Online 🌎 With Amr The Internet Guy!
Episode 19 – How to get a WordPress website as a subscription service, With Gill Wilson
Online! Episode 19:
🎧This is Online with Amr The Internet Guy! The show focuses on entrepreneurs and business owners, helping them become more successful in conducting their business on the web without being stuck with Technology 😱, getting a headache, pulling their hairs out, or buying expensive software!
Business owners who use platforms like Wix & Squarespace for their website do it because the barrier to entry is very low and they don’t need to worry about buying hosting, installing WordPress, or buying themes & plugins, etc.
They simply have all this taken care of from the beginning but the main downside to these platforms is that they have absolutely no control over the environment that houses their website, they can’t add plugins and they can’t do things like optimizing the loading speed of their pages plus SEO is a nightmare on these platforms.
So in short you get the ease of use and no flexibility!
When I speak with business owners who have been with Wix or Squarespace for some time, they all agree that it was the best option for them when they started up and had no budget as well as little or no knowledge of WordPress! In fact, they all thought WordPress was complicated and hard to learn (which is not true), many of them think about migrating from Wix to WordPress after the first 12 months for one reason or another and it is then when they learn that they are locked-in and can not take their website with them (especially the website design they spent so much time/effort perfecting)
WordPress – in my opinion, is the best platform to use for a business website nowadays, it is powerful, flexible, and extendable, it is very lean, easy to use, and easy to learn, it is certainly not harder than the other platforms but it is way better and provides the website owner with full control from the getgo.
The main issue for startups is usually the cost to get a custom website professionally designed as many would not be prepared to pay USD.$2000+ right away.
If only there was a WordPress-based option with its better capabilities that worked in a similar way to the other platforms! Where you just pay a monthly fee and everything is taken care -of, for you!
NOW there is, my guest today Ms./ Gill Wilson does that, she calls it the “subscription-based” website.
Not only that but she also offers the professional design (Templates) as part of the deal so that you are not left alone to figure things out or end up wasting hours of your time then end up hiring someone when you are stuck.
It is all done for you, listen to this episode for details on this service & business model, we also discuss small business success and how to convince your grown-up kids to work with you 🙂
Online! Episode 19 Video:
Episode 19 Transcript:
Note: This transcript was auto-generated
website, Wix, small business, online, subscription, hosting, clients, year, google, WordPress, pay, podcast, thinking, web design, started, images, site, person, building sites.
SPEAKERS: Gill Wilson, and Amr The Internet Guy
Online with Amr the internet guy stream it today on your favorite podcast platforms. This podcast focuses on entrepreneurs and business owners helping them become more successful and conducting their business on the web without being stuck with technology, getting a headache, pulling their hairs out or buying expensive software.
Hello, everyone and welcome to a new episode of online. First, I’d like to apologize for not posting an episode for some time. I know most of you got used to having one every two weeks, I think it’s been three weeks this time. But I have a very good reason for that. I was creating my first online course, which is a course about mastering DNS, and email deliverability, which is specifically for web designers and other designers who think DNS and email is boring, I don’t want to touch it. Or DNS is something that I’m scared of. And I’m really, really scared to mess things. And I really dread the day that I have to do an email or a website migration. So if you are one of those guys, I’ve got just the course for you, which will allow you to master DNS and email in four hours or less guaranteed. So having said that, let’s talk about the podcast. Today, I have a special guest with me, all the way from the UK. And we’re discussing something new that I haven’t actually discussed on the podcast before, which is website as a service, or subscription-based websites. If you’re asking or wondering what that is simply the regular way to go. If you’re a business owner, and you want to get a website done, what you would normally do, you’d go look for web designers in your area or someone who was recommended by a friend or, or a colleague or something like this, you get some pricing. If you like the pricing and you like the person you’re spoken to, you start your project, you pay 50%. in advance, they started the work, when the website is about ready to launch, you pay the other 50%. And you launch your website and it’s done. Now, the subscription based is that you don’t have to pay anything in advance, you just pay for a monthly that like a monthly installment it’s like a monthly service fee. So you’re subscribing to a service, like pretty much like how we buy software these days, we don’t pay and by the software outright, we just pay like a monthly fee, we use the software. And then when we stop paying, we can’t use the software anymore, cause our subscription has expired. So the concept of a website as a service, or a subscription based website is pretty much the same. You pay monthly, like a small fee. And then after 12 months or something like that, the website is completely yours. But the website itself gets built for you like from the first couple of months. So it goes up and running really quickly, like any regular website, but you don’t pay 50% you just paying the regular monthly fee that you agreed on. And you continue to pay for as long as you want the website active. It’s pretty much similar to what people do these days with something like Wix, Squarespace or weebly. However, this one is done by a professional web designer for you. It’s hosted on a professional hosting, you do own the hosting account, you can backup your website. Like you have all your plugins. It’s based on WordPress. So the cons that you get from using something like Wix and Weebly, whereby it’s on a platform that you don’t control and you don’t own and it’s hard to install your own. Well, almost impossible to install your own add ons. All these are treated or you know, are fixed in the new model of website subscription service. Because it’s WordPress, it’s still the open source that you love and light and like to use. And you can still choose the theme that you like, you know, like or the layout, you can still customize stuff, you can still add any plugin that you’d like to add. And it’s on the regular cPanel hosting, that’s all under your control. So you got everything that you normally get with one of the other platforms that don’t give you any of this. The best way to really know more about this is to listen to this episode. So without further ado, let’s meet our guests. Hey Joe, how’s it going? Hi, Amr Great to be here. Yeah. Hey guys, I’m in Scotland. Okay. So Jill, please tell people, where are you I mean, I gave the country away already. And what you do.
I’m Joe, and I’m based in Glasgow, and I’m a web developer, I run a web development company here in Glasgow called buttered host, you might be able to see if my arms know if my arms don’t disappear in the thing. And yeah, so and I run that with my daughter. So we really enjoy that.
Also, actually, my first question is going to be how did you convince your daughter to come on?
