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 is 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 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 gems for you to look out for when you next want 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 and giving you money to spend on marketing your website.
Website Project Never Ends
The great thing is that the website has yet to have a final delivery date (it does, of course, have an agreed go-live date). It is entirely open-ended, meaning you will only be hit with all-too-familiar words if you notice something from the original scope or change your mind. Sorry, this is out of scope; this will be an extra £????.
Website Development Team
If you choose the right company to partner with, your virtual team will be at your fingertips. You are simply sending all your ideas and changes to a team to complete for you.
Known Website Costs
All costs associated with your website will be covered under the monthly subscription, or at least they should be. You should never be asked for more money… This includes Hosting, Changes, and, depending on your chosen package, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Social Media setup, etc.
Your website will now become an updated shopfront 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 is undoubtedly putting their money where their mouth is 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 upfront, if you don’t like what you have been given, you only pay a small amount of money, leaving the web agency burdening the significant upfront loss and not you.
Ability To Change in Phases
Due to the website being delivered as a service, you can quickly get a new, fresh-looking website up while using your current content. The content is old, but you need a mobile responsive site immediately. You can work in stages, get a 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 will only generate more business with additional multi-channel sales and marketing activity. The “as a service” model fully supports your marketing strategies, enabling your website to be adapted as and when your marketing message changes without all 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 know nothing lasts forever; sometimes, changes 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 can come to an agreement where you can take it. Remember, this is your brand.
While a limited number of agencies are out there delivering great websites as a service, some prominent high street names also 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 builds 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, and development, but want to make your own content and image changes, then it’s essential 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 find later that there are development limitations, meaning the partner cannot future-proof your website.
Your website should constantly be evolving, as your business does, replicating your core messages. Keeping your website relevant and in line with what your other channels (Sales Team, Marketing, Email Campaigns, Social Media) say to your audience is vital. Most potential customers will check your website following a conversation with your salesperson or a recommendation of your services to check out who you are.
If you have yet to keep your website up to date, your business would immediately benefit from the fully supported service model.