Web Site: Is this a good deal??

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by exodallas, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. exodallas

    exodallas LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 0

    Okay - I'm like most of you guys! I'm a landscaper! Not a web designer/developer, so this is not my forte. Please let me know the pros/cons of this offer. There is a site that offers: pre-design website, hosting, pre-made logo, brochures and flyers template, basically all the web/marketing is done.

    All this for $29/month.

    HERE IS THE CATCH: This site is "shared" by other landscapers as well. While some may say this is a negative, the company says this is actually a good thing b/c it's nationally branding the site and service. We are essentially "franchising" and 'group marketing'. Because there is a group of us using the service, it's cheaper for all of us (ie. $29/month). So, the main site is www.somethingstupidlikethis.com. And "my site" would be like www.somethingstupidlikethis.com/exodallas. I can use my own domain name (it will just redirect to "my page"). So I can put all my business info and create galleries and such and have up to like 25 pages. There's other technical crap that goes on for a while...

    My thoughts: Well, hosting and domain name alone is about $15/month. For another $14/month, i don't have to worry about dealing w/ any of the "web" stuff. (I've been seeing $500 for a "decent" web guy, THEN I got to pay hosting and deal w/ the technical stuff on top of that. So what if other landscapers have the same design? It's not like I compete with anyone outside of Dallas. This way I get a pro site, with marketing and it all matches.

    CONS: I didn't get to do my way! Which may or may not be a good thing. $29/month is almost twice as much as I would pay for hosting, if I just design it myself.

    There must be more cons! LET ME KNOW.
  2. Allure

    Allure LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    IMO a generic site for $29/mo is not a bargain.

    Do the people operating the site know anything about search engine optimization etc?

    Do they only take one client from each market?

    What, if anything do they do to drive traffic to your site?

    If you don't want to spend a lot of money, there are many free or inexpensive templates available that might give you a comparable site.

    If you post a link to this company it may be easier to give you an informed answer. otherwise, based on the info you provided, i would say no way.

  3. exodallas

    exodallas LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 0

    Thanks for your comment. Well, I didn't post the company name b/c I didn't want it to look like I was SPAMMING for them. They are a marketing co. so they do all the search optimization and all that stuff. I guess it's just a worry free way to get online quick. The difference of course is paying about $14 more a month...

    I don't really know how much time/effort it would take to do all that and keep up and maintain the techy part of the site. So, hopefully some seasoned pros could give me a clue...

  4. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    If you can live with $100 to $400, you can get somebody in your city to put a template site up for you.

    The one thing that's important to me, is that whatever site style I choose - and the address - are mine, as long as I cover the registration fee each year, or every few years.

    That way, if I want to move from server to server, the site is mine.

    And if I add to the template or website, its mine.

    Is there a college in your area teaching web design stuff? If there is, you can usually tap into that student resource for sites that are not too technically advanced.

    When I went to college for landscaping, some people sought students for landscape maintenance and gardening projects.
  5. OhioJeff

    OhioJeff Inactive
    Messages: 7

    I think when it comes to making a web site vendor decision, the price per month costs should not be a question of how much per month, but of cash flow.

    If you're not certain of how long you'll be in the business or simply don't have a lot of liquid funds, then I think the X amount a month models are really good. You get a website going for very little.

    But if you plan on having a site for years and years, this model starts to break down... or at least get expensive. A custom website should last you 5 or 6 years before it's going to look horribly outdated. So that's 60 months. Comparing that to the monthly route and you're paying 30 a month at 60 months = $1,800.

    This puts you well in the range of quality custom websites.

    So there's advantages and disadvantages with both. Do what makes sense for where you're at and your goals. I think too no web site decision can be made without first settling on your goals for the site. What do you expect the site to do? Look cute and pretty or find you new business. Both are justifiable but they are two entirely different paths.
  6. Jake Wolf

    Jake Wolf LawnSite Member
    from NYC, NY
    Messages: 37

    Get your own domain. Most of the big webhosts have free site building tools. Expect to pay $4-10 a month max.

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