When comparing Back2Front to other web site companies, be careful to find out exactly what is included in their offering and what is not. The following illustrates some of the common practices in the industry, and how Back2Front approaches web site service so that you can avoid comparing apples to oranges.

Please do comparison shop!

If Back2Front is right for you, the choice will be clear.

Competitor Analysis

Are you comparing apples and oranges?

The Back2Front Option

At Back2Front, we know that the launch of your web site is just the beginning. Our long-term approach means that we are as committed to the ongoing success of your web site as you are.

Back2Front's Ongoing Web Site Management Service means that real people are here to help you with your web site all year long, with anything you need. This includes maintenance of your web site, ongoing updates, graphic design, content development, consultation, and technical support. Since we take care of everything for you, you don't need any technical knowledge and you won't need training.

There's more... our value-added service also includes the initial search engine optimization, monthly statistics reports, broken link checking, web site monitoring, code validation, backup and restore, server fail-over, domain management, email forwarding, and web hosting. All without limits on bandwidth, space, size, or usage.

Ongoing Web Site Management Service Option

What's good: Back2Front offers a unique Ongoing Web Site Management Service. We are dedicated exclusively to web site service. We have the experience, the economy of scale, and the infrastructure to build and manage high-quality web sites expertly and efficiently. We provide a complete web site service from setup to ongoing management, and everything in between—for one set per-page fee. No surprises. You need no in-house expertise, no time investment for training, and no need to work with other companies for any part of your web site.

What to watch out for: Back2Front offers several levels of service. Our fullymanaged service is our "core" default service. However, if you want to build and manage your web site yourself, and want full access to all of the web site files- we can set you up- but the rest of the "perks" of a fully managed service cannot apply. (We can't take responsibility for the validity and fuction of coding you do yourself.)

Back2Front's take: We know that most business owners (who already have enough on their plate running their company) will love our service once they have had a chance to experience it. We know this because that's what our clients keep telling us!

What are my other options?

There are many ways to go about creating and managing a web site. Here are some of the most common options.

Option 1 Completely in-house web site solution

(You or your staff create and manage everything.)

What's good: Can be inexpensive to begin with. Gives you full control internally, and is the most flexible solution. This is a good approach for Intranet (staff-only) portals, especially if they are integrated into your back-end systems.

What to watch out for: Beware of the high (and sometimes hidden) costs of experienced staff, development tools, training, and equipment. Without investment in these things, quality will suffer. Long-term maintenance could also become expensive without an infrastructure optimized for growth.

Back2Front's take: As a dedicated web site company, we have the economy of scale that a company with a single web site can never have. An in-house solution is not needed for fast response or adherence to strict branding and content guidelines. Back2Front will honour your guidelines and provide fast service, at a price that may be much lower than an in-house solution once all costs are taken into account.

Option 2 Using automated tools

(Content Management Systems, web site builders, or templates.)

What's good: Inexpensive to begin with. This can save time compared with a completely in-house solution, and you retain some control of the site internally. This option is best for simple sites such as personal web sites and hobby sites.

What to watch out for: Every automated tool inevitably has limitations, and flexible tools require a higher level of training and experience. There is always a trade-off between time spent and available features.

Back2Front's take: Why trade-off time for flexibility? Go with a professional development environment or, better yet, outsource the work altogether. Don't lock yourself into a tool that will eventually limit your web site's growth. At Back2Front there are no limits to what can be done.

Option 3 Outsource periodically under contract to

( Internet consultant, IT contractor, or a marketing company.)

What's good: Outsourcing means no need for in-house expertise, which can save time. Professional solutions are likely to be high quality, and you may be able to get ongoing care and maintenance for your web site.

What to watch out for: Beware of small companies that may not be around in the long run, and of companies that tack "web design" on the end of a long list of unrelated services. If they offer so many services, they are not web specialists and may not have what it takes to be effective in the web arena.

