Archive for December, 2013

Need a FREE or Very Low Cost Business Website

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Build a Website for FREE or At Very Low Cost

The MICRO and SMALL Business community in their infant years of just starting out have quite a capital outlay in order to get their business idea off the ground. And so, a website can at times be seen as a luxury item that has to be put on hold until the business can afford to have one built.

We very much sympathised with those smaller business owners who would love from day one to have a professional looking website without breaking the bank and affecting the cash flow needed for other import requirements to launch their business.  Even after year 1 or 2 a website might be seen as still unaffordable, and yet the business knows it needs a website, as many of its competitors are out there online.

There are big brand names out there who consider themselves to be the saviour to the small business owner by offering them a cheap website solution. And let’s face it we all love a bargain, if what we buy works.

Over the years the OnlineXcellence Marketing Team have analysed many websites on behalf of business owners. They came to us because they said their website was not working for them. Unfortunately, many had invested in a cheap website but thinking since they got the website from a big brand then it must be good. But we, like the small business owner was disappointed with what that small business owner had bought into, and from our website performance tests found it was something that was not fit for purpose. We in turn would say to the MICRO or SME owner – you should have spent a bit more and got a decent search engine friendly and admin user friendly website. That was then.

Fast forward to summer 2013 and after nearly 3 years of development and funding from the public purse, comes KOMMAND a CMS (Content Managed Software) website that actually works and meets with coding and marketing guidelines. A CMS Website solution that is actually fit for purpose and one which a business can grow up with.

Having been part of a support framework to the public sector over the years, we got regular requests from these channels asking us to analyse the performance of a business owners website.

Delivering this website performance testing service over the last 15+ years, has therefore exposed the OnlineXcellence team to any number of CMS platforms, some of them bespoke, others built by big brand names.

After having analysed thousands of websites, you get to know what the minimum features of a good CMS should be – and especially what you would want for the small business owner, so they can manage their website with confidence and effectiveness.

So, back at the end of 2010 the OnlineXcellence Web Marketing Practitioners put the challenge out there into the community of Scotland and a Scottish Based team of programmers and designers took up the challenge to build an affordable website that would actually work.

We first met these guys in New York of all places back in 2007 (that is another great story) but suffice to say these guys wanted to know like us what is best practice website design or website marketing best practice and we had to both go all the way to the USA and find the top tier of gurus that were well known to guide us since the website industry is not regulated. These programmers and designers came back to Scotland and first developed their Rolls Royce website package, but then wanted to prove they really could build a low cost website that would be easy to use and would be an SEO friendly website. They qualified for development funding from the public sector and now 3 years on have launched what is now called KOMMAND and together through our collaborative partnership with them, we can offer a very affordable website design and marketing package that will be highly attractive to the MICRO and SME business owner with a limited budget to have their business compete online.

There are 4 VERSIONS of the KOMMAND CMS WEBSITE You Can Have

ENTRY LEVEL – FREE – called the CHIHUAHUA – you don’t need to own a domain name to have this type of website – your domain would be

ENTRY LEVEL – £15 MONTH – called the TERRIER – You can use your own domain name from this point forward such as http:///

ENTRY LEVEL – £25 MONTH – called the LABRADOR (Best Value and Recommended to Most Businesses)


The choices available above, has, for our customer base already introduced KOMMAND as being the best CMS (Content Management Software) product investment that has actually met the needs of those who are MICRO or SME (small business enterprise) owners. KOMMAND has proved itself to especially those just starting out in business having a limited budget but wanted from the beginning to look competitive and professional looking online. And there websites – even the FREE versions are actually found by search engines – because they have been built to be search engine friendly and of course end user friendly, so they are easy to build and manage.

Depending on the type of business that you own the FREE version might be ideal, especially for those who are just seeking a local presence and something to showcase their business, but still be found online.

The most popular level of the KOMMAND CMS is the LABRADOR Website to support a business.  SO, if you have read all of this article thus far, and convinced we have something to offer, then you know what the next step is


By CLICKING on the CREATE YOUR WEBSITE NOW button follow the online instructions to put in place your professional looking website.

Go through the basic sign up procedure and then progress onto choosing the LABRADOR version.

Once you have put the basics in place if you think you need more help to actually put your website together then get in contact with the OnlineXcellence Web Team.

Even if you only get as far as registering to have a website but want someone to build your website for you, then, now worries, we can take you on the rest of the journey.

