Looking past the shine of online ‘quick fix’ services
We’re all for the march of technology and new ideas that enable us to get more done, more quickly – especially if it saves your business money.
Though you might not be surprised when we say we would only ever countenance the introduction of something shiny and full of promise if it has been thoroughly tested for security and reliability.
Right now there are a whole host of new products coming onto the market which promise a short cut to a modern, business-like, standards compliant website, for example. They market themselves on their ability to make a web designer out of all of us. They have drag-and-drop interfaces and produce lovely looking end products.
We don’t design websites (though we can put customers in touch with some very good people who do), so we’re not trying to protect our market here when we say it’s all very well to have a spic’n’span site – the problem is the next bit…
That site has to be hosted somewhere, on a web server which makes it available to the world. All of these build-it-yourself sites will sell you a package to do just that, allowing you to connect up your own domain name and get online pretty quickly. The issue is: for how long?
Many of the most snazzy looking of these businesses, with the most innovative offerings, are start-ups. That means they might not be around next year. They can have a tendency to vanish quickly, or be bought up by someone who wants their technology and has another use for it, so no longer wants your business. That happens time and again. We also see issues when these businesses get popular and fail to manage scaling up their IT to cope.
If you have to sort out a problem like that at short notice, what you would do? And what impact would it have on your business? Would it directly hit your sales? Or your customer service?
The point here really is as old as time; you get what you pay for. A $5.99 per month build-it-yourself website seems like a good idea to keep costs down and get you online without having to liaise with a web designer or find a more traditional web hosting solution (we can help there…), but it can be a very costly and painful experience when it’s no longer going to plan.
As with so many of the systems we install for clients, we strongly suggest that you get it all right from the start. Spend what it costs to do a thing properly, to have a future-proof system in place, so that you don’t have to deal with a nightmare at some unspecified time down the line.
It’s also true that the tried-and-tested solution doesn’t usually cost as much as you think. Ask us about servers and web hosting if you have any doubts about yours.