Yeah, that’s a story. So my daughter was, she was working on cruise ships, when the pandemic struck, and she was stuck over. In near, she floated around the super whale, and then eventually the Philippines, let them in and let her fly home. So she came back to the UK and had no, no home, no job, no nothing. And, and so she said, Oh, well, I’ll work with you part time until I get something else. Because she’s never ever wanted to be involved in the web development industry. And she said, yeah, it’s just like, I’m not sure thing is, it’s not for me, she’s very kind of people person, very outgoing, you know, very bubbly. And, and I’m the cookie monster that we are introverts. Know, though. Yeah, so she started working part time. And as time went on, so I really used her skills of with people and sent her to all the networking. I retained one. But over time, she’s she started to learn some of the tech because I say, Oh, can you can you just help me with this? Can you? Can you copy and paste that, you know, content in or whatever and, and over time she started and she has some other she’s a bit of a sort of, she’s got few side hustles herself. So she, she has a health and wellness business. So she built her own websites for that. So and then eventually the work the work was just starting to build up and I said, I will I really need more help. I really need more help. And I just looked at my shoes. And she said, You mean me do it?
So she came full time and really has become a partner in the business now, which is great. And for me, it’s been a real joy. And I love working with her. I love working we get on very, very well. We’ve always been pretty close. And it’s been a real treat to have her home for this length of time because she’s usually sealing the world. So yeah, so we it’s been a great experience for me. Anyway, I hope for her to
do you can do web design from anywhere even from a cruise ship. Yeah, well, if you’re not working.
Yeah, but yeah, you have to have a really good satellite phone.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Things are still too slow. Yeah,
although there’s there’s just before this pandemic happened, they apparently launched a few medallion. ones, they call them that they’re supposed to have superduper fast wildfire in the internet in that. So yeah. So your desk? Amazing. Yeah, yeah. So I think we both love to travel. So I think the ultimate aim is that that at some point we will when we’re allowed to kind of get her pick up her laptops and start jumping around the world hopefully, at some point.
The Nomad Yeah, yeah, yeah, I would say I’m like we’ve been stuck for like, we weren’t traveling a lot. Like we’d probably just go somewhere once a year. We’ve got our parents still living in Egypt. So every year we have to go, you know, we take the kids, we go to Egypt, visit the parents. But I like when I was like 20 years ago, I worked for British Airways and I was to be traveling all the time. So so it’s kind of like a bit strange to be stuck. Like, sometimes you just want to have that Like you’re not traveling, but the fact that you know that you can do it anytime, rather than, hey, you can’t is
Yeah, I know. I think that’s the thing is it’s just knowing you can’t Yeah, it makes you feel worse. I know, to be honest with you though, right now, I would just love it. If a cafe opens, I would just love to go and have Oh my god.
It’s so closed.
Yeah, yeah. We 26th of April, we get our cafes back.
Wow. Hopefully, yeah, hopefully that goes quickly. We were a little luckier in Canada. Well, I mean, in different parts of Canada, in the West, because we, we were partially closed, but not fully closed. So it kind of like that, as an example, Starbucks are open, but you cannot sit inside. Yeah, those of them who have tables outside, you can go and sit outside if you find the table. But you can pick up your coffee, take a walk, you know, get some rain on your head, whatever you want. Restaurants are open the Rolling Stone glass between the tables, and they have reduced capacity. So you can still go, I mean, legally, you’re supposed to be going only with people who live in the same household. But I see friends going and I see people who don’t live together going is like, I don’t know, I I just hope the vaccination thing ramps up. And you know, we can get back some of the normal or a little bit of the normalcy that that was before. COVID.
Yeah, well, we’re did quite good. I think I think I should get mine in the next couple of weeks. So that’s good. Yeah, they’re doing it by age group.
Yeah, we’re still in the 80s here like people are. Yeah, so probably not gonna get there till August.
Oh, that’s grim. Yeah, they are hoping to have everybody in the UK done by June. So.
Well, that’s good. So at least you have a good summer.
Yeah, I hope so. Week, but again, you know, we won’t be able to travel the world because, you know, it’s okay, that we can get out and about, and that’ll be great. But, you know, we still won’t be able to fly holidays abroad, or, you know, so
yeah, I assume is going to be complicated, because even when you’re all vaccinated, wherever you going, probably they’re not. And you know, you have to have some documents to show. Yeah. Yes. It’s all like, it’s a big mess.
Who knows? Who knows? So I presume you haven’t seen your family for a long time, then
a year and a bit? Like almost it’s going to be two years in summer? Oh, my goodness. That’s tough. Yeah, I’m, we’re waiting for us to be vaccinated here. And for them to also start there. At least the you know, people are a little bit older. Yeah. So that no one is posing a risk to anyone. Yeah. And then, I don’t know, like, when I look at Egypt in general, many people are just behaving as if there’s no COVID. Like, some people think if they ignore it, it goes away on its own. It’s really work. Yeah. Anyway, so did COVID. Like being, you know, a web designer? It COVID make your business ramp up faster, or like did us suddenly end up having not necessarily many clients, but many, at least many inquiries. So what happened when, you know when businesses cut too close?
