Deciding who to hire to design and build your website can be a confusing and frustrating experience. Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly what questions to ask and who to trust. It is helpful, then, to know which options come with inherent drawbacks.
As developers, we often are approached by exasperated business owners who had their sites built elsewhere. What was delivered was not what they expected. Below we list some of the issues we have seen with sites built by the company previously known as Yellow Book, now called Hibu.
You might assume that since you have provided all the content for the website, the URL has the name of your business, and you’re paying a high monthly fee, that you own the website. Not true. You are only renting it. Hibu uses proprietary software that does not allow the site to be moved. If you decide to part ways with Hibu for any reason, you lose your website.
Domain name ownership
In a sense you never really own a domain name. You are effectively renting it from ICANN. But when the domain name is registered in your name, you have first dibs at renewing it and keeping control of it. With Hibu, the domain name is registered in their name, you rent it from them for more money than it would cost you to rent it directly from ICANN, and they charge you an additional fee to take over the registration.
Hibu builds and hosts your website. If you find another company that offers a similar hosting plan for less, you cannot move the site. So long as you have a site with Hibu, they have to host it.
At the time of writing this blog, our client was paying $147 a month to rent his four-page website. That comes to nearly $2000 per year! We can build a very nice basic website for that. It would be search engine optimized and much easier to update. Most developers charge a one-time fee to design and develop the site and you can keep the same website for many years. Think of the savings!
Hibu’s mobile responsive site is separate
All websites today must be built to work well on both traditional desktop computers and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile responsive sites know what size screen someone is accessing the site from, and the site is delivered in a format that works best on that size screen. Hibu sites work differently. If you want a mobile responsive site with them they build you two websites. One is for desktop computers and the other is for mobile devices. That means that you have two separate websites to maintain. With every change you make on one site, you have to then go and make it on the second site. Additionally, having two separate sites can negatively affect search engine ranking.
Hibu CMS interface is not intuitive
Hibu says that their Content Management System will allow the business owner to make changes to the site themselves. We build and maintain websites for a living and we found the interface to be frustrating to use and unnecessarily complicated.