3 Ways that will Triple the Cost of your Small Business Website

One of the most overlooked components of a website is the underlying technology. A small business can inadvertently set itself up for a lifetime of maintenance costs because of poor website development.

Below are ways that will triple the cost of your website:

Inexpensive shared web hosting

Upfront, it looks like you got the best deal for a bargain. However, this will be detrimental for your small business in the long run.

Shared hosting, as the name suggests, means your website is sharing one server with thousands of websites. This slows down your website and increases the risk for security issues. If one of the websites is shut down, everything else with the same IP address is taken down, too. Most web hosting companies don't back up a website because that's the owner's responsibility. These risks will significantly impact your business and you may lose customers.

Gung-ho Open Source

Staying true to their DIY roots, some Australian small businesses hire freelance web developers to build a website through an open source platform. Sure, you'll be able to alter the code freely without fees. 

There are different programming languages. You need to hire the same web developer for every alteration required, no matter how simple they are. The costs can accumulate in due time and you'll end up spending more to keep the website working and updated.

Wrong content management system

Website agencies provide proprietary content management systems. This is convenient for Australian small business owners who are not tech-savvy. However, most proprietary CMS can only be extended by the company that owns it.

Your small business will be locked with the company if your website is built with their proprietary CMS. They also run a business. Typically, they'll use programming languages and platforms that they're comfortable in. 

On the bright side, here are ways that you can avoid these problems:

Map out your needs.

Make a list of what you need for your website to accomplish. Pick the right platform that will enable you to do so. Identify the risks and challenges in choosing that platform.

Do your homework.

Compare different CMS platforms, prices, and features. The three main characteristics that you should search for are:

  • Flexibility and extensibility
  • Reduced risks
  • Future-proof options

In terms of website development, research the following:

  • different disciplines needed to build a website (web design, web development, content marketing, SEO)
  • what CMS platform is better suited for your type of website and business
  • how a proposed technology (CMS, programming language) can affect the performance and future of your website
  • basic HTML and CSS; read beginner guides on website development (you don't need to be an expert, but you should at least have an idea of what's being done)
  •  web hosting services 

Outsource website development with care.

If you're going to outsource, ensure the impartiality of your service provider. The design and underlying technology should fit the needs of a small business.

If you're going to hire an offshore web developer and/or web designer, make sure that they have the necessary non-technical skills (English competency, documentation, provides guidance) for a working outsourcing relationship.

Due diligence

Pick a CMS that you and any web developer can administer. Make sure it's set up for ongoing alterations. This will reduce the cost for support and maintenance.

Websites are not that different from a brick-and-mortar business. Build it right the first time but also lay the foundation for future expansion.

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