Pay monthly websites
Top 10 things to consider
Do you need professional help to develop your new business website? But are you wondering how you will find the necessary funds to pay for such an important project? Have you heard of “pay monthly websites”?
Without marketing, you are unlikely to find commissions or at least meet your targets. However, without an income for your business, you will either need grant funding or sufficient savings in the bank to pay for professional services. This is where pay monthly websites make sense.
By having a pay monthly agreement for your marketing activities, you can spread out the costs; this means as you see an increase in your business income, you can offset the website costs. As with any website project, it’s important to consider the website as part of your marketing rather than the full extent. Remember you will need monthly ongoing search engine optimisation if you want to appear high in the search engines.
Would you like a business website which gives your company a marketing advantage without the up-front costs associated with undertaking a marketing project? Sanders Design offers flexible pay monthly websites to help your business gain results from your online presence with a professionally created website.
To help you achieve successful outcomes from your pay monthly websites, I have listed below questions which you should consider when taking this approach with your business marketing website.
1. Who owns my pay monthly website?
When investing your time, finances and reputation into developing a website check who will own your website, some web design companies will rent you a website; this means that the website is owned by the website company and not your business.
While this may seem odd at first, you have access to website resources which your chosen website company has invested millions into creating. This means that you can enjoy a complex content management system at a fraction of the costs of creating all these systems just for your business.
If you would like ownership of your website, companies such as ourselves here at Sanders Design use open source website code. This means that on the completion of the agreed terms, your business will have ownership of your pay monthly website.
If you decide to sell your business, owning your website could add significant value to your company.
2. What if I wish to move web hosting?
Pay monthly websites typically include website hosting; there are many reasons why you may prefer to have the website hosted by your pay monthly web design company.
By having your websites hosted by the company responsible for servicing your website means that you have a single point of contact. Should something happen, your web company can take ownership of all tasks at hand to ensure that your website is back live as soon as possible.
Should you wish to host your pay monthly website yourself, there may be options to pay for the entire website first. You could, of course, use typical business financing options to spread the payments.
3. What if I fall-out with the pay monthly website designer?
While we all try to deliver a superb level of service, sometimes these things happen. If you are working with a web design company as a pay monthly website customer, you should be aware of what can happen when trying to leave.
When working with a pay monthly website company where you use their website builder software; there may not be an option to leave their services without losing your website. This is due to the bespoke software used to create your website, and as such, you will need a new website on leaving these providers.
Companies such as Sanders Design who use widely supported open-source content management systems which allow clients to transfer their website on the complication of any mutually agreeable pay monthly terms.
4. Will pay monthly websites add value to my business?
Having a successful website for your business will undoubtedly add value to your company, with a website showing profitability, you can prove that your company has gathered brand credibility and sales revenue.
The value tied to a website can be very complicated, from brand value, domain name authority, generated revenue, artwork and software ownership are all complexities which go far beyond web design.
However, when deciding on your new pay monthly website design company, consider the related tie-ins associated with using any services which do not accommodate website transfers. Those services which use closed systems and seem inflexible.
If you were buying a business which seems more appealing? A business which owns their website via a pay monthly websites service offered by the likes of Sanders Design or a company who only has monthly rental terms for their online business website.
5. Do pay monthly websites include updates?
If your website is using a content management system, you will need regular software updates. When using a service which offers their own bespoke software, all updates are rolled into their pay monthly website package.
This differs slightly when working with a company such as Sanders Design who use open source content management systems. It is not unusual for such services to offer software updates which can be further enhanced to cover other marketing activities such as search engine optimisation.
6. Are all pay monthly websites fixed term?
This is where website companies can differ, companies who use their own website builders and closed systems are created to generate revenue from customers who will pay per month. There are no fixed terms and as such, will become part of your ongoing monthly expenditure, similar to web hosting.
While companies such as Sanders Design will have a fixed payment per month agreement with a fee based on the agreed project cost, this means that you are effectively paying for the website cost over a mutually agreeable period, typically 12 months. At the end of this period, you will pay for website hosting and maintenance or a care plan to cover the time required for software updates.
This is where the financial difference can be significant, if you are unlikely to change your websites for several years once set up, calculate the cost based on say three years rather than for the first fixed 12 months.
7. What happens if I want a new website design?
Your business requirements are likely to change, especially if you are a new company. Websites are intended to be reinvented, evolve and be continuously optimised. Once you have had a website designed and created for you, it is likely that you will need to change the content. Most pay monthly websites provide you with access to a website content management system to allow you to make changes yourself or give a delegated number of inclusive changes per month/quarter.
Should you wish to radically redesign your website design to fit your business there is typically an additional charge, as you may imagine, the undertaking of such work is not included in a typical pay per month website package.
8. Can I start small and add to my website?
Most websites allow for you to make changes via a content management system, this means that you can start with a website package which includes the setup of 5 pages and add your own content via the software. If you prefer to work with a designer to create pages and manage your website content, you will need to ensure that your pay monthly website package includes time for changes.
Companies such as Sanders Design will work with you to develop a strategy which includes time for website changes and optimisation. Unlike working with a set website package which will be relatively strict in what is included, working with a bespoke website design company, you can discuss all your requirements in advance and create a mutually agreeable per month budget.
9. Will I get a free domain name?
Some pay per month websites include a free domain name. While this may sound easy and simple, check who will own this free domain name. Domain names are very easily overlooked; however, they are a critical element of your online business brand.
Imagine if you lose your free domain name. While this may sound unlikely I have seen this happen, and when this does happen it can set an organisation or business back significantly in terms of their marketing efforts.
To avoid these situations, I would encourage you to purchase your business domain with an independent domain name registrar company, or at least ensure that your free domain name has been registered in your name and is transferable. Your free domain name could be one of the most valuable assets in your business.
10. What happens if I can’t afford the monthly payments?
In the uncomfortable situation where your business isn’t successful, yes this isn’t very nice to consider when starting. As per the famous Benjamin Franklin quote; “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” In short, read the small print.
As with all finance agreements, there is a fixed minimum contract length. This means should your business not be in a position to fulfil the terms you will need to negotiate with the website design company to find suitable termination of the contract.
Pay per month websites come in all shapes and sizes, so before going with the cheapest or best-featured package to obtain a professional website for your business, ensure that you can live with the terms and conditions. A website package which looks affordable per month with no fixed term will quickly become more expensive than a typical fixed cost website project if you look over the life of your online business.
Also, consider those elements which aren’t included in the pay per month website package. Many of the larger website companies which offer packages are unable to adapt quickly or affordably to requests outside the standard package. This is especially true when comparing services with those provided by the likes of Sanders Design, who will be more invested in the success of your business.
It is also worth considering whether a pay per month website works for your business model. If you have the available funds paying for your website in a single project gives you more flexibility. You will have settled your project costs in advance, which will reduce account admin and reduce monthly expenditure so that you can focus your efforts on new marketing activities such as search engine optimisation.
Author: Martin Sanders
Welcome to my blog. I hope that you have found the above post helpful. I’m an experienced freelance graphic designer who enjoys supporting small and medium-sized business owners to connect with their customers to achieve higher sales and commissions. Please find out how I can help your business.