, or for a newerdesigner, a portfolio that demonstrates their creative skill and style. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 9
  10. 10. Can you help me write my content (copy)?How people read online is very different to how they read in print. Webcontent should be carefully crafted to suit both humans and searchengines. An experienced web professional can also create your content foryou, or guide you how to do it yourself.Can you help me with my online marketing strategy?Building a website is only the first step to doing business online. Planningand marketing of a site are essential to converting visitors into customers,especially if your website is a marketing tool for your business.Can you help me get found on Google?From the code up, make sure that your site is being built with Google inmind to ensure you have the best opportunity for high rankings in searchengines. It will cost you significantly more time and money to build thatinto your site later on.Can you save me time and money by automating business operationsvia my website?An experienced developer understands the available technologies toautomate business processes. Asking what they would recommendwill indicate whether they have the skills to make your site a productivebusiness tool now and as you grow in the future. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 10
  11. 11. FACT #5:Visitors Judge A Business By TheQuality Of Its WebsiteWhile we may say that a book shouldn’t be judged byits cover, the reality is that every page of your website isjudged by a visitor within less than a second.Studies have also shown that a visitor will judge a business and makebuying decisions based solely upon the look and feel of the companywebsite. In that split second, they decide whether they trust you andbelieve you can provide them the information they are looking for.A study by the Human-Oriented Technology Lab, Carleton University,Canada found that “Websites have 50 milliseconds to make a good firstimpression”.First Impression Checklist • Clear website purpose… Is it clear what the website is for? • Clear business purpose… Is it clear what you are offering? • Reflects uniqueness of brand… Do you stand out from the crowd? • Professional image… Do you show the attention to detail in the presentation on your site that you provide in your service? • Key information ‘above the fold’… Is the most important information in the top half of your homepage? • Indicates depth of site content… If you have useful content inside your site, is it obvious (i.e. linked) from your homepage? • Credible company details… Are your contact details trustworthy? • Demonstrates expertise… Does the content show you are an expert? • Third-party verification… Do you have any testimonials, awards or certifications on display to build trust? • Speed of locating key information… Can visitors find what they need easily in as few clicks as possible? Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 11
  12. 12. FACT #6:To Turn Visitors To Customers, A SiteMust Be Built To SellWhether you need a website to sell products, provideinformation or build credibility, make sure it sells for you.There are four steps to selling from a website, and at every step you eitherwin or lose your customer. Make sure your site is built to sell.Step 1. TRUSTYour design must sell them on the first impression. If they don’t trust youbecause it looks unprofessional or confusing, you’ve lost them at step one.Step 2. OFFERYour content must answer the questions that brought them to yourwebsite and offer a solution. If you don’t offer, they won’t buy. Make yourprimary offer loud and clear, so they will buy it and take the next step.Step 3. ACTIONYour visitors came to your website for a reason. You have to help themtake action. If you don’t, they’ll leave and you’ll lose. The action could beanything from buying a product to requesting information.Step 4. ENGAGEThey took action, great! But a few minutes after the action they are alreadyon another website. Use email or social networks to communicate regularlyso they remember you when they need your service, not your competitors. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 12
  13. 13. FACT #7:A Website Is Useless Without VisitorsRegardless of how stunning your site may look or howmuch you spend on development, you have to getvisitors to your website. Without them, you have wastedprecious time and money.Without a regular flow of traffic through it, a website is lifeless and ofbenefit to no one.There are many strategies for driving traffic to a website. Talk with amarketing consultant to identify the most successful techniques for yourniche. Here are a few essentials strategies for any website:Web Traffic Strategies • Advertise your website on all your business and marketing materials (don’t forget your business card too!). • Include your website in your email signature. • Optimize your site to be found in search engines. • Build and market to an email list of your customers with links to information on your site. • Add new content on your website regularly. • List your website in numerous online directories. • Engage with customers in social networks, forums and other platforms to drive them to your site. • Reformat and post content from your website on social networks, article directories, press services and other online platforms with links back to your website. • Visit blogs related to your industry and comment on articles with a link back to your website. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 13
  14. 14. FACT #8:Websites Require Ongoing SupportEvery website is a part of the every-changing Web andrequires ongoing support to keep it working for you.Whether you make content changes yourself or hire someone to maintainyour website technology, make sure you budget time and money to haveyour site updated and fully functioning at all times.Technlogy UpdatesThe Internet is a growing world of Web technologies that continue toevolve at a tremendous pace. Your website is a part of this digital worldand requires maintenance to ensure that it is accessible and functionscorrectly across all browsers at all times.Content UpdatesAs things change in your business you need to make updates on yourwebsite. Whether it’s a change of office address, new products, new staff,company news or events, regular content updates will keep your site fresh.Maintain ControlIf you need to change developers for any reason, you should always haveaccess to your site. Keep your login details for your website, domain,server and emails safely on file at all times so you can maintain access at alltimes. Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 14
  15. 15. Summary:Save Time And Money By Working WithWebsite ProfessionalsWorking with website professionals allows you to focuson directing the building and marketing of your websiteto ensure it achieves what you need it to.Web professionals have a high requirement to keep up with the every-changing technologies on the Internet. As technologies evolve, it is theirresponsibility to keep your website up-to-date.As a website owner, you have the high requirement of knowing what youneed to achieve from your website as part of your online marketing efforts.Being clear on your goals, you will have the clarity to work hand-in-handwith your web professionals to achieve your goals within the fastest timeand smallest budget possible.Good luck on Internet journey ahead! Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 15
  16. 16. About Us:Sugar Websites, The Small BusinessWebsite SpecialistSugar Websites is the small business websites specialist.Whether in person or via phone or video conferencing,we come to you and take the time to understand yourbusiness and train you to use and market your website.Our team of marketers, copywriters, designers and developers ensure thatyour site not only looks great, but is affordable and meets the needs of youand your customers.Contact UsContact us to book your free, no-obligation Website Strategy Session withyour Sugar Website Consultant to determine the most effective websitesolution for your business.website www.sugarwebsites.comphone 1.855.SUGARWEB(784.2973) toll freefax 1.855.784.2973email hello@sugarwebsites.comaddress 384 S Centerville Rd Middletown NY 10940 Sugar Websites | Don’t Waste Money On Your Website | 2011 PAGE 16
  17. 17. www.sugarwebsites.com

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