I have been speaking recently to a couple different small business owners that have been experiencing something I find completely unacceptable. They do not own their own business website, and often, don’t even own their own url. Even the company I work for used to not own their website and had to call a company to make any edits.
This is completely unacceptable and unbelievable. Small business owners hire an outside company to either build to or maintain their website, but are not allowed to gain access and control. If they ever want to change companies, or even want to manage themselves, the management company has all the control.
Instead, it is important for small business owners to have complete access and control of their own website. To be honest, Small Hits was created to do just that - give the business owners complete control.
Most online platforms are easy to use and any novice can work on their site without having to worry about code work. This means that they can hire out the buildout and then take over and manage on their own with a few minutes of instruction.
If the small business still can’t take over the site on their own, hiring an outside agent to take care of the site for maintenance or updates is fine; however, control should still stay in the hands of the business owner with administration control given to the agency. This way, the business still owns their site and can be in control of what goes on.
I’m not saying every agency keeps control and doesn’t allow business owners to take over or make their own edits, but a lot do. What’s worse is they charge upwards of $150 an hour for these updates with no actual way to tell how much time it takes to do a quick edit. I’ve been able to do a complete merger of a site in a total of five to six hours, complete with SEO, alt texts, etc.
This is more of a personal opinion - but I think it is correct. Recently I heard about a friend who needed something changed on their business site. The company she is using is asking for 3 hours to rebuild a home page - only the home page. That is crazy and a lot of money. All because they didn’t support the wordpress theme they originally started with.
Another person has a site and can’t even make a change or put up a blog post. Their website looks like something that is 10 years old and isn’t optimized in the least bit. Again, agency owns the site and won’t allow access to do anything.
Back in the day, when websites were completely coded by hand and there was a lot of backend work, I can understand why agencies were like this. But today, most companies build on website templates and do not do much on custom coding. Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly are all being used by agencies today. These systems are easy to use, and with a little instruction, anyone can update.
In my opinion, the days for agency ownership and charging $150 an hour is over. Time for small business to take back control.