Yeah, I think it was a really interesting time for it to be so nice. I went full time in my business in 2019, October 2019. And so I was just really enjoying anymore. Yeah, yeah, just before. And I started and I had a couple of jobs. And then this happens. And I thought, oh, oh, dear. I’m going to put my feet up for a few months, and then it will get back to normal. But then, of course, everybody got from in the UK, there was a lot of government funding in the beginning. So everybody who was smart, took their government funding and invested in their online presence. That’s great. So we had a big flurry of work at the beginning. Then, then of the funding round, dry, and people, you know, businesses were starting to go out of business. There was more redundancies as people who then didn’t have money, but we’re lucky To change careers maybe and so, towards the end of last year, it there was less people with money, some people coming who had just wanted the website but didn’t have any money for it. And, and then it kind of dried up for a bit over from maybe October to December, it was very quiet. But we had some projects that finished. So it wasn’t a big deal for us. And then the beginning of January, it was like the whole world woke up. It was like they realized, actually, because I think everybody had been holding the breath thinking 2021 it’s all gonna be great, then just we just need to click into the new year and it’ll be fine. And then they clicked into the new year and realized nothing was fine. Yeah, yeah. So at that point, people realize, okay, we’ve got to invest we’ve just got
so if you’re like, kind of if you’re a business owner, and you’re thinking of ramping up your online presence and trying to do a lot more business online, but you had like some kind of cold feed, because you’re thinking like, Oh, you know what the pandemic will be over soon. And I’m going to be able to open my shop, or even if your shop is open now, but you have no traffic, like physical traffic. And oh, people will come soon because the pandemic will be over, and then you soon realize that it’s not over. And they’re all like, they keep scaring us. And that’s another story. I don’t know, like, what’s next, once we get rid of COVID, something else will be the new scare. But that’s another thing. But the important thing is people delayed until they hit the new year, and then they realize that oops, still, they’re still the same. We have no traffic, we don’t get enough clients, we need to do something online. And whether I have a grant, or a little bit of government funding are not, I’m gonna have to invest in this. And it’s actually this is. So my message to everyone who’s seeing us hearing us today is don’t delay, actually, you know, do it one way or another. And then Jill and I are gonna give you some ideas during the course of this podcast. But do it now. Because it’s not just me saying that because I have a vested interest. Well, yeah, I do. So I’m not 100% unbiased, but you know, it’s 2021 How come you’re not online, properly yet, like everyone is online. Some have a website that they built five, six years ago, and they never touched again, some they have website built on some other people’s network, like Wix and Squarespace and whatever. And some they built some business owners built their websites on their own. And kudos to them, because I know how hard this could be. But they realize that the website isn’t working. So for all of you guys, 2021 is the year you get some help. And help doesn’t have to be expensive, you just need to know you know, need to go to the right place. And and most, and I said this like over and over. Most web designers have a free consultation call. Use it, you don’t use the call, don’t use the designer is up to you just use the call to understand what needs to be done. So you have a better idea on you know, how to be more competitive online. And in how to make sure that your website reflects your brand, your values and so on. Jael, I’m interested to learn about you, you were saying you had like an initiative for people who did not have the funding upfront, but they still want to go ahead with with website and I think I you tell me what’s the name of because like, I it’s a subscription based but I don’t know, do you call it a subscription or a membership? Or what what is the service? What do you call it?
We actually call it buttered late. So we’ve got
So bottom line regular and buttered light is like a subscription subscription based service. Yeah,
yeah. Yeah. That’s right. So we Yeah, I think exactly what you were saying. I mean, that, you know, we, we were thinking okay, so how do we how do we help these people who who are desperate to get online but just cannot scrape together or don’t want scraped together for whatever reason that the funds to invest in a bespoke you know, good Quality website that will reflect their business fully and, and really springboard their their business but actually want to have some of the benefits, but not the price tag. So that was where we we started thinking about the subscription model and thinking Well, okay, what what could we do? So we knew about things like Wix and Squarespace and, and we don’t love them for various reasons. Yeah, because you don’t own your content. I mean, there’s so many ways that you can look up the reasons why not. But you know, and the other main reason for us was, because of this time, everybody is getting online. And so search engine optimization is very, very important. You need to be able to compete against your other people who are also getting online, because you can be sure that Joe Bloggs down the street that doesn’t seem as us getting online as fast as they possibly can as well. So how do you compete? It’s a new way. So search engine optimization is really important. And some of these builders sites don’t provide a really good experience with that you have limitations. And and I think, you know, and things like that the server speed is not necessarily the best as well. And
yeah, and there’s nothing you can do about it that does the thing that people don’t know until they’re there already. Yeah, especially the server speed, or like the page loading time. Yeah, you’re hosted on a software. So basically, Wix and Squarespace are software platforms. So when you go there, you put your website there, you’re renting a space on their platform. And not to say that the other way is not similar it is but you have more control. So on a regular hosting, yes, you are hosted on somebody’s server, which is your hosting company. But number one, they have different plans. So you can move to a higher plan if you want to make things faster. Number two, which is the most important part, you have full control, so you can add your own plugins, you can add your own performance enhancers as per se, which you would not be allowed to do if you’re using wicks and Squarespace. Because only they control that network, you’ve got zero control over it. And when you eventually realize that the limitations are hitting you hard, is very difficult for you to move. And I can’t remember Jill, if it was you or somebody else on the Josh hole club, who was moving a customer from Wix to WordPress, and they had so many blog posts, I think they had 400 I think it wasn’t you might have been one of the leaders. And she was saying, I can’t believe Wix doesn’t have an export function. So now I’m gonna have to move 400 pages manually, like copy paste the content? First, that’s absolutely awful. So yeah, so the best control you have will be on a regular hosting. And hosting is not expensive anyway. And then with the award, well, I have to say WordPress, because I’m biased again. I like WordPress, well 40% of almost 40% I think last time I checked was 39 point something of all websites in the world are built by WordPress. So you know, don’t take my word for it. There are so many other millions who do it. And you have full control. So jelly, we’re thinking, let’s give them a subscription based experience. So that the port, which is let’s say, like the barriers to the store, or I don’t know what sometimes I sometimes I don’t know how to talk. The the barriers to entry. Yeah, are lower because some people think, Oh, hang on, I have to go get my domain name, then I have to go get my hosting, then I have to install WordPress. And like all this seems too much of work for someone who’s never done it before.
Yeah, exactly. I think that’s right. And I think that when you’re starting up a business, you’ve got to think about those. I think people go into business because they want to do the thing they want to do. And then they realize, well I have to I have to learn to be a bookkeeper to be a marketer, developer to me, so you know that but you don’t necessarily have lots of a spare cash so and everybody wants your money, you know, every year keepers the coaches or whatever, they all want your money. So, um, yeah, but I you know, there’s some things that you We could do for them by giving them a quality hosting experience already having, you know, use the tips and tricks that you you provide an honor to do to make sure those sites run well. And and then we help them to get the experience they deserve in terms of their SEO already, you know, if they want to really contend for those places, and unmiss in the marketplace, and, you know, we use their content. And they’re, you know, that that situation where the blogs are,
and you build it, right. It’s not they’re not alone. Yeah, they’re not completely on their own.
