Website Buyers Guide
By Alan Frye - Last updated 3rd May, 2022
My website buyers guide has everything you want to know about websites to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
What Are The Advantages Of A Website?
If you want to show up properly in Google.
If you want to capitalise on the endless traffic that Google can offer you.
If you want more leads from literally all forms of marketing, online or offline.
Then you need a good website.
Why? It’s the centre of all your marketing, where attention becomes intention.
A high performance website always increases conversions.
So your time and energy spent gaining attention isn't wasted.
The main reasons people get a website are:
Have something attached to your domain name
Look professional and showcase capabilities
Show up in Google, get found and create more opportunities
Bring in more quote requests and new work
High performance websites help your branding in a bigger sense.
A careers page combined with a high performance website shows people you’re hiring and allows them to apply directly with you.
But perhaps most importantly, it gives them confidence in joining you.
You want to attract top talent? Show them why they should join you.
You can’t whinge about not being able to find anyone good yet you’re a ghost online.
It’s not just marketing either.
Websites can also help streamline business systems.
Beside it’s handy CRM tools to gather leads and customer data, the Wix platform can also allow other company processes to be streamlined.
Online timesheets, for instance. A company blog.
Online shop for new staff to purchase their uniform and tools.
Invoicing and quotes can even be done through the website, and online payment taken.
And Wix does this with official apps, not requiring any third party plugins like Wordpress does.
What Makes a Website High Performance?
So you want a website, but why does it have to be high performance?
Here at my company we build high performance websites for tradesmen.
Performance online can be measured by several things and I’ll explore them in this article.
Here's what makes a website high performance, and why you'd want it.
Above Average Page Speed
According to Maura Monaghan at websitebuilderexpert.com, the average website loads in around 10 seconds for desktop and 27 seconds on mobile.
The recommended load speed is 3 seconds or less.
If you load in 3 seconds or less, you’re faster than 50% the web.
If you load in under 1.7 seconds, you’re in the top 25%.
And if you load in 0.8 seconds, you’re in the top 6%.
We guarantee a website load of 3 seconds or less for our clients as part of our performance warranty.
Often we can get our clients into the top 25%.
In the screenshot above, you can see a third party speed report for our client.
His website is "Fully Loaded" in 2.1 seconds, but his LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) is 1.2 seconds.
LCP is when the website is loaded enough to the point everything is on screen, working and useable.
Therefore we have put this guy into the top 25% of websites.
Why is speed important as a performance metric?
It helps slash bounce rates, boost conversion rates and improves search engine rankings.
Basically, if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, most people will leave.
Above Average Conversion Rate
The ratio of traffic that becomes job leads is called the conversion rate.
According to adoric.com the average conversion rate across all industries is 1-2%.
Which is freakin low.
It means for every 100 people that visit or website, only 1 or 2 will leave their details.
But if they’re on my website aren’t they interested?
But they didn’t feel confident enough in you and your business to ask for a quote.
This is where conversion rate optimisation (CRO) techniques come into play.
But where most CRO conversations become about CTA, colours and tweaking other small details,
The overall intention is to create the value and trust necessary to obtaining someone’s business.
To put it another way, CRO for us is making it easier for our client’s site visitors to make a decision to contact them.
We regularly post content on how to achieve a higher conversion rate.
Instead of the average 1-2%, our clients are clocking in leads at 5%, 8% and even 10% conversion rates.
Tailored for the Mobile Viewport
Over 60% of web traffic is on a mobile device.
This has grown rapidly and will continue to increase.
On mobile we want re-sized images, bigger text, bigger buttons and a CTA buttons that follow you down the page.
We also want the website to pass Google’s mobile friendly test, and we want the mobile load speed to be a lot faster than the average 27 seconds.
Search Engine Visibility
Another performance indicator is how well the website is understood by Google.
Here at my company all On-Page SEO is included and done for you.
We set important H Tags, give photos Alt Text and give the pages CTR optimised Titles and Meta descriptions.
We then index the website with Google Search Console and it begins picking up keywords and placing you in the search results (impressions).
We’re so confident in giving you a high performance website we back our words with a written Warranty and Guarantee.
Whomever you decide to use for your next website, if performance is important to you be sure to get something similar.
Templates vs Custom Websites
If you want to get something up quickly for cheap and don’t mind spending your own time setting it up,
And want it to look a little better than the ordinary Wix templates, one of my templates will work for you.
When you get one of my cool templates like the one above, simply load up the template and start editing.
Swap out the logo for your own, enter your mobile, overwrite the services with yours, etc.
Take you 5 minutes!
Sometimes web designers use a template to base their clients websites on.
This is common on platforms like Wordpress and Shopify, and the result is a lot of those websites have an almost identical layout.
A built from scratch website on Wix will look unique and be tailor made to suit your business goals.
Are you looking to bring in more of a certain kind of work?