Back2Front's take:Internet consultants charge by the hour. Even if they quote on a project, the quote is based on estimated hours of work. Take the time to find out what commitments the company makes long-term: How much will it cost to make changes? What will the turnaround times be? Companies may quote low upfront, deliver a basic-quality product, and then charge more down the road to improve it. After you're already locked in, it may be difficult to negotiate additional terms of service. Cost overruns are a common complaint with this type of service.

Option 4 Use a typical web design company.

What's good: This outsourcing option removes the need for in-house expertise. Professional solutions are usually high quality. A company dedicated to web site service can provide expertise that is leveraged across their clientele.

What to watch out for: "Design 'n Dash"—the attitude that your web site is "done" after it's built. Often, web design companies weigh their costs heavily on the setup portion of the site because they don't plan on sticking around after that.

Back2Front's take: As with other consulting companies, take the time to find out what commitments the company makes long-term, including how much it will cost to make changes, and what the turnaround times will be. At Back2Front, web site management is an ongoing process—your web site is never "done" but is built from the beginning to be adaptable and expandable so that it can evolve along with your business.

Other things to check

Check out Back2Front's online portfolio of clients, and our competitors' portfolios (if they have any). Decide who has:
  • The largest list of happy, current clients.
  • Client testimonials substantiating that they remain happy with the service over time.
  • More effective, usable, and attractive web sites.
  • Web sites that actually work as intended (forms function correctly, no broken links, etc).

Back2Front's fully managed service is right for you if:
  • You have a thriving business.
  • You do not have the time or inclination to manage a web site yourself.
  • You want excellent value for your money.
  • You want the comfort of knowing that your web site is in good hands.

Back2Front's fully managed service is NOT right for you if:
  • You cannot afford $400 for the first year and $200 for each year thereafter. This is our minimum fee for a one-page web site.
  • You prefer to manage a web site yourself and have full access to work with the code of all of the files.
  • You need to host your web site in-house - or with a third party.
  • You only want part of the service (Search Optimization - for example)
However, if these are your requirements we can help you with one of our other levels of service.

Comparison Checklist

FeatureBack2FrontOther Back2Front Details
Web design  Stock photography, graphic design, content formatting, applying styles, hyperlinks, embedding any media files, photo scanning, and more.
Content development  Unlimited content, technical writing, user interface, proofreading, editing, content organization, site navigation, page layout, consulting.
Flat fee updates  Flat per-request / per-page handling fee. Unlimited updates, any size, any type.
Statistics reports  Comprehensive, detailed, monthly reports, that can be used in on-going search engine performance adjustments.
Search engine optimization  Submission, initial site optimization, statistics analysis and monitoring, full consultation, meta tags are all standard and included with our fully managed service. Additional SEO can be purchased according to your needs and budget.
Site validation & maintenance  Broken link checking, site monitoring, browser compatibility testing, code validation, response times, form functionality, uptime, hardware and software upgrades.
Web hosting  Space and bandwidth as needed, redundant servers, automatic failover, nightly backups.
Domain name management  Registration or transfer, renewal, configuration, and DNS - all fully managed.
Email service  Unlimited email forwarding service. Other email solutions are available as well.
Technical support  Consultation, on-going service, always available. Real Canadian people to help you.
Submission forms  Whatever functionality you need, custom forms, field validation, email submission, custom programming.
E-commerce  Shopping cart - best in industry, PayPal (or alt gateway) integration, "buy-now" buttons, subscriptions, donations, gift certificates, consulting.
Database tables  Product catalogues, portfolios, listings, directories, event calendars, etc.
Web site self-update  Through customized forms created specifically for your site which require No training. Or via (CMS) plug-in modules.
Full access to site files  With our fully managed service there is no need for you to access the files directly. However, if you prefer to have access we can set you up with one of our other levels of service.
Secure pagesExtra cost  SSL certificate, secure protocol, security consulting (we are paranoid!), flat fees.
Additional domain namesExtra cost  Our fully managed service means we take care of everything for you.