Monthly Subscription Fee

I have had a number of requests from potential clients on whether we offer a monthly subscription fee for a website instead of offering an upfront payment for the website.

The answer is no and there is a reason for that. We are in the business of offering a web design service to potential clients. The main goal of the service is to provide you with the best possible website and the best price.

At the end of the day you have paid for a website to be designed and developed. It is the same for the  construction industry, where you pay to have your have house built. At the end of the day the goal is to have a well constructed house that you OWN.

Own is the operative word here. The client have paid a great deal of money to have the website developed and they own the design and the development of the website. They can in turn, do anything they wish to the website. Move it to another hosting company, make changes to the website and even add new features.

There are numerous companies that offer websites with monthly subscriptions which allow you to pay a small amount per month to have a website. This may also come with hosting included in the price. It sounds good and very affordable for a small business starting out, but is to good to be true….

The answer to that is maybe…

Here are my concerns with website subscription plans.

  1. Do you actually own the website in the end?
  2. Are you allowed to move your website to another hosting server if there issues on that server?
  3. Is there a minimum amount of time that you pay until you effectively own the website?
  4. Are you getting a professionally designed website or are you paying for hosting only and getting a basic website with a template?
  5. What happens if the web design agency goes under or is a fly by night? How do you retrieve your website?

Those are some of the issues i have with subscription plans for websites.

You might find that in the end, you might be over paying for your website. If you go with paying your website upfront, you know that you own the website and no extra money is owed on it.

Benefits to paying for a website upfront

  1. You have paid for the website in full. You OWN the website
  2. The price will not go up with inflation. This will more than likely happen with a subscription service
  3. You can move your site to another hosting service
  4. There will be no restrictions. Some Subscriptions have restrictions on what you can remove or add.
  5. You can shop around for a better hosting price.

Suggestions if you want a website subscription

  1. Do some research on the agency or business and find out how long they have been around. Email some of there existing clients to see if they have any issues. You can do this by checking out their portfolio and viewing the website of the business and contacting them from the email address or contact form of the website.
  2. Check on Hello Peter or check out their Google Places or Facebook Reviews for any negative reviews.
  3. Ask for a contract. Read it carefully. Ask them for a breakdown of the amount you are paying per month
  4. Enquire if you will ever own the website
  5. Find out if you can move to another host if the service is poor.
  6. Find out if they purchase templates or do they custom build the website
  7. Find out what restrictions there are on your new website, can i make changes, can i extend the website etc.

Conclusion

In the end the client will make a decision what best suits there business needs. Unfortunately in this industry, as there are in most industries, there are people that are out to make a quick buck. So when you are looking to have a new website designed, do so carefully and get the best deal out there.

Make sure at the end of the day that you own the website and you are not just leasing some space on the web.

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