The one thing we have come to understand is that apart from providing this great offer to small businesses not all MICRO or SME business owner have time to actually build their own site. Even despite the fact that the business does not need any programming or design knowledge to build their KOMMAND website.

So, we do know, that for some, just the mere thought of building a website, no matter how easy it looks, they just want us the OnlineXcellence Web Team to pull it all together for them.

The options are then, 1) Build the website yourself or 2) we can put the website in place for you.

We recommend you take time and build your website with a bit of fore thought so best to lay aside at least 4-6 hours to build your first website.

You can also ask us to deliver what some 1-2-1 training (driving lessons if you like) to show you how you can make best use of your website and be more creative with it. There are also some videos to support you on this.

Market Your Website

After you have built your website, you need to consider how you are going to market your KOMMAND website. We recommend you put in place a basic marketing strategy and you don’t need to have for it monthly if you don’t want to.

One thing you should put in place to support the marketing of your website is Google Account. In the Google Account we would recommend you import a number of important Google Products that will support your website and help it build a relationship with the search engine.

You can do this yourself or we offer a marketing support package to do that for you.

We also offer ongoing marketing support which you can have on a PAY AS YOU GO service. Contact the OnlineXcellence Web Marketing Team for details

Alternatively, you can SIGN UP to our online training courses and LEARN SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) at your own pace from £25 per month.

Did you buy a website at the New Start Scotland Event in Glasgow?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

The New Start Scotland Event comes each year during November at the SECC in Glasgow and is a well attended annual event.

OnlineXcellence is a brand service product of ICTADVISOR LTD an Internet Marketing Company  based in Fife who during 2012 gave support to one of our Ecommerce Web Design partners who had a stand at the show and currently look after websites such as Ultimo Bra and Showerdoc both of which have become their successful flagship sites.

Every year at the New Start Scotland event you are always going to find a variety of both national and Scottish based web developers offering to build a website for your business. who are targeting those who are newbies in setting up their first business venture. With the amount of business owners who attend this event in Glasgow you are left in no doubt there is enough website design work and many seeking to engage with companies like ours who also bring the added benefit of search marketing services to the table.

There is still in evidence a lot of that old mentality though of the newbie business owner simply saying to the web designer – make a website for me please, and quite simply the web developer will oblige. But the worry and concern that we have when attending this two day event and observing the many suppliers who will step forward to offer you a website, is there are quite a lot of web agencies that were willing to offer you a website from as little as £49. Quite simply a take-away website in a box.

Established web agencies who partner with us have twitched at this type of competitor who comes forward with such a deal when you consider the larger agency is offering to build a more bespoke website that has a number of complex features build in (especially if it is an ecommerce website) and will tell you that web development project is likely to cost you anything from £14000-£25,000.

But the OnlineXcellence team got to thinking how much value is there should you consider buying a £49 website in a box and if you wanted to sell products online what would you get should you upgrade to the £89 ecommerce version?

For the business owner who needs a website, this experience is worse than buying a car. But consider for a moment your next website being that shiny new car. What do you want it to do? If you are entering it into the online race where you want to be competitive, how will you know the type of website you build will actually win races for your company with in the driving seat? Well, everybody does say I want a Content Managed Website, because they have been told that is important. But how good a journalist or news paper editor are you? Do you have an eye for design and layout that will hook in your customer when they land on your web page that has to make money for you?

So, now you can imagine, it becomes difficult for the business to choose what type of website to buy and whether it will win any races. And therefore, you have to look at the web agency like you would a car dealer.

Are you going to visit the Rolls Royce garage of websites or are you going to visit your typical Ford/Vauxhall type dealer for this shiny advertising platform that you need? £49 against say £20,000?

Let us go back in time for a second. It is the good old days of the high street and the retail parks were just beginning to take off, and here you are the newbie business owner. If you were to set up your business then, how much would it cost to advertise?  What would you do to look professional so that people will take you seriously and do business with you? For those who just needed some brochure exposure you would search till you find magazines that targeted your prospect customer hoping they would read your ad. That ad could be a one liner, or quarter page, but you may feel extravagant and go for a full page feature. Do you remember how much that cost?

Then of course there are those of you who today want to run an online ecommerce shop and think you can do it all for the pricely sum of less than a £100. Going back in time this would hardly pay for the sign above your shop door on the High Street. And even today, if you are going to run an ecommerce website, it is still a shop – just without the bricks and mortar, and you will still have a substantial financial layout even if you just want to be locally found online. If you have a grand vision of competing against major household brands, be prepared to work very hard at this to gain the support of the customers you want, and you may need even more in the budget to market your website………

So, what else should you do before you invest in a £49 website or one that is going to cost you considerably more?

