Your Home Page – In 15 Minutes

Free Home Page Recently, on some community web site I noticed couple of discussions that were directly related to the topics of this blog. First was telling a story about some good looking girl sitting in the mall in the booth that stated “Your Home Page in 15 Minutes” (hence the name of the post). Another discussion’s focus was on coming changes to web site builders’ pricing in view of global economy crisis. As you can see, the two are very interrelated (and many participants had it noted).

So what’s the story with Home Page in 15 Minutes? Will this fast-food web design prosper in times when every single company is looking to cut costs and therefore subject itself to services of much lower niche of web design studios? How would the whole market look like in a year or two?

Well, yes – and now. Obviously, if you can pay less for some service you don’t particularly understand – most likely you will. After all, the old adage of sergeant reminding his soldiers that their weapons were made by the lowest bidder hasn’t gone anywhere yet and is still around. Even more so, it’s much easier to convince a small business owner to shed off $99.95 (or whatever small amount you can think of) for basic web site then to make him pay anywhere near what the job might cost if done on a scale large enough. In fact, Zealus has web sites that ultimately cost from less then $2,000 to over $50,000 – both extremes being small business operations.

The “no” part is a little trickier to understand. Once you reach certain level of revenue as well as certain level of community recognition – you just can’t afford to have that free purple on pink template on your web site anymore. More so, your demands for web site grow with your business. You want different flash presentations for different products. You want to add some interactivity. You want to be able to adjust prices when you want to, not when your web design company has time for it. So you go for CMS-driven web site, or some e-commerce solution. Costs rise, and one day you realize your web site isn’t done as “McDonalds”, but more like a restaurant in downtown. You might even end up with several web sites for each branch of your products, so think “Olive Garden” or “Uno”.

I am not making a prediction here, but I want to digress a little. Once I’ve learned how easy it is to set up and populate a store on Yahoo or eBay or any other “free” platform, I stopped making my purchases there. The rationale is simple – this could be a fly-by-night shop I don’t know anything about. It’s not like I haven’t seen my share of nicely designed credit card traps on their own domains, it’s just that the risk is so much higher that I prefer to pay a few dollars more at Amazon.com then to risk the entire amount beign charged off.