Demistifying Website packages

When I was writing my post on Digital Marketing Overwhelm I got my ranty pants on and wrote over 4000 words. Nobody wants to see that much text on 1 page so I have cut it down and created a second post with this one. With this one, I go through website packages.

On digital marketing websites, there are many sales techniques and tonnes of BS. It can be hard to know what you need and some lists are created super long so it looks like you are getting a bargain with a tonne of special inclusions but really they are just parts of a standard website build.

Website Packages Wording

A WordPress theme

WordPress.org (not to be confused with .com) is a free, open-source framework that powers over 30% of the world’s websites. I spend a minimum of 30hrs a week in WordPress. I love it and use it for all websites unless a client wishes for something else.

For me it’s great as it’s flexible, scalable, has no limits and I have full control

For beginners, WordPress can scary AF due to the huge range of options to choose from, hosting, themes and plugins. WordPress can also be being slow & clunky if you do not know what you are doing but if you do, it’s the best! I have shared a list of my recommended WP options if you wish to DIY.

Custom WordPress Theme

A WordPress site must have a theme. The “theme” provides the framework for the website, things like colour palette, header and footers etc. There are about 100,000 to choose from but most experienced developers will have a favourite

I generally use Astra, OceanWp or Hello by Elementor which are 3 very popular themes used by developers as they are fully customisable and can be made to be very lightweight.

Lesser experienced developers may get themes from Theme Forest or Creative Market (a great place for fonts not WPthemes)

Wherever they get a theme from or whatever they use as soon as you change a colour, it’s a custom theme and this is where many get confused.  🙂

Mobile Responsive

I think it’s funny when I see this in website packages lists. All websites these days are mobile responsive. WordPress automatically resizes pages to the device size, everyone uses a smartphone so it would be silly if it didn’t!  The designer is really doing nothing when they are selling you a ‘mobile-responsive design’

Linked to your social media accounts

If you have social media, your links are copied and pasted into a text box and hey presto, your social media links are on your website.

Customised to your brand

It’s a website… it would be stupid to have it customised to fit someone else’s brand! lol

Contact Form

It’s standard for a site to have a “form”. Basic forms are generally in the theme, so there is no real work to do here except for copying your email address into a field so the form goes to you.

Contact Form with Google Captcha

Captcha is a free Google service that takes around 5mins to add to a website.

Set up of Google Analytics & Search Console

I add these 2 to every website I build or work on, it’s a 5min job at most. IMHO this should be included in all website packages.  If my client has sufficient tech skills, I will walk them through the process so they can use these tools themselves. They are awesome and can teach you an incredible amount about your site and the users. The information and data collected from them can be used to tailor many elements of your business and increase revenue.

A landing page

This is a 1-page website, the page that you “land on” when you search for the site or get sent/directed there through a referral or an advertisement.

Hosting

Your website is made up of lots of files and hosting is where these files live. A hosting company hosts your files so essentially they are who you rent your “internet real estate” from. There are 1000s of hosting options online for every budget and it’s easy to get stuck with sh8t hosting if you don’t know what you are doing.

In today’s fast world you want a fast website and hosting plays a big part in site speed.

SSL

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. A common security protocol, protecting the user from the company, and both from hackers/those who steal personal details etc. SSL should be included free with all website package as most hosting companies include them for free.

‘Keyword optimised for 3 keywords’

This is one I find funny when I see it in website packages lists. 3 optimised keywords for an entire website is really going to do sweet FA.

Here is an example of 3 keywords…

  • Digital Marketing Nowra
  • Nowra Digital Marketing
  • Digital Marketing in Nowra

I would prefer my website to rank for 300 keywords or better still 3000 🙂

Low Priced Website Packages

Low priced and cheap websites are often available via marketplace websites and social media ads.   I have fixed and rebuilt many of them.

“For $150 I will make you the best website you have ever had!” says the ad but will they? Can they? Why are they working for so cheap when most skilled developers charge upwards of $2000, some are upwards of $20,000.

Often what you receive for $150 is a very basic template and plenty of upselling. The cheap price is how they reel you in but every time you ask for what you need or want in your website, gets you the reply ‘It’s Extra’.

We all know how those extras charges add up quickly and before you know it, you have spent more if had you worked with us.

We always build to google best practices so you get the added free bonus of crawlability.

By working with Minx Digital, potential customers will see the pretty site you have spent money and time dreaming about.

Free websites

I recently spoke to someone who paid $0 to a business that promotes as a free website service. To get your free website you must buy the theme they tell you to and also purchase an annual hosting contract.

The theme is $99 then you must add hosting + domain + email + SSL which is over $200 per year, so it’s not actually free. The company isn’t working for free either as they receive an affiliate commission on the sale of the theme and hosting of $100.

It’s a foreign business in a country where the cost of living is nowhere near expensive Australia. It’s not a scam, its actually quite a good service but if you need them to do anything other than installing your theme on your hosting, it’s $75usd an hour.

The website doesn’t include a lot of things that you want in your website build such as a google analytics and google search console.

The theme they sell is great for beginners to use but no developer would use it as it’s bloated, slow AF and terrible for SEO. The hosting bad quality, slow and overpriced with a large company that is known for bad customer service too.

Free Site on a Free Subdomain

Free subdomain sites are offered by some companies. Along the lines of pick one of 4 templates, add your content and you have a website.

These can help the domain owner with their SEO and branding, but they own your site and your content so can take it down whoever they wish.  Basically you are just an add-on to their website.

Like many cheap things, the terms and conditions of sneaky sites often force you to host with them. You cannot have a third party work on the site & improve it, they will usually have their banner all over your site and you cannot remove it as it’s built into the framework or scaffolding.

Cheap and Sneaky

WordPress has a lot of free options but the best things in WordPress are usually freemium or paid. I love WProcket and include in all my builds (it’s $49 a year) and Elementor Pro is most people’s go-to page builder ($49 a year) + Hosting (the cheapest hosting we have found that is good is $6.99 a month / $83.88 per year)

I have seen a package deals of WProcket, Elementor Pro + a year of hosting and other inclusions for $150.

How is that possible when at cost price is near $200?

With this cheap deal, you are either buying pirate copies of software or you are buying use of the seller’s license.

This means you cannot get support from Elementor so if you need help you must go back to the seller and pay them to help you. If you are being sold the use of a legit license, it’s probably against the Terms and Conditions of the software company not to mention if the seller doesn’t renew their license or decide to remove your access, you are up sh*t creek and your website will stop working.

As the saying goes – you get what you pay for

I hope you found this blog demystifying website packages to be helpful

Until next time

Lara Blog Signature
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