For those micro and small business owners who are starting up or just been in business for a few months or so, the first thing you want to work out is whether your venture is truly viable and if so is it likely to appeal the target market you want to break into? Who is there already (your competitor) making money from this group of customers you now want? What does their website look like, would you shop there if you were an online customer? How professional does the competitors website look? What do you think is it’s unique selling point?

Now, ask yourself, will a website under £100 handle or deliver what those customers currently experience on this competitor website that might even be a much larger well known brand player?

If you are considering having a website for less than 100 bucks be prepared to accept this product will have limitations?

  • Consider where the website will be hosted?
  • How feature rich is the content management software (CMS) and does it allow you add or subtract pages, easily?
  • Can the content management software serve up user friendly URL page address names such as
  • Does the website provide you with a choice of templates and how ‘fixed’ are they leaving you little in the way of changing how they look?
  • What additional widgets can you easily add in like CALL TO ACTION buttons, bespoke forms to gather information?
  • If an ecommerce website is what you need what additional rich features does the website come with? How flexible is the all important  ADD TO BASKET process which is vital to assist with conversion and getting the sale? What about menu categorisation and having faceted navigation and the ability to narrow your product search?

Am I now painting a picture of how much more there is for you to consider when planning and building a website? So, now, you are thinking – god – I need the £20,000 website!  But what if I told you, you don’t, well not yet?

What if I told you to start with a FREE WEBSITE? A website that actually works? A website that has a fantastic user admin capability that even allows you to build the website yourself?

In answer to those questions do I hear you say – yes please? Now there is such a website offer that I never thought possible and I didn’t think I would ever find a platform that could achieve for us OnlineXcelence but there is one out there – it is called KOMMAND.

Now before you dive in and get yourself a KOMMAND WEBSITE, the OnlineXcellence team still want you to consider a few things:

  • Do you have time to plan out and build your own website?
  • Are you capable of doing some Keyword Research and Competitor Analysis before you attempt to build your website?
  • Do you think you can edit, manage and create your own online magazine?
  • Do you consider yourself a creative copywriter
  • Do you know how search engines work

Now, this is like saying “hey build your own car if you want to drive around in one…it’s easy, and then of course 3 years later I visit you again and you are wondering why you can only go in reverse? Probably because you were not an expert in building the gearbox section!

You know what we are saying here. There are people who have qualified from years at college or university to become great programmers or marketers in order to build top quality websites. Then, there are those, who spend their lives in the DIY channel. No wonder Nick Knowles will always be on Television with his DIY SOS program. Yes, you knocked down the wrong wall!!

A few years ago I would have said that you would never reach your goal of setting out on your business venture, whether to sell products or services with a cheap website. But all that changes from this article and as we head into 2014. If you have the willingness and patience to have an easy to use website maker in your business – go take a look at KOMMAND.

KOMMAND, can be FREE, or you can have it for £25 a month (best value) or £50 a month packed with features. It out strips your one time £49 website in a box. Think about a mobile phone for less than a five pounds and then think of that Apple iPhone 5 you much preferred? Why do you choose it – because it was packed with features your five pound phone would never have!

The KOMMAND Website package can also come with a supporting SEO Marketing Package that will cost you around £30 a month which will help you to then market your website.

Using KOMMAND and learning about how to market a website is going to give you some great additional skills. OK, you won’t have the knowledge that someone like me has as a web markerter of 15 years standing, nor are you going to be a top web designer or programmer….. but you will be able to manage and drive a nice looking website.

Let us leave you with one more thought

and many more, why are the successful online? Because one more skill you have to learn is – listen to the customer.

Once you have your website in place you need to learn how to monitor and measure the customers coming through the website.

We have mentored and trained many more smaller businesses that are now experiencing online success such as these types of business:

And, there are many more businesses we are helping with their website everyday. Whether you are a micro, small, medium or large website owner, let us add you to the list!

Call us and hear about the success stories of small business websites achieving £80k-£100k a month plus in sales from a website they built for less than £100.

Here about the people we have helped already that built a website with no knowledge of Website design, or having an understanding of online architecture or having any internet marketing skills.

Leave a comment or get in touch with us through the OnlineXcellence Website.