Building for the long term
Out of all the calls we receive from prospective clients, around 70% state that they want to be able to change their sites themselves, rather than having to be charged for every little modification.
Many business owners who already have sites have found that while a designer might have a low initial design cost, they charge hundreds of dollars to make literally a couple of text changes.
If you want to keep your site fresh, or are in a fast-changing business, this quickly becomes expensive, or worse, prohibitive, and can lead to sites that sit, unchanged, for many years. There are basically 2 types of sites available on the market, both can appear pretty much the same to the visitor, but there are vast differences in function and capability.
1. Static sites - These are the cheapest type of site initially, and most common with less experienced or part time designers. They use simple HTML editor software to place text and images on a page, similar to using MS Word to create a flyer. These pages are then saved, and placed on the Internet.
Static sites can be very professionally designed, but only a designer can make future changes or additions. Static sites are very basic, similar to a printed brochure online, so you cannot perform any advanced functions, like tracking visitors, creating alternate content based on geography or browser type, or track advertising campaigns, for example.
Also, because the editors used are usually targeted at a particular range of browsers, they can have browser compatibility issues (e.g. the pages might look different in Firefox or Safari.)
Static sites are usually not search engine optimized, and so you would probably have to pay for Google AdWords, or pay a separate SEO company, which can cost thousands of dollars a month.
2. Content Management - This is really the best of both worlds. You have a professionally designed site, including search engine optimization/submission etc., but with the convenience of updating the site yourself. Our own CMS range, WebUpdate, was created by us, and has been around since 2002. These sites are designed to be easy to use, and easily accessible from anywhere.
You do not need to understand how a web site works, know HTML or graphic design at all.
Our sites are controlled from a password protected admin panel behind the scenes of the site. Using this, clients can easily edit their sites. It takes only a few seconds to change text, upload images, files and video, or even to send out email newsletters, and track exactly how visitors are coming to the site. This type of technology, while it is more expensive up front, can save a company a great deal of time and money long term.
We still have WebUpdate sites online that were created seven years ago, and that are still working as well as when they were launched. These clients no longer have to pay for any changes and can be found on the search engines, for only about $60 a month.
If you are ready to grow your business, now is the perfect time to consider our WebUpdate systems, which employ advanced marketing, promotion and security features designed to give businesses the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.
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