No, they don’t, they don’t do the building, when they choose their, their layout template, whatever you might call it. And then we would add their local when and change the colors to match their logo, and pop in their images, their text, and then give them the keys to the blog or the shop or whoever it is that they’ve added on to it. Yeah. And give them some training on that and just say, Well, we’ve got some videos. So it’s not it’s not very difficult anyway. And but we’re always there in the background. And we’re actually real people. It’s not this big, faceless company. Yeah.
This is the part that also that gets me like, I love some of these big companies, until I need support. Yeah, like love them to bits as long as everything is working. But once you need support, good luck. I have recently had like a problem with PayPal. And I’m like, kind of I ignored it like that’s it. You know what, I’m not gonna waste more time talking to them, because they keep giving me those like, canned answers, like the impersonal copy paste message that keeps repeating itself. And then you respond. And it feels like the personal response back never read. Yeah, but you. So it feels like I had to call PayPal and say, Can I speak to a supervisor and I did and the guy promised something, then he didn’t do it. And then now I’m getting those impersonal messages again. And I mean, I don’t know, I didn’t have any similar experience with Wix, for example. I’ve got some clients using Wix, some of them are happy, and they continue to, and then they just use me for something else, not related to hosting. And some other people come to me because they want to move out of Wix into something they control they own. And they can have better SEO and and you know, the whole lot of add ons or plugins that they need for their business, which they were not able to do with Wix. But I never had to do like a phone call or you know, like, maybe just went on and read the frequently asked questions. And me being a techie. I figured it out. But, you know, if the person didn’t come to me, they would waste hours and hours trying to find out how to get one thing done. So when they come to you with a subscription model with butter light, I’m assuming that like, they come and say, Hey, Joel, we need a brand new website, or we need to redesign our existing website and whatever, but we can’t pay up front. So then the wix wix the Wix like, or the Yeah, now we’re gonna it will look like we’re advertising Wix. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. They see the the week’s like service, which means you don’t have to worry about buying hosting on its own. Moving a website or starting a website like butter toast will take care of this, like the startup part, which seems too techie, too difficult for them. So you would actually take care of it, you’ll create the account for them. You’d open the hosting, you’d install WordPress, you’d install templates. So that because many people go to the other services because they like they have templates to choose from that there’s the main thing that attracts people to those platform based page builders is because the same business owners when they install WordPress, just looks like a dull looking website and they think oh, that’s it. I’m underwhelmed. I’m like, this is it this is the WordPress everyone is talking about. Yeah, cuz he’s blank.
Right. I know. I think I think WordPress. If you if you’re in No attacking WordPress itself is it’s it’s a steeper learning curve than people are led to believe sometimes. But yeah, we take all that off and we don’t, you know, they don’t even they just tell us what they want. And then we do it. So you
show them some templates and ask them to choose the one they like the most, this makes everything easier. Because once they choose the one, that design fits in that one, like we’re not going to go all out customize this. And that because this will make it more expensive, of course. And but the good things that you said, and I want to like, focus on it as well, that they’re not alone. Because when you go to a page builder, you’re like, it’s funny, my wife is doing her master’s degree, and they have an assignment whereby they have to create a website for online learning. And there are a group of people working on that project. So the first time she asked me, I said, WordPress all the way, right. And then their university already has WordPress installed. Like they just have to email an admin and ask them to create a new site for them. And that’s it. But the other people in the group decided, no, we like Wix. Now they’re having trouble. And then when they asked me, like I say, I’m really sorry, guys, like, I’m not a Wix person. So I don’t know, just Google it. I can’t help with that.
Yeah, I think that’s the thing, isn’t it? You can get, I think people can, sometimes they think it’s going to be a good thing. And they go down that route. And then they get so far, and then they hit a roadblock. And it’s when they hit that Roadblock, they go, Oh, and if they’re really, really lucky, they’ll hit that roadblock early and can get
without wasting 2030 hours. Yeah, and then you realize there’s no buddy, like, who would you talk to? Like, you can’t there’s no, I don’t know, like, unlike when you use a small boutique, you know, web design and hosting company, whereby you know, the person, you know, jail, you know, I lie, you know, you know, you could email you could call, you could easily get support, and you’re not on your own, like, you’re not left to figure things out, and build your own website. on your own, you’re gonna get the support, you know, you deserve and you’re gonna learn a lot in the process, but without wasting time.
Yeah, and I think the thing that the other thing about it is that we, we believe strongly that, that our clients, their business success is our success. Yeah, so we really want them to succeed. Because if they succeed, we succeed, you know, so as they grow, and are able to, you know, as a company, then then they can invest more in their web technology, they can maybe move from the subscription to the spoke design site, adding more functionality to engage their customers more to make it more interactive. And, you know, so that’s, that’s great for them. And it’s a cyclical thing. And you know, they get more, we get more, and we travel together, and we get to know them, we get to there. Yeah, yeah, we will love that. We love that about the process. And I mean, we’re very, we’re very early in this process from the subscription website. But that’s our vision. And let’s say
I’m an accountant, for example. And, you know, I do people’s taxes, or I do payroll, or whatever. And I don’t didn’t have anything online, apart from just one page that I created myself, because I just wanted to put my email and phone numbers somewhere online. Then I realized now that oh, my God, I need to be more competitive online, and I need to have a proper website. But I don’t want to dish out whatever it is that you know, the average cost is for a website now. I mean, I know different countries have different costs. I’d usually say universally, it’s around $2,000 in your local currency, whatever that is, but it also depends on the country. And where in the country are based because for example, if you’re in America, you pay more in California then let’s say, I don’t know. I don’t know all the states now. North Carolina or whatever. Yeah. I should have chosen the country where I live, okay. You’re British Columbia. And then let’s say in, in Nunavut, for example, or Winnipeg. And is the same thing, but roughly, you know, websites around $2,000, like a good one that works that serves your business. And some people think, in the beginning, especially if you’re, if you’re a startup, or if you’re not a startup, but you’re starting to grow your business online. So you’ve been in the business for a long time, but you haven’t been doing much online. And some people think like, Oh, no, you know what, I am not prepared to pay that as yet. until it starts to bring me business too. But I don’t have a problem paying a monthly fee, they can then get on the subscription. So they come subscribe. So what is it like Gil, like the do’s and don’ts? Like, you know, is that a contract? Do they have to stay for a specific amount of months? or years? or?
