Storytime: Myths about Business Websites (Part Three)

The Big Myth: I’m a small business, I can’t afford a Website Manager.

There are really two ways to look at the affordability of professional web management:

  1. 1. It’s cheaper to maintain a website than it is to fix one when it breaks.

Website management does not have to be expensive. Let’s use another car analogy (unless you’re sick of them, in which case I don’t want to drive you away): You can buy a Ferrari FF for “only” $300,000. It’ll top out at over 200 mph, go from 0-60 in about 3.6 seconds, and you’ll look like an extra from the Bad Boys movies as you drive to work. But if you’re living in Cookeville and commuting to Nashville, what good would it do you? You’d never sniff 100 mph, accelerating to 60 mph in under four seconds is considered reckless driving, and Will Smith is going to yell at you for eating the car. For most small- and medium-sized business owners, you probably just need a car that gets you comfortably from home to work without getting yelled at by the Fresh Prince. Let’s talk about what you should drive, and then show you what you should pay to let someone under the hood.

What do you actually need?  

This is what your web management team should do on a regular basis to earn their paycheck. Anything else is probably extra and carries a higher price tag:

  1. 1. Keep your website online and functional.

     If your website crashes, you lose money, simple as that. Your site manager needs to make sure your site is up and running at all times.

  1. 2. Perform regular software updates.

     This includes plugins, template updates, and anything extra you’ve incorporated into your site to stand out from the crowd.

  1. 3. Monitor your website’s performance.

     Setting up your site with the proper analytics tag, scanning for malware and keeping load times low are all important parts of website maintenance.

  1. 4. Make small changes as requested.

     This doesn’t mean adding new pages of content, changing out all the images on your site because you’ve decided you like earth tones instead of ocean shades, or rewriting thousands of words of copy. It means updating small portions of copy, replacing outdated images as new ones become more relevant, and adding press / accolades as your company begins to get noticed.

The basics shouldn’t come with a Ferrari price tag.

If all you’re looking for are the basic services provided above, you should be paying right around $150-$250 a month. This will keep your website healthy, updated and online, saving you from expensive site crashes and malware infections. It’ll also keep your site viable on major search engines, as a basic web management package includes several elements that affect your SEO score.

If you’re looking for some of the extras, like blog writing, e-commerce functionality, ongoing SEO optimization, enhanced security or scheduled changes for significant copy and images, you’ll probably need to pay a bit more. Prices for these packages vary, so make sure you choose the services your business needs and find a digital marketing / development team willing to charge only for what you want. While it would be nice to drive a Ferrari to work, it probably doesn’t make sense for most of us. The important question, Bad Boys (and Girls), is whatcha gonna do?

Postscript: Thomas is unapologetic about the car puns, Bad Boys theatrical references and further car analogy. We tried to make him stop, but it was exhausting.

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