What Do You Want From Your Website?

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By Karen Lotter

This is the first question I ask a potential client when they invariable ask me, “how much does a website cost?”

That’s when I ask them “what do you want from your website; what do you want it to do for you?” As I see them trying to ask about cost again I quickly get in, “who do you want to talk to, and what do you want to say.”

Hopefully by this time they realise that this is one of those “how long is a piece of string- questions?”

Free Website

All over the net one sees these ads that look like such bargains – Free website or five page website only R559. Free website – maybe, but unless you are really smart with internet stuff, you’re not going to get much out of it.

And the five page one, read a bit more, they often hike up the hosting costs or give you a not too pretty template website and then you have to pay a high hourly rate for any thing else you need done, like regular updating.

So I usually spend quite a while with people first finding out what their needs and expectations are before we even get down to talking about planning or design or cost.

A good website is a big investment in time and money. You may as well do it right from the get go.

Monthly Subscriptions

Why are people so quick to fall for this monthly subscription deal? The website package usually includes registration and hosting and the setup of a very ordinary template based website. Customers sign a 24 or 36-month contract where they end up paying more than they would pay if I did a straight website for them.

Most of the subscription deals have hidden costs- ie low cost website with three months free hosting or five-page website at a low price or some kind of flim flam and smoke and mirrors.

Beware of people who have too much smooth-talk on their websites; too many special deals; too many ways for you to “save” money.

Ask yourself, what do YOU want from your website and make sure you keep talking till you get the right answers.