Can you answer that question, right now? Are you **sure**? The truth is, I’ve witnessed so many scenarios where a client had no idea that they didn’t actually own their website – from the content to the design – and only found out when they tried to switch developers. It can cause a headache or a nightmare but it can also be avoided. Here are a couple of gotchas that you may not be aware of and the simple fix that can avoid all that madness.
One of the biggest challenges you have as a business person is finding someone to build your website. You want someone you can trust, who knows what he (or she) is doing and does it at the right price. DIY options are tempting and can fit the bill in some cases, but there’s one option you should never, ever take and that’s what I like to refer to as “the lady in the garage”. Find out how this came back to bite one of my prospects, why it’s a bad idea and what you should look for instead.
As a marketing and web development company, we compete with a lot of people who claim to be marketers and developers but could more rightly be considered hobbyists. They often offer much lower pricing than professional agencies because they’re usually inexperienced enough to miss a huge chunk of the marketing pie – and that’s what happens to your website *after* it’s built. There are a lot of things to do, check, test and consider. Here are just a few that should be a part of your regular maintenance and management routine if you truly want your website to be a marketing asset to your business.
Have you met my mother? No? She’s retired. She has a laptop. And she may not be tech savvy but she’s pretty good with a credit card. She loves to shop online – unless someone’s website has pissed her off, in which case she complains to me about it (and subsequently never visits that site again). And I take copious notes because my mother is *your* customer. And her complaints are your problem! In this series, I share some of her words of wisdom so that you can give your site a checkup and be sure that you’re not losing her to bad photography, tiny print, poor descriptions or lacking functionality. Pay attention! And read on to find out what’s got her dander up this time…
“Being a web developer in this town ain’t easy, seeing how stiff the competition is. I poured a glass of whiskey, threw it back and tipped my hat over my eyes to get a bit of shut eye. That’s when she walked in…” So begins the tale of the Google murder, gumshoe-detective style. The lesson is clear: never trust blindly that someone else is going to care as much about your business as you do. When it comes to looking out for number one, that’s all on you. Read the rest of the story to find out what happened to one poor dame and how a hard-boiled detective got her back on the web.
As a follow up to one of the most popular articles on our site about the cost of a website, I’d like to discuss a specific topic related to website development that has a direct impact on cost: customized vs. custom development. It’s a nuance that can make the difference between a successful project and a failed one, so be sure that your expectations meet your developer’s before you start on a project.
Does it sometimes feel like there’s a huge gap between you and a website redesign? That you’re stuck where you are unless you take on a big (and maybe expensive) project? Fear not! There are plenty of small, incremental improvements you can make to your website that may seem like not much, but can have a big impact on how usable and friendly your site is, and ultimately on how well it converts. If you have a Wordpress or self-managed site, you can do most or all of these yourself. If not, you can tell your developer exactly what you need and have them done in no time at all.
Every business with a website has to make the decision, “Where do I host my site?” There are many options and they vary widely in cost and service. Often, people base the decision on cost alone. But a short-term savings can mean a big cost to your business later, whether in the form of site hacks, data loss or even negative SEO consequences. Here are important points to consider before you choose a hosting provider, and a few price ranges you might be looking at.
I may be biased – after all, I’m immersed in everything “online” – but when you consider the volume of people who search for businesses and research products and services online, it starts to seem completely nuts not to have a website. If you don’t have one – or if you do but don’t see the value in it and you let it sit there gathering dust – here are some good reasons to reconsider.
It may be time to say goodbye to the traditional home page design. Instead of the usual content boxes (a bit “about us”, a testimonial, a newsletter signup…), how about capitalizing on the funnel effect? Drive visitors toward your desired goal by segmenting your home page into sections that appeal to your customers’ needs, interests, budgets and more. Want to know how to do it? Read on!