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Shopping Around For a Website?

Shopping Around For a Website?

I think most business people have come to the realization that if they are a serious enterprise, they need a serious Website. There are a few people that are still in denial about the Internet, but thankfully not many. So the real question becomes, how and what do I look for when buying a Website for my business?

The analogy I like to use is the guy who is torn between getting an Audi or a Kia. No offense to Kia, but there is a real and stark difference between these two vehicles. There are differences in quality, manufacturing, dependability, customer service and yes, price. While both vehicles will take you from point A to point B, it’s the Audi, let’s face it, that has the higher-quality, is more dependable, gets noticed more and is a better value for the money. The Kia is just a car.

Websites are similar. They come in all styles, shapes,  and colors. But why does one company’s Website convert better or sell more stuff? I like it when potential customers tell me, “I want my Website to be like this one, I like it.” There are many reasons why they like it, but instinctively they know that the Website is the Audi version and not the Kia.

I should be offended when someone tells me, “I know this guy in a garage that can give me a Website real cheap,” but I’m not. This just tells me how much this person doesn’t value his online presence. In my opinion, a serious business owner will make a serious investment in their Internet presence. This goes back to making a good first impression. A business today is judged by how good, how friendly and how helpful their Website is in helping the customer make a purchasing decision. Treat your website as you would an employee. Would you expect great things from an employee who you pay $300 a month?

I know that in this economy sometimes the buying decision comes down to price. Here is some price guidance. A solid Website that has good content, usability, functionality and design, will average between $5,000 - $15,000. This is a site that is not a template, cut-and-paste job that looks like everybody else’s Website. Rather it’s a unique Website, with relevant content that speaks to the visitor, constructed correctly to fit any server and helps you achieve your ultimate business or organizational goals online. Such a site may include initial Search Engine Optimization (SEO) considerations, a basic Content Management System - for easy and on-demand updates, and of course great design. This site will not have all the “bells and whistles,” but it certainly will give your business a strong presence on the Web.

A Website requiring additional features – backend work – will cost more. Examples of added functionality may include an advanced Content Management System, E-Commerce – for secure transactions via the Web, Social Media – Blogs, or CRM capability to capture visitor information. Depending on the client’s Web requirements, such a Website could range between $15,000 - $30,000, and up. Of course, such a site includes a unique design, great content, great coding and any of the functionalities listed above.

So, Audi or Kia? The bottom-line is that you do need a Website. Your customers are becoming more savvy and you need to keep up with them. In addition, today’s consumers are surfing the Net more than ever before for products and services they are buying. You are certainly missing out on your share of business by not having a strong presence on the Web. An online brochure will not cut it anymore.

I know it’s a serious investment. But consider that a uniquely designed site with functionality that meets your business needs, will provide a greater return on your investment. This is the difference between a professional web development agency and the guy in the garage that will most likely sell you his used Kia.

Posted by Ramir Camu on 05/27 at 09:12 AM in BusinessWeb Design

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