Why We DON’T Offer Website Packages
Many website design companies offer package pricing for website design and development, such as “Website Package A: $500, Package B: $1,000, Premium Website Package: $2,500.” Some companies will even build a basic website for free. Consumers are drawn to package pricing. They feel more comfortable when they know the total cost of the solution, even if they don’t understand what that solution is. See below for examples of how website packages are marketed.
As with the examples above, website design and development package pricing only works if the options are constrained. Package pricing specifies the total number of pages, the maximum quantity of images, how many email addresses you can use, etc. Then there is a big push to upsell all the other features a business owner may want, such as social media integration, blog, shopping cart, etc. Basically, they offer a cheap package to get customers in the door and then continue to upsell other packaged solutions for the life of the customer relationship.
For some vendors of packages, this bundled approach makes complete sense and works well. Hosting is one example of this and typical hosting package features are very clearly defined. In tourism and travel, packages are also popular because the features are manageable and identifiable.
You wouldn’t expect to find fixed-price packages in other arenas, such as auto repair or health care. You never see this promotion: “Bring any car in and we’ll fix it for $99.” Or this one: “Sick? stomachache or brain cancer – $200 for our Healthy Package!.” These professions generally can’t offer fixed pricing because the solution is unknown. In fact, if you were to see fixed pricing, you should be very suspicious and run the other way.
The Pros of Package Pricing solutions:
A package website solution may work for you if:
- You already have a captive customer base. They have nowhere else to go.
- If you have a very niche, in-demand product. Your competition is negligible, so customers have to come to you.
- You just want to write a personal blog or put up a very simple website.
The Cons of Package Pricing solutions:
- Strategy: If you are just purchasing a website package just to have a website, you are potentially limiting your online opportunity. Consultation with experts about your brand and business goals is the best first step to online success.
- Design: In order to contain costs, most package-priced websites are based on predesigned templates that you can choose from. These generic templates may also be purchased by hundreds of your competitors. So when a potential customer is searching for a business in your industry, all the websites look the same and none of them stand out. Differentiation is one of the keys to good marketing. The goal is to stand out from the competition, not to look like everyone else.
- Branding: You will be able to apply your logo and probably some of your brand colors and images to specific places in the template, but this approach is not optimal. Ideally the brand informs the website design approach, not the other way around. If your business is tied to a strong brand, keep in mind that a template greatly restricts how you’d be able to showcase and leverage your branding.
- Features: Many customers are impressed by the long lists of impressive sounding features that come with packaged solutions, such as “unlimited email accounts”, “social media integration”, “multi-author blog”, “file transfer bandwidth”. The majority of these features come with every basic hosting service and any basic website template, so it’s nothing to get that excited about. It’s like saying, “Car comes with 4 doors with handles, steering wheel device, wheel braking mechanism”. etc. Conversely, owners of packaged websites may find that a certain feature they want is not available or that it doesn’t work the way they need it to.
- Ownership: This is a major negative. One way many package website businesses make money is by hosting your website and charging you for it at a higher rate than you would normally pay. On the surface this is a small expense, even if they tack on inflated fees for emails, backups, etc. Where this becomes an issue is when they own the website, so you are just “renting” the website package and when you stop paying, your online business basically goes away. If you want to keep the website, they may have a fee for transferring it to you but most probably you will be forced copy down your text information, and then have to rebuild your website from scratch elsewhere.
- Access & customization: Typically when your website is built into a pre-packaged solution, you don’t own or have access to plugins and tools you’d otherwise easily be able to manage. Often something simple, like installing or managing the Google Analytics code or the main navigation menu is not accessible to you, the business owner, without going through a customer service rep and requesting support.
Think about it. Do any of your favorite brands have a packaged website?
Do you think Nike, Apple, McDonald’s, or any Fortune 5,000 business has a packaged website solution? You may not be able to tell, but these companies spend hundreds of thousands and more to build websites and mobile apps. Your business may be much smaller, but you should still aspire to stand out from the crowd.
The bottom line.
We don’t have packaged website pricing because we know what makes an effective website. We love working with clients who understand the value of a custom approach to their business. We believe that each business is unique and therefore the design, features, and functionality should be tailored to the business and its goals. If you’d like a free consultation contact us at 310-754-3807.