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Why do we charge a monthly fee for our websites?

I’ve been asked this a lot, but in my opinion, the better question is: why wouldn’t we? The reason I started TourismTiger was to not just make websites but to build a system that keeps websites up to date, fresh, maintained, and even continuously improves them!

Take the example of mobile devices. Around 60% of traffic to a typical tour operator’s website is on mobile devices, yet there’s an ocean of tour operators whose websites aren’t even optimized for them (the majority of their traffic!). These tour operators are on a system that doesn’t keep their site up to date with the latest technology. How badly are these businesses losing now? With every bone in my body, I want to fix this problem.

We’re always tinkering around with the system to make it easier to use, faster, more Google friendly…the kind of things that a website company really should be doing.

What Are We Actually Doing with the Monthly Fee?

We want to be the world’s best web design service for small businesses.

If that means you need a fast, pretty, responsive, easy-to-use website, then that’s what you’ll get!

Hosting. Hosts like HostGator or Dreamhost who charge $5-10/month are so cheap that their slowness ends up costing their customers money. Our host is the top-rated host in the world, and as soon as they lose their #1 position, we’ll go to the new top dog.

Equivalent service to what we’re offering: $29/month at WPEngine(opens in a new tab).

Proactive WordPress Maintenance. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your Wordpress installation is actively maintained and backed up.

Equivalent service to what we’re offering: $100/month on GoDaddy(opens in a new tab) for their annual deluxe plan.

Content Maintenance. I’m sure you just LOVE learning how to edit your own website. No more! You never even have to log in. Just email us the edits to your site, and we’ll take care of them. If you want to build new pages for your site, that’s also cool — just send through the content, and we’ll put up the page. (NB: One new page is included per month.)

Ongoing Speed Optimization. Speed has a massive impact on sales. In faster websites will generally sell 5-10% more than slower websites. This is why we’re continuously improving our system. Shortly, our website platform will be one of the fastest in the world (if not THE fastest.)

Equivalent service to what we’re offering: One-off optimizations cost $200 at DIY WP Blog(opens in a new tab) or $595 at Online Media Masters(opens in a new tab). In terms of ongoing speed optimization, we’re the first.

Optimization of Our System for More Sales. There’s no such thing as a website that cannot improve.

We’re constantly tinkering and testing. No guesswork, just proven designs. This includes using heat map tests(opens in a new tab) and conversion tools(opens in a new tab) to optimize the performance of customer sites and make sure that we’re extracting the biggest amount of juice possible from every site. As we learn lessons, we’ll push these out across our network of customers.

Equivalent service to what we’re offering: Again, this service is a world first, but to get this for yourself would run you at least $3000/month. Conversion rate optimization costs a lot of money.

(You might be starting to see why the industry is freaking out about our price point.)

Ongoing Design & Software Improvements. Every month we make a series of improvements to the software to improve the design and expand our capacity to deal with more challenges. We’re continuing to add new capacities, such as improving our blog options and integrating Instagram. In March alone (I’m writing this on March 18, 2015), we’ve made 22 improvements or fixes to the system.

Equivalent service to what we’re offering: Squarespace will cost you $16-24/month(opens in a new tab).

Analytics Installation, Configuration, Ongoing Fixes and Ongoing Reporting. Very, very few people know how to install and configure Google Analytics correctly, which is about more than just copying and pasting code. Google Analytics needs monthly maintenance to remove spam referral data, which corrupts the overall results. You’ll also receive an automated monthly report from Google Analytics, which we have configured to give you some basic data. Over time we want to build a more robust reporting system, but that may not happen in 2015 as we focus on bigger fish.

Equivalent service to what we’re offering: $195 one-off(opens in a new tab) from Bruce Clay(opens in a new tab).

What Is Not Included

Strategic Marketing Consulting. Before I stopped consulting, my rate was $200/hour with the occasional sweetheart deal for friends. This pricing put my services out of the reach of many small businesses, and something had to change. I’m not available for consulting right now (and probably won’t ever be again), but I did write a book(opens in a new tab) for the price of a coffee and cake at Starbucks. That book is ~300 or so pages printed, and if I have the time, I’ll continue to add more.

Email Hosting. The best hosts no longer offer email hosting, and because we use the best hosts, neither can we. We can help you get your emails set up, though, and make the transition as painless as possible. This is included in our pricing.

How Is This Sustainable?

This project is sustainable for one reason only: all of our customers are on the same platform, so the monthly fee forms part of a collective amount. Everyone is sharing the cost of making this system happen. To hire a team to do this for your own website would cost you thousands of dollars a month, but because the costs will be spread across what is (hopefully) a large amount of customers, you can now afford it.

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