We're often asked if we offer a hosting-only package for our websites because we are very much aware that our monthly prices are not the cheapest available. It's often difficult explaining why we don't offer this, so I thought I'd write a brief article to hopefully set the record straight.
One of the reasons that I started OpenGlobal, was to provide small and medium businesses with the service that I had always assumed they were getting anyway. Having run my own web businesses for years, I knew first hand exactly what sort of on-going support a non-techie user would be likely to need to help them manage their website.
However, after being dragged out to help the umpteenth friend-in-need with their website, I realised that the average web design company just wasn't offering any support at all, they were just offering hosting.
Now, you can get hosting for a few pounds a month for a small website, or even less if you're enough of a techie to set it all up yourself. And hosting is all you need if your website is just going to sit there doing nothing. But successful websites don't just sit there doing nothing. Successful websites are updated and added to on a regular basis.
And this is why you need a professional support package. Things go wrong. Users make mistakes or get themselves stuck. And a lot of the time, they just need a helping hand, or the reassurance that they're doing things right.
A bit of general advice every now and again doesn't go amiss too.
So this is why we have carefully calculated our monthly packages to accommodate the level of support required.
I've heard some pretty awful stories from people who have been chastised by their web designers for making changes that accidentally break things on the website, and even some cases where people have had their access rights revoked after making too many changes that the web designer didn't like.
The fact is that most web designers don't price in the necessary support to keep a successful website running and their clients happy. Once they've finished the design, that's it. The job is finished. For them, supporting their clients afterwards is an unwelcome burden.
But for OpenGlobal, that's our job.
OK, that's all well and good. But why don't we offer hosting-only packages on the side, just for the clients that really don't think they'll need any support?
The simple fact is that no matter how sure they'll be that they won't need support, at some point, they will. And I don't want to be the one who has to say "Sorry, we can't help you because your package doesn't actually include that".
I suspect that in reality, we'd end up helping "just this once", and then another "just this once", and before long, they've effectively got a free support contract and it becomes a burden to us too.
At OpenGlobal, we like to believe that we're the web development company that you'd create if you knew how to do it.
Unfortunately, the web has developed an unfair reputation for being cheap, and at the same time, a reputation for not working.
The truth is that if you choose a cheap web developer, then no, it doesn't work.
With so many web developers around today, it's tempting to try to just be the cheapest in order to get clients. But we don't want to work like that. We know the clients won't be happy.
I know we've lost tenders because our monthly support packages were seen as too expensive. But, if we can't do the job well, we'd rather not do it at all.
In contrast, we've also gained a lot of clients from competitors when they have discovered the hard way what "hosting-only" really means and they want a company that is actually going to help them.
I hope that helps to explain our position. I didn't create OpenGlobal to be just another average web development company.
If you'd like to find out how a real website support contract can help you, contact us on 0845 269 9624 now.