Then we'll need to tailor the website to appeal to that audience.
Built From Scratch
We build from scratch on Wix.
The Wix platform also allows us as web designers to use more techniques that result in a more modern and professional website.
It comes with all the tools we need to create a powerful website for you right out of the box.
Without needing to rely on third party plugins, like Wordpress does.
Where templates get you a good starting point, the built from scratch website is the real deal.
Plus our built from scratch websites come with a performance warranty and guarantee to ensure you receive a fully functional, impressive and beneficial tool of your business.
Custom made to suit your trade.
The other benefit of a custom made website over a template is the SEO work we provide.
Working with a professional has many benefits.
Obtaining the proper SEO groundwork means your website starts off in the right direction in Google.
And avoids having to re-do this step later on.
Lead Sharing vs Websites
Lead sharing websites like hi-pages and service seeking are popular and easy ways to obtain leads.
The premise is simple: you pay monthly fees and get access to their quote requests.
These platforms receive lots of quote requests because they’ve done years of marketing and SEO, essentially taking that hurdle out of the equation for you.
However there’s a swag of downsides to using it, so here they are.
It Encourages Price Gouging
You’re sharing leads with other businesses on these kinds of websites.
Usually, the fastest to respond and with the cheapest quote will win the business.
Unfortunately this tends to “train” the people who use platforms like hipages to actively use this type of criteria,
Leading to price gouging and a lot of tradies with their time and energy wasted.
It’s Their Brand, Not Yours
The advantages of leveraging their platform are simultaneously disadvantageous too.
You didn’t have to marketing to receive the lead, but you didn’t receive the benefits from the marketing either.
You didn’t generate brand awareness.
You didn’t plant the seed.
You didn’t show your competitors, “Hey, look at what I’m doing, I’m dominating this space”.
The ultimate price you pay is loyalty.
You didn’t generate a customer, hipages did.
You just got the job… hipages has their business.
You see what I’m saying?
The next time they need this done, they’ll head right on back to hipages again.
They’re not thinking, "Boy what a great experience with this company!",
They’re thinking, "Boy what a great experience on hipages!".
It’s Their Website, Not Yours
They can shut it down anytime they want.
They can ban you anytime they want.
They can jack up the prices, introduce new prices, introduce new mechanics, alter the system,
Anytime they want.
Look, don’t get me wrong, lead sharing can be beneficial to many tradies.
But ultimately, this is not the million dollar strategy.
This isn’t in the best interests of you, your business, or your future.
When you control the space, you’re in control.
Having your own high performance website places you firmly in control.
Which Website Platform Is Right For Me?
In todays world we’re spoilt for choice.
When it comes to making a website we’ve got several options, but which one is the right one?
Let’s take a look as we go through the top 5 platforms.
This is the platform we use at Alan’s Tradie Websites.
Having used Clickfunnels, Wordpress, Shopify, and Adobe Dreamweaver, we were looking for a platform that offered maximum creative flexibility, powerful capabilites and be easy to use.
Wix allows us the most design freedom, comes packed with powerful features ‘out of the box’ without needing third party apps and plays nice with other apps and code should the need arise.
Wix is comprised of the Dashboard and the Editor.
The dashboard is crammed with features.
It is an overview of your website with all your settings in there (similar but better than C-Panel), traffic analysis, content management system (CMS) customer relationship management (CRM) and inbox for website contact form leads and chat widget leads all rolled into one.
The drag and drop editor is super easy to use to edit your website.
We also have the Velo script editor to implement more advanced coding requirements on the website.
Wix hosts the website itself on global servers and has never had an issue with security.
Wix won CNET’s Best Website Builder Overall in 2021.
This is a blogging platform that became the most overused generic website design platform.
Most websites on Wordpress are cookie cutter replicas of each other because they are based on templates.
Wordpress relies heavily on third party apps to do anything other than blogging, thus it has high maintenance costs and critical security vulnerabilities.
Most web designers charge maintenance fees on Wordpress websites because they need to manually update the third party plugins every month or so to keep them working properly.
They also need to manually ensure the security is working. Contrast this to Wix, where it automatically updates itself.
Wordpress doesn’t host websites itself, so you’ll need to connect it to a hosting product inside your domain's C-Panel.
Squarespace offers an online platform for hosting and editing websites.
However, as of writing this article (24 Feb 22) thousands of users were reporting having issues with their website.
Most complaints told of being unable to log into the dashboard, unable to edit anything and losing their website completely.
A few mentioned not being able to contact Squarespace about it either - no phone number, no live chat, nothing!
This is from downdetector.com
There’s people on there complaining, there’s even web design agencies on there saying all their clients think they’ve deleted their websites!
I used Weebly briefly.
The problem was the lack of design freedom - everything was limited to pre-designed blocks that you had to work within.
This made it feel like I was working from a template vs from scratch.
The go to choice for many in e-commerce, where Shopify falls down is the difficulty in design.