Yeah, we ask folks to sign up for a minimum of a year. So we do have a contract that they agreed
a minimum of a year.
Yeah. And and that, you know, even at that, even if they stayed for a year, and then left and took their site with them, it’s still a really good deal for them. Our hope, obviously, is that that doesn’t happen that they love. Yeah, that they stay. Yes, exactly. And they become long term clients with us. And indeed, they might want to add additional services. On as as time goes on, that’s our hope. Because we you know, but by the same token, if they think Well, actually, you know, you’re we are not a good match, here, we’ve stuck her euro, we’ve done it, then, you know, one of our core values is that people own their stuff. So at the end of the year, they can take their website, they can go to another hosting provider somewhere else, and they can go and they can, you know, do that themselves. And we don’t, we don’t charge them to take their website away. You know, we ask that the, they do that themselves, that they take it away themselves, to their, to their new police. But you know, we say, you know, all the best we, you know, we wish you the best because that’s, you know, we wish you weren’t going to know sometimes that
I understand Yeah, and it’s kind of like, if you think of it this way, when when I joined, I’m going to stick with the accountant. So I missed the accountant, and I joined. And I’m paying on a monthly basis. So I’m paying a fee. This fee takes care of many things. So this fee, I’m paying for hosting, I’m paying for the website itself to be designed to be up and running, and are paying for maintenance to so all the updates of grades that happened with the technology itself, any plugins, the theme, or the template that I use, of course, it needs to be updated. So all this happens in the background, I don’t have to worry about anything, the only thing I have to worry about is me writing my content to convince my prospect clients that I’m the best accountant they can use in the local area. That’s it. So I’m actually spending more time on the business marketing myself selling my services to the public zoning in on my ideal clients, rather than worrying about if the website is fast enough, or has it been secured, will I be hacked, things like that. So everything is taking care of. So when you do move on, if you want to move, and I’m thinking like, if I get into service like this, and I’m paying a monthly fee, that is reasonable, and gives me peace of mind. I wouldn’t think like that I would move unless there’s a problem. But in general, you know, when, when things are smooth. Because if you move you still have to buy your own hosting, again is the same thing. You’re not from a money perspective, you’re not going to be saving much. But you’re going to be putting a little bit more time or work on yourself to get things moved around. But you still own it. There’s the other thing, you still own everything. You can just take it as a package and move it to a new hosting. And that on its own takes like if you know what you’re doing, or if you hire someone to move it for you. It takes a couple of hours. It’s not a big deal. Yeah, we’re not changing the design. You’re not changing anything. You’re just moving the website from one host to another. Well, yeah, some hosts will even do it for you. Yeah, so sometimes some hosts do it for you. I’ve tried that before. But you know, it didn’t work after it moved. It. It looks like it’s working. But it wasn’t working well.
Yeah. Yeah, I’ve had I’ve had that before. I moved 70 A company moves 17 sites for me. And actually 16 dead Okay, otherwise?
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, there’s always one.
Yeah, but yeah, they can, you know, they can help you so you can get some. And if they want, you can always hire somebody.
So in this route, the subscription based website, buttered light, I like the name butter. And I’m looking at the bread slides behind you. Your logo makes me hungry. I don’t eat butter, I’m thinking. least do eat toast, like this. Slice over there. I love toast. I love vegan butter, vegan butter. So yeah. When is the side going to be ready. So if I if I come and I get on this subscription. And because this is a little bit different from a traditional website route, which takes, I don’t know, eight weeks or something because everything is customized. This subscription based route is template based. There’s not much customization apart from text and images. Then, when do I expect it to be up and running?
Well, from the point that you give us all the content that the written content and the images that you want in the site takes a couple of days.
Really? So a couple of business days. Yes. Alright. And very fast. We forgot to mention how big is the site? So I’m assuming it’s the regular like four page thing. Great. It’s Yeah, home
about services content. Yeah. And I blog. Yeah, contact and blog. And, and, you know, we just most of it is probably going to be static, we encourage people to, to blog. Yeah. Because that’s obviously it’s still one of the best ways to get your site recognized in search engines. And, and, and also your authority and your niche in your business area to be shown, you know, so if you can blog well, and, you know, blogging is not going away anytime soon. So we’re really encouraged, it’s a
good idea to practice talking about your business. Like I, I suck, when I have to pitch somewhere like, especially in these networking groups where you have to tell everything, and I don’t know, 30 seconds. I mean, I don’t I just say like, we’re a web design and development company, we fix builds, maintain, and secure websites. And that’s it. But generally, like, sometimes, depending on the group, and depending on the setting, sometimes I want to I don’t want to pitch I want to actually hear from them. You know how they’re doing their business online, like what? Because people think when when I say do business online, people always think e commerce. It’s not necessarily e commerce. If you’re an existing business, brick and mortar, and you go meet somebody, give them your business card, pre COVID. When you when you used to go in at work face to face, you give someone your business card, the first thing they’re going to do when they go home, is to research you. They’re going to Google you, they’re going to look at your website, first have a quick look. And they’re going to Google you did this make sense? Especially if they’re interested to use your services, they want to check out like, you know, whether you’re a trustworthy person, whether you have Reviews on Google, or, or Yelp or somewhere else. What do people who use your services before say about you? You know, so these are things that you must have online. So for me, this is what I what I mean, when I say doing business online, it doesn’t have to be ecommerce, you know, but parts of your business, the marketing part, the branding part, the blog, the reviews, all this is online. And if you’re not on Google Maps yet, which is Well, I mean, I call it Google Maps to make it easy. It’s called Google My Business. Yeah, you got to be there and it’s easy, it’s free. You just go register. With Google My Business GMB, you can just google GMB. And so these are the parts that most people actually don’t know how to do. And that’s not web design. That’s just like, kind of online support online Business Support. You know, so it’s not all design. It’s not all colors and logos and images. Exactly.
