As we talked about in last week’s blog post, your website is the online version of your gym so it’s not a decision you should make without careful consideration.
Maybe you’ve asked some of these same questions… “Should I save the money and build it myself with a plug-n-play service like SquareSpace or Wix?”; “Should I hire a friend/family member/gym member?”; or “Should I invest the money and go with the well-known professional option?”. It’s hard to know as a gym owner how much you should pay for your website, who you should hire, and what you actually need for your website to do it’s job well. With so many expenses going out the door, it’s easy to want to cut costs wherever possible, and a website is no exception.
Problem is, many people decide on a website service company only “hoping” they’ve made the right decision. But as you’ve likely heard before, hope is never a strategy. And the honest truth is – as with most things in life – when it comes down to having a solid, performing website, you get what you pay for.
Full disclosure, one of the things we do well is create websites… really strong, dynamic, cutting edge websites for the CrossFit and gym industry. But we are just one option you have. So, this is an honest, no salesy attempt at giving you a guide when making your website service provider decision.
Pros: inexpensive; quick; learn something new; sense of accomplishment; flexibility to make changes whenever you want
Cons: time consuming; doesn’t work properly; hard to know if you’ve done it right; little SEO integration (your website needs to actually show up when people search); may look unprofessional; will eventually need an experienced professional; low upfront costs, high long-term costs
Our down and dirty opinion: Simply put, a website is too important a tool to build yourself if you have limited to no experience. The plug-n-play options are quick and easy, and cheap, but much like stopping at McDonald’s for lunch… even though it’s cheap and easy, it offers very little value.
Pros: potentially less expensive upfront costs; they know you and you trust them
Cons: if you’re paying less, you’re most likely not a high priority to them, therefore, typically is a longer timeline to launch;they may or may not understand the CrossFit industry; hard to “fire” them
Our down and dirty opinion: It’s always tricky to hire someone you know well. It becomes hard to push them to meet timelines when you know they have other things going on and they’re cutting you a break on costs. Expectations are high and the ability to “fire” them without significantly harming the relationship, typically goes out the window. If you choose this option, make sure you spell out all expectations very clearly in writing.
Pros: website will look pretty; you won’t have to struggle with learning to do it yourself
Cons: will cost you more; may have little to no back-end capabilities
Our down and dirty opinion: Your website is not and should not just be a pretty front door; the purpose of your website is to sell something! Be sure the company you hire understands the real purpose of your website. Here’s how you know a good website… when visiting it, do you say “wow, that’s a cool website”, or “man, I want to buy that product or service.”
Pros: establishes your professionalism as a gym; access to a professional who can create landing pages, add content, create code, manage backend, etc.; stay up-to-date with technological changes; all security, hosting, daily backups, maintenance are done for you so you can have peace of mind; confidence that your website is a powerful tool that works for you 24 hours a day; can fire them if they are not performing as expected
Cons: will most likely be a bigger initial financial investment than any of the other options (but will save you money in the long-term by being set-up correctly and attracting business)
Our down and dirty opinion: Of course given all the pro’s and con’s of all the options this would be our recommended choice for you. Your website is too important a tool to pursue in a half-hearted manner. Whether you choose us, or another company, just make sure you ask (and feel comfortable with) the answers to the questions below before making a decision and hiring them.
Gone are the days when you can get away with a mediocre website. The industry is changing so rapidly and becoming more “professional” every day that in order to keep up and outpace your competition, your website needs to be a powerful tool for growth.
If you don’t know where to turn, we can help. We’ll do a free website audit for you and answer any questions you might have. Use this link to schedule a call with us.
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