Are SnapSites Right for Me?

Although SnapSites membership is a fantastic way for most organizations to get a more quality website than they would otherwise be able to afford, SnapSites are not the the right solution for everyone. Just like decision to lease or purchase a new home, office, or car, there are a number of considerations to make when making this decision. Certain organizational goals may work better with SnapSites membership and other businesses with stringent ownership requirements or strict budgeting policies may not be a good fit at all. Please see our FAQs for more answers to help determine if SnapSites may be a good fit for you.

Since SnapSites membership is more like leasing “digital real estate” than purchasing an asset, we like to play upon this real estate analogy to explain how SnapSites compare to other website design and development solutions out there. These solutions are also presented alongside their real estate equivalents below so you can easily see how different website production options compare to more traditional examples.

Cheap (or free) Entry Level Options

If you were just starting out, strapped for cash, and just needed a temporary way to “set up shop”, you’d naturally gravitate towards the cheapest available options so you could test the waters and you’d probably be inclined to do as much as you could yourself. If you were trying to make it as a young restauranteur, you may decide that a salvaged food truck or trailer would be the most sensible way to start out. Similarly, if you are just starting out as a cash-strapped home-based business, you may feel that a free do-it-yourself online web builder may be the best way to get up and running cheaply and quickly. Let’s compare these options in a little more detail:

Campers, Trailers or Tents

Purchase Model: Rent or Own
Pricing: Variable
Examples: Campers, Pop-up Trailers, Tents, Small RVs
Overview: Mainly used for temporary recreational use, these building options are sometimes used by individuals or organizations on a temporary basis as “pop-up” stores, mobile food trucks, temporary locations, etc.
Pros: Get up-and-running in just minutes. Extremely cost-effective, simple, mobile. Perfect for temporary uses. Simple setup and maintenance — no technical skills required.
Cons: Impossible to add-on, expand or customize. No built-in support for utilities, plumbing, or electrical. Affected by zoning restrictions and not suitable as a long-term residence or office. In addition, these structures are not designed to last long at all and they provide absolutely no inherent security, privacy or stability.

“Free” Online Web Builders

Purchase Model: Rent
Pricing: Free* or less than $10/month
Examples: GoDaddy Website Tonight, Wix, Virb, LightCMS
Overview: These online tools work well for temporary personal pages or projects but simply cannot support a reputable corporate website for any professional organization or initiative.
Pros: Extremely cost effective and easy to learn. Perfect for temporary personal pages or projects. Simple setup and no maintenance required.
Cons: Impossible to add-on, expand or customize. No built-in support for third-party apps, integrations or tools. No email or phone support.
* By using “free” plans with these services, you are agreeing to on-page advertising, subscriptions to partner spam lists, user tracking with cookies for advertising remarketing, limited feature set and no support.

Intermediate Options for Capable DIY-ers

If you’ve been running your own successful shop or restaurant out of a trailer for a few years, it’s probably time to upgrade to a little more permanent solution such as a portable steel structure or mobile home that allows you a little more elbow room and customization options without breaking the bank. Since you are still on a very tight budget, you’d probably lean towards an entry-level mobile structure or kit that allows you to setup everything yourself. Similarly, there’s tons of quick-build web platforms out there that users with limited website design or development skills to create some fairly nifty basic sites. Let’s compare these options in a little more detail:

Mobile Home or Portable

Purchase Model: Rent or Own
Pricing: Variable
Examples: Mobile Homes, Portables, Steel Buildings, Manufactured Homes
Overview: Mainly used for storage or overflow capacity, these alternative building options can be used for satellite offices or classrooms, grapes and workshops, creative studios and more.
Pros: Cost-effective, simple, and relatively mobile. Perfect for temporary uses. Simple setup and maintenance.
Cons: Very difficult to expand or customize. Setup and construction can be time-consuming. Can support basic electrical wiring, window units for A/C but no plumbing. Affected by zoning restrictions and not suitable as a long-term residence or office.

