As many people have discovered to their horror a website build, especially when done by a professional web design company, can quickly escalate to costing thousands of dollars. When you are locked in to a company that owns and controls the code, albeit legally, you have little choice other than to pay them to finish and release your site, regardless of the cost.
In our decades of experience we have seen far too many sites designed to make the designer look good and not to meet the client’s needs. The hidden goal here is to use your site to promote the designer, not your business. Watch how quickly they add your very expensive site to their portfolio, making your site just another ad for them. Certainly not what you want, is it?
The other issue, one not often disclosed or understood, is that these fancy, very technical, feature rich sites often take forever to load. These days with people’s short attention spans you have only SIX SECONDS to grab their attention and get them to stay! Features like complex sliders and videos can take minutes to load so your potential customer is long gone. Sliders in particular, although very pretty and engaging, have been the subject of great debate lately.
The issues with sliders:
- Slows down your site load. A website slider is a hefty piece of code. Unlike a text box with an image, a slider is a fancy section that can replace its own content with an animated transition. That transition takes some time to load, and your browser has to do it.
- Vulnerable to hackers. Popular sliders, which have some amazing animation features, are often a target for hackers, precisely because they are so popular. Unlike the WordPress core, this slider plugin is not nearly as secure, and not updated as frequently.
- Often ignored. When people visit a website they will most often start scrolling down the page and not wait for your slider to load.
- CTA (Call To Action) the most important part of your website but useless in your slider. Many sliders are designed to engage the visitor and the last slide will include the CTA. Buy Now! Subscribe! Learn More! Sign Up! All useless if they never get to your last slide. Calls to action need to be prominent in either a popup or sidebar.
- Not that important. If there was really something you wanted your user to see, as soon as they land on your homepage, you would show them that one thing. (Identifying that one thing is extremely difficult – that’s why it’s so important to design your homepage for your visitors, not for the website designer).
The first thing we ask our clients is why they need a website? With some 350 million websites now many business owners simply feel that they need a website because everyone else has one. Not true. Some business owners think they don’t look professional without a website. Also not true. Having a website needs to be a part of your overall marketing strategy and be promoted with everything you do. Business cards. Flyers. Directory listings. Facebook pages. Advertising. Everywhere! A website, regardless of how good, is not self-promoting. It will not drive a single customer to your business if no one knows about it. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important but it is not a magic pill.
Finally, the cost?
If you agree with our recommendation on how to get your website first you have the cost of registering your domain or domains. We often recommend that clients register similar versions of their primary domain just to protect against someone else using a similar name.
We use a very affordable registrar called Akky. Their costs are based on what type of domain you are registering, for example, a TLD (Top Level Domain, like dot com, which are usually the cheapest. We always suggest registering a dot com dot mx domain to show your support for Mexico and clearly show your location here. The cost of these domain extensions are a little higher but normally about 200 pesos for a one-year registration. Again, we handle this for you.
Next you need hosting. Right now we offer free hosting, although this may change in the future. Your domain name is not a sub domain where the URL would be a subset of some other domain, like www.example.com/yourdmain.com.mx. It will be your actual domain.
Next you need to have a theme. Costs on various themes range from free to usually around $ 60 USD. Remember that you are getting the benefit of thousands of dollars of programming costs by the developer so these themes represent a worthwhile investment.
And, finally, our costs. Normally we prefer to work on a time and materials basis because this is the easiest for us to manage and for you to see exactly what work has been done on your website. Flat fees can be problematic because developers will most often quote a much higher price just to protect themselves if more work is done than planned.
Based on our many years of experience designing websites for a wide range of clients we suggest a budget of five to ten thousand pesos is appropriate. This will be further defined after we meet with you and know what you need much better, and how much work is involved in making you happy. That is our goal.