You need a set of wheels, a mode of transportation, to get to and from work, activities, and fun. You go to the dealership, find the right car for you, buy it and finance it. You pay for your taxes, tag, and insurance and take it off the lot.
Most would agree – outside of buying your home, paying for college, having a child, or paying for your wedding – that buying a car ranks up there in the top 5 things that cost major money. Correct?
Building a website for your business is exactly the same. You have to have a website. That is how people get to and from you. They learn about your business, how to get in touch with you, even do business with you through your website.
Outside of facilities and equipment -the website is one of the larger expenses for your business and is a vital one at that! However, most people underestimate the cost of owning and maintain a website.
Now, how is my car the same as my website?
When you buy a car – you buy, or finance it all up front. It is the same when you buy or build your website. Most website developers require at least a 50% deposit before the build and the balance when the site is live.
When you buy a car – you get a 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty. It is the same when you buy your website. Most website developers will offer a 90 day warranty to get any bugs out. They will fix at their cost anything that comes up in that 90 days.
When you buy a car you have to pay yearly property taxes and Insurance. The same with websites – you have to pay hosting, basically rent for the space where your website is stored. That can range from $6.00 to $1,000 a year, depending on the company.
Maintenance – with any car you have to change the oil every 3,000 miles and rotate the tires every 6,000 miles. You also have to replace tires, filters and other worn-out parts. All that comes with owning a vehicle. With a website it is very similar. You have to do software updates regularly – this keeps you from getting hacked. You also should routinely do security scans, monthly service contracts are available at a low cost.
Painting and Washing – Like a car – websites get dirty and age out – so take your website through the car wash and freshen it up regularly, repaint if necessary.
Like a car – a website breaks down – there is going to be a day that your site breaks down. Something goes wrong. Even if you have done all the regularly scheduled maintenance on your car, you will still get a flat tire! However – remember that you subscribe to AAA or a service like Onstar, someone you can call to get a quick fix. There are services like that for your website.
Lastly – like a car, a website can’t drive itself! Once you buy a car – you don’t park it in the yard and expect it to take you to work without you first putting your foot on the gas. Websites are the same thing- you have to put the foot on the gas and put gas in the tank. Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media can all help speed up the return on the investment of building a website.
As any smart car owner – make sure you have a mechanic (website provider) you trust and make sure you understand and ask all the right questions about your purchase.
Know and understand the costs of owning a website.