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Local Businesses Save Monthly Costs while upgrading their Online Features

joel reinke - Monday, January 03, 2011
Intended Audience: Small Business Owners

Many small to medium sized businesses utilize a similar set of online tools to acheive their hosting and marketing needs.  Here is a breakdown of common tools I see many companies using:

  • Domain Name
  • Hosting Company
  • Constant Contact or similar alternative for Mass Email Marketing
  • A Blog platform
  • Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks
  • An Online Store
  • A CMS: Content Management System
  • A CMS: Client Management System

Not all of these systems are necessarily separate, but they often are. I will show you some examples of these costs, how an alternative will save you money and give you more features to attract web site visitors, and make your job easier.

The Domain Name (registry) is a necessity that there isn't a way to save much money on, so I will only touch briefly on that.  Three options I've worked with for this are Bluehost, Justhost, and GoDaddy.  They seem to all be comparable, but GoDaddy seems to be more expensive right now, unless you use one of the less popular .com alternatives. $10 per year seems like an average for this.

The Hosting is a separate service: where your web site files will actually be served up to the public.  The three companies above do have many differences in costs for hosting.  An average per year for this is around $60 - $120 if you don't choose the cheapest option (which I do not ever recommend). I've also seen hosting companies charging $30-$50 per month just for the hosting with no special features or options.  Based on your CMS needs, one of these main-stream options may work for you.  However, if your needs are more complex, I have an alternative solution that will provide you with turn-key operation of all of your online business needs, and does away with this 'hosting' cost.

The average costs for the domain name and hosting up until this point are normal and fairly par for the course.  It is when you begin adding services such as Mass E-mail Marketing Programs and Online Stores that the cost really begin to add up.


Mass E-mail Marketing Programs are online services such as Constant Contact that allow you to e-mail to multiple people without being potentially blacklisted and can cost you between $15 to $75 per month. 
(If you don't know about why you need a Mass Email Marketing program, and why you can't just email to tons of people: I'd have to write a whole other article about it: long story short:  big bunch of email out at one time = blacklist/spam/etc.)

Maybe you are also running an Online Store or wish to, and also have one or more systems needed for updating your web site.  OR, maybe you don't have an easy to use program for quickly updating your web site.  When you start combining all of these separate systems you might be paying $75 to $150 per month after adding together the monthly costs, annual costs, and cost for purchasing software. 

Please! Can't I just have one easy to use, affordable system?

It does exist.  It's a very easy to use system that brings together an Online Store, Mass Email Marketing, Content Management Systems (blogs, forums, custom data, ++), Client Management System, Secure Web Zones, and much more. On top of all this, it is hosted - so that, plus everything else, can save you a lot of monthly costs.  I would like to emphasize two of the most popular system options. The first is an intro option that's only $14.95 per month (it does not provide an online store but allows for 1000 'mass marketing emails' per month) which is perfect for some small businesses, The second option is $39 per month and covers the online store and allows 10,000 mass marketing emails per month.  This is a hosted option run as part of the Adobe corporation's business solutions so its not just some small server sitting out there somewhere. 

Altogether, if you choose the higher level option and add the $39 per month plus the $10 per year for the Domain Name, this equals around $40 per month VS. the $75 to $150 you might pay for all the other services combined.  Buying all of these systems individually won't necessarily be that much for everybody, but some of those Mass Email Marketing programs keep adding new things to pay for, so the fees could get worse. On the other hand, even if you were paying the same as $40 or less per month (which would be tough to do with hosting, Email Marketing, and an Online store), you would still find a wealth of value by utilizing this system with all of these features under one roof.  You'd start saving so much time in one month that it would more than pay for itself many times over.  Please Note: for the online store there can be other costs, depending on which online payment service you choose to use.  There are some services that have no monthly costs, and others that do.

If you check out my portfolio, you can see that I don't recommend this platform as the only solution to my clients.  If you just want to blog, I can put together a nice custom Wordpress site for you. A simple web site? No problem.  Your own custom social network? I make those too.  But if you want an online store or email marketing or both (especially for both): this could be the thing for you.

Changing over to this system can save you money and give you features you didn't have before.  There is no "set-up cost" for the system itself, but depending on how happy you are with your current web site, and what features you want to set up with the new system, we would set up a project cost based on the complexity of the transition.  If you are totally unhappy with your current web design anyway, this can be an excellent opportunity to redesign or start fresh with a certified web developer.

There are also many alternatives to this option for eCommerce, but none that I've found that can offer such tight integration between these systems.  Contact Joel Reinke to learn more about this excellent system.

Thanks for your time,

-Joel Reinke
Web Designer++

Please Note: These prices are accurate at the time of this posting but may change at any time in the future.