Yeah, a lot of it is process. And I think that people say oh, I could do this myself. Yeah. You know what course you can? You can you know, if you’re a logical person, and you should
learn why yours then do it later. Yeah,
yeah. But you know, it’s like everything else, you know it just because you can do something doesn’t mean see that in your business, that’s the best use of your time. And, and you know if you know, it’s like, at some point in your business life, your bookkeeping is one of the things you, you tend to outsource because you know that you can do it. Everybody can learn how you can do everything, but there’s
time to do the things that make money. Exactly, exactly things that you enjoy, you know, if you want to have a good work life balance.
Yeah, exactly. I think that’s really important, isn’t it? It’s because otherwise your business can start to wear you down in Granger. And that’s, and I think that’s, and it’s so important. I think when we start in business, we want to work for ourselves, and we want to, you know, but we all have dreams. And, and most of us have dreams of some, you know, something that involves having more time, or you know, whether that’s going skiing down a mountain or going on a yacht, or whatever, whatever you plan to do with the success of your business. It does involve time. But if you’re working like 16 1718 hour days, then you’ve got no time to do that. So
what is the problem is is not enjoyable? That’s the thing. Yeah, exactly. Like, as a business owner, you do everything you do accounting, HR, web design, blah, blah, blah, like there’s a lot to be done. And then once you start taking on every little detail of the business, you’ll be working on the micro level, to the point that you would even get stressed out because the macro level. And the strategy part is kind of you don’t have time for Yeah, so you’re in a grind. But you don’t know. Like, there’s no end to it. It’s like it’s, you know, it consumes you. So what we’re saying is, get some help. You know, it. I’ve heard this, I can’t remember who was the first person who said it when you’re rich. Like the definition of a rich person is someone who has time not money. Yeah, because guess what people do when they win the lottery, or when they get a lot of money. They go on holiday. So it’s like, the money for them means they got the time back, because they don’t have to work as much now that they have more money, so they have more time to do the things that they enjoy. So practically, the rich person is the person who has the time. Their time.
Yeah, that’s absolutely right. I think that’s it. Because, you know, and money comes and goes, you can make a lot of money, you can lose a lot of money, but you cannot get time back, you cannot. And particularly if you have a family and you’re you have children, and you’re watching them grow up. I mean, even if, you know my daughter is now she’s fully grown, and like one of the most precious things is, is that when we get to have time together, you know, and to hang out and to do the things or to travel together, we love to travel and you know these things, so and if we do every single thing that I’m not good at in the business, yeah, you know,
then the 92 Do you like doing your taxes? Joe? Does anyone like taxes? You’re not gonna believe this. I really like that. Oh, wrong example to use for me wrong example. Do you do your own plumbing?
No, does Yvonne plumbing do juggling? But you know, I I’m not very good at detail. admin, you know, admin detail. I just think you have, oh, you can’t even see these papers. But just yeah, I have. I have piles of admin that just keeps going like this. Yeah. So now we’ve got somebody that that helped. Organize? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And that was, that was the best thing we ever did. Because she Jackie is amazing. She will. She just powers through that. And she just and, and honestly, you know, I think that’s it. You have to play to your strengths, don’t you?
And this is the other thing, like, if you’re a business owner, and you’re going to do something online, and you’re gonna you’re going to spend, let’s say, let’s keep it easy five hours a week. There’s not a lot five hours in the whole week doing something online. You shouldn’t be spending them trying to get your website to work. You should be spending them blogging, you know, and doing sharing stuff on social media. But hang on, don’t write it on social media. So like, don’t go to Facebook or LinkedIn and write your post, write your blog post on your site, then share it on social media. So the traffic, people who see your blog post on social media, who get interested by what you wrote, who buy in, they click the comment, read it on your website. So this way, you’ve got the traffic coming to your website, your website becomes the main funnel, rather than 234 networks on social media where you have no control. Yeah, so this is the idea. And like, I get this question all the time. Like, you know, I don’t know, I’m a pizzeria. Do I blog about pizza? Absolutely. Like, I can’t tell you what, right. But I’m sure that you got into this business because something in it interested you. So just write about this. Why? Why did you become a pizza person? Like, what made you choose this specific line of business? What was the challenges what, you know, I recently had an inquiry or a referral from a friend, a landscaping company. I’ve never worked with a landscaping company before. And we’re we’re doing e commerce together. So they already have a good website up and running. But they don’t have e commerce. When I looked at the website, two things, caught my attention right away. And I told them, I told them, I love that. They’re blogging about landscaping. So there were so many posts about, you know, landscaping in general, I don’t know plants that you should always have in your garden or whatever. And they have a podcast, like a landscaping podcast, I’m thinking this the first I’ve never seen this before. But this means they’re doing it right. This is this is great. And they will be ahead of their competitors streets ahead. Exactly. If somebody is in in in this area looking for landscaping. It’s not just, you know, when I search Google and say, landscaping company, because also we always think that people know what they’re searching for. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they’re just saying plants in my garden, or I don’t know, doing my walkway or whatever. I don’t I’m not from the industry. So I don’t know the exact the exact terms. But yeah, if I’m, if I want to do something, let’s say I want to tidy up my backyard. I’d probably go and Google something, you know, ways to tidy up my backyard. And guess what, if you have a podcast that is actually speaking about ways to tidy up my backyard, Google will show me this right away, because that’s what I looked for. I’m not necessarily looking saying landscaping company in city name. But I’m searching by using a generic word. And that’s why blogging, podcasting is very important.
