We, as small business owners, are living in very confusing times. We hear all sorts of messages about what new platform we should be using, and the moment we adopt one, something new has come on the scene!
This same thing has proven true of web development. At this very moment, I know of one person offering websites to be completed for free in order to gain experience, and I know of another firm whose MINIMUM price to get a website launched for clients is $90,000! Oh yeah, you read that right.
My local small business, NorthMac Services, has endeavored to change the paradigm entirely. I’m not the first to offer this, and I will not be the last, but I firmly believe that managed websites are the future.
More specifically, I believe that you should never “buy” a website again. Don’t pay hourly for one, and don’t agree on a project price for one. In both cases, agreements will need to be renegotiated to make necessary updates and changes, and there is nothing I hate worse than having to call a “service tech” to fix my broken appliance (which is basically what is happening).
Websites are “living organisms” nowadays. They used to be more like a brochure, but today, they have the potential to be the primary income source for your business.
I created this easy-to-remember acrostic so that you will S.T.O.P. and think next time you are in the market for a new site. Here are four reasons you should never buy a website again:
S – Safety (& Security). If you didn’t know, the same way computers themselves can be infected by viruses, malware, and hacking attempts–so can your website! In fact, your website is really just a collection of files living on a computer.
Website managers like myself stay in the loop with current industry security trends, and if you’re not protecting your website–you are at risk. Most “bought and paid for” website agreements do not allow for ongoing security updates.
T – Technology (& Tools). Every day, it seems like some new piece of software hits the market, or some new technique is developed that completely changes the landscape of web development.
If not using the best solutions available, you are risking your efficiency and possibly wasting money. A monthly, fixed cost allows us to worry about the tools and you to focus on your business.
O – Operation (& Opportunities). As these news tools are developed and new security flaws are found, somebody is going to have to maintain a clear set of guidelines for updating and operating your site.
Sites these days have lots of moving parts, so the perfect solution is to have someone constantly monitoring and managing so that you don’t have to worry about it! Your website will be future-proof!
P – Performance (& Preparedness). Websites are a lot like cars. From time to time they break, they need tune ups, and if not properly taken care of, they will develop issues and “leaks”.
A Managed Website is personally touched and visited every day to perform necessary cleanup operations and performance optimizations. This ensures things are running as smoothly as possible at all times.
The bottom line is, you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars today for a website, only to worry about who is going to maintain it in the future. We live in a DIY world, so I know what you’re thinking: “I’ll take care of it myself!”
The problem is, you probably won’t.
Time and time again I have seen well-intentioned business owners take on the management of their own websites and either (1) they wind up breaking something or (2) they do nothing and it falls apart. Don’t be that guy (or gal)!