Personal or Business?
Automated website builders like Squarespace, Wix and Shopify have given us easy-to-use tools for setting up inexpensive personal websites.
If you’re looking to setup a new website for your business it can be very tempting to use these same tools. With a website builder like Squarespace there’s the instant gratification of paying only $20 to quickly get a site on the Web.
However, if you’re the kind of business person that likes to look ahead and setup longer-term business plans (as in 2 to 5 year plans) then you’ll be surprised to find that having a website setup and maintained by a professional web designer is actually less expensive than using Squarespace.
The bottom line is that a business owner who needs an average of 20 hours of site maintenance work per year can easily save $3,000 over five years by using a professional web designer instead of Squarespace.
Squarespace’s Overall Costs
The first graph below shows what the costs would be for trying to maintain a Squarespace website for business purposes. Because no single template would fit exactly what you need for your particular business, you’d need to hire a Squarespace Specialists. This is a significant additional cost that is not very easily seen at first sight. These Specialists charge between $45 and $250/hour.
For the Squarespace graph below I’ve used an intermediate customization & support rate of $100/hour, with an estimated 100 hours of work needed for the 5 year period.
A Web Designer’s Overall Costs
The next graph shows the typical costs associated with setting up a business website by hiring a web designer (such as The Sevenfold Studio). Here, the customization & support rate is only $50/hour, and the same 100 hours of work is used. The overall costs are considerably lower!
Squarespace’s Lower Monthly Rates Doesn’t Mean Lower Overall Costs
You may notice that The Sevenfold Studio’s monthly rate is actually higher than Squarespace’s monthly rate. Because Squarespace has such a high volume of clients they can operate at a much tighter profit-margin, and offer these lower monthly rates.
A Closer Look at the Ongoing Maintenance
The reason that The Sevenfold Studio’s customization/support rate is so much less than Squarespace’s is that The Sevenfold does not charge extra for the learning curve required to become familiar with the backend-code-setup of Squarespace’s, proprietary software. Instead, The Sevenfold designs basic, “open-source”, non-proprietary sites.
Here’s a chart showing a quick comparison between the two options.
It may seem like a Squarespace site has an inexpensive price tag, but this is only true if you’re setting up a site for a personal hobby or side business. For those who need the flexibility and scalability of a professional business website, it pays to hire a professional web designer.
Give me a call, or send me an email, to talk about how your next website can help you better reach your business goals.