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Websites are Cars – and Cars are Websites

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Developing business websites in 2011 can be equated to the auto industry. Like cars, professional built sites can range in price from a few thousand dollars to six figures.  They also can be built rapidly

with standardized components and semi-custom graphics for lower cost and higher profitability for the builder. If your company is looking to hire a website development firm, you need to ask the question “do we want to drive a Dodge, a Honda, a Lexus or a Rolls Royce?” All of them will share similar features such as Home/Contact pages, strategic messages, images, mail forms, etc… But, at the end of the day, it’s really about how much (or less) money your business is willing to invest in its online presence.

All the above examples can function well as “company cars,” but have dramatically different price points. And this leads me to my next point: If you go to a car lot to look at purchasing a new vehicle, one of the first things the salesperson will usually ask is “what is your budget?” Depending on your answer, they will lead you to a particular section of the lot which best serves your interests. Unfortunately, the website design industry does not work this way. More often than not, the consumer will contact a development shop and ask “how much do you charge to build a website?” Is this a bizarre question? Yes, but we hear this literally everyday in our field. I usually counter with “would you like a Honda Accord or a Rolls Royce? Or better yet, “would you like a manufactured home or a 15 bedroom mansion?” Once the client realizes “what” they have requested, we usually begin to bring the conversation from outer space back down to earth. Always remember this: Website development is a commodity business and can be done by many different providers for a large range of prices. In addition, customers desire a website that looks good and functions well; and the development shop is looking to deliver that product and make a profit for their labor. Usually, it doesn’t get more complicated than that. This is why I always initially ask the customer, “what is your budget?” In addition, I tell them our beginning price point.

At PalmettoSoft, we have developed hundreds of professional and elegant websites over the years for our customers. At this point in our history, we are not so much concerned with “can we do this?” But rather, “what is your budget and do your expectations match what you are requesting?” When both vendor and customer expectations are matched, usually a great product is delivered and both parties are pleased  to do business together. If you would like to talk to the owner of PalmettoSoft, please click here.

About the Author: Rhett DeMille, the owner PalmettoSoft LLC, is a leading search engine optimization consultant located in the Charleston SC area.

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