Competition: Reasonable templates, content editors, plus goodies OR my persuasive skills?

    Date: 02/23/05 (Web Development)    Keywords: web, hosting

    A potential new client/acquaintance casually contacted me inquiring about having me design a professional web site for her company....Shortly thereafter - before the sit down ironing out details discussion - she sends me an e-mail inquiring about another company who offers 50 MB hosting, 2 GB month transfer, domain name registration, web site design (generic template, mind you), a do-it-yourself content editor, 10 e-mail addresses, a professional description/write up of the company for "about us," "services," etc., AND a dial up internet connection for only.... $39.99 per month.

    That's cheap.

    I can recommend a good hosting company to her who only charges $4.00 per month for 500MB hosting, 25 GB data transfer, and.... like who needs 100 e-mail addresses, but it's included........BUT my regular web/graphic rates are between $25 and $40 per hour!!!

    Her inquiry regarding this $39.99 a month company with a $39.99 set-up fee really seems like a better deal for a simple web site....only $480-$500 per YEAR if she wants a basic web site to start out with for her company, plus all the extra goodies.

    How can I woo her away from wow of hosting, domain name, template design, do-it-yourself content editor, e-mail, content, AND an internet connection included in the cost? *scratches head* She's a good acquaintance and she's coming to me for advice, but I want her business!

    What do you think of my e-mail reply to her? How does it come across???


    Hi Mrs. Kenny,

    I've never heard of "so-and-so company" but I am am familiar with the type of web site editor program they offer (a design firm I do contract work for also provides the same service). "Unlimited updates with our easy-to-use online Website editor" - which means, the web site design is a generic template (some other company can also use the same design/layout/look - the web site design is not unique to your business/company identity) and is powered by a semi-user-friendly, but very basic "back-end/behind the scenes" type of web based program so you can update the content within the web site (mind you, only basic pictures and text, not the design itself) from your own computer without needing to know complicated web design coding language.

    Personally I am not a big fan of the do-it-yourself web site editors/programs - I can see how it is a neat feature, but it is very basic and limited. The do-it-yourself web editor programs seem like a good idea because the client can have control over updating the content (text) of the web site themselves whenever they want....however, based on my past experiences with previous clients and these programs, most of the clients I've set up template web sites for and trained to use the program (on behalf of the company I contract with) end up feeling stifled because:

    1) perhaps they are computer novices and find the web site editor program is challenging to use
    2) feel limited by the basic features and the plain, generic web site design; not having creative freedom to change things around
    3) have to pay a lot extra if they decide they do want to change things (or have to pay extra for services like search engine optimization)
    4) stuck in an expensive, long-term monthly contract they cannot break

    I must admit though, Mrs. Kenny, $39.99 per month with a one-time set-up fee of $39.99 (in comparison to other companies I know about who offer almost the same type of full package deal but charge a $1500 start up fee plus an additional $88 per month for hosting/domain fee), "so-and-so company" does seem very reasonable at $480-$500 per year and might be a good way to start with a basic web presence......that is, if you feel comfortable with the template look of the web site design promoting your business and if you feel comfortable updating the content/text yourself.

    It really depends on what you have in mind for the design/layout/content of your business web site, your goals, your audience, how often you want to update it or if you would like to update it yourself, and what your budget is.


    How do I dissuade her from the cheapy company? Any suggestions? I really appreciate your thoughts, comments, ideas, and wooing effort suggestions!


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