For more than 20 years Homestead has been creating professional websites to help small businesses grow. They offer basic design features, blogging capabilities and online store functions. Their 24/7 customer service allows their customers to get all the help they need to keep their website running smoothly. The combination of these services and features helps their more than 10,000 customers have a great experience.
- SEO services
- Easy to maintain
The use of SEO tools is very important in the online industry. These tools drive new visitors to websites by adding keywords to their content that makes the site more easily found through search engines. It is a pretty straight forward concept, but can sometimes be tricky to execute properly. Not only does Homestead offer the ability to add SEO elements to a website, they also offer a dedicated SEO expert that can be added on to any package. If a customer decided that they would like to work with one of these consultants, they start with an interview to go over the goals and ideas the customer has for their company. The expert will then do some research on competitors and current trends. A plan is then presented to the customer with step-by-step actions that will make the website the top of search results. The expert and the SEO team will execute the plan and update the customer on results and if there needs to be changes made. This service would be very beneficial to customers who are just starting out to make sure their business is found by potential visitors.
Each website designed by Homestead, whether from a template or a custom design, are made in such a way that it is easy for the customer to maintain. They've created a process for building a website that is quick and easy. Simply select a template, customize color themes and add content. The process for updating and adding content is similarly easy. The customer can also decide to change the entire look of their website at any time. With easy blogging features, the ability to link to videos or other media, and a full image gallery the customer can quickly add any type of content they need. If the customer ever has an issue, they can easily contact a technical expert and get the help that they need.
- Template limitations
- Custom design prices
Even though the process for designing and maintaining are easy to use, there are a few downsides to the design aspects. Homestead offers hundreds of professionally designed templates. These templates are specifically designed to fit a certain business or industry. The problem comes because the customer cannot preview these templates before they decide to work with Homestead. They do offer a small selection (less than 30) of examples that the customer can view in order to get a feel for the type of designs offered. But with such a small sampling compared to all that are offered, it's hard to know if the customer will find one that fits their needs and personalities without seeing them all. These templates are also designed for specific businesses and industries but these categories are not available until the customer becomes a member. So they might become a member and find out their business is not included. There is no charge upfront, so the customer won't lose money. It just might be a waste of their time.
Another small downside to their design process is the custom design prices. The service includes meeting with a design expert who has studied varying industries and knows the competition. The customer explains their needs, wants and ideas, and then the designer takes those and makes them into a functioning website. This dedicated designer will then make any adjustments the customer wants before the site is published. After the website is up and running, the designer will periodically make updates and changes that the customer asks for or if something doesn't work correctly. Other than that, it's up to the customer to maintain the website and continue to add content. This service package will cost the customer $149.99 per month; more than double the highest hosting package. Many of Homestead's competitors have high fees for their custom design services, but they are a one-time fee followed by the lowering hosting fee every month.
The Bottom Line
The dedicated experts that are available to the customer to help with SEO, design and overall management of a website are a great service. They can really help a customer be as successful as possible. There are many benefits, like these, that a customer would enjoy if they chose to work with Homestead.