If you run a small-to-medium sized business, and you’re thinking about creating a company website using one of the many automated website builder tools that are available online these days, think twice before you buy. Automated website design tools, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), often come with strings attached. They may be cheap and easy-to-use, but they can also pin you into corners you can’t get out of easily once you’re in the system.

Loss of controlFor starters, you don’t own the code. That means, once you’re website is up, you can’t port it, modify it or add anything to it – unless you pay extra for the limited upgrade options they may or may not offer. What’s more, your search marketing options are pretty much nil. Flash, proprietary coding and other limitations will keep you from ever cracking the top Google results pages, leaving your business as dead in the water as a printed copy of the latest Yellow Pages. Why discount your future? A SaaS solution effectively sets you up for a build-from-scratch makeover project later, which will likely cost you everything you would have spent (and more) had you built your own website using a professional developer such as Einstein’s Eyes.

Lack of support Online website design tools are made for mass production. The cookie-cutter templates you work with are fine, until something breaks. Then, good luck getting help. You will either have to suffer through an FAQ goose-chase, fill out a trouble ticket and wait for days, or worse, get stuck in a voice messaging maze that may never lead to a real human being. For a glimpse of the headaches you’ll likely encounter working with a SaaS “help desk,” read this string posted on one of the more popular website provider’s support forums: http://support.godaddy.com/groups/website-tonight/forum/topic/formatting-problems-in-website-tonight/ Ouch. That’s gotta hurt! When you use a pro, someone you know (such as Einstein’s Eyes), you’ll be treated directly, professionally and personally.

Hidden cost Lastly, that low monthly fee you pay is a barebones arrangement. Hidden fees for added capabilities can often ratchet up your tab, well beyond what you thought you’d be paying, and suddenly, the case for low-balling your site goes bust. Consider a recent consumer complaint on RipoffReport.com. A leading financial software company, offering hosted web services free for 30 days, could not post the consumer’s website within the 30-day trial window. Regardless, the software company continued making monthly withdrawals on his credit card, while trouble tickets, excuses and delays dragged the fiasco on for months. The consumer finally stopped the withdrawals, but the company refused to issue a refund. The website was never posted; the consumer never got his money back. While some SaaS web spinners can be excellent for beginners or folks who don’t mind surrendering control over their content, take caution. Talk to Einstein’s Eyes before you sign up, and see if we can’t package a better value for you.

Joe Costantino

Posted by Joe Costantino

About Joe Costantino

In 1999, Joe founded Einstein’s Eyes, providing internet marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. The company’s services include website development, e-commerce, online marketing, and content development.

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