So important, you can hit so many more different phrases that people exactly might search for, then you could just from your website alone, you know, you can do you can cover so many different things and target different phrases that people might use with every blog post. It’s It’s a fantastic thing a book. Yeah,
my wife was, she does a lot of yoga. And she uses videos from YouTube. And my last podcast was with a holistic nutritionist. And she said after my yoga, your video, like Google doesn’t know we’re related. We don’t have the same surname. Right. And our Google accounts, YouTube accounts are separate. We don’t use each other’s accounts. So So Google doesn’t know I’m her husband, right? But because the location wise, I’m kind of in the very same physical location. And my podcast, that specific episode was talking about health nutrition exercise. It becomes the first recommended video after her yoga session. And she’s like, I don’t know, like, you know, I’ve watched it because it was recommended to me. Like, I’ve never told her Hey, go watch my I think she said, Did you get my like I said, What, like she said, videos, I said, Really? That’s true. But like, I’m like, I was ranking in the health, you know, in the healthy space, which is not exactly my, my business, but it was the business of the person who was my guest, so it’s good. So I guess people can find this. Click Got the link at the bottom of the video and contact, you know, my colleague who was on the podcast,
and it can open up things like that can open up new niches and new markets that you might never have thought of before. I think that’s the other thing that if you make connections with in your blogs or podcasts, you can make connections with people that you might not necessarily naturally go along with, yes, but then, like you say, you then appear in their, their sphere in their niche, and there’ll be, you know, other yoga people might be interested in, you know, web stuff as well. So, you know, that, or maybe
they want to do their own website about being healthy. Or maybe they have a course that they want to sell online or whatever. So it does work these things, they do work and, and as long as we keep them, you know, person like, I don’t know, personal level personalized. I don’t know the word. It’s not my best day with English language. Nor mine, I only speak Scottish. I mean, it’s like, as long as we’re not we don’t sound like robots, or, you know, not natural enough.
Yeah, that’s, it’s being yourself. Yeah. Because sometimes I think there, back in the 90s, websites, were all about being professional and trying to look like you were like, you know, you had your suit on and you’re all buttoned up and you had the world. Yeah, you were, and it’s not like that people want to know, are your real person they want to know, their, you know, they want to know,
like, I sometimes feel like people want to paint a picture on social media. That’s completely wrong. Like, we’re all successful, we all want to be more successful. But we’ve all failed at something, you know, someday. Or sometimes we fail at something every day. Like, you know, we’re, we’re regular human beings, like, we’re not super. And and that’s the thing. Like, you know, I had a, I had a, one of the websites that just launched for a client. I couldn’t find the comment box, like, you know, under the post where people leave a comment. All the settings are correct. The box just doesn’t appear like visit, this was something like what this is trained like this is, this comes automatically, when you install WordPress is nothing that you do yourself or whatever, it’s just it’s part of the ecosystem. Right? turned out a plugin was preventing it from appearing. But the first time she asked me, I said, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know. So where’s my back to you? You’re not? Why did you? Why did you take my comment box? Yeah. But that was it. Like, I’m a real person. I honestly did not know I had to research it. So I said, Okay, give me a couple of days. And I’ll fix it. Because I actually don’t know where to look. Because I don’t know why it’s not there. Yeah, and yeah, it’s fixed. I I figured it out in like, a couple of hours. But, but it’s okay. I did not know. Yeah. There is a lot of stuff that I don’t know.
I think that’s the thing. And I think as you go on in your career, and in life, in general, we we discover that there’s a lot more that we don’t know than we did last year. Every year I know, let’s see if
you actually know more, but your it gets in and you don’t use it until you need it. Hmm. I hope so. So this is I mean, this is this is brilliant. Because like, as I used to teach before as well, like I was trainer, teaching technology, and, you know, many of my counterparts, they think that they’re too old to learn. You’re never too old to learn, like, you got to learn one thing, like one new thing every day. For me, this is life. Like if I’m, if I’m learning and growing, not in age, but in you know, also in age but if I don’t learn anything, I don’t feel like I’m growing. I don’t feel like my brain is expanding. Right? And and I’m not sure this is the same way for everyone. But I encourage everyone to learn something new everyday. You know, it could be a recipe. It could be learning something from your kids. It could be you know, Watching a five minute YouTube video about something you’re interested in and getting an idea like, Ah, you know, like all these light bulbs that come on when you like, like, exactly today, the reason why I wanted, you know, to have you on the podcast was to learn about, you know, web design in Scotland How is going and the new subscription because I haven’t seen anyone doing it. You know, now, I know that you do it. I know of another gentleman who does it in the United States, he’s on the same group with us. And but nobody was doing this before. I haven’t seen any hosting and web design company, building or helping business owners build their websites, and paying monthly instead of paying it the usual way, which is 50% in advance, and 50%. One is done. So instead, you pay like a lower monthly fee and overall, over 12 months is actually works out way cheaper. There are limitations, of course, because we’re using templates. But if you want something done, fast, done the right way doesn’t cost as much. That’s the way to go.
Absolutely. I mean, I think why would you not? I think that’s that’s the Goldwater lights.
So yeah, there’s not a lot of butter on that bread. So it’s not going to get you
crazy. Very it’s very late. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, marching, marching. Yeah, and the thing is that it’s not the end of the roads, either. I mean, you can
start Yeah, people need hours. Yeah, yeah, we getting you through the doors with this one. Because there’s the easiest one with the lowest barrier to entry, and you still get good support. So you’re not alone, you’re not left alone. But naturally, the next step would be to customize stuff to make it more, you know, have your own customize your process, not to be limited by a specific template, or layout. But do something, you know, a little bit crazier, as you grow as a business and, and have more resources. You know, it’s like everything is like I always say building a website is like building a house. Right? So the subscription based will be like, rent to own. So you’re gonna rent the house, you’re paying rent, and then at the end of the 12 months, you’re gonna own the house. Once you own the house, you can change the interior decoration. You could paint it from the outside, you could change the windows, you could change the door. It’s all yours now. But it’s it. That’s a good analogy actually be a really good analogy. Yeah. I always say, when you use, you can still that when you use the net, the page builder software platforms, you’re renting an Airbnb. So you can’t change anything. Like you know, you can go in and Airbnb and tell the owner, hey, I don’t like your TV, I want a bigger TV screen, or I’m sorry, that’s the only TV that you’re allowed to have, because there’s the TV that I have in the Airbnb. So the next step is renting a property on a 12 month contract, which is like the regular tenant sort of thing. You have way more control, but you can’t change walls, exteriors. But you can change the furniture. So anything inside you can get rid of you can bring your own, you can have your own internet connection, you can have your own electricity connection, you can have your own heating company, it shows whatever. So it’s way better than Airbnb, but you still don’t own it. So you can’t change external outside structure inside whatever. Then when you own the house at the end of the 12 months you can go nuts like can even knock it down and and build your own.
