Hi, I'm Teresa, owner and Chief Designer here at TotaleSolutions. I have been a web design professional for over 20 years. With a passion for web design and marketing, I have helped hundreds of small and medium businesses establish their online presence. Need help with your online business? Call me on 0408 721 441.

2019 is here, and it’s hard to believe there are still small businesses who do not have a website. In fact, recent market research indicates that up to 50% of small businesses still do not have a website, despite the fact that most small business owners are aware of the importance of having an online presence.

The 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report researched the marketing strategies of more than 1000 SMEs and more than 1000 consumers across Australia and found, on average, only half of small businesses have a website. Furthermore, data from the research suggests 62% of customers will stop considering a small business if they can’t find information about it online.

This research should ring alarms bells for any small business who has not yet taken the plunge and invested in a website. Most small business owners understand why they need a website, so what are the major barriers holding them back?

Barriers to having a website

Perceived barriers for not having a website as reported by small business owners include:

  • the cost of the website development
  • technical knowledge (or lack there of)
  • the need for ongoing technical support to maintain the website
  • security concerns
  • the personal time devoted to developing and maintaining the website

Addressing the barriers

Let’s address each of these barriers.

The cost of website development
There is a lot of mystery around the development cost of a website. In my experience, there are those who believe even a basic business website will cost many thousands of dollars, while there are others who think that for a few hundred dollars they should be able to get a top of the line website with all the bells and whistles. However, the truth lies somewhere in between. The cost will vary depending on what functionality you need and how your website is built. It can also vary based on who you get to develop your website – for example an agency will, in general, charge more than a Freelancer because they have more overheads, and an experienced web designer will charge more than a inexperienced designer.

As with any investment, it always a good idea to get quotes from a number of sources. Just make sure you are comparing apples with apples – the best way to do this is provide a brief to the web designer so they know exactly what you need. If you have multiple quotes and one is much cheaper (or dearer) than the others make sure you compare the quotes, as there may be a significant difference in the product they are offering. If you don’t know what you need – don’t worry. A good designer will be able to ask the right questions to determine your requirements.

Tip: Remember – you get what you pay for, so cheap is not always best.

Technical Knowledge
Unless you are planning on building the website yourself, you will require very limited technical knowledge. A good web designer will steer you through the requirements they need to get your website up and running, it is their job to take care of all the technical requirements.

Ongoing Technical support
Would you buy a new car and not have it serviced regularly? Or a new piece of business equipment and not maintain it? Of course not, and your website is no different. The trick here is to ensure that the web designer/freelancer/agency you choose to develop your website can provide this support in a timely and cost efficient manner. Make sure this is included in the quote so you know exactly what you are up for moving forward.

Security Concerns
This is a legitimate concern, however there are many steps that can be taken to minimise the risk. Talk to your web developer if you have concerns about security – an experienced web designer will already have systems in place designed to protect your website from viruses and hackers. Security concerns should not be a reason to not a have a website, considering all the advantages having an online presence brings to your business.

Time devoted to developing and maintaining the website
When you are building a website for the first time, you will be required to invest some time into the development of the content. However let’s put that into perspective: once your website is live, that content will be working for you 24/7 for a number of years. So it is worth the initial time investment to get this right. You may also find that you already have a lot of suitable content on hand, for example printed brochures, capability statements, business plans can all contain information that may work for your website. If you decide to get professional photographs taken for the website, you will also be able to use those for other projects such as brochures, advertising and social media.

Because your business grows and changes, your website should always be considered a work in progress, meaning that there will be instances where you will need to change or add new content to the website. If you are using a content management system like WordPress, there will also be software updates and other maintenance tasks required. These are simple enough to do yourself, or many web designers offer monthly maintenance packages which can include these updates plus content changes for a small monthly fee.

If your small business is one of the 50% in 2019 without a website, talk to us and let us help you get your business online.

 

 

 

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is an address that is used on the Internet to locate a website, for example totalesolutions.com.au. You need a domain name to be able to access your website on the internet.

What is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting is essentially data storage space, accessed via the Internet, used to host web sites and data files. Every website requires a Web Host to store their website on.

What is “responsive” design?

A responsive website changes its appearance and layout based on the size of the screen the website is displayed on. This can include larger text to accommodate smaller screens, and mobile friendly navigation for easier browsing on smaller screens such as smartphones and tablets. All new websites built by TotaleSolutions are designed to be mobile friendly – this is standard and included in the quoted price.

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A CMS is a computer program that allows publishing and modifying content of your website from a central interface. No special software is required, all that is needed to access a CMS is an internet connection and a username and password. The CMS is integrated with the website at the time of building by your web designer.

How Much Will a Website Cost?

There are quite a few factors that are going to affect the ultimate cost of your website. These factors include how many pages you are going to have, if you will sell products on your website, the graphic work involved, and how interactive your website will be. Each website is unique which is why we do not offer set price “packages”. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and we will be happy to provide an obligation free quote based on your individual needs.

Are there any ongoing costs associated with the website?

Domain name registration and hosting are ongoing costs. Generally hosting is paid annually and domain name registration is paid bi-annually. Depending on your requirements, there can also be costs involved in maintaining the site information and keeping the software up-to-date. Content Management Systems are available if you would like to manage the content yourself. We are happy to discuss your requirements.

Are there any hidden costs?

No. We provide a fixed price quote based on your individual requirements. If additional pages or content are requested to be added, or additional functionality is required by you, these will be charged at the hourly rate that is detailed in the quote.

How long will it take for my website to be designed?

The timescale of a website design project is often dictated by the client. If you have a deadline we will endeavour to meet it for you. The most common delay in the creation and completion of a new website is waiting for content (text/images). If you are thinking about getting a website it is a good idea to have all your text and images ready to go – this will speed up the process significantly.

Who creates the content?

No one knows the business better than the person running it, so we leave all text and photos to the client to provide. However, we have made over 100 websites so can offer some handy tips on content creation, which will save you time and make things much easier. We can also recommend professional photographers and copy-writers if required.

Can you re-design an existing website?

Absolutely! If you have an existing website that looks a bit tired or needs a complete overhaul we can help.

How do I update my website?

There are many different methods which can be used to update websites. The method you choose and the functionality we build into your website design is solely up to yourself although of course we will be glad to advise you which method will suit your needs and budget. If you have a small website consisting of just a few pages and will only wish to make changes very infrequently, then it may be more cost effective to have TotaleSolutions to carry out these changes for you. Alternatively, we can provide an online Content Management System (CMS) where you can either update individual products/pages/services or particular sections of your website. e.g. company news. We use the popular content management system WordPress.

Do you offer Maintenance Plans?

Yes! We have WordPress Maintenance Packages available which include regular backups, plugin, theme and core WordPress updates as well as support and content changes if required. Not sure if you need a maintenance plan? Read more about it here.

Why can’t I find my new website in the search engines?

Once your site has been submitted to the top Search Engines they may require several weeks, or even months to actually spider and list your website in their directory. How fast your site is listed depends on each individual Search Engines database update schedule. TotaleSolutions submits each website they create to all the major search engines, which significantly reduces the time it takes before your website starts to appear in search queries.

Who has ownership of the Intellectual Property of my website?

The content of the website is your intellectual property. We will include a disclaimer on each page of your website stating this. Any code, images or graphics created by TotaleSolutions remain the intellectual property of TotaleSolutions. We include at the base of each page the comment that the website was designed by TotaleSolutions with a link to our website. We request that this comment remain unless the site is changed considerably from our initial design by another web designer outside the employment of TotaleSolutions. No code or images created by Total e Solutions can be sold or passed onto others without our express written consent.