Since TSO hosts annouced last week that they are stopping the support of MrSite, we’ve been looking at the different options available to small business owners at this time. Unfortunately, TSO Hosts have only given a months notice before they’ll be closing all of their MrSite websites (any website built using the MrSite platform), which means there are literally hundreds of people and small businesses now in a position of needed to find a new solution, and fast.
Realistically, we know that the reason people have used MrSite in the first place is to both have control of their own website, and to keep the costs down. So, there’s no point in the hard sell here. Which is just as well, because we’re not very good at that.
Back Up Your Website
We’ve done a lot of research to answer enquiries over the past few days, and unfortunately it seems there is no way to move your current MrSite to another platform. The only possibility (and a recommendation anyway) is to back up the website as a HTML website, which means you keep all of your content and design, but you lose the MrSite functionality.
On the plus side, it does mean you don’t lose a lot of your hard work, and makes the next task much easier.
Setting Up a New Website
There are a lot of options here, honestly. It will just take you a bit of time to find the right platform for you, and at the right costs. There are pros and cons to all of our options below, because at the end of the day, it really does depend on you. A build your own site is great if you have the time and know how, on the other hand, a full website developed by a company might be well out of budget. So, we can’t tell you one way or another what the best route is. Only you can decide.
Do it yourself – build your own
Always a popular option, but how do you decide where to start? We’ll be honest, there are loads of build your own options out there (just like MrSite was), and if you asked a room of digital minded people, the vote would be split between them. So, Google them, have a look at what they offer and make sure it suits you. Don’t get caught out by monthly fees (that you can’t afford), and compare them to your website designers fees too. Sometimes, going local is cheaper.
So, build your own – there are platforms for ‘standard’ websites (ones like Wix, or Squarespace), and also ones for ecommerce sites too (Shopify).
What we offer – build your own, one off fee
We also offer a build your own option, with two tiers. The first, we can literally put WordPress on your domain name and hosting and set it all up correctly for you – you’ll then login to your new WordPress site and away you go. With this option, you’ll be free to add any themes you want, plugins (bolt-ons), pages, etc. We charge £95 to install WordPress on your website. This is a one off fee.
Build your own – annual fee
The second tier of our build your own option is an annual fee, which includes your website hosting. This is £90 a year, and we set up the WordPress for you, provide you with secure hosting and also unlimited support when you build your own website. We will also give you invaluable advice on plugins and themes you could use, suitable for your business.
The reason we have two tiers is that many people do already have hosting set up, and prefer to keep it that way. We’re also aware TSO Hosts will keep hosting going.
Approach a website designer / developor
We know people often just assume very quickly that employing a website developer can be pricey. Shop around, but importantly, make sure you choose someone who you’re comfortable with, and who you think will work well with you on your new website.
Some points to consider:
- Compare costs between developers – what might look like a good deal could end up costing you more money in the long run. For example, we charge an annual hosting fee (£70), but other companies might charge a monthly fee, so the initial cost looks less but could cost more over 12 months.
- Ask questions about the platform the website designer wants to use; will you be able to access it, will the content be yours, is the theme bespoke to you or from a selection of themes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because any business worth their salt will be happy to answer.
- Make sure the domain name remains with your name attached to it, and is yours. While you can transfer a domain to a website developer, get it in writing that it is your property (honestly, we have seen so many stories of developers not releasing names because ‘they’ registered them).
- If looking at hosting, check to make sure the SSL certificate (security certificate) is free or included in the price. It really should be, so many offer in for free.
- Ask about the design and development process, how does it work? Is it flexible? Is there a limit of the amount of hours for the cost?
There are always options
Just because your asking a website developer, doesn’t mean a whole new website from scratch. We have a range of options because at the end of the day, we want to be as flexible as possible. If you want to stick local, don’t be afraid to ask your website developers if they can do these options too.
WordPress themes (the design of your site)
We offer this as a way of keeping costs down. Our standard pricing (which you can see here) includes a totally bespoke theme for your website. This option means you can choose your own theme from the huge range WordPress has, and we use it to build your site with.
You input the content
Our standard pricing includes adding your content into each page, styling it and making everything hunky dory. But, if your site is quite large, that takes time. Another way to cut costs can be to input the content yourself – we build you the barebones, and you input the content. We’d then go back and make sure the design really works well with the content you have. This is especially good if you have an ecommerce site, you can input all of your products and we don’t charge you the full rate.
Spread the payments
During coronavirus we’ve offered many clients a payment plan to spread the cost of a new website over 12 months. It’s always worth asking your website developers if this is an option, because it might be something they don’t readily advertise.
Get in touch if we can help: