Articles by Nina Litovsky

Choosing a Web Design Company Based on Their Business Model

A dentist looking to hire a website company asked for recommendations on a marketing forum. Below is my response:

I think it’s important to give some context to your question. Different website companies have different business models, terms and pricing plans. Comparing proposals and pricing plans from companies with different models is like comparing apples to oranges.

Are you looking to rent your website? When you rent, you pay monthly fees, but your website won’t work properly outside the company. If you ever fire the company you either won’t keep your website or it will be unworkable and very hard to edit. If that’s fine with you, then a company with a monthly subscription model may work for you. Keep in mind, however, that some companies with a subscription model may charge smaller fees upfront, but over time your fees accumulate quickly, and soon you may end up overpaying for your website and for services you don’t use often. Also, such subscription model has future hidden costs because your website will become unworkable once you fire the company and you may have to pay another designer for a new website rather than keeping yours.

Alternatively, you may be looking to own your website and keep it functional and easily editable – no matter which web company you hire in the future. In that case you need a company that simply charges a one-time fee for a website that you will fully own. The company will set up your website on an independent hosting (~$10/month and all the technical maintenance provided). You will never be locked into your web company’s platform and can work with any company you want in the future.

Are you looking for a custom-designed website designed for you by a professional designer, or for a quickly put together template website?

Are you looking for a one-time SEO or monthly? Both are viable options and can deliver you great results. If you work with a good SEO provider, one-time SEO can be a lot more cost-effective than the monthly option.

Are you looking for a company that includes content in their package, but you don’t own the content and it’s the same wholesale duplicate content they use for all their sites? Or are you looking for a company that will provide a content writer to write unique content for your practice?

These are some of the factors you should consider when choosing your web company. Some models work for some dentists and other models work for others, but you need to pick the company whose model works for you. Look around on DT, pick the vendors whose philosophy you like, and check their websites to see their business models and portfolios.

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