Yellowbook (Hibu) Website Alternative
If you are currently a Yellowbook (Hibu) customer, you already know how much they charge. If you are currently considering using them, as on the time of this writing, here are their services and what you can be expected to be charged.
They allow you to pick and choose from several offerings. I will examine one with all components so that you can understand the big picture and how silly their pricing structure is once you analyze it.
They have 5 components in their full offering:
- Website design
- Domain and hosting
- The "Assist" component - which gives you 2 updates a month, 4 new pages a year, and a redesign every two years.
- The "Video" component - they will create a video and host it on YouTube for you.
- The "Wave" component - they will create your facebook page and "look after" your Google+ and other directory listings.
That all looks good, right? I think it does. It handles the majority of what a local business needs to do to be successful online. So where does it go wrong?
IT COSTS TOO MUCH AND IS POORLY EXECUTED!
The costs (based on your 12 month contract) for this Yellowbook (Hibu) package:
Website design = $599/one time. This would be fair if you actually received a completely unique site with custom content that was properly SEO'd. But you don't get a unique site or great content - and your site will look like hundreds of other businesses in your niche.
Domain and hosting = $19.99/month. This is fair. I charge $24.95 but when my customers call, they know that they will get me and not the first available operator in a Philippine call center! Plus my price includes 4 changes per year at no cost. Which brings us to the next item.
The Assist costs $29.99 per month. The problem with this is that most businesses do not need more than a few updates a year. You might want to run a Mother's day special, a Christmas special, etc. But 2 updates a month is unusual. Plus, while this sounds great, they don't offer a package that only has 2 updates a year, for example. It is all or nothing!
The Video component costs $19.99 a month. Ouch!!! It is hosted on their YouTube account and you are held hostage to them. You do not own this video so why pay $20 a month? Like the "Wave" component that is next, it makes sense to have someone help keep your content fresh (they don't) but at this price I would expect a new video every quarter posted to a YouTube account that you own!
Finally, we have the Wave component at $29.99 per month. This is for the truly insane. While it makes sense to have someone support you in setting up and optimizing local listings and such, this amount is over the top.
If you add all of these charges up, it is almost $100 per month and you do not own the web property, you are just renting. We can offer an all-inclusive package for half this cost!
The bottom line is that Yellowbook (Hibu) offers an enormously expensive option that only gets more expensive as time goes on. The monthly charges for each component goes on month after month, year after year. The longer you use their services, the more expensive it gets.
This premium charge for design and services gets you the most over-used and vanilla websites possible. I mentioned before, these same templates are used by hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses in every niche they serve.
Your web design will not be unique to you and will not be as enticing to your visitors as a custom built website. Take a look for yourself. Perform a Google search with “Yellow Book USA, Inc. All Rights Reserved” and your keywords and look at the sites that are found.
But beyond the looks of the site, equally as important is the content. You need quality content to keep the visitors happy and to make the search engines happy. Yellowbook won't provide this level of quality.
There was actually a study by one company that analyzed 500 websites built by Yellowbook (Hibu) and they found that 94% of the websites used the same three templates.
Oh and in case you need more reasons to run from Yellowbook, their UK brand, Yell.com was caught creating fake reviews. You can read more about it here: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Companies/article476882.ece
Needless to say, ethics are not at the core of their company. Which, along with general customer dissatisfaction, is the reason for their struggles and their "re-branding" efforts.
There are many alternatives to Hibu/Yellowbook websites. We offer very affordable alternatives and will help transition you away from them with as little disruption to your business as possible. We don’t want to just be your web designer, we want to be your local partner for all your online marketing services at a price that makes sense.