I could be described as the teams’s cultural antiquity, but before my younger colleagues begin carbon dating me I thought I might voice an opinion or two about the wonders of the internet as a marketing geriatric. These days, even the Home of the Bewildered has a computer and an internet connection so I think it’s fair that I offer my perspective despite my colleagues raised voices and vigorous objections. I can’t talk techno babble, I’m illiterate in that department so all I have to offer is plain old smart speak.

Ever wondered what the price is to create a web site? I can tell you it’s not much if you’re an unsuspecting, indiscriminate buyer. Please note I used the word “price’, and if all you’re interested in is the “price” no problem – very cheap. You can create a simple system for no more that the “price” of a new suit or a sexy little black frock. Go for it! If however, you are a little more cautious, you’ll examine very, very carefully the “price” because that’s very different to the “cost”.

One wise old salesman once told me that there is a huge difference between “cost” and “price”. “Price”, he said. “Was what you pay just once… …Cost however, is what you pay for forever”. And appropriately it is never so true as when you build a web site. For example, there are a number of systems, one is known as a Content Management System or CMS to those professors of abbreviation who like to create acronyms. What it means is that once professionally designed, you can make most changes yourself on a daily basis without screwing up the design or continuity of the site. It’s a very desirable DIY (here we go again) method of keeping control of your web site. The initial price is a little more expensive but it costs you nothing to change, just a little time and discipline..

There are of course companies out there who like to disguise there systems as CMS. They’re really not a CMS but to the unknowing they’ll be an attractive option because they’re cheap. In fact the cheaper a site is the more suspicious you should be about it. Cheap means you’ll pay more than once for that little baby. So the price is OK, the cost is not.

Systems like html for example, can be inexpensive to produce but when it comes to making the smallest change such as a price or a used by date – watch out for the charge of the wounded bovine. It could be as little as $1000 to create a site and over a year or so another $10,000 to change the content from time to time. Given that the search engines look for sites that are regularly changed to give them higher rankings, changing your site often should be a priority. It’s hard to justify when it costs a packet every time you send it to the web designers for that $250 change.

I began by stating my aged credentials and admitting I’m not as techno savvy as these young whipper snappers who surround me. Despite that I’ve learned to smell a ‘rip off’ in my time and in the last two years I’ve seen the most horrific sites, which have literally been misrepresented by their creators as a cheap solution. They are completely inadequate for the needs of the organisation they represent and worse they are costing their owners an arm and a leg.

If you want my advice, talk to these young, bright techno freaks I work with. They talk funny, use terms that confuse me but they’ve proved to me what real value they can be to people who think they understand the web, but really don’t. Don’t get tangled in a web.