Nowadays, over 40% of the world population is online. The internet is responsible for trillions of dollars in sales every year. It is now more important than ever for businesses to work on their online visibility.
As a digital agency, we, at DevriX, work with numerous businesses that offer a wide range of products and services, ranging from aviation to retail. In order to provide our partners with the best online services, we invest hundreds of hours performing tests and doing marketing research on different industries. Thanks to this, we can share some insight as to why companies fail to get the most from their online presence.
1. Static and Cheap Websites
Buying a domain and making it visible on Google is the first step to building a successful online business strategy. A lot of companies cut costs by purchasing a cheap out-of-the-box solution. Usually, they choose a basic provider like WIX, Squarespace or whatever comes up first on Google ads as a “cheap website”.
The majority of inquiries we receive come from businesses that have started out in a similar manner and cannot scale as their user base grows. The sad truth is that 9 out of 10 times supporting a poorly made website with little or badly written code is harder and more expensive than creating a new one from scratch.
With providers offering websites for fees starting at $10/month, it’s a challenge to educate clients on why investing in development and maintenance is a must.
The most important thing you want for your website is to generate traffic.
Since Google has over 1.2 billion users and is the most used search engine at the moment, we will use it as an example.
For a website to be visible and indexed in a Google search, there are a number of requirements that need to be met. First, you need to create a sitemap that lists every page of your website and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools. To create traction, you will need backlinks that show the search engine that you have valuable content. Content that is worth showing to new visitors or people that are searching for topics similar to yours.
In theory, this is very simple and doesn’t require a specialist. However, with over 900 million websites currently operating, chances are that there is already someone else providing services or products similar to yours. Thus to get “ahead of the competition” usually means dedicating full-time to your content creation, article creation, updates, and maintenance.
Get me on the first page of Google! – every client ever.
When we started as an agency back in 2010, we focused entirely on development and delivering high-end technical solutions to our clients with a team entirely made of web developers and architects.
Now, 8 years later, we have a marketing team, a sales team, a content writing team with a few SEO specialists as well as a design department and growing. But what pushed us towards this change?
Clients have certain expectations of their end product, but rarely have the expertise to make it work. In 2017, online marketing is an industry that became independent from general marketing and advertisement.
With access to tons of information, customers nowadays are educated and demand detailed explanations before making a decision on where to spend and on what. The human attention span has declined to less than 8 seconds, and what this means is that you and your website have 6 seconds (that is if your website is optimized to load in 2 seconds) to make an impression.
This is where an online marketer’s role comes in. Even if you are great at what you do, and can create amazing and detailed content, don’t forget that you have 6 seconds to make a potential customer stay on your page and read it.
In order to do that, you will need a team of specialists who can analyze data in your industry on a daily basis. This team includes experienced designers, who can present the information in a visually pleasing way, SEO experts that can track changes in your industry and suggest improvements, marketing specialists who keep up with the latest conversion rate trends, content writers who are experts in the industry, and web developers to make all of this work flawlessly online.
Skipping even one of these processes can lead to a potential loss of 60% annual revenue from prospective customers. And since nobody wants to lose money, let’s take the average salaries in those industries and break down the cost of having each of those people on-site.
Online marketing manager $45,799
Graphic designer $41,656
SEO expert $46,086
Content writer $30,528
Business analyst $81,320
Web Developer $64,970
That’s a total of $310,359 in salaries annually. And that is not including the cost of project management, hiring expenses and other costs such as sick leaves, onboarding costs, training, education, etc.
So far, we have invested more than $300K in finding a team that would be working on the potential website. Everyone, including you, would also have access to your website in order to do their jobs properly. This means that from the moment you get your website, 7 people would be working on it simultaneously and would have different levels of access.
As we are cutting corners, we would be buying a website that costs around $15 a month, hosting included or a total of $180 per year. Sounds like a dream. But what happens next?
To offer low prices, hosting companies are economizing by providing you with shared hosting. Or otherwise said – your website would be hosted along with around 2000 others on a single server. Most people are falling for the “easy, unlimited, cheap” part of the advertisement, but shared hosting also has a number of disadvantages for anyone that is trying to build a reputable online presence.
Fortunately for you, not all of the 2000 websites you share your space with will be active or have any traffic. If they were fully utilizing what is said in the advertisement (unlimited bandwidth, storage, domains), shared hosting would not be possible.
As your website becomes popular and begins utilizing a large amount of server resources, hosting providing companies will ask you to upgrade your plan. That is if the company you are dealing with is reputable and cares about its customers.
Having dealt with countless hosting providers, we at DevriX know that this is rarely the case. What usually happens is that your website gets suspended, and 8 out of 10 times you won’t even receive a notification email about it, not to mention any time to react and migrate.
By the time you notice your website is down, the number of visitors, potential customers, and users that already know it is way too high. And for every second of downtime, you are losing money and damaging your reputation.
When Amazon was down for a brief moment back in 2013, they reportedly lost more than $60K per minute. Even if your business is not as big, there is a study by Evolve that shows around $5,000 average loss per minute across different industries.
After the initial panic attack, there are few things you might do to get your system up and running again.
Upgrade your plan immediately
Even if you do this right away, the minimum required time for the hosting company to get your website up again is about an hour. That is, without the time you’d need to reach them, and if a company suspends your account with no explanation, and potentially harms your business, would you really want to continue working with them? Also, don’t forget the costs that can skyrocket during such an event, as here you would be desperate, and they are in the position of manipulating you as they see fit.
Migrate your website to a different provider
This might take weeks. If you are waiting for your hosting plan to fail in order to take this step, you are automatically harming your sales and conversions. Once your account is suspended, there is a small chance you will be able to regain your information, not to mention all the potential data lost. A server migration is a long and hard process that is often not within the competition of hosting companies support staff or even your own in-house web developers. There are thousands of problems that might arise, and it’s definitely something we at DevriX do not recommend without the proper preparation.
Yell at your developer, fire him and then create a new site from scratch
As strange as it might sound, we have seen a lot of cases like this one. Recently, a client came to us with 7 different websites for the same service. They were all using premium themes and 3-page builders on top of one another.
Other disadvantages of “cheap, unlimited, easy to use” hostings might include serious downtime on a regular basis, slow server response time and potential security issues. (Business competitors often attack each other by using low-cost service providers, who lead robotized traffic to sites.) A $50 investment can lead 50,000 visitors to your website and bring the whole server down.
To be safe from such malicious attacks, you need your server to be configured in a way that handles high volumes of traffic or traffic peaks, proper caching layers, intrusion prevention and detection systems, and a professional set of tools to monitor your traffic closely. Surprisingly this is not included in those unlimited offers.
Overselling server space is also worth a mention. Some hosting providers are doing something very similar to the “overbooking” practice in the aviation industry.
The major difference is that aviation companies wouldn’t allow all of the people, they charged to board the plane. Unfortunately, hostings that use such underhanded tactics are rarely worry about the client, so lagging and downtimes happen as part of the daily routine.
In order to avoid such grim scenarios, DevriX works with trustworthy providers like Pagely for projects. What we suggest for anyone looking for a reliable hosting provider, is to simply check their reputation in the industry
Hint: Our friends at Pagely are working with brands like Visa and Disney.
You recognize yourself here? Take a look at the business guide, our work process or get in touch with one of our representatives through the contact or request-a-website-form. As we are a distributed company, DiXy is available 24/7 to help businesses realize their full potential.