Numerous website design companies are offering package pricing for website design and development. Examples include “Website Package A: $500, Website Package B: $1000, Premium Package $2500.” GCA offers no present packages. Additionally, there are even companies that will build your basic, simple website at no charge. Package pricing is alluring to consumers. They take comfort in knowing the total cost of their solutions, even when they don’t understand what the solution is or what it entails.
As you can see with the above examples, web design and development packages work with constrained options. Package pricing also specifies the total number of pages you get for your website, as well as how many email addresses you can have, the maximum quantity of images, etc.
Then in order to get the extras you want, such as a blog, social media integration, shopping cart, etc. you have to pay more. There is a big push to upsell. Basically, they get customers in the door with a cheap website package and then they continue to upsell for the duration of the customer relationship.
Some retailers may find that the bundled approach works well for them and makes sense. For example, hosting comes in a typical package with clearly defined features. One industry this does well for is tourism and travel, but not so much for health and fitness companies.
You wouldn’t expect to pay for fixed-price packages in other industries, such as nutrition or health care. You never see this advertisement:
“Want to lose 25 pounds? Come in and we’ll give you a personal nutrition plan for $99.”
Or this one: “Sick? Brain cancer or stomach ache – $200 for our Healthy Person Package!”
These professions do not offer fixed pricing because the solution to each problem is unknown and specific to the person/case. People are different. Businesses are different. There is no one size fits all business solution and no one can offer a truly effective one size fits all website design and development package either.
In fact, if you saw promotions like the ones above, you would probably high-tail it out of there without turning back!
The Pros of Package Pricing solutions:
A package website solution might work for you:
- If you already have a loyal customer base. In other words, they do not have anywhere else to go.
- If you have an in-demand, niche product. With negligible competition is negligible, your customers must come to you.
- You are just looking to put up a very simple website or write a personal blog.
The Cons of Package Pricing solutions:
- Strategy: You will limit your online opportunity if you purchase a website just for the sake of having one. You should consult with brand experts about your business goals to reach the steps of success you are seeking.
- Design: In order to contain costs, most package-priced websites are based on fixed templates to choose among. These average and generic templates are also being purchased by hordes of your competitors. When a potential customer is searching for a business such as yours, all the websites end up looking the same to them and none of them truly are unique and stand out. Differentiation is a key to good marketing. The goal is not to look like everyone else, but to stand out from your competitors.
- Branding: Sure, you can apply your logo and most times some of your images and brand colors to specific pages in the template, but this approach is not the one you are really looking to have. Ideally, the brand influences the approach to the website design, not the other way around. When your business is tied to a strong brand and you use a template, you must keep in mind that you are generally restricted as to how you are able to showcase and leverage your distinct branding.
- Features: Many consumers are impressed by long lists of impressive sounding features that are included with package solutions, such as ‘social media integration’, ‘file transfer bandwidth’, and ‘unlimited email accounts’. Most of these features come with basic hosting service packages and any simple website template, so these things are really not worth getting all excited about. It’s like saying “Fitness business for sale. Comes with front doors, a back door, gym equipment, flooring, etc.” Conversely, business owners with packaged websites may find they need a feature that is not available or it does not work the way it is needed to work.
- Ownership: This is one of the biggest negatives. One of the ways most package website businesses make their money is by hosting your website at a charge higher than you would normally pay. On the surface, this appears to be a small expense (even with the additional fees for backups, emails, etc.) but the problem is you are just ‘renting’ the website and do not own it- they do. When you stop paying, your online business is taken away. In order to keep the website, you may have to pay a transfer fee but most times you will be forced to copy down your entire website of text and build it from scratch elsewhere.
- Access & customization: Generally when your website is built from a pre-packaged template, you don’t own or have access to things you need to manage, such as plugins and tools. Often something as simple as installing the Google Analytics code or the main navigation menu is not accessible to you, the business owner, without requesting support from a customer service rep.
Think about it. Do any of your favorite brands have a packaged website?
Do you think Apple, Nike, McDonald’s, or any other Fortune 5,000 business has a packaged website solution? Of course not! You may not be able to distinguish right away, but these companies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and more to build their websites and mobile apps. Your business may be a lot smaller, but you should still do your best to stand out from the crowd.
The bottom line
We do not offer website packages because we know what goes into building an effective website. We love to work with clients who appreciate the value of a custom approach to their business. We believe each business is unique, therefore the features, design, and functionality should be customized to the business and its goals. If you’d like a free consultation contact us at (323) 364-7659 or click here.