Do-it-Yourself Online Builders

Purchase Model: Rent
Pricing: $19 to $89/month
Examples: SqaureSpace, SpaceCraft, Virb, LightCMS
Overview: These online tools work well for temporary personal pages or projects but simply cannot support a reputable corporate website for any professional organization or initiative.
Pros: Cost effective and easy to learn. Good for personal pages or basic websites. Decent SEO support. Simple setup and no maintenance required.
Cons: Very difficult to add-on, expand or customize. Limited support for third-party apps, integrations or tools. Limited support options and charge for advanced features and functionality.

Elite Leasing, Clubs and Membership Options

There’s plenty of reasons why a lease or membership makes much more sense than ownership in some cases. Just look at the rise in popularity of business auto and equipment leasing, high-end real estate leasing, and elite recreational memberships such as boat clubs and vacation timeshares. Leasing and other memberships such as co-ops and clubs allow you access to much nicer high-end homes, condos, boats and other luxuries for a much lower overall cost of investment – not to mention all the maintenance, security and upkeep is included. Similarly, SnapSites offer the same exact benefits when it comes to your website and online marketing. Let’s compare these options in a little more detail:

Luxury Condos, Office Suites and Boat Clubs

Purchase Model: Lease or Own
Pricing: Variable
Examples: Condominiums, Apartments, Flats, Timeshares and Co-Ops
Overview: Perfect option for those who want all the perks of living in high-end luxury without the headaches of lawn care, repairs, maintenance or property taxes.
Pros: Custom architecture, no property taxes, no repairs, maintenance or associated costs. HOA provides added benefits and services.
Cons: Do-it-yourselfers may miss the opportunity to take pride in ownership through repairs, updates and yard work. Other units in the building share some of the same floorpans. HOA fees are extra per month.

SnapSites Membership

Purchase Model: Lease
Pricing: $2k to $6k
Example: Only SnapSites
Overview: SnapSites are not another do-it-yourself website builder. SnapSites are, in essence, a suite of exclusive ready-made website themes and extensions handcrafted for specific vertical markets and industries. We provide concierge services, exclusive benefits and unparalleled support available via limited invitation-only membership.
Pros: Invitation-only membership, limited production, unlimited updates for life, exclusive handcrafted designs, cost-effective “digital lease” model, spread costs out over entire membership.
Cons: Limited access to source code. Functionality, customization options and certain settings are limited to availability provided by the framework or theme. Additional customization available for additional credits.

Entry-Level Ownership Options

Just as there are compelling benefits to leasing, clubs and memberships, there plenty of reasons why ownership would be the most sensible solution. For example, you may know you’ll be in your starter home or office for many years and you want to start building equity. You may also really enjoy maintaining your lawn and want the ability to knock out some walls or add-on to it in a couple of years. Similarly, an entry-level custom website solution gives you the full ownership to do anything you’d like with your site as long as you are lucky enough find a reputable contractor and can afford the costs involved with ownership. Let’s compare these options in a little more detail:

Starter Homes, Cabins or Cottages

Purchase Model: Own
Pricing: $75k to $200k
Examples: Small Homes, Cabins, Cottages, Bungalows and Log Cabins
Overview: Year round cabin living possibly off the grid. Size and simplicity define Cabin home plans. These appealing designs make affordable vacation homes, their rustic simplicity perfectly suited for mountain, lakeside, and even beach settings.
Pros: Cost-effective, customizable, many floorplans, and exterior options. Build to suit and custom interior finish-out.
Cons: Requires permitting, foundation work, plumbing and electrical which adds to the cost. Must pay for materials, shipping costs and specialty contractors.

Freelancers and Small Studios

Purchase Model: Own
Pricing: $3k to $8k
Examples: Craigslist, eLance, oDesk, Microlancer, 99 Designs
Overview: There are many things to consider when working with freelancers and boutique studios and if you are new to it, there might be quite a lot of bumps on the road. However, when you get more familiar with the process, you will soon discover that working with freelancers can be very rewarding.
Pros: Ability to select the best fit for your particular site, more flexibility, lower costs, personal service.
Cons: Limited availability, unreliable at times, less control, confidentiality issues.
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