The Website Trap, Do You Lease or Own?
On a daily basis I am evaluating websites for search friendliness, researching effective keywords, title tags, content, lead capture and many other contributing factors to Google success. I do this for websites big and small, new and old with varying marketing budgets. My job is to create an effective personal strategy to move a website to the top of the search ranks for competitive keywords, ultimately driving traffic and generating leads. I want everyone to be successful but unfortunately I can’t help everyone and it’s not because I don’t have time (Our SEO system is scaled well and we have employed the talent to perform).
The biggest problem I see day-to-day are websites owners with little to no control of their websites.
This has happened for a couple reasons.
- Template websites are priced right and consumers don’t necessarily know what they are buying. I’m not going to say every template website is bad, only the ones that restrict access to the website so much that even small changes are an added charge, a week delay, or impossible. For me as an owner of multiple websites myself, that is unacceptable. If there is one thing I have learned it is that Speed of Implementation is essential to success and survival in a changing Internet world.
- Many web design companies have built a subscription based service into their revenue model. The client pays the monthly and the company evolves the platform. This can work if the design company is as enthused about change and the future as the client and they consistently evolve their services. The problem here comes when the company stops evolving and the site grows outdated while the client is stuck paying monthly. Now if the client wants to move away from the companies services (and monthly payment) their website is so entrenched, and possibly under design ownership rights of the company, that to really get away involves the client paying someone to build an entirely new site to making the switch.
TIP: Find a company that gives you FTP access to your website. It’s your own website and you deserve to have control. If a company insists that they can’t let you have FTP access, there are plenty of other companies that will.
An evolution of design and control
With new open source publishing platforms like WordPress designers can now offer clients a customized website built on a framework that allows for complete ownership and control. No more monthly maintenance fees. Open source means that community based collaboration has developed and will continue to evolve the platform, at no cost. As the web evolves, search engines evolve and design evolves the community as a whole participates in the growth for the benefit of everyone.
Here are a few examples of sites we’ve built on WordPress:
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