The Real Cost of Free and Low-Cost Services

Surely Joe Hage had his tongue firmly in cheek when he wrote the title for his blog post of OMG! It was so easy to set up a blog site!

Joe starts with

I started this article as I was learning how to set up a blog, to share it with you here. It seemed like an intimidating effort but it was SO EASY BECAUSE a GoDaddy.com representative stayed on the phone with me for 63 minutes and took me step-by-step through it.

Joe spent over an HOUR on the PHONE to set up a Godaddy blog site for his kids. I’m stunned!!!

I’ve followed Joe on the social networking site Biznik and I’d have to put Joe’s hourly rate in the $225 an hour plus club.  He’s a Wharton MBA whose list of clients is impressive.  His skill at quickly seeing how to make a marketing positioning statement which is tightly targeted AND easily understood literally blows me away.  (A skill he demonstrates on Biznik with surprising regularity.  The man obviously never sleeps!)

I guess what I’m getting at is that Joe’s time is extremely valuable which means that was one very expensive  and extensive blog set up session.

I will confess here that I have absolutely NO experience with Godaddy blog hosting services. My experience with Godaddy HOSTING services on behalf of website clients has not made me willing to brace for the challenge of trying to tame their blog option. Joe’s post only clarified that for me.

In contrast, I set up a blog for my son last night. He’s wanting to earn some income and his passion is video games. So I picked up the domain name Best Video Game Cheats and in the course of an hour, I was able to

  • research effective keywords for a domain name with Wordze.
    (I hesitate to share this resource because it’s just so good and I’m afraid that if everyone starts using it that it won’t be as good. That’s what seemed to happen to WordTracker, a former favorite keyword research tool of mine.)
  • register a domain name (NOT with Godaddy… though I do have names hosted there that are awaiting development)
  • customize the Revolution Theme by Brian Gardner including choosing a cover image using Istockphoto
  • Add adsense code to the themes so my 18 year old high school senior can earn gas money while doing all it takes to be one of the 13  2009 POTENTIAL TOP TREASURE COAST RECRUITS.

Admittedly, I’ve got everything set up to plug and play when it comes to setting up WordPress blogs but it certainly wasn’t “easy” the first few times I did it.  (There’s more to a WordPress blog installation than simply clicking “install” in Fantastico.  Plug ins, which are what make WordPress ROCK, vary in their ease of use, effectiveness and compatibility with other plug-ins.)

Now, admittedly, you will have an outlay of cash to have me set up your WordPress self hosted blog.  In Joe’s case, this was a blog he was setting up for his children, so I can see not wanting to launch a super charged self hosted WordPress blog with all the bells and whistles which will make it a contender for top rankings in the search engines.

However, I learned a valuable lesson via a posting in a forum long ago (the source and link are long forgotten but the message remains) which stated,

“You can always earn more money- you can never earn more time.  Money is easily replaced.  Time isn’t.”

That has caused me to click the “buy” button more than once over the past few years.  Can it save me time?  Then it’s probably worth my money.

Lots of people waste valuable time and energy trying to figure out how to get something for nothing. There are tons of free and low cost website development tools  which feature complicated and non-intuitive navigation through a labyrinth like maze that consume hours if not days of valuable time.  That valuable time was invested on behalf of a less than stellar end product.  I’ve not only gone down that trail personally, I’ve also worked with more than a few clients who later said, “Wow!  I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time getting to you.”

I get the need to bootstrap.  I get the need to conserve cash.  But sometimes, you’ve got to spend money so you can make money.

I applaud Joe.  I never would have called and hung in for over an hour trying to set up a blog on Godaddy.  I’d have gone to WordPress.com and set one up in like 5 minutes and then used URL forwarding for the domain name.  Not the most SEO method, but then again… if that was my goal, I would NEVER use a Godaddy blog in the first place.

Am I missing something?  Are Godaddy blogs the next big thing is search engine friendliness and ease of use?  Or are they just cheap and readily available?

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Kathy – I’ve hosted a site on GoDaddy before but never a blog. Your friend must have been really patient to stay online the whole time.

    I must admit that I’ve built sites myself, at a time where I was earning a pretty high hourly amount. And I can definitely see the logic in what you’re saying. But sometimes it’s just fun to have a go at something different.

    Mind you, when I began taking my blog more seriously, I did have it professionally designed. Whilst it was fun messing about to begin with, my design skills are definitely lacking. I also realized I was hopeless with colour when Rozalind Gardner told me my site was the colour of poop.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Oops – I Sank A Business

  2. says

    Hi Kathy,

    Good point on exchanging time for money. I think we all need to do this at some stages in our lives. I did it to get things done faster, even though i could have done them myself.

    As for Godaddy blogs, they are crap and certainly will never be the next best thing. Plus, I think it’s no secret that one should never have their hosting and domain name in the same place. I tried their websites and blogs when i didn’t know any better, but soon ventured to WordPress.

    @ Cath: Yes, I did the same as you. Pay for a professional blog design once I was able to afford it. I could have done it myself, with more time spent though. Therefore sometimes it just makes more sense to enroll the help of professionals who can do the job in less time.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..It’s Time To Strip Naked

  3. says

    You have a point re time v. money but I learnt all my unix skills years ago hanging on the phone with “support” in another town – in the endI just did it myself! So when I started with blogging it seemed sensible to learn it myself too. I’m a little mystified though why your friend didn’t let his kids do it for themselves though on wp.com or blogger? It really is the best way to learn

    lissie’s last blog post..RevResponse – A different Type fo Affiliate