Why your next website should be delivered as a service
Today, we are in the midst of a massive shift within the technology industry, this extends beyond the technologies themselves to how they are being delivered and consumed.
Within the IT world people have been moving away from the traditional pay upfront model for some time now. You only have to look at how Microsoft are now delivering email services, office software and core systems via an ongoing monthly payment plan, which is constantly supported and evolving.
NOW it is time for websites to be delivered in the same way, with everything fully supported, forever evolving, adaptable and up to date, all for a known monthly cost that includes adds, moves and changes.
To keep this article easy to read, we have bullet pointed some red flags and some gems for you to look out for when you are next looking to update or replace your website.
Remove the High Upfront Cost
Since your website is now delivered as a service you will be paying for the website and the services via a small monthly fee. Giving you money to spend on marketing your website.
Website Project Never Ends
The great thing here is that the website never has a final delivery date, (it does of course have an agreed go live date) it is completely open ended, meaning that should you miss something from the original scope, or you change your mind, you will not be hit with the all too familiar words, sorry this is out of scope, this will be an extra £????.
Website Development Team
If you choose the right company to partner with it will feel like you have your very own virtual team at your fingertips. Simply sending all your ideas and changes over to a team to complete for you.
Known Website Costs
All costs associated to your website will be covered under the monthly subscription, or at least they should be. You should never be asked for more money… This is to include things such as Hosting, Changes, and depending on what package you have chosen SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Social Media set up and so on.
Your website will no longer become an outdated shop front for your business, it will become second nature to update the website with message changes, just as you would share them with your internal team.
Guarantee You Get Something You Like
The website provider really is putting their money where their mouth is, certainly if you opt for a partner that delivers on a no contract basis. Gone are the days when people end up out of pocket with a website they do not like. As you are not paying up front, if you don’t like what you have been given, you simply leave, only paying a small amount of money, leaving the web agency burdening the large upfront loss and not you.
Ability To Change in Phases
Due to the website being delivered as a service, you are now able to quickly get a new, fresh looking website up while using your current content. It could be the content is old, but you need a mobile responsive site straight away. You can work in stages, get new website and then change the content and message on a duplicated test site at your leisure without additional cost.
Assisting Your Marketing
Building a website is unlikely to generate more business for you on it’s own without additional multi channel sales & marketing activity. With the “as a service” model it fully supports your marketing strategies, enabling your website to be adapted as and when your marketing message changes, without all of the extra cost. This works even better should the company you partner with deliver both your website and marketing, as they will have marketing insight over the website and can make changes to work with individual campaigns.
Should You Wish To Leave
We all know that nothing lasts forever, sometimes changes that are beyond your control may occur. You need to ensure that should you need to cancel the service, but do not wish to give up your website, you are able to come to an agreement where you can take it. Remember, this is your brand.
While there are a limited number of agencies out there delivering great websites as a service, there are also some large high street names that simply give you a template to populate, charge you the monthly fee and leave you to your own devices. If you are not very technical, you would be better with a hybrid offering, an agency that still takes full ownership of the website design and build, but delivers it as an ongoing service.
Should you be a client who wants the security of having a team behind them to complete more complex changes, i.e. page creation, layout, development, but want to make your own content and image changes then it’s important to ensure there is a backend CMS (content management system), and of course that it’s easy to use.
Limitations of the website
Find out what platform the websites are based on. Whilst this may not be an issue for most, you wouldn’t want to later find that there are development limitations meaning the partner is unable to future proof your website.
Your website should always be evolving, as your business does, replicating your core messages. Keeping your website relevant and inline with what your other channels (Sales Team, Marketing, Email Campaigns, Social Media) are saying to your audience is key. Most potential customers will check your website following a conversation with your sales person, or a recommendation of your services, to check out who you are.
If you have not been keeping your website up to date, then your business would immediately benefit from the fully supported as a service model.
We hope this articles has helped you, but should you have any further questions please do get in touch.