You can you can and Oh gosh, I’ve got quite carried away I had something really important to share with you but I got carried away with the house.
Sorry. That’s okay.
No, I really like I really like the house analogy. I really like that. We’re definitely still in that one for sure.
Let’s write write a blog about that.
Yeah, that’s that’s gone all over all over my site. That’s definitely and the other thing is like I remember I’m marketer and i’m not i’m not a marketeer. That’s a word sounds very swashbuckling, but I’m sure He said to me that she advises her clients to refresh their website at least every three years. Yes. To that’s Yeah, that’s even better. Because, you know, I just think if you look back three, four or five years ago at the styles and the content and this, you know, of websites compared to what
primitive everything like, what, how did we even get that one out?
And I was like, Oh, why did why did that happen? I’ve even Yeah, I mean, even the some of the sites I did a couple of years ago, I think, Oh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna have a word with the Yeah, winner and to say, Hey, how about we do a little bit of a, you know, going back to your house, you would never not paint up your walls every few years? Or try a new color or, you know, get some new furniture in.
Even just you don’t have to go wild with the whole house. Take a room? test. Yeah, that’s the new color, like, whatever it is bright yellow.
Absolutely. I think that’s, that’s another thing that you can do quite easily know, that you can do before you can sort of test various pages in your website against each other kind of Yeah, that’s Yes. That’s to see what people really like. Because when we bounce our own websites, we always think that they’re the best ever. And they’re absolutely gorgeous, because we love them until we see
something else. And we think like, Yeah, wow, how did they do that? We’re gonna have this on mine.
Exactly. And the truth is, though, that not everybody loves our website as much as we love it. No, I know, sadly. But it’s good knowledge to have to know whether somebody loves your website or not like, well,
I tell you a secret. The websites I build for clients are usually faster than my own. Because I play around a lot with my own. And I could sometimes break stuff. Like, I take risks, because it’s mine. It’s my website. Yeah, of course, I’m not going to do something to bring it down, or leave it exposed or anything like bad in that respect. But I want to try new technologies. So sometimes my website would have, like cutting edge, something that was just released. But maybe it has bugs or whatever. And I’ll try it out. Because I want to learn it. I wouldn’t do this with the client website. So the client websites are like, brilliant, good loading speed, the most secure thing, whatever, but I play around with mine. And sometimes people like, like fellow designers to say, oh, did you realize like, your website’s core is like lower than x? And I say, Yeah, but I don’t care. Yeah, I know. It is okay. You had to visit my site to figure out that it was like the score was lower, right. So I still when I got you to come to my website didn’t I
was really cheap. And it’s interesting as well, why people put it through the score anyway,
What I find interesting, as well as I have a client who has a local news site, and he has Google adverts all over his,
they will be coming from different places. So yeah, the time is reliant on these components coming from our sources. So when
you put them through the GT metrics, or the lighthouse, direct you, it always comes up the things that are blocking the load are the Google ads, I’m like thinking well,
the render blocking, you can’t fix it. These are coming from other places where we have no control. We can cache them so they lose a little bit faster. I think we’ve done that. That this is inverclyde is it? Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, and they I mean, that is It’s night and day that site is amazing since you helped me get that really sweet. And and the client loves it. He loves how fast it runs. So, yeah, it’s it’s been great. But
the other part is hosting like people want their websites to be fast, but they want to pay dirt cheap hosting, and they go to companies that are limiting the loading speeds from the hosting itself. Because people, people don’t what people don’t understand hosting companies, like you have a server, you can have 1000 clients on one server, but how fast is it gonna be? Right? So if you’re gonna pay like $1 a month? Good luck with your speed because they’re gonna cram 5000 clients on one server? Right? Yeah. So a decent hosting is about $15 a month or the equivalent, that’s a decent one, a top top top. Like, there are companies like kinsta, or WP engine or whatever. They charge, like $50 and more per month, but that that makes hosting quite expensive. So you want somewhere in the middle right in the middle, you want to get the speed, and the service and the security of the big players for the price of a regular, you know, 10 $15 a month hosting plan. Yeah, and that’s enough for any normal business with normal traffic. But if you’re drawing 30,000 visitors a day, you need to go for the top premium Ferrari hosting. So it’s all relative, right? But the page loading speed? I would say 60 70% of it. Is your hosting 30%. It’s what is what on the page.
Yeah, I mean, I think I’ve used various hosting companies over the year, when I first started. Yeah, I went for the cheap, cheap, cheap blue button. I think 2004 started hosting. And, and, and I thought, Oh, that’s an amazing deal. I’m going to you know, I can put as many sites as I want on here. And you know, I put them on and they just went and then so you know, and I kept paying a little bit more and a little bit more. No, I don’t hold back and my hosting I think that for, for what I do, I think it’s really important to have the best possible hosting you can find and, and I will pay top dollar for that. Because, you know, I want my clients to have the Rolls Royce experience
Exactly. Without having to pay for the Rolls Royce. Or maybe they pay for it on installment subscription. Do you guys have car lease in the UK as well? Like you can lease a car instead of buying it?
Yeah, you can do but it’s not a very popular thing. It’s becoming more popular now. But it wasn’t until recently. It’s quite Yeah, it’s quite a new way of buying cars. I don’t I just buy a website lease. Yeah, exactly. It’s a new model. Yeah. No, I think that’s good. And I think that in Yeah, I was gonna see that. No, it’s gonna in my head. No. Oh, jingles? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, come on.
Okay, I don’t want to make this episode, like super long. I’ve enjoyed this conversation very much. And I hope that people like, you know, get the most out of it, that my main message like my parting message is that it’s easy to grow online. Once you know what needs to be done and there is help available. Jill, what’s your parting message? What do you want to tell people before we go?
Yeah, I think that remember that your website is an investment. It’s not just a cost. It’s an investment and and you will get back what you invest in it. So I think that’s really important to remember that
there’s a return on your investment. Excellent. Thank you for doing this Joe and being here. Welcome late night.
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