Buy a price or buy a job

A friend of mine, a finish carpenter once told me people either buy a price or buy a job. If they are shopping for price, then they pick the lowest price available. They will not look to see which is a better end product. Big mistake, oh yeah.

I can tell you, that that is so true in my industry. The problem is you can’t compare apples to apples with websites. People come to you and ask for a price for a website with very little specifics. You can’t really give them a true price, maybe just some basic costs per page or by the hour until you have the specs.

I ran into this recently with a current client. He asked me what it would cost to build him a new website. Now the site he was describing was 20 to 30 webpages. I gave a price I thought was fair. But then he found someone online who said they could build him a website for a quarter of the price. I asked him whether or not they asked for specifics as to how many pages the site was going to be, whether it included a content management system, etc. No, as it turns out they asked for very few specifics and came up with a price. The problem is that when he goes to actually build the site, he’s going to find out they were (more than likely) talking about a introductory site with three or four pages. And yes, they can do the other pages but it’ll be an additional charge per page. And oh yeah, when they find out he wants a CMS, it will be considerably more as well.

Unfortunately, as is typically the case, when you shop for price, you get what you pay for. He will either have a substandard website, or he will pay through the nose to get what he wants.

So what do I advise? When you decide to build a website, write down a list of requirements for your site. Then go out and ask reputable web firms for an estimate. If the firms you get an estimate from all have the requirements you desire, they can give you an accurate price. Then you can make an educated decision as to what will be the best product at a reasonable price. You can have the product you want at the price that works for your company. The result will be a great website you can be proud of and that will serve your company well.

Web Advice: If it sounds too good to be true…

Business owners are swarmed with offers from SEO companies that can make them number 1 in Google. They also hear from companies that can build them the greatest site ever made for short money and really quick. But the truth of matter is: They can’t in either case.

The SEO companies that send out millions of spam emails promising the moon, are 99.9% bogus. They haven’t even reviewed your site, yet promise number one in days. Google uses an algorithm that no one can reverse engineer. Plus, Google is always updating their algorithm to get around the SEO tricks. Have you ever wondered (and you’ve heard me say this before) why emails from these SEO companies come from some nondescript GMail account? Simple, because if it came from their domain you would quickly do a search and find out they are not in the top 100 for SEO. If they can’t help themselves, they can’t help you. Look, we tell people all the time, we can improve your search rankings by old-fashioned work and quality content. Nothing beats quality content, period.

As for the companies who promised to build you the greatest website ever, and get it done really quickly and really cheaply. Well, you get what you pay for. You get a crappy template that they have used hundreds, and in some cases thousands of times. They plug in text, and your site is done. But it’s not original, doesn’t look good, and it’s not quality technology. Chances are you will be looking for new site within a year.

For example: I just had a client that we’ve done a lot of work for contact me. We have maintained a great relationship, but when time came to do over one of their sites, they chose a company promising speed, price and that the owner wouldn’t have to raise a finger. They sent me a link to look at the new site in development. I could not believe my eyes. They were using technology, that not only is outdated, the company that owns it is actually about to retire it and has been dead for years. I won’t mention the technology I’m talking about, I don’t want to embarrass the person, although you would get a good laugh out of it. This development firm has their own niche within a given industry. They do hundreds of these types of sites, very cookie cutter and nothing special from a UI standpoint. Unknowing site owners typically won’t look and see the technology, so it sounds good. Quick, cheap, and little effort. Again, within a year they will be looking for a new solution.

While it is an old expression, the title of this post holds true today. In fact, it is probably truer today then the day it was first uttered. Nothing beats hard work. Companies may make crazy promises, but use your common sense when entering into a new project. And be careful of any email from companies out of the blue, chances are they are spammers, or fly by night outfits.

If you need help with Web Development, or SEO, contact us today, we are glad to help.