So, you need a new website. Your old one is out-of-date, not useful, or the intern that slapped it together five years ago has moved on, leaving you with a scattered mess of old HTML that’s not even on brand anymore. What are you going to do?
When you’re shopping around for a new website, you have two options: traditional website development or website as a service (WaaS). With either offering, you’ll get the new website you need for your business; however, how you pay for, support, and maintain that website will be very different, depending on the service you choose.
What’s the Right Choice For Your Business?
In this blog, we’ll explain the differences between traditional website development and WaaS, comparing:
- Website Products and Services
- Cost and Payment
- Support and Maintenance
- Design and Updates
- Advanced and Supplemental Services
Do I Need Traditional Website Development or Website as a Service (WaaS)?
For some businesses, traditional website development is a perfect fit. They have the time, resources, and knowledge to support a company website on their own—they just need someone to build it. A same sized-business in the same industry could be looking for the added value, support services, and subscription-based payment plan of WaaS.
There’s no right or wrong choice, just the best choice for your business.
We’re not here to sway you in one direction or the other—what we are here to do, is show you the advantages of each offering, then help you choose the right service for your business.
Product vs. Service
Let’s start things off by comparing what you’re actually paying for when comparing traditional website development and WaaS.
With traditional website development, you’re buying a product (a new website). You meet the web team, explain what you want, then they build it and hand over the fancy website for your business.
On the other hand, with WaaS, you’re subscribing to a service. The Web team still builds you a fancy new website, but in addition, after building the website, they continue to support, maintain, and secure it for the length of your subscription to the service.
How you choose to pay for your new website further narrows down your choice to go the regular website development route or look further into WaaS.
If you choose traditional website development, you pay for the entire website upfront. Remember, you’re buying a product—the website. Unless otherwise specified, once purchased, supporting, maintaining, updating, and securing the website is your responsibility. If you have the knowledge and support capabilities, it can be a smart choice. If not, you can spend more than you’ve budgeted on updating your website, researching how to make changes, and paying maintenance or support fees.
In comparison, with WaaS, you’re subscribing to a service that includes building your new website, as well as supporting, maintaining, and securing it. With WaaS, you pay a startup fee that’s typically smaller than the cost of building your website the traditional way. You’ll then pay a monthly subscription fee that covers all the necessary work it takes to keep your website up and running. That means no surprise support fees, less downtime, and expert help is just a phone call or email away.
Next to choosing how you want to pay for your new website, the amount of support you need to keep your website up, running, and secure will further influence your decision.
If you go the traditional route and pay for your website upfront, you can choose to support the website yourself (definitely not recommended unless you have experts on staff, or you have a really really good friend who’d be willing to help save the day when your site crashes…), or purchase individual support, maintenance, and website security packages to have us or a third-party support your site.
With WaaS, you don’t have to do anything to support the website, other than pay your monthly bill. We handle everything, and when something breaks, you call us, and we fix it—it’s as simple as that.
New Design and Updates
Whether you choose to go the traditional route or WaaS route, we’ll kick off your website’s development the same way. During the planning meeting, we’ll nail down the specifics of your new website, including style, colors, navigation, theme, features, content, and images. Once we’ve got a solid plan in place, we build, test, and launch your new site.
Traditionally, your website is complete and delivered to you at this point. There’s some time and wiggle room to make adjustments, but it’s kind of like buying a car off the lot—you can either professionally customize it down the road when you want to change it up, or you can try and make changes by hacking it yourself, hoping your don’t mess anything up after watching a YouTube tutorial a few times. Some businesses don’t need to make changes often, or their industry doesn’t require the trendiest, cutting-edge website design, and that’s perfectly OK.
With WaaS, you can choose to include further changes as part of your subscription. You’ll receive a dedicated number of support hours to update branding, content…whatever you need. At the end of your 36-month subscription, you’ll also receive a redesign planning session, if you choose to continue your WaaS subscription.
Advanced, Supplemental Services
Once built, you can further customize the services that support your website and enhance your business’s online presence.
Besides traditional website development, we offer Website Security, Domain Management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Business Listing Management as standalone services. You can choose to purchase these services separately, according to the support your business needs in maintaining your new website.
When purchasing WaaS, we offer multiple packages, which allow you to choose the best level of support and services to accompany your new website:
- WaaS Basic. New website development and three years of hosting, support, and maintenance.
- WaaS + Business Listing Management. In addition to basic WaaS, we help you increase your online presence by listing your company’s address, website, phone number, and other contact information across over 100 websites, applications, voice assistants, social networks, and GPS systems.
- WaaS + Changes. Include a dedicated allotment of professional work hours to make changes and updates to your website.
- WaaS + SEO. Increase organic traffic to your new website with professional Google Analytics analysis, Google Ads, keyword research, and more.
- WaaS Premium. In addition to your new website, we provide everything included in the basic package, plus Business Listing Management, a dedicated allotment of hours to make changes, and SEO services.
Bringing the Human Touch to Technology
We know that even when it’s all laid out on the table, it can be tough to choose between traditional website development and WaaS.
Traditional website development typically works well for businesses that:
- Want to build a new website or upgrade their existing one.
- Have a basic understanding of how website maintenance and security work.
- Have the time to manage and support their website.
- Would rather pay for the website upfront in a lump sum.
- Won’t require many changes to their website.
- Have a flexible budget to pay for future website development.
WaaS works well for businesses that:
- Need a new or updated website and help supporting it.
- Don’t have the staff or time to manage, support, maintain, secure, and update their website.
- Prefer to spend less money upfront.
- Want to avoid surprise maintenance fees.
- Need to make regular content changes and design updates.
- Don’t want to worry about getting hacked.
Whether you need traditional website development or WaaS, we can help you make the right choice for your business. Contact us today to learn more about website services offered by High Touch.
Get In Touch With High Touch