Out of the box Shopify is limited to a handful of free templates that are super basic.
To do anything nicer you’ll have to use paid templates which cost around $300 USD each.
And to make anything unique would create many hours of coding.
I've worked on various revenue generating Shopify websites before niching my business into Wix websites for tradesmen.
There you have it folks. A web designer's breakdown of the different platforms.
From my experience and how I see the facts, Wix is the best platform for the success-driven tradesman to have his website built on.
Wix vs Wordpress: Who Wins?
Want to know who hits harder, Wix or Wordpress?
Making an informed decision on your website means weighing up your options. The majority of websites (something like 40% to be exact) are on Wordpress.
But here at Alan’s Tradie Websites, we build websites on Wix not Wordpress.
My website buyers guide is to allow you to make an informed decision, which means talking about these two platforms and why we choose Wix.
And why you would want to choose Wix, too.
Is this self serving? Hell yes it is! Because I want to serve my customers to the best of my ability, which means building you a high performance website on the best platform.
But first, let’s bring in some third party data to look at before I throw my hat in the ring.
First of all, why are so many sites built on Wordpress?
"While WordPress started as a blogging tool, it has evolved into a powerful website builder and a robust content management system (CMS). The best part about WordPress is that it's easy to use and flexible enough to make different types of websites. That's the main reason why WordPress has grown so much in popularity." - www.wpbeginner.com
Is Wordpress still relevant in 2022?
“The future of Wordpress is uncertain. It’s still the easiest [that’s debatable] content management system to use in the market, but it’s slowly losing it’s grip… As more and more people are developing mobile apps or ditching CMS’ altogether, Wordpress has lost its edge as a purely content focused CMS.” - www.coderons.com
What are the main differences?
"The main difference between Wix and WordPress is their technical approach: while all Wix packages include hosting and tech support, WordPress is an open-source platform and requires you to take care of this yourself. You need to find a web host (check out cheap web hosting options), and install it on your own webspace." - www.tooltester.com
I'll add to this that Wix is much more customisable and comes 'out of the box' with solutions like SSL certificate, Inbox, Chat Widget, CRM, SEO tools, marketing tools, mobile apps and more, while at the same time offering a CMS like Wordpress does.
And it keeps itself updated, saving me from having to charge my customers monthly maintenance fees and lock them into contracts.
Why do we use Wix instead of Wordpress?
Look man, I’m interested in getting the best possible outcome for my customers. When I first got into making websites I was using Adobe Dreamweaver - that isn’t in anyone’s interest. I tried many other platforms and knew I found what I was after as soon as I began messing around with Wix. It gave me the creative flexibility to designing websites my way - from scratch - not following the stock standard elements or templates.
I gradually learned that the performance was superior. My customers were getting their inboxes blown up with leads sometimes within days of launching the new website. That's why I believe it when Mark Preston, a world known SEO speaker, says he got more traffic and leads on Wix than he did on Wordpress!
The guy was so impressed he moved over from Wordpress to Wix and never looked back.
It's that powerful engine combined with my website design system that has generated over 720 high quality leads for my tradie clients. If the average job was $1,500 that's over 1M in potential revenue that we've created.
In fact, I wrote a special article about that. If you want a front row seat while I break down my website system click here for access.
DIY Websites: Can I Make A Website Myself?
With the drag and drop editors out there today you can absolutely make one yourself. But why would you want to? To save money and because you don't really think you'll use it are the two biggest reasons.
See, if you just wanted to get something up as a reference point to show customers, and aren't expecting to show up in Google or generate leads and revenue, then creating a DIY website could be right for you.
You could spent one night knocking one up. Or perhaps you have someone else involved with the business that agrees to make one, or a friend or family member might raise their hand.
The platforms like Wix and Squarespace make it pretty easy to get online these days. They even have templates that you can just fill in the blanks and put your logo onto.
If this sounds like you, remember you can grab one of my custom designed templates for only $99 to work with, ensuring a reasonable finished product.
But if you are expecting the website to "work" or to "use" the website, then the DIY route is a sure path to failure.
Why? Website can involve web design, graphic design, copywriting and digital marketing (including SEO). It takes a lot more than just 'dragging and dropping' to bring in traffic from Google and convert it into leads at above average conversion rates.
Beyond that, a website is a conversation between your business and your target audience. It captures their attention immediately and inspires confidence in using your services.
I call that a High Performance Website.
Websites work, but there's many ways to skin a cat. That's why sometimes you'll find multi million dollar businesses operating with outdated and lame looking websites.
But for the tradie who wants to dominate his industry, he's looking to every tool he can to get the edge on his competition and brand his name onto the minds of customers.
A high performance website will help you do that, and that ain't one made yourself.
Aww dang! That's all for now.
I'm still adding to this article (it's going to be yuuuge...) Join my mailing list below to learn when the completed version drops!