You have a grand plan for your new beautiful website. You have amazing graphics picked out. You took your time picking your fonts, color palette and were extra picky on your headlines. You even took the time to write out all the content for all the pages, Home, About Us, Services, Contact Us and are ready to just build! But where do you go? Should you build it yourself using those sites like WIX, WEEBLY, or even GODADDY? I mean, you’ve already did all the work right? How hard would it be to design it now that you did the heavy lifting? Well, if you choose to go that route, please consider a few things.
There are generally two items that are hosted (or stored) somewhere.
The DOMAIN like my site’s domain is GarnerGroupMarketing.com. That domain is stored (or hosted) with a company. I chose GoDaddy because they make it easy and they have good customer service. The domain is what tells your browser where to look for the website. Your domain also does many other things like control your email if you are using your domain for your emails. My email is Justin@GarnerGroupMarketing.com. I had to setup my domain to be able to use it for emails. GoDaddy was great is helping set this up.
The SITE HOSTING is generally used for storing the files that make up your website. While you can store just about anything on the hosting account, there are many options that can make that confusing. I will walk you through a couple of them later.
If you go with a site like Wix, Weebly, Google, or even Godaddy using their built in designer feature, you are hosting your website with them. You will likely pay a large fee per year if you go with their pay options. If you ever wanted to take those files elsewhere to move away from their expensive yearly price, you could have a serious problem on your hands. For Wix, they state that the site built on their platform is exclusively theirs. That means you don’t own your site. They do.
If you wanted to move your site, you will have to have it built from scratch. Or at least copied from scratch. If you buy your domain through Wix, they make it difficult to move that as well. With little customer support for this and foreign based assistance, people often find the experience less than pleasing.
If your industry is thriving, chances are there are industry specific web design companies that offer a monthly price in exchange for a website. If you miss one payment, your site is turned off, potentially costing you thousands of dollars. Same as above, those industry specific companies own the site, not you. You are simply leasing a site forever… I’ve seen industries paying $300-$500 a month for a website that costs around $3000-$5000 to build. Meaning that if you lease that site for 12 months, you are over paying. They may try and build value by throwing in some cool features, but most industries can find integrations for free or very little.
When it comes to owning your own site, meaning you have a freelancer or an agency build your site, you need to know where the site is hosted.
Here at Garner Group Marketing, we love GoDaddy, Contabo and HostGator. We have accounts with them all and many times use one as the main hosting for a site and another as a backup, in case something happens to the other. Our customers can choose to allow us to host their site for them while knowing at anytime, they own the rights to the files and can move them where they please. We only charge a $99 transfer fee if that option is needed, however to this day, we have never had a single client ask to transfer their site away from us.
While we offer hosting to our clients, several of our clients choose to fully control their site. This means that our client has established an account to host their domain and the site files, many times with the same company. A company like Godaddy makes it simple. They do charge more to host a site with them but for some of our clients they feel more comfortable knowing that they have the password to their actual files.
I know we mentioned GoDaddy a lot but it’s because we are GoDaddy Pros, meaning that if you choose to use them to host your Domain and/or your site files, we can simply request access to your account without you having to give us passwords. This limits our access to your account while providing us the access we would need to build, maintain and update your site.
At Garner Group Marketing, we charge you to build your site. Once you pay for it, it’s yours outright. The only other fees that you would have after paying for the design are as follows:
Yearly site hosting (either with us or another company) $149/yr with us or $300+ with other companies
Yearly domain hosting (another company) probably $15/yr through GoDaddy or much much higher with other companies
Monthly maintenance (with us but optional) $49/mo with us or $99/mo with other companies
Site updates/changes/re-design (with us or another company) $65/hr with us or $1,000’s with other companies
That’s it. Now that we’ve discussed hosting, let’s talk about maintenance and updates/changes.
All websites will need some form of maintenance on some level. Software used in the most common sites need updated regularly to ward off criminals trying to break into your site. They get in through outdated software. One of the main reasons a software will update is to improve its security along with its features. If it’s outdated, there is a good chance that a hacker has found a way in though an old version. Once someone find a site online with an old version of the software, they begin hacking into the site and once they are in, they start using your domain to send scams, spam and other nefarious operations.
You can choose to do these updates yourself but that would mean that you need to login into the administrator account often to keep an eye for those potential updates. Sometimes software stops being updated altogether so a maintenance plan would include finding replacements for those no good programs. Again, you can totally do this yourself but like changing oil in your car, you have to do this or else you could have a security problem later.
If you are completely happy with your site. That would wrap it up but if you need updates, changes or even a complete redesign, that would cost you extra but that’s it. There’s really not much to owning your own site. So in our humble opinion, we feel that everyone should go away from those site leases and step into site ownership!
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have additional questions, you can leave a comment or call us at 443-978-7174.