The recent announcement by Google that they are ending the Business Site Builder in favour of their My Business product - has left some companies red faced - not just angry, but embarrassed about poor strategies consulted for websites and inflated design costs due to trying to cut costs initially.
Initially you hear your website is to be hosted by Google in conjunction with a major mobile player like Vodacom WOZA (South Africa) - it seems a sure bet that the chance of the website going down with a company is slim to none. Not so much the case when customers received an email notifying them of service discontinuation and a short window to make a plan- with some costly recommendations. Surely there will be costs transferring the website designed to new host - and that would be all - right ?
Unfortunately the design tools to make website design easier, do not come with the option to transfer the design to a regular website host. Bottom line is you will need to design the website again- or pay someone to do that, owtch! So what can we take back from this ?
Sometimes paying less for something up front - has a good chance to cost more in the long run , the total cost of ownership of website hosting and design not done to open standards will ultimately inflate - golden handshake if you will.
Advice for website costs
Should you have a basic website - have it designed in html and it can be moved around between hosts should your host shut down or you find a better hosting deal. Also it can be managed by multiple teams no problem when you need additional content, updated content or changes made to existing content - or just a different team to manage it for you.
In the event that you have a little more complicated website - use a free open source content management system to the likes of Word Press, Joomla or Drupal. Facilitates multiple contributors, publishing management and mature 3rd party markets that extend the functionality (eCommerce , blogging and so much more) in a more consistent cost effective manner. Again usable by other teams or a growing team should the circumstances require it.