Guest writer, Carol Ensminger, founder of Creative Matter, recounts a recent query we had from a potential client we were working on together.
Recently I was approached by a potential client who asked me about Intuit websites and how they compared to WordPress.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the main event!
Introducing first…. from the red corner… he hails from Mountain View, CA, and was rated by many, as the best accounting program of the 80’s and 90’s. We have, the fooooormer middleweight champion of cyberspace, Innnnntuit. And… his opponent, in the blue corner, comes from Redwood City, CA and is the champion of the world and cyberspace, please welcome WoooorrrrrrdPrrreeess!
Last year Intuit rolled out this commercial. This commercial starts out with the frustrated business owners pulling to get more business by creating their own website. One hired a nephew, one has waited 5 months to get his site up, and one couple tried to build it themselves. They give up doing it on their own and end up going to Intuit to have their website done and voilà – they have a great website, their high on the search engine results and business is booming.
Or is it? Before you get Caught Cold, let’s get to the main event. Intuit vs. WordPress. Presiding this match we have the judge Carol Ensminger!
As a business owner, you want your website to reflect your brand and increase business. You want your site to not only look professional, you want it to be unique, and to show the viewer you are credible and trustworthy. AND you want to see results with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to drive your clients to site and business. Will you get this with Intuit? Will you get this with WordPress? Let’s battle it out!
First, Intuit looks like all the other Inuit websites – boxy, generic, and the pages look thrown together. Sure, Intuit offers templates but you pay a monthly fee for them. Or they hook you in with the “free” for 1 month, then up the rate to $5.99 and eventually up to $7.99 – even more depending on the size of blog and if you are selling products on the site. Before you know it, you can run up quite a monthly bill! If you were to purchase the Gold package with blog and eCommerce, your total after 3 years would be close to $3000. But wait … it gets worse.
Intuit is not SEO friendly! In order to get Google, Yahoo and Bing to like your pages you will need to learn some advanced SEO techniques and apply them to the Intuit program.
Intuit does not have a simple contact Management System (CMS) and it very difficult to do any customization. Like the commercial, some cave and purchase the Intuit plan – spending way too much money customizing their sites. Others resort to finding a local designer to work on the project. However, Intuit isn’t Apple friendly and most designer work on the ever popular Apple Macintosh. I understand they want to make it difficult on the end users, including the designers who would take away their work, but most can’t do the edits the client desires. Designers can’t have direct access to the style sheet which is how must of us designers customize a website. If down the road you decided to move your site over to your own server or host it elsewhere, Intuit claims you can have the HTML code, but there is no guarantees – it may work and it may not! So, after all this time and money, you don’t even own you own website. Sounds like a low blow, doesn’t it?
Up next in the ring … WordPress
Now, you all know that Creative Matter is a graphic design company where we not only design, we develop websites. I am, of course, sitting ringside cheering on WordPress. I will be honest, I want your business, but I also want to be honest and upfront about Intuit websites before I decide to work on your website. I do have a love to some degree for Intuit as it has made it easy for me to take some of their unhappy clients and turn them into very happy and thriving businesses. Also, if you are considering hiring me to work on your Intuit website, I want you to know what you are getting yourself into before we waste a lot of our precious time. I know what I am getting into— I’ve done Intuit websites before. It takes us designers a lot longer to work on these websites than you think, adding up the hours while we travel through Intuit’s coding nightmares. Then, you, as the client, are upset with the hours and ultimately the bill, and I don’t like to be in that position any more than you are. Believe me, I am not alone, there are a number of “I hate Intuit” websites out there.
First off, WordPress is free to use. WordPress is open source application and is non-profit. WordPress is currently the most popular content management system out in cyberspace. Although we use it to build all our websites, it is primarily known as a blogging platform but it doesn’t cost a monthly fee just to blog!
WordPress is far superior when it comes to SEO and new and updated content shows up almost instantly in Google searches. Most themes have built-in applications and you don’t even have to set the keywords or meta tags in your posts.
There are numerous templates to choose from ranging from free and you can purchase a theme which is on average $40. I have a number of templates I use, making each one customized to fit your brand. There are also many quick changing features and add-on’s that make your site just how you want it.
Now, if you are like most people, your focus is your business and not how to set-up and customize WordPress. We have a saying in our office, “Do what you do best and outsource the rest!” That is where someone like me comes in. Working with a reliable and trusted designer has many more benefits than not having to work with Intuit. Having an experienced designer work on your WordPress site will save you countless hours allowing you to focus on the business at hand. After the one-time fee of setting up the site (set-up, customization, copy writing) all you need to pay is the hosting fees a year to keep the site going. A typical domain name is about $10 a year and the hosting for WordPress comes to about $64 a year bringing your total yearly cost to $74, and the site is yours to keep! That is a huge difference compared to a year contract with Intuit.
WordPress saves you time and money in the long-run.
Ding, Ding, Ding … The winner is WordPress!
Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.