There are a number of companies out there currently offering low-cost websites for traders and they promise to deliver a lot for not a lot on investment, but are these deals really that good and could you end up paying more than advertised?
With that in mind, I have looked at a number of traders sites that have used these services and the results are shocking. So if you are a trader looking to purchase from one of these sites, read this first before making your final decision.
There are a number of claims made that each site will come as standard – I know there are a number of these types of site builders out there and this is not focused on one particular builder:
Hosting and SSL Certificates
Sites seem to push that they offer SSL certificates as part of the initial build and then (in some cases) charge an annual renewal fee for the SSL certification. The fact that SSL certificates are actually FREE seems that they are getting 100% return on these. Hosting offered daily backups (which gets a big thumbs up) but would suggest that the website and the backups are stored on the same server. So if their server goes bang, you’ve lost your website AND all your backups!
And for some reason, they do not offer email accounts as part of the service which again tends to be free with standard hosting.
Content and Design
The sites seem to be built upon the companies own developed platform which although is fine in principle, you have the issue if the company ceases trading that site cannot be moved. You are restricted to using only THEIR hosting and services, and design is limited to a few templates which they have pre-built and then change some colours to match your brand and logo. In short, you will get a very generic-looking website.
The site also claims that they carry out all the SEO on the sites but a quick look on the coding and there is zero SEO work carried out. Nothing specific to the trader, location, keywords, meta tags or even long-tail URLs (and that’s just for starters).
Facebook is not hard to set up if for the layman, but there are a number of tips and tricks that can ensure you get a good return. From the ones done, it looks like nothing has been done other than setting up the very basics which Facebook takes you through when you first set it up anyway. If the vanity URLs are chosen leaves one wondering what was being thought when the page was set up, as these have no bearing on social media SEO in any way.
One of the positives is the reviews part of the site build and again this is managed and controlled by their own system and not something that is part of the website itself. So again if the company ceases to trade then goodbye website and all those wonderful reviews you got.
The easiest and most common way would be to integrate Google reviews into the site, which considering they also set up your Google Business page, asks why they did not take the reviews API and simply place that into the site(?)
In conclusion, if you are a Trades Professional on a tight or limited budget then this might be the best option open to you. However, if you are looking at your website as a business tool rather than just an online presence, then you need to steer clear.
Listen to the Podcast to get a more in-depth analysis on the sites I have reviewed,