Does Your Existing Website Developer Appear to Hold You Hostage?

That’s not as daft as it may sound, so let me explain please.

I have lost count of how many times over the last 5+ years that I have talked with Business Owners who are trapped, and have to access their Website Developer’s assistance to access their site, and add anything, make any change, no matter how small or insignificant, and then incur a bill for the privilege.

Front End, Back End, Full Stack-What does it Mean?

Most UK SME Businesses don’t understand a website, how it is built and configured, and what constitutes a Front End or Back End, and as result many less than fair (sometimes more than that) website providers exploit that fact. What do you want your Website to Do? -Probably to generate leads for your company, but at worst to act as a brochure online and to act as a place for a prospective customer, supplier or new employee to check you out? You don’t care if the website is constructed in a certain way, or if it is built on a particular platform, or with certain features, but you should, Because if you don’t ask these questions when you commision a website, and ensure that you (not the developer) are in control once it is completed, you’ll be at the mercy of the website builder/developer for ever more. And as an observation from practical experience think long and hard about having your website built in code meaning only your developer knows how to amend or alter it. NB. Full Stack simply refers to somebody who can deal with the Front End (that which you see) and the Back End (the bits behind that make it work) in simple terms.

How Much Should You Pay for a Website?

Well that is the proverbial ‘How long is a piece of String’ question, but in this day and age a basic business website (let’s say 6 main pages, not eCommerce, 500 words a page, 2 images per page. NB. This merely a guide, not a suggestion!) should not cost more than say £2000-3000 and in many instances it could cost considerably less! But, the days of the ‘£10K website for a SME business’ should be long gone, with the right help and advice, but eCommerce, Membership sites etc. are a different matter. Having said that I’d observe that a remarkably large number of people that I meet have had the the number £25K drummed into them for an eCommerce site, which purely coincidentally (ahem) is what many people quote asa starting price for a Magento site (great platform, but Enterprise level & way beyond what most SME businesses require and ever will in the future-it’s Enterprise level stuff I would suggest to most).  There’s no reason why a basic WordPress Website , utilising a Woocommerce plugin shouldn’t be about 40% of that price so often banded about.

Don’t Let Your Website be Like A Brochure in a Drawer!

That is to say, a great brochure stuck away in a drawer never gets any views, and similarly a website, no matter how great, is pretty useless if you don’t generate traffic (visitors, prospective customers) to it, and reguarly, and then track them , and nurture their interest. Industry research across all sources suggests that 98% of website visitors leave without an action (making a phone call, filling in a form or sending an e mail etc.) so ensuring that your website has many CTA’s (Call to Action requests-we love our Acronyms!) to encourage and guide the visitor what course of action you want them to follow.

Back to that Hostage Situation

So, coming full circle from the starting point, when you work out your Marketing Strategy and decide that you need to improve your website (start again, update, expand etc.) then think of life after the developer finishes. Be in control and make sure that you are the one able to control, edit and alter your website, and that is why it is most common to use the WordPress Website Platform as it is easy to use, most website developers know it inside out, and as a serious point , the fact that I’m typing this blog directly into my WordPress website and I’m anything but a developer or a “techie” should give you encouragement I promise! See the whole site at Ian Frost Assistance and this is anything but a high cost website as an example, but it works for me, your website should work for you also.